Poverty Free KW invites Minister McMeekin for a visit

Jul 24 2013

Dear Minister McMeekin, We are following with interest and concern your informal 20-city tour on the Social Assistance Review Commission Report. We value this effort to validate what people think about the recommendations in this report and the process that has led to this point. We also invite you to come to Kitchener-Waterloo to hear about local contributions that have been made to the process to date.

Throughout all previous consultations, our message has been clear. It is time for action on the following: Raise the rates, Protect the well-being of people with disabilities, Reduce poverty for everyone.

1. Raise the rates
· Immediately increase the base rate of social assistance by $100 a month without paying for it by cutting other benefits.
· Restore the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit.
· Raise social assistance rates to a level that brings all
recipients out of deep poverty (i.e. above 80% of the Ontario Low Income Measure)

2. Protect the well-being of people with disabilities
· Do not merge Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, as this will disadvantage ODSP recipients;

. Take into account the reality that not everyone, however willing to work, is able to work in the current labor market conditions.

3. Reduce poverty for everyone
· Increase the Minimum wage to 10% above the Low Income Measure so that all full-time, full-year workers earn incomes that will bring them above the poverty line
· Integrate all policies aimed at helping people find and keep decent work: increased Child Benefit, accessible Employment Insurance, affordable childcare, and improvement and enforcement of employment standards.

We share your commitment to bringing low income Ontarians out of poverty and we support all efforts to act decisively to achieve that goal.

On behalf of the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group
we look forward to meeting with you in our community.

Letter sent to the Minister of Community and Social Services Ted McMeekin and the local MPPs in Kitchener-Waterlo on behalf of the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group on July 24th, 2013