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Raising the minimum wage to $11.00, and tying it to inflation to provide fairness to low-income workers and predictability to businesses. Ontario has a strong reputation for promoting greater fairness by investing in people, ensuring equal access to key public services such as health care and education, and supporting the needs of low-income children, families and the most vulnerable. Over the past decade, Ontario has seen substantial increases in the minimum wage, the introduction and expansion of the Ontario Child Benefit, and new investments in social assistance after years of neglect. Ontario is introducing a new 10-year economic plan to create the conditions to help lift people out of poverty.
To ensure protections are in place, the Province is taking further steps to fight fraud and reduce auto insurance rates by developing a dedicated investigation and prosecution office on serious fraud.
Even in challenging economic times and while working to eliminate the deficit, Ontario continues to make gains in the fight against poverty. The government will maintain these investments and build on them to help keep these families on track for a brighter future. Ontario provides targeted support for low- to moderate-income families through the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB).
In July 2014, the government will increase the maximum annual OCB per child to $1,310, enhancing the incomes of half-a-million families.
Investments in the OCB that improve the incomes of low- to moderate-income families also help the economy as a whole, since these families use the additional support to purchase needed goods and services in their communities. As part of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy, the government launched the Healthy Smiles Ontario program in 2010, which provides dental services to children in low-income working families.
The government is also proposing to further expand access to health benefits for children in low-income families. Moving forward, the government will consult with stakeholders to explore options to extend health benefits to all low-income Ontarians. The same study showed that Grade 7 and 8 students who ate breakfast at school on most days achieved or exceeded provincial reading standards by a rate 10 per cent higher than those who did not have breakfast. The government is committed to reducing electricity cost pressures on individuals and families, recognizing that Ontario’s most vulnerable spend a proportionately higher percentage of disposable income on energy and electricity.
The Province is also requiring the Ontario Energy Board to report back on electricity system options for a sustainable, long-term electricity support program specifically designed for low-income Ontario families.
The government’s approach to the minimum wage provides fairness to low-income workers and predictability for businesses. In 2013, the government appointed the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel with representation from businesses, workers and youth to provide advice on how to determine future increases to the minimum wage. Ontario calls on the federal government to enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) to address the needs of low-income workers. As announced in the 2012 Budget, the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) was established on January 1, 2013. Expanding the Investment in Affordable Housing Program Ontarians need and deserve help accessing adequate, suitable and affordable housing. To help foster partnerships with local communities, the government is investing $50 million over five years to create a new poverty reduction fund targeted at supporting local solutions to poverty. Enhancing social services is smart public policy that can help people find and maintain employment, and contribute to improving the health of low-income individuals and families. Ending this freeze in 2004, the government increased social assistance rates by more than 15 per cent by 2012.
Building on the rate increases announced in the 2013 Budget, the government will increase social assistance rates in 2014 by an additional one per cent for adult Ontario Works recipients and people with disabilities receiving ODSP benefits.
In addition, the comfort allowance for low-income residents of long-term care homes will also increase by one per cent. Consistent with the Commission’s recommendation, the Province is moving forward with a plan to streamline social assistance employment benefits.
The government is replacing seven separate employment benefits with a consolidated benefit structure within each of ODSP and Ontario Works. With the initial steps taken in the 2013 Budget and the proposed changes for 2014, the government continues to transform the social assistance system by increasing benefits for recipients with the lowest level of support, harmonizing program rules and reducing barriers to employment. People with developmental disabilities rely on hundreds of agencies across Ontario for a wide array of safe, high-quality services. Specifically, this investment will support the continued professionalization of the community and developmental services sector and support salaries and wages for front-line workers, including those in lower wage bands. The government is committed to helping children and youth with special needs achieve their full potential.
The Province is collaborating with Aboriginal communities and making investments to create a better quality of life for Aboriginal people in Ontario.
Improved social conditions and economic opportunities are essential to ensuring that Aboriginal communities can thrive.
Continue investments in projects that help to close the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students; and Continue to integrate Aboriginal histories, cultures, perspectives and traditions, including the history of residential schools, into the curriculum.
