Ontario Providing Additional Relief to the Province’s Most Vulnerable

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Funding and services will help seniors and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak

TORONTO — The Ontario government is delivering much-needed support to Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the outbreak of COVID-19. The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.

“As we face some of the darkest times in our province’s history, we have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society,” said Premier Ford. “Our seniors and people with disabilities are the most at risk during this crisis, and we must go above and beyond to ensure they get financial relief, food, medicine and other essentials without delay.”

The province is working with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario. The program will also develop the capacity of community organizations and others to help deliver medication and other essentials.

“We know that the best way we can all take care of ourselves during this outbreak is to stay home,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “For older Ontarians and people with disabilities, this may be especially challenging. That is why I am so proud to see the Ontario Spirit being demonstrated by the volunteers, local not-for-profit organizations, charities and businesses that are helping our most vulnerable through the Ontario Community Support Program.”

This week the province will also be issuing the first doubled Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments. Individuals will receive up to $166 per month and couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months and provide an additional $75 million to 194,000 vulnerable seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, we are investing $3.7 billion to provide immediate and direct support to Ontario’s people and employers. It starts with those most in need,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “For our vulnerable seniors, we will double the Guaranteed Annual Income System payment for six months. That will ensure 194,000 of our lowest income seniors will have some extra support during these unprecedented times. The first payment will start to arrive this week and assist low income seniors with their essential expenses when they need it most.”

The province is investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund. The funding will assist developmental services, child welfare, victims shelters, and organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families with COVID-related costs, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced staffing. In addition, the government is providing $148 million to municipal partners that administer social services with funding to support the province’s most vulnerable as part of the province’s $200 million in social services relief funding in response to COVID-19.

“Our government is taking decisive action to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable populations,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “If you have a friend or neighbour who is a senior or a person with a disability, please reach out to them to ensure they have what they need and are doing okay during this very difficult period.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. There is 37 million ppl in Canada who all pay a min of 10$ per week in some kind of tax to the government we can do better for them do the math and demand better the seniors have been paying taxes longer than the prime minister have been alive they fought our war rebuilt our country we can all pull together and demand better for the disabled and the seniors

    • Laura Davieaux the seniors are not seeing a reduction or elimination of income. They are getting the same amount they were getting. The aid is for those who are working and have been laid off or reduction of income. At least they have CPP and OAS. People my age will not have anything to cover them in retirement. Especially now… All this $$ had to come from somewhere. I too will have paid In my ENTIRE working life and at a much higher rate than the generation prior, plus I will have no income when I am 65

    • Jennifer Major can you explain this to the seniors in your life that have paid taxes for a life time that they don’t deserve extra when they are the most at risk ?

    • Laura Davieaux I absolutely can and have. My 66 year old dad retired 5 years ago when my mom became very ill. Due to cancer, an amputation for her, the purchase of a prosthesis for her, he spent his entire life savings. Instead of posting on a forum that someone should come and help him, he went back to work !!! Not fun, not fair, but reality. The government can only do so much!!

    • Jennifer Major add up all the tax you pay in a month in everything coffee gas food income tax permits license property tax times that by how many years you have been working and think there is at least 15 million ppl in Canada doing the same . Math is great I’m willing to give more for the elderly

    • Jennifer Major now think about how much money the prime minister has given away to other countries and how much tax dollars he has spent travelling and playing dress up changes can be made in such uncertain times to help the most vulnerable

    • Laura Davieaux you are so right and seniors do have more ecpenses rigjt now. Many are afraid to go out anywhere and in fact, they have been told to stay home. In fact, people over 70 were told they are under auarantine. My point is they pay extra money to get delivery servives to get their groceries and anything else they need. The elderly, are onve again, being forgotten. Even people on Canada Works and ODSP can het a one-time cheque to help them buy Hand Sanatizers and Disinfectants…but for seniors…nothing. 😰

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