The Government of Ontario issued its call for pre-budget submissions for the 2022 Ontario Budget. Feed Ontario has provided a written submission to the Minister of Finance that details the investments we would like included in the 2022 Ontario Budget. Below is a summary of our requests; the full submission can be found in the link above.
Ontario’s Income Security and Affordability Crisis
Food bank use in Ontario:
- Over 592,300 people accessed emergency food support last year, visiting more than 3.6 million times
- Increase of 10% and 12%, respectively, over the previous year — the largest single-year increase since the 2008 economic crisis
- The pandemic has only accelerated a growing income insecurity and affordability crisis in Ontario: food bank use has been increasing steadily every year since 2017
- Food bank visits in September 2021 were 32% higher than the September 2017-2019 average
Feed Ontario is requesting critical investments in the existing provincial social safety net to prevent further exacerbating hunger and poverty in the coming year.
Recommendations for the 2022 Ontario Budget
In order to reduce poverty and address Ontario’s insecurity and affordability issues, Feed Ontario would like to put forward the following for inclusion in the next provincial budget:
1. At minimum, make an inflationary increase of 4.9% to the financial support provided through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.
2. Increase the investments being made into affordable and supportive housing so that people and families in Ontario do not have to choose between paying rent or having enough food to eat.
3. Improve Ontario’s labour laws to ensure workers have access to safe and stable employment that pays a living wage, including the provision of 5 paid sick days and signing the bilateral child care agreement.
This submission has been endorsed by 135 Feed Ontario food bank members.