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: Towards a Fair Society

Backgrounder
November 26, 2015

2015 Budget Commitment

The government is investing in initiatives that reduce poverty and improve the incomes, overall health and well-being of all Ontarians, while supporting businesses in the changing economy.

Impact

A fair society provides opportunities for all Ontarians to realize their full potential and participate in a changing economy.

Ontario’s most valuable resource is its people. The government is promoting conditions that support people in a changing labour market and help those in poverty, so all Ontarians can lead healthy and prosperous lives.

Progress Report

Labour and Employment

  • In September, the government concluded public consultations on Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review, which will identify reforms to strengthen the province as a place to work and invest. Recommendations are expected in the summer of 2016.
  • In October, the government announced that its Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee will host consultations across the province to inform the development of a strategy that will help close the wage gap between men and women.
  • Ontario is taking steps to restore full indexation for all injured workers who receive partial disability benefits. By January 1, 2018, all workers’ compensation benefits would be fully indexed (to the Consumer Price Index) on the benefit amount, with no upper limit.

Income Support

  • In October, Ontario raised the minimum wage to $11.25 from $11.00 per hour.
  • In July, the maximum annual Ontario Child Benefit per child increased to $1,336 from $1,310.

Social Assistance and Community Support

  • Social assistance rates increased by one per cent for people with disabilities who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program and for adults receiving Ontario Works. Ontario Works rates also increased by $25 per month, or $300 annually, for singles without children.
  • Forty-one community-driven projects from across the province were selected to receive funding from the Local Poverty Reduction Fund to gather evidence to support best practices in combating poverty among the target groups identified in the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
  • The government has committed to ending chronic homelessness in 10 years and is providing up to $10 million over two years in targeted funding from the Local Poverty Reduction Fund to help address homelessness.
  • The government introduced legislation related to It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, to build a province where everyone is free from the threat of sexual violence and harassment.

Transforming Health Care – Patients First

  • The government is now offering parents a free nasal mist flu vaccine for their children aged two to 17 as an alternative to an injection. The new vaccine for young people offers broader protection against more flu viruses, including one that affects children and youth more frequently than adults.
  • Starting in December, the government will contribute to funding one in vitro fertilization cycle per eligible patient for up to 4,000 Ontarians per year.

For more information, refer to the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
Chapter I, Section E: Towards a Fair Society