Poverty Free Ontario is an initiative of the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO). The SPNO is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Originally created in 1992 as a province-wide network of more than 20 local social planning and community development councils (SPCs), the SPNO was incorporated officially as a non-profit organization in 2007.

Social planning and community development councils do social research and reporting, community education, policy analysis and development, and advocacy activity to strengthen and support community capacity for engagement and action on social and economic issues to create just and inclusive communities and promote overall social well-being.

Through the Poverty Free Ontario initiative, the SPNO is committed to ensuring that poverty eradication is on the agenda for discussion in the upcoming provincial election.


Leadership and supporters of the Poverty Free Ontario initiative believe that all Ontarians must have liveable incomes in order to end poverty in the province within this decade.


The Poverty Free Ontario initiative aims to:

  • Develop and promote a policy agenda for Ontario that would move towards ending poverty in the province by 2020.
  • Create public awareness about the depth and breadth of poverty in the province and ways to eliminate both.
  • Build cross-community support for ending poverty in Ontario within this decade.


Focusing on the time between now and the 2011 Ontario election on October 6, Poverty Free Ontario will work:

  1. To make ending poverty a public issue in the election;
  2. To urge that all political parties commit to a poverty eradication agenda if elected; and
  3. To ensure that all electoral candidates have poverty eradication as part of their platforms and campaigns.

Poverty Free Ontario is an initiative of the Social Planning Network of Ontario.

SPNO is working on the Poverty Free Ontario initiative in conjunction with the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), which is dedicated to faith-based approaches to public policy reform in areas of social justice and poverty elimination. ISARC’s current campaign can be found at www.faithtoendpoverty.ca

SPNO is grateful to the generous financial support of Fairlawn Avenue United Church in Toronto and the Sisters of St. Joseph in London, Ontario, and to the Atkinson Charitable Foundation for supporting the Put Food in the Budget campaign.

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