We must state at the outset that this kind of understanding of the needs and reality of life for people with disabilities did not come through in “Approaches for Reform”.
Social Assistance Reform
Abandoning the Social Assistance Review process due solely to Drummond’s recommendations would be deeply counterproductive. Now is the time for people on social assistance, their advocates and allies to fight even harder for the kind of system that can and must be built in Ontario. But it’s going to take efforts in two distinct areas to get the job done.
In this webinar, Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre presents information that will help groups and individuals understand and respond to the Commission’s Options Paper. The webinar explains where the review process is now and what some of the problems with the paper are, gives a brief overview of the current political and economic context, dissects the paper to construct a picture of what is actually being proposed, and goes through some of the implications.
In this webinar series, Jennefer Laidley and Dana Milne of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) present information on 3 different options expected in the Commission’s Options Paper and offer a variety of tools to help groups across Ontario organize consultations in their communities and make submissions.
Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change (COP-COC) is a province wide campaign made up of individuals and organizations working to build community-based capacity to address the growing racialization of poverty and the resulting increased levels of social exclusion and marginalization of racialized communities – both First Peoples and peoples of colour – in Ontario. COP-COC sees …
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC), the ODSP Action Coalition and the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario created a Workshop Facilitator’s Guide for advocates to use to hold discussions with people on social assistance. A number of groups across Ontario used the Guide to conduct workshops in their community, and wrote submissions to the Commission based …
This submission examines why the current Ontario Works (OW) program cannot reach objectives consistent with poverty reduction under its current policy framework. It will also look at the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). While ODSP shares many of the same problems as OW with respect to financial eligibility, unlike OW it has promising legislative objectives that have been given effect in judicial decisions at the highest level. While these objectives have not been fully realized, the program nonetheless has some important features that should not be discarded but instead built upon.
We determined that it would be helpful to outline the Coalition’s ideas for ODSP reform within a framework that we call an “Activation Agenda”. This model of employment-related supports is made up of four key elements that we believe are the foundation for an Ontario Disability Support Program that would actually meet the objectives it was set out to achieve.
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) has prepared this document to highlight some of the key issues in the Commission’s Discussion Paper, summarize what the Discussion Paper says, identify some of the opportunities it presents, and signal some of the risks. We hope that this document will be of use to people who are making a submission to the Commission or who are responding to the questions that the Commission asks in its Workbook.
ISAC, together with many community and social policy partners, have been calling for an overhaul of social assistance since the government announced its commitment to developing a poverty reduction strategy. We did this because Ontario Works (OW), as a “work first” program, is not meeting its stated objectives: it has failed as a program to provide income supports effectively, and it has failed as a program to promote labour market attachment. Ontario Works in particular undermines the values and policy framework of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Act, and Poverty Reduction Strategy. While the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) certainly needs improvement, it is OW that needs transformation.