The Province of Ontario, as well as other provinces, has made poverty reduction a priority.
The World Health Organization has reported that “social spending to reduce poverty is not only the "right thing to do," it saves much more future money in lower health and social costs.”
You have seen Peel’s statistics on social housing. The Federal Government’s abdication of social housing to lower levels of government IS NOT WORKING!
Do you believe our national government has a responsibility to its citizens to come up with a Canada-wide strategy to address our social housing shortage?
Yes Not at this time
Unemployed Ontarians each receive on average $4630 less than those out of work in the rest of Canada. EI coverage rates are 43% for Canada and 30% for Ontario and even less in the Greater Toronto Area (at only 22%). (Human Services report to Peel Regional Council, February 2008).
The declining share of unemployed workers receiving EI means that more unemployed are turning to social assistance. This represents another soft download from the federal government to the province and municipalities.
STRENGTHENING MUNICIPALITIES: BEST USE OF TAXES
The infrastructure needs of Peel are beyond the ability of property tax payers to carry. Only $0.08 of every tax dollar paid in Canada is collected by municipalities.
Ontario receives far less than its fair share of health and welfare transfer payments from Ottawa. Consequently, much of the health service for your constituents is downloaded onto property taxes, a regressive form of taxation.
Forty-eight per cent of Peel’s residents are New Canadians. Federal transfer payments for immigrant settlement are still lower for Ontario than other provinces and Peel is still under-serviced. Rates of poverty and underemployment for immigrants are double those of Canadian-born families. Immigrant families have more children (StatsCan) with 20% of Peel’s children currently living in poverty.
The current points system does not attract immigrants with the wide variety of skills needed in Peel's manufacturing and trade sectors. Will you commit to pressure your party into an immediate review of the points system?
Yes Not at this time
You represent professional immigrants who are in many cases grievously under-employed. What solutions do you propose to address this persistent problem?
Revised: Tuesday September 23 2008