The NDP used all six of its questions in the House on September 24 to press the Government on its poverty reduction plan. Having just released its own report on eight town hall meetings, the NDP asked about delaying implementation of the plan, action on child poverty, job losses in Ontario, and plans for addressing poverty in the Aboriginal community.
Premier McGuinty reaffirmed his commitment of delivering a plan by year end, although saying “The issue is not whether we do this; the issue is how quickly can we move on this”. The Premier said further, “At the end of this year, we want to put out a plan . . . that properly defines poverty, puts in place specific ways to measure it, puts in place specific targets, and puts in place a specific strategy for us to achieve those targets, together with regular accountability so people will know whether we’re making success or not.”
The Premier concluded that it was “a matter of enlightened self-interest, both for our personal sake and the sake of our economy, that we find more ways, working together, to support families that are struggling in poverty”.
Minister Matthews stated in the House that the Government’s strategy would be “comprehensive” and “fair, balanced, aggressive but doable.”