Published August 29, 2012 | 12:49 pm
Toronto: Ontario has won another dubious distinction in Canada when it comes to growing poverty, increasing income inequality and financial support for public services, says a coalition of labour and community groups formed last spring to oppose the province’s austerity budget.
The report by the Ontario Common Front, aims to inform Ontarians about the social and economic issues at stake as the province begins drafting next spring’s budget, the group says.
The report, a compilation of more than a dozen recent studies and analyses, notes that Ontario had the largest change in income inequality in the country between 1981 and 2010, and the second largest increase in poverty after British Columbia. Ontario’s poverty rate in 2009 was 13.1 per cent, or almost 1.7 million people, the report notes.
In 2009, Ontario spent $64 per person on affordable housing compared to the provincial average of $115 per person, the report says quoting a Wellesley Institute study.
Ontario’s hospitals get the least public funding and have the fewest hospital beds per person, while the proportion of out-of-pocket health care costs are the highest in the country.
“Most people would be shocked to know that Ontario has seen the largest increase in income inequality and the second largest jump in poverty rates in all of Canada,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan.
Ontario residents are paying the shortfall in hundreds of ways: we have the highest tuition fees and school fees, the highest proportion of out-of-pocket health care costs, a burgeoning array of user fees, and thousands of families wait years for support for children with disabilities, said Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition and the principal author of the Report.
The report found that:
© 2013 - Saanj Inc.