Although we live in a wealthy province in a wealthy nation, far too many Ontarians live in poverty, unable to afford basic needs such as food and clothing, housing and utilities, transportation, medication, and digital access. This is true not only for those relying on social assistance but even for many who are working. People living in poverty face a greater risk of homelessness, physical and mental illness, social exclusion, and loss of dignity. People with disabilities, racialized and Indigenous people, women, and LGBTQ2S+ people are more likely to live in poverty.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves and to treat the most vulnerable in society as we would treat Christ himself. Many of our parishes and FaithWorks ministry partners are engaged in helping impoverished people meet their immediate needs. The Social Justice & Advocacy Committee and its Poverty Reduction subcommittee coordinate advocacy efforts on public policies to relieve poverty, including social assistance rates and regulations, minimum wage and fair working conditions, access to food security, affordable transportation, childcare, and extended health benefits.
Learn more in our Diocesan Policy Paper on Poverty Reduction, 2019
Poverty – general
Here are links to resources for more reading:
- Canada Without Poverty: Just the Facts
- Citizens for Public Justice: Poverty Trends 2021 and discussion guide for faith groups
- Canadian Council of Churches: “Healing Poverty”
- Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: A Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives/Campaign 2000, Nov. 2021)
- Feed Ontario: Hunger Report 2022
- Daily Bread: Who’s Hungry Report 2022
- Maytree: Welfare in Canada: Ontario
- Income Security Advocacy Centre: OW and ODSP rates as of Sept. 2022
- From the Frontlines: An Urgent Agenda for Decent Work (Workers’ Action Centre, May 2022)