Ontario Campaign 2000 releases its annual report on child and family poverty, Poverty in the Midst of COVID-19: A report card on child and family poverty in Ontario in 2020, authored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Ontario.
This year’s report card examines the correlation between lowered child and family poverty rates in 2020 and COVID-related assistance. The number of children in poverty in Ontario fell from 498,600 to 377,040 between 2019-2020, largely as a result of temporary federal assistance.
This report examines some of the critical factors that contribute to heightened levels of poverty and underscores the need for immediate action and sustainable support for low-income and marginalized communities. They include:
- Provincial social assistance rates that keep individuals and families in deep poverty
- Low minimum-wage rates that keep full-time workers below the poverty line
- Disproportionately higher poverty rates among Indigenous and racialized communities
- Higher poverty rates among lone-parent families, particularly those led by women
It is a critical moment in the history of this province to tackle poverty. We know that Ontario is capable of building an effective social safety net and providing children and their families with the economic security they need. The pandemic has shown that governments can do big things much more quickly than we ever thought—if they decide to.