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Community Groups Call for Strong Toronto

Poverty Reduction Strategy!

People across the city are affected by hard economic times, growing poverty and inequality, and
disparities defined by ethno-racial background, gender, family status, age and (dis)ability.

Together we can turn the tide and create a city where everyone has access to opportunity and
where each community has a path to prosperity that leads to our collective well-being.

Hundreds of individuals from over 60 organizations across the city have worked together to identify
key actions on jobs, affordable housing, transit, food security and community services that should
be part of the citys poverty reduction strategy if we want to make the shift from a city with growing
inequality and a sluggish economy to a city with prosperity for all.

In six issue-based reports, the Commitment to Community coalition has identified 55

recommendations. Key recommendations include:

Creating good jobs

Ensure City service and infrastructure spending creates employment opportunities for vulnerable
neighbourhoods, equity seeking groups and historically disadvantaged communities (e.g.
Community Benefit Agreements, social procurement and extended municipal Employment Equity

Create living wage and job quality standards for all City jobs and contracts.

Providing enough quality, affordable housing

Enact inclusionary zoning (i.e. require a minimum percentage of affordable units in new residential
Enact new (municipal) taxation powers to create an affordable housing fund.
Eliminate deficiencies, outstanding work orders and the repair back log in private market
apartments and social housing buildings by 2020.

Providing access to decent transit

Institute discount fares for low-income transit users starting in 2016.
Call on the Ontario government to reinstate the 50% provincial subsidy for the operating costs of
the TTC.
Plan transit service expansion to ensure equal access to reliable transit service and ensure that
lower-income neighbourhoods are not left behind in transit deserts. Start by increasing bus service
in under-served areas.

Improving access to food

Develop a "Food in Parks" policy that enables communities to organize good food markets,
farmers markets, community gardens, bake ovens and food festivals in city parks and recreation

Reduce licensing barriers for entrepreneurs who want to start mobile food markets (i.e. fruit and
vegetable trucks).
Ensure each Neighbourhood Improvement Area has a community food hub.

Improving access to services

Expand Youth Outreach workers, Investing in Families programs, Youth Spaces, and other
successful programs that facilitate access to services to all neighborhoods.
Partner with schools and school boards to expand recreation and child care spaces and programs,
with a goal of 15,000 new, flexible, subsidized child care spaces over the next 5 years.
Ensure the equitable inclusion of community partners at joint planning tables on community-based
services as they look at key issues facing the City and work to devise strategies for addressing
To access the full Commitment to Community coalition papers, visit