TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2008 – Ontario nurses welcome today’s announcement of a poverty plan for the province. “We’re very pleased that the government has set firm targets to address this national shame. This is the first time a provincial government in Ontario has put in place a plan to tackle child poverty,” says Wendy Fucile, President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
The strategy, unveiled today at Queen’s Park by Deb Matthews, Minister of Children and Youth Services, aims to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent over the next five years. It will help approximately 90,000 children.
Among the elements addressed in the government’s strategy is an increase in the Ontario Child Benefit and investments in educational and community supports for families.
RNAO is very pleased that the government intends to introduce legislation in the spring of 2009 to enshrine its commitment to a long-term poverty reduction strategy.
While RNAO fully supports measures to help lift children out of poverty, Fucile also stressed the need for action to help adults without children. “We would like to see substantial increases in social assistance rates because this would allow our most vulnerable to live in health and dignity.”
“The McGuinty government should be commended for today’s action, particularly in these challenging economic times. It’s the beginning of a long road to help lift people out of poverty. We expect the government to build on today’s announcement with additional, substantial investments spelled out in the upcoming Ontario budget, and budgets to come in the years ahead,” says Doris Grinspun, Executive Director of RNAO.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association for registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.-30-
For more information:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario