Bay campaign page with local endorsements can be viewed at:
Shouldnt welfare pay for the average cost of rent?
Raise the shelter allowance portion of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program to average rent levels.
Phone, fax or email your MPPs on July 17 and August 7 to deliver the message that social assistance rates must be raised so that everyone can pay the rent, feed themselves and if they have children, feed the kids.
Below are sample scripts and letters you can use. Choose the one that means the most to you, or better yet write a letter of your own, in your own hand. Politicians want to hear what YOU have to say about this issue and thats what we are asking you to tell them.
Flood their phones, faxes and email accounts - it's time to Raise the Rates!
Name and contact information for your MPP is available at:
The cost of rent has gone up substantially in Toronto since 1995, while social assistance rates remain frozen. The average price of a two bedroom apartment in the GTA is $1,047, but a family of three living on Ontario Works receives only $554 to cover the cost of rent.
Without enough money to pay for basic needs, families must make the terrible decision whether to pay the rent or feed the kids.
Children are going to school hungry and are unable to concentrate on learning in the classroom. Families with children are among the fastest growing groups of homeless in Toronto. Each month over 50,000 children rely on food banks.
I believe strongly
that the provincial government needs to take a leading role in addressing
poverty in our communities by raising social assistance rates to meet
the cost of living. We also need to restore rent controls so that all
people on fixed incomes can afford to live in this city. I respectfully
ask that you and your party commit to making this an issue in the provincial
election expected in the coming year.
has failed to ensure a decent income for those on assistance forcing
many in the province to struggle to find food and basic necessities.
It is important for me to be able to pay my rent, eat every day, and
purchase basic necessities, which I am currently unable to do comfortably.
What would be valuable
to me is to know that I have enough money from social assistance to
pay my rent and have money left over for other expenses. In 1995, social
assistance was reduced by 22% and has not increased since even though
living expenses have increased dramatically since this time, especially
the cost of rent. My rent takes up approximately _______% of my assistance
cheque, which leaves little money left for anything else. It is
Thank you for taking
the time to read this letter. I understand how valuable your time is
and I ask you to take this letter into consideration to ensure a decent
future for myself and my family.
With high rents
taking up most of my assistance cheque I have little money for anything
else. It is important to me that social assistance be increased to reflect
the real cost of rent and living.
For Everyone Concerned
If you would like a response from your MPP, finish with:
Above sample letters and telephone script were converted to HTML from the Pay The Rent Lobby Kit distributed as a PDF file.
and Homelessness Network Ontario (HHNO)
Bay Network for Social Action
Coalition for Social Justice
and above text obtained from poster designed by volunteer union labour.
& Housing in Canada: Barriers to Equality
The Advocacy Center for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) and the Income Security Advocay Centre - ISAC (formerly the Income Security Legal Clinic - ISLC) are both located in downtown Toronto and opened in September 2001.
Each of the clinics has its own independent board of directors, with representation from across the province, and acts as a resource to and a partner with all clinics across the province. These clinics do not perform direct client intake, but will serve clients who are referred from other clinics and from organizations with similar goals.
ACTO working to better the housing situation of low-income Ontario residents
The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) is a province-wide legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. ACTO works with legal clinics and advocacy organizations concerned about housing issues.
ACTO's law reform and advocacy work will focus on cases and campaigns that have a broad impact on the housing issues facing low-income tenants, co-op members and persons who are homeless.
ACTO works with other social justice organizations on lobbying and law reform, housing policy work, community organizing and public legal education.
ACTO does not provide direct service to individuals. Direct service is provided by community legal clinics in each area of the province - see legal aid ontario.
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) has a vision of social programs and broader government policies which ensure income security and an adequate standard of living for all Ontarians.
ISAC accepts referrals from clinics and community organizations across the province and is developing case selection policies. The clinic conducts test case and Charter litigation pertaining to income security issues affecting Ontario's low income community. Legal work will take place in the context of law reform, public legal education and community development. In the short term, the clinic hopes to address the perpetutation of poverty resulting from the rules and administration of income security programs. In the longer term, the clinic's focus will be on government policies which not only perpetuate but create poverty.
The clinic is particularly hoping to work in partnership with other clinics and with community based organizations. In one of its first substantive cases, ISAC has joined with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) and a private bar lawyer to take up a class action/charter application pertaining to the automatic deduction of monies from social benefits payable to sponsored immigrants.
For more information about ACTO or ISAC, and their referral policies, please contact the clinic:
The Ontario Social
Safety NetWork (OSSN) is a provincial organization formed to fight
attacks on the social programs that make up our "social safety net"
and to support progressive social policy change.
The NetWork is dedicated to sharing information about changes to social security programs, developing strategies for response and sharing these across Ontario, analyzing law reform proposals and sharing this information with the community, and to developing positive law reform proposals that will protect and respect vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
Contact: Susan Eagle
(519) 434-7173 or Nancy Vander Plaats (416) 438-7206
Workfare Watch is a joint project of the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto and the Ontario Social Safety NetWork. It was established in 1996 to monitor and report on the implementation of workfare policies in Ontario and their impact.
Workfare Watch provides
a research-based analysis of provincial workfare policy proposals, program
plans and implementation. The purpose of the project is to ensure that
any welfare-to-work measures undertaken by the provincial government
respect the rights and dignity of workers and social assistance recipients.
March 27, 2002