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Strategy to help newcomers succeed

Immigrants and newcomer settlement program providers attended a roundtable consultation in Toronto to give their input to Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Government-led consultations are taking place across the province, and all Ontarians have the opportunity to host gatherings and provide the province with feedback until October 4, 2013. 

Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy was launched in 2008, signalling a bold, new vision for a fairer society. 

Despite a difficult economic climate, more than 47,000 children and their families were lifted out of poverty between 2008 and 2011. 

Reducing poverty and creating more opportunities for newcomers and their families is part of Ontario’s plan to build a fairer, more prosperous society and help people in their everyday lives. 

“We value the contributions immigrants make to Ontario,” said Michael Coteau, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. 

“We know that helping newcomers and their families get set up for success is critical to keeping our economy and society strong,” he added. 

“It is important that we build on the momentum of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy to create a more prosperous and fair Ontario,” said Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services. 

“That is why we’re asking for input from Ontarians as we work towards a new strategy. Together, we can find practical solutions to help families break the cycle of poverty.” 

• Over 950,000 children in 510,000 families are benefiting from the Ontario Child Benefit. The 2013 budget increased the benefit this July to a maximum annual payment of $1,210 for each child; the benefit will increase to $1,310 in July 2014. 
• A government-appointed advisory panel is consulting with Ontarians to examine the province’s current minimum wage, which has increased 50 per cent since 2003, from $6.85 to $10.25 an hour. 
The Poverty Reduction Act, 2009 requires Ontario to develop a new poverty reduction strategy at least every five years. 
• Unemployment rates for recent immigrants are consistently higher than for Canadian-born workers. 
• More people immigrate to Ontario than any other province – nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s immigrants live in Ontario. 
• Newcomer Settlement Programs help over 80,000 immigrants annually by providing information on key services such as housing, language, employment and job training. 
• This school year, Ontario will help over 120,000 immigrants improve their English or French through tuition-free adult language programs.   

Posted: Oct 2, 2013

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