Cuts to the Social Safety Net:

  • Over the generation stretching from 1981-2012, Ontario experienced the largest change in income equality of anywhere in Canada, and the second highest increase in poverty of all provinces.
  • Ontario funds all of our public programs and services from health care to education, from justice to disability benefits – less than any other province in Canada

Health care

  • 18,500 hospital beds have been closed since 1990
  •  “Ontarians face the highest proportion of out-of-pocket or privately funded health care costs in the country: 32.5 percent versus the Canadian average 29.7 percent” (Ontario Health Coalition, February 2012)
  • As of 2012, health care funding will be curtailed by more than $4 billion over the next three years; hospitals will have to find $1 billion in savings in addition to a wage freeze; OHIP will have to find 1.5 billion in cuts in addition to a wage freeze.
  • in 2012, long-term care increases were halved and home care funding increases were a third of what they had been over the past seven years
  •  “Ontario’s hospitals have faced a steep decline in funding as a proportion of health care spending for 30 years, down from 50% in 1981 to 34% in 2010” (Ontario Health Coalition, December 2012)
  • Ontario’s hospitals are funded less than anywhere else in Canada and as a consequence, this province has the fewest hospital beds per person of any province



  • The average student activity fee has increased by 55% since 2001
  • As of 2012, the cost of undergraduate tuition has increased by 200% over the past twenty years
  • In 2012, $500 million was cut from elementary and secondary education and $160 million was cut from post-secondary education 
  • In 2009-2010 there was a $25 million reduction in the annual funding for textbooks in both elementary and secondary schools
  • From 2009-2011 there was a two year reduction of $25 million on classroom computers
  • In 2009-2010 there was a reduction of $44 million to staff development
  • University tuitioin fees in Ontario are the most expensive of anywhere in Canada and have seen the highest increase in recent years.


Youth programming

  • The 2012 budget has called for a 20% cut in spending on youth programming


Child Care

  •  In Ontario, a child care centre closes every four days
  •  Government funding for daycare has provided no adjustment for inflation in over 15 years
  •  Parent fees are the highest in Canada
  •  The wages of program staff have declined by 2.7% over 14 years

 Social assistance

  • 1995, Premier Mike Harris cut welfare rates by 21.6% and ODSP rates were frozen. Both welfare and ODSP rates remained frozen for the following 8 years.
  • Since coming into power, the Liberals have implemented small raises to social assistance (usually 1% or 2% per year). However, these rates are not in line with inflation.
  • Welfare rates are now $606/month for a single person. If we compare this to inflation rates individuals are receiving $115 less than in 1995 after being cut by 21.6%
  • A single person on welfare has 56% less spending power than in the 1990’s before the Harris cuts.
  • In July 2009, the Ontario Child Benefit was implemented as Basic Needs rate for people with children were being restructured. The Winter Clothing and Back to School allowances were eliminated. The result of this is that people on social assistance were not much further ahead than before the transition.
  • The Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (which assisted with moving costs and expenses related to maintain housing) was eliminated on January 1st, 2013.
  • In order to ‘contain’ growth at 0.5% annually, total social assistance spending is to be reduced by over $2 billion per year by 2017-2018



  • In 2012 the spending on social housing decreased by 12% since 2009

Ontario budget 2012 allocated 155.2 million for one-time capital investments—a sharp drop of 74% from the $585 million delivered in fiscal 2009

  • In 2012 public housing budgets saw cuts for the fourth year in a row.  More than 152,00 households are on wait lists for assisted housing.  Ontario has the worst record of all provinces in affordable housing investments.



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