2024 Ontario Pre-budget Consultation Submission

ISARC’s submission for the 2024 Ontario Budget included the following recommendations. Read the complete submission.

Income Security

● Raise Ontario Works rates by $200 a month and index to inflation.
● Increase the Ontario Works earning exemption.
● Remove the artificial separation of social assistance benefits into basic needs and housing benefits and provide the maximum basic needs and housing allowance portions of Ontario Works and ODSP benefits as a single, combined benefit.

Housing Security

● Restore rent control on vacant units and new apartment buildings.
● Increase rent support for low-income households.
● Restore tools for municipalities to preserve and create new affordable housing.
● Create an affordable rental housing acquisition fund.
● Curb real estate speculation and generate revenue for affordable housing.
● Protect tenants’ right to security of tenure in the face of renovictions.
● Rein in Short-term Rentals.

Paid Work

● Raise the minimum wage to the level of living wage rates.
● Require 10 paid sick days per year on a permanent basis.
● Minimum hours of work and advance scheduling.
● Equal pay for equal work.
● Grant full worker rights to gig workers.
● Remove barriers to the right to join unions and to secure decent collective agreements.
● Withdraw its appeal on Bill 124 ruling.

Long Term Care

● There needs to be an appeal process put in place prior to moving the person out of hospitals with the burden of proof on the hospital that the person’s care meets Government’s commitment that residents should get the best care at the right place.
● Increase hours of care available to persons needing and preferring home care at least to the level that would match the cost of care in long term care homes.
● Grant home care employees the same pay equity and collective bargaining rights as exist for employees in long term care homes.
● Apply the targets in Section 8 and 9 of the Fixing Long Term Care Act to each individual home.
● Establish similar targets to those in Sections 8 & 9 of the Fixing Long Term Care Act, for staff responsible for maintaining long term care home sanitation.
● Take steps to ensure that the Ministry Directive with respect to the PSW wage enhancement is properly complied with.
● Mandate the public reporting by each home of their actual quarterly staffing levels.
● Reinstate annual comprehensive surprise inspections for all homes.
● Grant to representatives of residents and front line staff the same inspection accompaniment and appeal rights as are found in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
● Make Whistleblower protections effective.
● Establish a reasonable timeline for the conversion of services to “not for profit” and municipal organizations that are now provided by “for profit” corporations and bar the granting of any new licenses or home care contracts to “for profit” companies.

Backgrounder Package
2022 Ontario Election

ISARC is pleased to provide the attached four backgrounders for use in the upcoming provincial election.

Click to view PDF

During the past two years of pandemic response, many issues of equality, adequacy and human dignity were sidelined. Yet, the dire effects of the pandemic served to further expose and enlarge the gaps in our social safety net.

The backgrounders provided here speak to Affordable Housing, Income Security, Worker Justice and Long Term Care.

Please use them to encourage civic discussion with neighbours and friends, raise questions with candidates, and inform your participation in community all-candidate events.

With your assistance ISARC plans to take the following actions:

  • The questions are being sent to party leaders and responses will be posted to the ISARC website by May 18
  • We ask those receiving this email to please direct the attached questions to the candidates in your local riding and then share the responses with ISARC.

Any responses received by ISARC will be posted to the ISARC website.

Together we make a difference, and an election is an important opportunity to bring public attention to matters that can be addressed if there is the political will to do so. 

Ontario Party Responses:

Publications, Letters, and Documents

ISARC Annual Reports

2021-2022 Bi-Annual Report
2019-2020 Bi-Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
ISARC 2017 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report


Find and Contact your MPP

Composite list of Provincial Cabinet Ministers

Write to your MPP – Template Letter (coming soon)

Related Ontario Organizations:

Campaign 2000 – Educating on the levels and consequences of child/family poverty

ISAC – Income Security Advocacy Centre

Ontario Health Coalition – Protecting public healthcare for all

Voices From The Margins

VOICES FROM THE MARGINS is a community mobilization effort that began in the spring of 2019, where low-income people in communities across Ontario will share stories of their lives—their issues, goals, and ideas—speaking to a team of local rapporteurs. The working poor, seniors, and people on social assistance have been invited to take part. 

As low-income people all around us struggle to put food on the table, pay rent and meet other basic needs, recent provincial government policies have made their lives even tougher. VOICES offers a platform to hear from and learn about the lives of these important “invisible people.” Unless enough Ontarians speak out, things could get worse in the months and years ahead. The VOICES project is sponsored by Ontario’s major interfaith anti-poverty organization, the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), working with community partners.

Read a detailed VOICES overview here.

Additional VOICES Resources:

COVID-19 Update: VOICES FROM THE MARGINS has been extended to include stories of how the situation for low-income Ontarians has changed since the onset of the Pandemic.

Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition 
Tel: (647) 450 -5203


Send your cheque to:

c/o United Church of Canada – Mission Through Finance 
3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 200 
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4