Official Opposition motion due to be debated Tuesday
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP is renewing its call on the Ford government to immediately double Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates with a motion due to be debated Tuesday.
“No one in Ontario should have to live in poverty,” said interim Ontario NDP Leader Peter Tabuns. “The roughly 900,000 people who rely on ODSP and OW are forced to make impossible choices every day, between buying food and other necessities or paying rent.”
The NDP has resolved to keep the pressure on the Ford government to double social assistance rates. In September, five NDP MPPs undertook a two-week initiative to bring urgent focus to the paltry rates of OW and ODSP. MPPs Monique Taylor, Chandra Pasma, Lise Vaugeois, Jessica Bell and Joel Harden ate only what they could buy with $95.21 for two weeks, an average of $47.60 per week — an approximated two-week grocery budget for social assistance recipients.
“Inflation is at a 40-year high and food prices are through the roof,” Tabuns said. “Doug Ford’s meager $58-increase to ODSP rates and freezing of OW rates at $733 a month denies people on social assistance a decent and dignified life — his government continues to force people to live in legislated poverty.
“Ford must listen to social assistance recipients’ pleas for help, and vote in support of our motion to immediately double ODSP and OW rates.”
NDP MPPs stand in solidarity with the Ontario Disability Coalition and the ODSP Action Coalition, who will be rallying on the front lawn of Queen’s Park Tuesday to double ODSP rates.
The Opposition motion reads as follows:
DOUBLE OW/ODSP RATES IMMEDIATELY
Whereas both Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients live in legislated deep poverty; and
Whereas people on fixed incomes are forced to make untenable choices between buying food and paying rent just to survive and the Ford government’s meager $58-increase to ODSP rates and freezing of OW rates at $733/month do not keep pace with the actual cost of living; and
Whereas inflation is at a forty-year-high, groceries are more expensive than ever, and basic expenses like hydro and gas bills continue to increase; and
Whereas average rents alone are significantly more than the entire monthly payments received by social assistance recipients, and affordable housing wait lists in some communities are up to 10 years’ long and even longer for people who need supportive housing; and
Whereas the Ford government’s current approach to social assistance rates is untenable and denies recipients a dignified life;
Therefore, the Legislative Assembly calls on the Ford government to immediately double Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program payments to recipients as part of an overall strategy to reduce poverty in Ontario.