Ways to build a better Ontario
Food banks provide a wide range of emergency and support services to those facing hunger, but are not a solution to hunger or poverty. These are complex issues that can only be solved by good public policy and adequate support programs to ensure all Ontarians have the income they need to afford their basic needs.
Help social assistance recipients meet their immediate needs during the pandemic.
Between May and July 2020, the Ontario government provided eligible social assistance recipients with access to a monthly emergency benefit ($100 for single individuals and $200 for families) to assist with additional expenses related to COVID-19. While this benefit may have ended prematurely, the needs of individuals and families as a result of the pandemic remain.
We recommend: Reinstating the Emergency Benefit for social assistance recipients.
Ensure no one loses their home during the pandemic.
The challenges faced by renters have been further exacerbated due to COVID-19, with many tenants now facing significant arrears and in jeopardy of losing their home. While the moratorium on evictions provided some relief for tenants, the threat of eviction is looming for many Ontarians as the eviction ban has been lifted without proper transitional support in place.
We recommend: Providing rent relief to low-income tenants facing large rent arrears or eviction.
Invest in a strong workforce to ensure Ontario’s workers are able to earn enough income to afford today's cost of living.
Many low-wage, precarious workers have been deemed essential throughout the pandemic, yet are denied worker protections like paid sick days and face ongoing challenges to secure sufficient income each month. These individuals have been forced to choose between their family's financial security and personal health. As Ontarians transition back into the workforce, it is essential that they are returning to quality jobs that provide a livable wage and employment rights that will keep them and the general public healthy and safe.
We recommend: Developing labour laws and policies that benefit workers, including the reinstatement of paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, and quality jobs that provide a livable wage.
Farmer Tax Credit Bill (Bill 36)
Ontario farmers who donate to local food banks and community meal programs are eligible to receive a 25% tax credit based on the fair market value of the donated product!
Feed Ontario worked with the agricultural community and MPP Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) to gain support on this initiative, which was passed in 2013 with all-party support. Ontario is the first province in Canada to offer this tax credit.