People living in remote northern communities, particularly First Nations, can face disproportionately high costs for basic necessities like groceries. The Ontario government recognizes that the rates of violence against Aboriginal women are much higher than for other women in Ontario. In March 2013, the Healthy Kids Panel recommended establishing a universal student nutrition program in First Nation communities.
Negotiated agreements with First Nation communities honour legal obligations and resolve longstanding land disputes in a way that benefits First Nations and Ontario as a whole.
The Province recognizes that improved economic opportunities are essential to ensuring that Aboriginal people can work and thrive.
To help ensure remote First Nation communities can more fully benefit from new transmission projects in their area, Ontario will provide $3 million in funding over three years through the Remote Electrification Readiness Program. The Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program (ALGP) was launched in 2009 to facilitate Aboriginal participation in renewable energy infrastructure projects.
All Ontarians, regardless of income level or ability, should have access to an effective and fair justice system.
The government is introducing a strategy to expand access to legal aid by raising the income eligibility threshold to qualify for legal aid assistance. Currently, establishing and updating child support payments through the court system is time consuming and costly for parents. In December 2013, the Province released an updated Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), Achieving Balance, to ensure Ontario has the right strategies and targets in place for a clean, modern and reliable energy future.
While the updated LTEP projects typical residential bills will increase on average by 2.8 per cent per year over the next 20 years, residential customers can expect to pay about $520 less over the next five years and $3,800 less to 2030 than originally forecast in the 2010 LTEP. The DRC is provided for under the Electricity Act, 1998, and has been charged since May 1, 2002, to help service and pay down the debt and other liabilities of the old Ontario Hydro, which are managed by the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (OEFC), until the residual stranded debt is retired. Ontario is committed to making auto insurance more affordable for the province’s over nine million drivers. In March 2014, the government introduced Bill 171, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014, a key element of the Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy.

The government has retained an independent third party to provide annual Automobile Insurance Transparency and Accountability Expert Reports to assess its efforts to reduce auto insurance costs and rates.
The interim report highlights that further action is needed to support the government’s Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy. Ontario is working with the insurance industry on new ways to reward safe drivers as part of its Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has already communicated key consumer protection requirements to the insurance industry, and many companies have implemented or are planning to implement usage-based insurance.
In the future, the government will consider using telematic technology for a variety of purposes, including improving the effectiveness and accessibility of vehicle emissions testing. The government is taking steps to update and improve the Condominium Act, 1998, to address the needs of the condominium community and support the long-term sustainability of condominium living. As a next step, the Province will introduce legislation in the spring of 2014 that, if passed, would establish mandatory qualifications for condominium managers and create a modern dispute resolution system. A group of experts, including home inspectors, consumer advocates, educators and representatives from the real estate, law and insurance sectors, recently submitted its recommendations to the government on licensing, standards and qualifications for home inspectors.
Currently, the Building Code Act, 1992, does not require the involvement of professional engineers and architects in the design of certain types of buildings.
To further promote public safety, the government proposes to introduce amendments to the Building Code Act, 1992, which, if passed, would clarify that only qualified designers and design professionals can design certain types of buildings in Ontario. This bar chart shows that the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy is helping to lower child poverty. This chart shows total annualized income for a single parent with two children (ages 9 and 10) in 2003, 2013 and 2014.
This bar chart shows that in Ontario from 2004 to 2013, auto insurance rates increased more slowly than the rate of inflation. In the modern digital age, cyber security is becoming more and more important, for both large companies and small businesses.
On Friday, October 23rd at 6:00 pm the 9th annual giant used book sale is taking place at the former JL Home Hardware Building Centre in Guelph. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Purchasing home insurance is a smart decision for any home owner, but home insurance is only useful after an accident has happened. Insurance Partners At The Ostic Group, we are proud to have a wide range of insurance partners. Free sample resumes, including chronological, functional and other formats, and templates for resume writing. An effective introductory Summary statement at the opening of your resume is a critical component of effectively branding yourself to a prospective employer. Discover how to write a resume using professional phrases, formats and styles with hundreds of free, professionally written resume examples. In addition, Ontario is developing long-term solutions to address the needs of condominium owners and is moving to establish province-wide standards for home inspectors. The government’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy, announced in 2008, helped lift 47,000 children out of poverty. That is why the government is taking action by investing in a renewed poverty reduction strategy. However, improvements in children’s benefits, other changes to provincial and federal tax and benefit programs, and a higher minimum wage have all contributed to greater incomes for low-income families. This benefit, along with other provincial and federal tax and benefit programs, enhances the incomes of low- to moderate-income families and helps provide a more stable income base for those who may experience uncertain earnings.
