December 1, 2010

Backgrounder

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

McGuinty Government Releases Second Progress Report On Poverty Reduction


Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy aims to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over five years.

In the past two years, the province has taken important steps to break the cycle of poverty by removing barriers and creating opportunities to help Ontarians achieve their full potential.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

These initiatives and investments are already making a difference. Increased financial support - through tax credits and the Ontario Child Benefit - and increases to the minimum wage, combined with investments in Full Day Kindergarten, child care and dental care, are helping low-income families during challenging economic times.

Because of steps taken, a single mom with a young child, working full time at minimum wage, now lives above the poverty line.

MEASURING PROGRESS

Measuring progress is a key part of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. In the first year, the government established indicators to measure progress. These indicators include:

  1. School Readiness
  2. High School Graduation Rates
  3. Educational Progress
  4. Birth Weights
  5. Low Income Measure
  6. Depth of Poverty
  7. Standard of Living
  8. Ontario Housing Measure

Progress measured on poverty reduction indicators uses 2008 as a baseline year. Statistics Canada data for income indicators lags by 18 months. As a result, progress on initiatives underway since the release of the Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008 is not reflected in this year’s income indicators.

CHANGES TO THE LOW INCOME MEASURE

The Low Income Measure (LIM), developed and reported on by Statistics Canada, is the basis for the main income indicators for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The LIM is a relative measure of poverty and tends to change with the economy, falling in growth periods and rising in recessions. The LIM measures the number and per cent of children under the age of 18 living in households earning less than 50 per cent of the median adjusted household income. In 2008, Statistics Canada’s LIM was 15.2 per cent.

As Ontario moves forward, progress will be measured against the LIM fixed to the baseline of 2008.

Low Income Measure Lines (after tax)
Household Size 2008
1 person $18,582
2 persons $26,279
3 persons $32,185
4 persons $37,164
5 persons $41,551
6 persons $45,516

Learn more about the Low Income Measure.

THE ROAD AHEAD

As the economy begins to recover, Ontario will continue to invest in children and their families to build stronger communities and a more prosperous province:



Julia Goloshchuk, Minister’s Office, 416-212-7159
Peter Spadoni, Ministry of Children and Youth Services , 416-325-5156