Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

New Ottawa Hunger Report shows impact of Ford’s cuts to social assistance

Published on November 20, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre, Joel Harden, said the Ottawa Food Bank’s 2019 Hunger Report shows just how much Doug Ford’s cuts to social assistance and failure to invest in affordable housing hurt vulnerable people in Ottawa.

According to the 2019 Ottawa Hunger Report, 60 per cent of the city’s food bank users receive social assistance, yet are struggling to buy food in the face of rising food and rent costs. Poverty is getting worse particularly among single people and lower-income couples without children. 

“Individuals and families are struggling to afford the basics — food, rent, bills — in an environment where the cost of groceries and housing keeps climbing, but social assistance rates simply stagnate,” Harden said.

“The Liberal government froze social assistance rates for years, and Doug Ford has taken things from bad to worse, pushing Ottawa’s most vulnerable deeper into poverty. People who receive Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) don’t get enough support to cover their most basic needs.

And while rising housing costs squeeze low-income people even further, the Ford government has done nothing to address the shortage of affordable housing.

“People in Ottawa deserve a government that matches social assistance rates with rising costs of living, and invests in fixing our affordable housing crisis. The NDP will continue to hold the Ford government accountable for failing to help those most in need.”