A Plan to Strengthen
Ontario's Social Safety Net

Nate's Vision:

Ontarians deserve compassionate leadership.

As a federal MP, Nate served as the co-chair of the all-party anti-poverty caucus. He supported the creation of the Canada Child Benefit, led efforts to enhance the Canada Workers Benefit, and pushed for the fast passage of legislation to realize the Canada Disability Benefit.

He brings the same commitment to reforming Ontario’s social safety net so that no one is left behind.

Nate's Plan:

  1. Strengthen existing social assistance programs and support families in need.
  2. End chronic homelessness and expand the availability of social and rental housing.
  3. Support the organizations that serve the most vulnerable, including legal aid, food banks, urban Indigenous organizations, wraparound housing supports, and more.
  4. Deliver accessibility for all by advancing inclusive design and accommodation


Everyone has the right to live with dignity, regardless of their health, social or physical status. The costs of poverty are immense, and income insecurity and access to housing are major social determinants of health.

As a federal MP, Nate served as the co-chair of the all-party anti-poverty caucus. He supported the creation of the Canada Child Benefit, led efforts to enhance the Canada Workers Benefit, and pushed for the fast passage of legislation to realize the Canada Disability Benefit. 

He will bring the same commitment to reforming Ontario’s social safety net so that no one is left behind.

Here are our goals:

  • Strengthen our social safety net to leave no one behind by increasing income security programs, and making them more accessible. 
  • End chronic homelessness in Ontario and expand the availability of social and rental housing. 
  • Support the organizations that serve the most vulnerable by expanding operational funding for urban Indigenous service organizations, legal aid, food banks, and more.
  • Deliver accessibility for all by advancing inclusive design and accommodation.

As Liberals, we must continue to lead with compassion and empathy. Together, we will:  

Strengthen our Social Safety Net

Social assistance programs are failing vulnerable communities.

We will strengthen existing social assistance programs, support families in need, and continually improve our social safety net until no one is left behind

Enhance the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Ontario Works (OW) program

  • Increase the assistance rates for both ODSP and OW to significantly reduce poverty, and ensure both benefits are indexed to inflation. 
  • Help pay for the medical fees required for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) eligibility application.
  • Reduce disincentives to work through progressive clawback rates, and pilot an extended transitionary health benefit for those exiting social assistance.
  • Review the current asset test to reduce barriers to eligibility.
  • Make the system easier to navigate and understand through simplified administrative procedures, peer navigators and updated annual benefit booklets.

Help families with kids

  • Increase the Ontario Child Care Benefit, including both the maximum amount and the maximum income threshold before reductions begin.
  • Improve access to affordable childcare by ensuring competitive wages for early childhood educators, increasing the number of fully subsidized spaces for low-income families, and investing in digital infrastructure to improve the application process, in partnership with municipalities.

Review the broader benefit system to better serve low-income workers

Review the broader benefit system to better serve low-income workers, including Ontario’s tax credit for low-income workers and other provinces’ adjustments to the design of the Canada Workers Benefit. We will also examine basic income models, cost different scenarios, and consider further pilots.

End Chronic Homelessness & Expand Deeply Affordable Rentals

Homelessness is impacting large and small municipalities across Ontario, and we need leadership from the provincial government. Municipalities cannot and should not be left to solve these challenges on their own.

Building on Phase 1 of our Housing Plan, we will focus on the availability and supply of deeply affordable housing, together with wraparound services.

Eliminate Chronic Homelessness

Eliminate Chronic Homelessness and replace encampments with a Housing First approach, a new funding stream for municipalities to build and acquire rapid housing solutions, and better support for mental health, addiction and other wraparound services.

Establish the Ontario Housing Authority (OHA)

A public authority to coordinate the development of new affordable housing across the province. The OHA will construct, acquire, and maintain affordable, social, and supportive housing units in partnership with municipal and non-profit housing providers.

The OHA will explore innovative financing mechanisms, undertake portfolio assessments of land owned by Crown agencies and public-minded organizations, explore strategic land acquisitions, and work to create a stock of publicly-owned social housing near public transit and amenities. 

Protect Affordable Rentals

  • Consider empowering municipalities or the OHA with a right of first refusal to purchase properties to build or retain social housing, based on a review of Montreal’s by-law.
  • Ensure tenants receive relocation support when apartment buildings are redeveloped, modeled on Toronto’s rental replacement regulations.

Prioritize Affordable Housing

Eliminate barriers to building large scale affordable housing, including allowing purpose-built affordable housing projects to build twice the base height and density permitted, to more effectively compete for land with market developers.

Supporting Services for Vulnerable People

With so many people struggling, organizations that serve the most vulnerable are barely managing to deliver for all those in need. We will strengthen provincial support for the organizations that effectively serve the most vulnerable.

Improve support for urban Indigenous service organizations

A large majority of Indigenous Peoples live off-reserve in Ontario, and there is a gap between the availability of services and need. We will support urban Indigenous-led service organizations to better tackle barriers to education, health, employment, social services, and housing, all using a culturally appropriate lens.

Deliver access to justice and fully fund Legal Aid Ontario

We will reverse the cuts made by the Ford government and fund Legal Aid Ontario to ensure equitable access to our justice system. We will also work with the federal government to ensure we modernize our court system and reduce the serious and unacceptable delays in court access.

Bolster food security by supporting food banks

Food insecurity is driven by income insecurity, so our primary focus is strengthening income supports. However, we will supplement those enhanced income supports with a dedicated pool of funding for food banks as a back-stop, allocating funds based on the number of clients.

Accessibility for All Ontarians

As noted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley, “on a daily basis, persons with disabilities face discrimination in building design, in snow clearing of bike paths taking priority over sidewalks, in hiring practices and in simply accessing Service Ontario facilities.” 

We will deliver accessibility for all.

Engage and listen to people with disabilities

As leader and Premier, Nate will meet at least once a year with disability advocates and organizations to ensure we strengthen action to realize the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

We will also work with disability advocates and organizations to establish a comprehensive plan and set a new achievable deadline for an accessible Ontario.

Implement the recommendations of the Onley and Donovan reports

  • Making accessibility a priority and a responsibility shared by all ministries.
  • Ensuring public money is not used to create or perpetuate barriers.
  • Leading by example, including by enacting health and education accessibility standards. 
  • Establishing a complaint system for reporting AODA violations.
  • Introducing tax incentives for accessibility retrofits to buildings.
  • Expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Address the shortage of autism-related and developmental delay-related programs

We know that early intervention has the greatest benefits, and yet families face unknown wait times with a growing and unacceptable backlog. We will work with families and people with autism to enhance program delivery, improve transparency, and reduce backlogs.

Social policies geared towards inclusion and support are a way of investing in the strength, health, and cohesion of our communities. By tackling financial vulnerability, inequality, and housing insecurity, we also address some of the most important social determinants of health, saving significant public spending down the road.

Everyone in Ontario deserves an opportunity to succeed, and a social safety net to fall back on. Strong social policy has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of Ontarians, while promoting greater employment, innovation, and economic wellbeing at the same time. A healthy society is a prosperous society.

Pledge your support.

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