TORONTO – More than 350 anti-poverty activists for the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction outlined today their expectations for the Ontario government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, due to be released in December.

“Government action at the provincial and federal level to reduce poverty is the stimulus we need to weather the economic storm,” says John Campey, Executive Director of the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto and 25 in 5 spokesperson.

“As Ontarians face job losses, reduced work hours, and other financial stresses, now is the time to act – to boost consumer spending in local economies, to support income security for the marginalized and to invest in infrastructure that provides jobs now and supports our shared future.”

“Poverty reduction starts with a plan,” says Peter Clutterbuck, with the Social Planning Network of Ontario and 25 in 5 spokesperson.

The five tests against which 25 in 5 will measure the government’s plan in December;

  1. It must include a target to reduce poverty by 25% over 5 years;
  2. There must be an income measure of poverty so we can track progress on the target;
  3. There must be clear policies to ensure sustaining employment, livable incomes, and strong communities;
  4. It must include accountability measures to keep it on track; and
  5. There must be a financial downpayment in the 2009-10 budget.

A new national poll to be released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Environics confirms overwhelming support in Ontario for action on poverty reduction, especially in tough economic times.

For further information please contact Jacquie Maund at 416-302-7524