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The Recession Relief Coalition (RRC) held an all day Hunger Inquiry in downtown Toronto on November 23, 2010. The RRC now presents Hunger Crisis: Report of the Hunger Inquiry (2011). This report contains shocking testimony about hunger in Ontario as well as recommendations to help resolve this preventable crisis.

 

Based on the evidence presented at the hunger inquiry, panelists agreed that the principle means by which hunger should be addressed in Ontario should be to raise incomes and made a number of recommendations toward this end.  The RRC have responded to the recommendations with a focus on social assistance rates which we believe must be raised immediately in order to stave off a drastic increase in serious health concerns stemming from widespread hunger and malnourishment among the poorest Ontarians.

 

Ontarians have just been informed about a new lengthy review of Ontario’s social assistance programs, however, the situation is critical for many people and there needs to be immediate action.  The RRC now joins the call for a 55% increase in social assistance rates for singles and for increases in all other social assistance rates to restore the buying power they had before the cuts made by Mike Harris’ provincial Progressive Conservatives in 1995. Many--including the Liberal and NDP opposition parties--protested bitterly at the time of the 21.6% cuts; restoring social assistance rates has been a widespread goal since then. The increase would cover inflation over the past 16 years, raising the income of a single person on welfare, for example, from approximately $600 to $900 per month. Any less of an increase and a recipient’s ability to eat and pay the rent is severely compromised.

 

We will be contacting you again soon to encourage you to join in the Ontario-wide “Raise the Rates” campaign.

 

We hope that you are able to use this report as an advocacy tool to alleviate the suffering that many people now endure.

 

In solidarity,

 

The Recession Relief Coalition

 

 
 
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