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Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy

We received the following information from ARCH, a legal support clinic based in Ontario, and are passing it along for your information.

The provincial government is holding consultations across Ontario to create a second five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Poverty Reduction Act passed in 2009 says the provincial government must enact a Poverty Reduction Strategy every five years. The current strategy expires as of December 4, 2013. The law requires that the government hold consultations before creating a new strategy. Consultations have already started in some communities and will continue until October.

Community clinics and local agencies around the province are working to let people know about the consultations so they can get involved.

Community agencies may want to host their own meeting or get involved in other ways. The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) has prepared a Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultation Toolkit for community legal clinics which provides information on how to hold your own meeting and other ways to be part of the process. The ISAC toolkit can help with planning important aspects such as format and accessibility issues. Please find the ISAC Toolkit attached to this email (and below). ISAC has indicated that we can share it with our community partners.

The government has also made a guide for community consultations. Their guide provides some helpful tips, as well as five key questions on which they would like feedback. It also gives a template for summarizing the discussions at your consultation. Please click here for the guide:

ISAC has sent an email to the director of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Project Office asking for the toolkit to be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities.

So far the government website does not say where and when they are holding meetings. Here are a few ways to find out if there is a meeting near you, or to ask the government to hold a meeting in your community:

ARCH may post updates on our website, so please check it regularly. Also, please let us know if you are holding an event or consultation on the Poverty Reduction Strategy so that we may include it in updates.

You can also take the online survey on the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy consultation website at

You may feel that government knows what needs to be done and should just get on with doing it. This may still be an important opportunity to tell government where and how the first poverty reduction strategy didn't do enough, and what the second strategy should do.

Theresa Sciberras
Program and Litigation Assistant
ARCH Disability Law Centre
425 Bloor St. E. Ste. 110
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R4
Tel.: 416-482-8255 Toll-free: 1-866-482-2724
Fax: 416-482-2981 Toll-free: 1-866-881-2723
TTY: 416-482-1254 Toll-free: 1-866-482-2728