Rima Berns‑McGown MPP, Beaches–East York

Government of Ontario

Ford’s cuts won’t help reduce poverty and homelessness: NDP

Published on December 16, 2019

Ford’s cuts won’t help reduce poverty and homelessness: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK — Rima Berns-McGown, Ontario NDP critic for Poverty and Homelessness, released the following statement in response to news the government claims it will consult on its next anti-poverty strategy:

“It is the height of hypocrisy for the Ford government to suggest that it’s seeking ‘innovative ideas’ on how to help reduce poverty. Doug Ford cancelled the promising basic income pilot program, and Doug Ford cut $1 billion from social services in this budget.

The Ford government has only taken things from bad to worse for Ontarians struggling with homelessness and poverty, piling on more cuts where the Liberals left off. It was cruel for the Liberals to cap and cut funding for homelessness prevention and shelter programs delivered by municipalities, and it was wrong for the Conservatives to cut or freeze funding for provincial homelessness prevention programs.

It was wrong for the Conservatives to eviscerate the Anti-Racism Directorate when Black families are twice as likely as white ones to go hungry, and it is wrong for the Conservatives to refuse to take reconciliation seriously when 90 per cent of Indigenous people in Toronto live in poverty and when poverty is a major contributing factor to Indigenous youth suicide.

Ontarians struggling with extreme poverty deserve better than a government that literally ignores them by not bothering to enumerate homeless populations anymore. From people unable to get a foothold and build a stable life, to those at risk of preventable deaths because the shelter system is overstretched, Ford’s cuts have been devastating.”