QUEEN'S PARK - MPP Peggy Sattler asks the government to raise social assistance rates to alleviate food insecurity:
"My question is to the Premier. Last week, the Middlesex-London Health Unit wrote to this government urging an increase to social assistance rates. Their letter states, “Middlesex-London residents with low incomes cannot afford to eat after meeting other essential needs....” At a time of unprecedented inflation, food insecurity is higher than ever before. Our health unit is telling this government that people on ODSP and Ontario Works are not eating.
Speaker, why is this government keeping social assistance rates so low that those who rely on social assistance are force to go without food?"
"Again to the Premier: Food banks in London and across Ontario are stretched to the limit. In just the last year, the London Food Bank saw a 40% increase in demand. The Emergency Food Cupboard at the Northwest London Resource Centre in my riding is seeing five or six new families a day. When people can’t afford food, their physical and mental health suffers. It causes more chronic conditions, more non-communicable diseases, more infections, depression, anxiety and stress.
Speaker, will this government listen to the Middlesex-London Health Unit, lift people on social assistance out of legislated poverty and increase social assistance rates?"