Key Issues

Through our close work with clients and community groups, CCRC has identified a number of key issues that affect the well-being of individuals, families, and the community as a whole.

Poverty Reduction

CCRC endorses the 25 in 5 Plan for Poverty Reduction. We join with over 400 other groups across the province in asking the government to reduce Ontario poverty levels by 25% in 5 years and by 50% before 2018. Visit 25 in 5 to read the founding declaration and view the list of endorsers.

Winter Clothing and Back to School Allowances

The province introduced the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) in July 2008, a new monthly payment that provides $50 per child to eligible low income families, whether working or on social assistance. The province also cancelled lump-sum payments of the Back-to-School and Winter Clothing Allowances for children in families receiving social assistance. Previously, these families received up to $134 per child in August for Back-to-School costs, and $111 per child in November for Winter Clothing. Now, families are expected to save $15 - $20 per month from their $50 OCB payment.
Families living on social assistance can barely afford food and housing, and will not be able to save through the year for school supplies or winter clothes. Restoring the Back-to-School and Winter Clothing Allowances is one small step towards reducing poverty for children in families receiving social assistance.

Electricity Retailers

CCRC’s Housing Resource Centre is seeing an increasing number of people who require emergency financial assistance due to higher electricity costs after signing a contract with an electricity retailer.
Many of these clients signed contracts after being told they would save money on their hydro, and instead face disconnection and financial hardship. In some cases, clients have been entered into contracts without their consent. Consumers who sign with retailers are no longer eligible for equal billing through their utility. Many low-income consumers choose equal billing options if available to help manage energy costs throughout the year.
Community Counselling and Resource Centre supports consumer protection and consumer education initiatives that ensure low income and other vulnerable consumers are able to make informed choices about their electricity supplier and maintain this necessary service.