However, only about 20 per cent of low-income workers have access to employer health benefits for themselves and their families. Beginning in April 2014, program eligibility is being expanded to give 70,000 more children access to dental services. Once fully implemented, children in low-income families would be eligible to receive additional health benefits including prescription drugs, assistive devices, vision care and mental health services. It wants them to be healthy and happy, succeed in school, and get the supports they need to grow into strong healthy adults. This is in addition to the current annual investment of over $20 million, resulting in a total annual investment of $32 million by 2016a€“17. It combined funding from five separate homelessness-related programs into a single program delivered locally to allow municipalities to better address local housing priorities. In the 2013 Budget, rates were increased by an additional one per cent for adult Ontario Works recipients and people with disabilities receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits.
As in 2013, the government will provide a further top-up for single adults without children receiving Ontario Works. It will support overall transformation of the sector by providing agencies with the flexibility needed to modernize how they offer the right mix of services to vulnerable Ontarians. Research has shown that eight out of ten Aboriginal women have experienced violence in their relationships. As part of the proposed three-year, $32 million expansion of the Student Nutrition Program, First Nation communities will receive funding commencing in 2015a€“16. To promote constructive engagement with First Nation communities, the Province is moving forward with a new Treaty Strategy, including funding of $7.9 million over three years. That is why it will move forward with an Aboriginal Economic Development Fund, which will include an investment of $25 million over three years. The government is proposing to create a new, easy-to-use online service option for those parents who would like a simpler and faster approach to set up or change child support amounts without having to go to court. This new online service would leverage the Ministry of Finance’s centralized automated information verification service to give parents faster and more efficient child support payment determinations.
The Province has taken action to address a wide variety of pressing marketplace concerns that affect consumers in their everyday lives.
In the 2013 Budget, the Province introduced a Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy to build on previous reforms that successfully stabilized auto insurance rates in Ontario. The most recent rate approval of April 15, 2014, indicates a total rate reduction of more than 5.6 per cent since the Strategy was launched in August 2013. The Bill proposes a number of initiatives to tackle major sources of costs and uncertainty in the system that prevent rates from coming down. To date, the government has taken action to address half of the recommendations made by the Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force in late 2012. The Province committed to take action to address vehicle storage and collision repair practices, and to hold consultations on provincial oversight of the towing industry. The report also concludes it is important that insurers continue working to achieve efficiencies and reduce costs in the auto insurance system through initiatives such as better claim management, more sophisticated pricing methods (such as usage-based insurance) and improved fraud-prevention practices. In particular, the government is encouraging insurance companies to offer consumers usage-based insurance, which uses technology to identify and offer discounts for safe driving habits. To help inform consumers of their rights and to let them know where to go if they have a complaint or dispute, the government recently established Consumer Protection Ontario.

These new measures would allow condominium owners to use an alternative to the court system, saving money and resolving disputes more quickly, and would increase protection for condominium owners, tenants and buyers by improving condominium management standards. Having a home inspection before finalizing the transaction can help people make informed decisions and avoid unexpected problems and expenses. As a result, there is a risk that non-qualified people may attempt to design large and complex buildings, putting public safety at risk.
The chart shows the increase in income between 2003 and 2014 due to increases in: the Ontario Child Benefit and other Ontario Tax-Based Benefits and Credits, Federal Child Benefits and other Federal Tax-Based Benefits and Credits, and the minimum wage rate. We provide insurance and financial planning excellence from Guelph, to Fergus, Elora, and Shelburne, Ontario. If your data and systems aren’t protected by a comprehensive insurance plan, then it may be time to start looking into a policy to protect yourself. On this spooky spirit walk, you will meet and learn about several characters who lived and worked at the Poor House years ago. We believe in being involved in our community, and sharing the great things happening here. A book lover’s dream, this event is anticipating 100,00 items including hardcover, paperbacks, children, antiquarian, and collectable books. At this family-friendly event, you have the option to not just watch the parade but participate as well! These furry little creatures are most visible in the fall and the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory wants you to celebrate with them. Performing routine home maintenance will help you improve the safety of your home and help to reduce your chance of needed to make a claim. These partners ensure that we can offer our clients the insurance coverage they need, with a policy that is tailored to their specific needs.
