Ontario Oral Health Alliance Forum at Queen’s Park

Over 80 community members from across Ontario met at Queens Park to get MPPs talking about expanding access to dental care – a gaping hole in our healthcare system.
Ontario’s healthcare system does not cover our teeth and gums. An estimated 2-3 million people in Ontario do not visit a dentist, mainly due to the cost. Too many people in our communities have no access to preventive oral health services and treatments that save teeth, health and jobs.

  • We shared with MPPs the challenges to accessing dental care our communities
  • Heard from guest speakers: people with lived experience of this problem; an ER doctor; community dental clinics that are helping to fill the gap
  • Listened and commented as MPPs from the PC, NDP and Liberal parties explained their positions on this issue.

Got lots of coverage on Twitter: Follow this issue at #ONdental

CBC Radio: One ER doctor’s take on the need for universal dental care (audio link), CBC Metro Morning, March 21, 2018

I often have to give up food to pay for rent

“I often have to give up food to pay for rent and living expenses. I went without hydro and was cold for two months in order to pay rent.”
— Survey respondent, 2017 Who’s Hungry report

As the largest charitable food distribution network in the GTA, we hear these kinds of stories every day. Low social assistance rates, a precarious labour market, transit costs, and lack of support for drug and dental costs all impact people’s ability to be able to afford food.

In the last year, Toronto food banks have seen nearly 1 million visits – the highest level since the 2008 recession, and despite economic indicators showing that the economy is doing well. But the economy is only doing well for some, and housing costs are another key driver of the demand for our services.

All political parties have a responsibility to put housing on their agenda. Policy matters – and that’s why Daily Bread is adding our voice to organizations across the GTA who are on the frontline of fighting poverty and inequity.

The time for action is now, again ——

Poverty is a desperate, sad thing. It damns us all, hurts some of us much more. Single mothers face twice the poverty rate of couples with children. New immigrants, First Nations people and People of Colour find the labour and housing markets exclude them in very similar and harsh ways. Our youth are entering a re-shaped labour market with limited prospects for success.

For decades, WoodGreen has addressed these needs at both the policy and program level. We have seen the changes a concerted effort can make, reducing poverty, creating strong communities, building an Ontario where everyone has a hope for a brighter future.

This election, let’s make a difference for everyone through the Ontario for All platform. The time for action is now, again.