February 5, 2020 Too many people in our province, of all ages and backgrounds, remain trapped in poverty. Nearly two million people across Ontario live in poverty through no fault of their own. Poverty prevents parents from caring for their children and their families. It leaves people vulnerable to economic downturn and can threaten health. It can leave seniors isolated from family and friends. That’s why the government is asking Ontarians for their advice on a new Poverty Reduction Strategy to identify opportunities for action – to find creative ideas to work with partners, set targets, and plan our steps to reduce poverty. We are asking for your input, which you can provide to prso@ontario.ca. The government has already moved ahead with action in several ways. In 2018, we introduced the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit. This benefits 1.1 million people across the province, offering low-income and minimum wage workers up to $850 in income tax relief and couples up to $1,700. About one in six people would receive an average of $450 a year from this credit. With this credit, a single person making minimum wage would pay no Ontario personal income tax. We also put in place the CARE Child Care Tax Credit, with 300,000 families receiving an average $1,250 a year in relief from child care expenses. Our government’s actions to make life more affordable for Ontario families means a total $3 billion in relief for Ontario individuals and families in 2020. 4,000 low-income seniors in Oakville and Burlington benefit from our new $90 million a year investment in seniors’ dental care across Ontario. We are also working to match people with good-paying jobs. Workers in the skilled trades benefited from a streamlined and modernized apprenticeship system and a $18.3 million investment in 84 pre-apprenticeship training programs that will introduce 1,600 people to the trades. This includes programs available through Sheridan College in Oakville and the Centre for Skills Development and Training in Burlington. We reduced tuition in our colleges and universities by 10% last September, to make going to school more affordable. This 10% reduction means an average annual saving of $340 for college students, $660 for university undergraduates and $1,000 for professional or graduate degrees. Reducing poverty requires many different solutions. I am proud to be part of a government that has taken action, but I know we need to do more. Please take the time to offer your input and ideas. Working together we can make a difference and ensure we are protecting what matters most.