London’s Board of Health re Social Assistance Rates

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You may recall the letter that I sent to the Middlesex-London Health Unit about the inadequacy of social assistance rates.

At it’s 2007/02/15 meeting, London’s Board of Health reviewed Report No. 019-07 re Food Security Advocacy and passed a number of resolutions.

According to Dr. Graham Pollett (Medical Officer of Health):

It was moved by Mr. Edmondson, seconded by Rev. Eagle:

  1. That the Board of Health request the Premier of Ontario to increase social assistance benefit rates so that the Basic Allowance includes a nutrition allowance which meets daily nutritional needs as determined annually by the cost of the Nutritious Food Basket, and that the remainder of the Basic Allowance be set to enable recipients to afford other basic needs including transportation, clothing, and personal care items; and further
  2. That the Board of Health request the Premier of Ontario to publish annually the details of current social assistance rate components and how they are determined, including the nutrition allowance portion of the Basic Allowance; and further
  3. That The Board of Health request the Premier of Ontario to increase the provincial minimum wage to allow low income workers to purchase adequate nutritious food, as well as shelter and other basic needs; and further
  4. That the Board of Health request the Minister of Health Promotion to update the Nutritious Food Basket costing tool, based on the revised Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating; and further
  5. That the Board Report re Food Security Advocacy be forwarded for review and action to London City Council, Middlesex County Council, Local MPs and MPPs, and appropriate community agencies.

The resolution (#3) does not specify an amount, though the body of the Report supports an increase to $10 per hour.”

My thanks to Councillor Susan Eagle for her assistance. According to the Councillor, “Last night, the minutes were approved, so the resolutions are official.”

You can read the resolutions plus additional background information here:
http://www.healthunit.com/article.aspx?id=12900

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