The Government of Ontario issued its call for pre-budget submissions for the 2023 Ontario Budget. Feed Ontario has provided a written submission to the Minister of Finance that details the investments we would like included in the 2023 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:
- More than 587,000 seniors, adults, and children accessed a food bank in Ontario – an increase of 15% over the last three years.
- Ontario’s food banks were visited more than 4.3 million times throughout the year, representing a 42% increase over the last three years or 1.3 million more visits to food banks.
- Ontario’s food banks are experiencing a 64% increase in first-time users since 2019.
- Two out of three people who access food banks are social assistance recipients with 32.5% citing the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and 26% citing Ontario Works (OW) as their primary source of income.
Feed Ontario is requesting critical investments in the existing provincial social safety net to prevent further exacerbating of hunger and poverty in the coming year.
Recommendations for the 2023 Ontario Budget
In order to reduce poverty and address Ontario’s food insecurity and affordability issues, Feed Ontario has put forward the following for inclusion in the next provincial budget:
- Increase Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
- Change the earned income clawback formula for Ontario Works to match that of the Ontario Disability Support Program.
- Treat income from other benefits, like the Canada Disability Benefit, the same as earned income.
- Combine the basic needs and shelter allowance into a single flat rate.
- Invest in affordable housing as outlined by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.
- Invest in worker protection to build a strong workforce.
- Invest in Ontario’s nonprofit sector as outlined by the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
This submission has been endorsed by 141 Feed Ontario food bank members.