Ontario government touts ‘successful’ child poverty strategy while 27% of Toronto’s children live in poverty

Today during Question Period Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath demanded that the government take meaningful action to address the issue of child poverty in Toronto.

“We should be building a great future for every child in this province, but, instead, thousands of children are being left behind,” said Horwath.  “When will this government finally take bold action to actually eliminate child poverty in the city of Toronto and right across Ontario?' 

Divided City: Life in Canada's Child Poverty Capital reveals that 27 percent of children in this city are living in low-income families that are struggling to find good housing and put food on the table. The report, released today, was prepared by a coalition of social agencies, including Social Planning Toronto, Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, and Family Service Toronto.

“Toronto should be a great city for everyone who lives here. But under this government, Toronto is a Divided City,” Horwath continued in Question Period.  “In neighbourhoods like Regent Park and Thorncliffe Park, over 50 percent of children are growing up in low-income families.  We need to change that, we need to make sure that the next generation has a real future in this great city.”

In 2014, the Liberal government failed to meet its child poverty reduction targets. Today’s report confirms that poverty in many Toronto neighbourhoods remains at “epidemic” levels. Horwath has called on this Liberal government to finally do the right thing, lift wages for low-income families, and eliminate child poverty in Ontario.