Giving those at the low end of the income scale a boost means more money spent in communities, more jobs created, and greater gains to the economy as a whole.
Since these benefits are available outside social assistance, they also help reduce financial barriers for individuals and families to become financially independent. The government will further integrate existing publicly funded dental programs for children into the Healthy Smiles Ontario program to provide seamless enrolment and streamlined administration.
The new investment would fund 340 new breakfast programs for an additional 56,000 children in higher-needs elementary and secondary schools, including on-reserve First Nation schools. Responding to the advice of the panel, the government has introduced legislation to tie the minimum wage to the Ontario CPI rate of inflation, beginning in October 2015. Single Ontario Works adults without children received a further top-up, for a total increase of $20 per month, in recognition of the fact that these recipients have the lowest level of support among social assistance recipients. The Remote Communities Allowance would represent a $50 per month increase over the current Northern Allowance for the first person, and a $25 per month increase for each additional family member. This service would speed up the process while also freeing up valuable court time that could be used to deal with the most pressing cases.
Promoting consumer protection helps people make informed choices, spend wisely and protect their hard-earned money. In 2010, the government implemented a series of auto insurance reforms aimed at stabilizing premiums. While progress has been achieved to date, further actions will be required to meet the average rate reduction targets. The Bill includes legislative amendments for the transformation of the dispute resolution system, and further action to crack down on fraud and abuse, as well as other cost-saving measures.
The government is building on the steps it has taken by developing a dedicated investigation and prosecution office on serious fraud, with an initial focus on auto insurance fraud. This new awareness program is part of the government’s plan to protect consumers and ensure a fair marketplace. We all know the story of Anne Frank, but most of what we’ve heard has been through her own stories. Whether you want to watch or march, this will be a spooky night filled with zombies, witches, and other ghoulish creatures. During the month of October, the Cambridge Butterfly conservatory is holding Woolly Bear Weekends. For over 100 years, individuals and families have gathered in downtown Guelph for the Thanksgiving Day Races. In the case that you do need to make a claim, completing a home inventory will help you determine which possessions were impacted. By helping to make work pay, an enhanced WITB would more effectively encourage low-income Canadians to enter the workforce and make it easier for low-wage working families to remain in the labour market. The estimated timing for residual stranded debt retirement along with the end of the DRC is subject to uncertainty in forecasting future dedicated revenues from the electricity sector. Municipalities will not be required to cost-share the Ontario Works rate increase until January 2015. Successful implementation will raise public awareness and promote improved socioeconomic outcomes for First Nations. It will also provide grants for Aboriginal businesses and fund province-wide, regional skills-training programs. Revenues would depend on the financial performance of OPG, Hydro One and municipal electrical utilities, as well as other factors such as electricity consumption. The Strategy is targeting a 15 per cent average rate reduction by August 2015, with an average eight per cent reduction target by August 2014. Some insurance companies have already introduced usage-based insurance that can provide discounts for drivers, depending on how often they drive.
This will be coupled with talent development initiatives that focus on educational attainment, skills training and early experiences with the labour market for people with disabilities, particularly through experiential learning. This will give the Province flexibility to support qualifying applications currently under review, as well as future applications to the program. It is critical that industry play its part and take concrete steps to lower costs, control overhead, and manage claims effectively and fairly. For example, consumers who drive less because they use public transit can reduce their auto insurance rates by choosing this specific product. Through the IAH program, low-income households can access new affordable rental housing, receive down-payment assistance to own an affordable home, and repair and modify their home to improve their living conditions and foster independent living.
Eligible investments under the ALGP include key investments in transmission, wind, solar and hydroelectric projects that will be located across the province. Being able to live independently is especially important for seniors and people with disabilities, as well as for victims of family violence.
The program also provides dedicated funding assistance for the housing needs of off-reserve Aboriginal communities as well as remote communities in Northern Ontario.

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