Ontario's low-income and poverty statistics

When reviewing the numbers, it's no surprise that participants at our AgendaCamps this year chose poverty and social services to be their number one issue for the provincial election on October 6. The latest information gathered by agencies such as Statistics Canada presents a province still ahead of the national average, and indeed most of the world, when it comes to the quality of life of its residents, but grappling with changing employment options and a serious global economic recession. The most compelling evidence presented is that poverty afflicts us differently across the province, and it affects the most vulnerable members of our society: children. In fact, one in five children in Ontario live below the 'poverty line.' Individual or family income is one factor used to determine poverty. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada considers a family or individual to be 'Low-Income.' if they do "not have the resources to afford food, shelter, and other necessities or to ensure their financial security." Statistically, the Canadian government considers the bottom 50 per cent median wages to be low-income. Factors such as the number of family members or the cost of living where a family lives adjust the cut-off point. A family of six earning $70,000 a year could be considered low-income, while a single person earning $30,000 may not.

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