Help coming for Ontario’s poor? - Metro US

Help coming for Ontario’s poor?

Ontario’s upcoming budget will include new measures to help the poorest families even though the province is struggling through difficult financial times, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday.

The government has been making “several efforts” on the poverty front and expects to announce additional steps next month, McGuinty said.

“There will be a part of the budget that speaks to our shared responsibility to help those Ontarians who have been most affected by this recession,” McGuinty said. “There will be additional support in there.”

McGuinty declined to specifically address calls from anti-poverty groups who want the province to invest $2.4 billion this year and $2.6 billion next year on social programs, saying Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will unveil the measures along with the budget.

While McGuinty warned in the fall he wouldn’t be able to go as far and as fast as first planned on the poverty file because of the economic downturn, he’s now pointing to federal aid as lending a helping hand.

“We said we can’t achieve (our) target unless we get support from the federal government, and they provided some of that support in the most recent budget,” McGuinty said.

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