In our Pre-Budget Brief sent to the Minister of Finance concerning the 2018 Ontario Budget, our recommendations include:
- Gender-based Analysis: In order to support the needs of women, it is essential to have a gendered-based analysis of programs and services offered by the government. As part of their key duties for 2017-2018, the new Ministry of the Status of Women has committed to developing a framework that will ensure gender-based analysis is incorporated into government decision-making. Financial support for this programme becomes essential.
- Women’s Economic Empowerment: Early Years and Child Care (ELCC): What has been started in invaluable, but it is only a start. What continues to be needed is a quality, affordable, universally accessible and comprehensive early learning and child care program, emphasizing the development of the whole child, continue to be developed, that staff be paid commensurate with training and that funding for the ELCC program continues to evolve and to continue to involve all levels of government through cost-sharing mechanisms.
- Domestic Violence: Fund the recommendations of current Ministry of the Status of Women consultations that has happened with frontline staff and those with lived experience that is leading to an updated Domestic Violence Action Plan.
- Gender Wage Gap: Fund the appropriate ministries to allow them to initiate, with funding to include monitoring and investigation by the bodies involved, the “Close the Gender Wage Gap by 2025” plan, as expressed by the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition.
- Sexual Harassment: Ensure that the resources for prevention, as expressed in the Ministry of the Status of Women’s Published Plans for 2017-2018 and presumably extended and expanded for 2018-2019, are funded, in particular, a need for education programs within schools.
- Education: The 2017 Auditor General’s Report noted that the 2002 Recommendations for a Review of the Funding Formula every 5 years has not been followed. This is very much needed to close the inequities across the province, particularly in rural, northern and First Nations communities.
School closures and the implementation of School Hubs need to be reviewed, making better use of all buildings, particularly in communities with smaller populations is essential. Learning Opportunities Grants, designed to ameliorate inequities need to be re-examined as promised in the 2017 Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan.
- Housing and Homelessness: Continue, on target, with funding to the Community Homeless Prevention Initiative and implement recommendations by the Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness.
Support low-income households in Ontario through continuing financial commitments for social housing repairs and retrofits; the Extended Portable Housing Benefit Pilot (20 million over 2 years); supportive housing units.
Promote affordable housing options (market rental and market ownership) through continuing to fund a rebate for development charges to builders of new multi-residential rental projects, and enabling policy such as inclusionary zoning to promote mixed housing in Ontario urban communities.
- Poverty: Support for Income Security: A Roadmap for Change.
Read the full submission here>>