ACORN Canada National

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Ontario Takes Modest First Steps Towards Poverty Reduction

Earlier Today, Ontario MPP Deb Mathews released the McGuinty administrations Poverty Reduction Plan.

The plan contains a series of encouraging steps as well as number of clear challenges.

First, the good news; The plan commits the province to reducing Child Poverty by 25% in 5 years and contains some new money for a number of poverty reduction programs including the Child Tax Benefit, the Rent Bank Fund and for the hiring of new employment standards officers to crack down of bad employers.

Now, the challenges; Scaled to the population of Ontario, Quebec made the equivalent of $1 billion of new annual investments in poverty reduction during the early years of their plan. Ontario has only committed to spending $300 million, some of which may have already been allocated. Further, the plan calls on much of the resources required to be meet the goal of 25 in 5 to be committed by the Federal Government, with no hint as to whether or not the Fed's would actually provide the resources.

Payday Lending Regulation in Ontario

For the last 4 years ACORN has been organizing to win regulations to protect working families and consumers who use payday loans.

ACORN is pleased to announce a major step forward in this important campaign in Ontario.

Together with our allies at the National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO), the Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC) and Option Consommateurs (OC), we've submitted a letter of joint support to the provincial Board that will be making recommendations regarding the cost of payday loans.

In the letter we lay out 3 areas of core concern where the board can take bold action to rein-in the industries rates and protect consumers; Cost of borrowing for waged consumers, for consumers on social assistance and default rates.

This is one part of a long term strategy to reduce the cost of short term credit for low income consumers.  ACORN leaders are calling on Canada's Banks and Credit Unions to develop new low cost financial products that will give working families a mainstream alternative to payday loans.

ACORN Responds to Premier McGuinty's Anti-Poverty Initiatives

We offer this response to the announcement made today by Premier Dalton McGuinty;

While we are encouraged by the announcement of new resources for social housing, dental care and student nutrition, it falls far short of the comprehensive poverty reduction strategy the Premier has promised, and that Ontarians deserve.

What was layed out by Premier McGuinty today are incremental pieces of a larger puzzle of how to reduce poverty in Ontario.  As a membership owned organization, with a large constituency of low and moderate income families, including many members living in social housing, our members call on the provincial government to systemically address the growing rates of poverty in our province by implementing the following platform;

·         Regulation of the payday lending industry

·         Full rent controls to bring private rental housing costs back under control.
·         Upload Social Housing costs.
·         Universal childcare based on Quebec’s $7/day program.
·         Licensing of temp agencies to guarantee the protection of workers basic labour rights.
·         Peg the minimum wage to inflation
·         Raise social assistance and ODSP rates by 40% and peg to inflation.

Report Card on Affordable Housing

Day of Action for a National Housing Strategy

Toronto / Ottawa / Metro Vancouver – ACORN Canada will be hosting rallies in three cities across Canada on Thursday July 10th as we release our National Report Card on the State of Affordable Housing.

Click Here to Download and Read the Report >>>

Can make the rally? Send a message to Harper in support>>>

The report card shows how the abdication of leadership by the Federal Government over the last decade in the area of housing policy has let Canada slip below international standards and will outline the deficiencies of Canada’s failure to introduce a national strategy for housing.

Canada is the only major country without a national housing strategy (Wellesley Institute Housing report 2008).

In addition to the report card, we will be calling on the Federal Government to take a number of common sense steps to stop Canada’s decline as an international laggard in Housing Policy.

-Renew and extend the three federal housing and homelessness programs that are due to expire this year (federal homelessness strategy, federal housing repair program, federal affordable housing initiative).

-Maintain the current investment in affordable housing (reverse the policy decision of 1996 that locks in a rapidly decreasing annual housing funding cut).

-Meet Canada's international housing obligations by adopting a comprehensive and fully-funded national housing program.

-Establish a minister responsible for housing, with wide-ranging mandates and
responsibilities

From Poverty to Prosperity: ACORN Canada Launches People's Platform

ACORN Canada is pleased to announce the launch of our Federal People's Platform. In its pages ACORN has laid out a platform that has been developed through 4 years of grassroots community organizing.

The issues identified we’re set as priorities by ACORN’s low and moderate income membership, and represent what they believe it will take to move From Poverty to Prosperity.

Highlights include the return of the Federal Minimum Wage, a National Living Wage Ordinance, a plan to make banking work for working families, a National Housing Strategy and a new Childcare program.

ACORN Canada Members are gearing up to take these issues to Candidates running in the current Federal Election.

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