Anti-poverty activists have spent the past 15 years pushing the Liberal government to rebuild Ontario’s social safety net after an era of punishing cuts under the previous PC government of Mike Harris.

They dread a return to the austerity of the 1990s, when the Harris Tories slashed welfare rates by 22.6 per cent, cancelled the construction of 50,000 affordable housing units and froze the minimum wage at $6.85 an hour for eight years.

That is why they are focused on ensuring all parties in the June 7 election continue to strengthen supports for the province’s most vulnerable residents.