Several proposals have been made in the last few years about how to change the way income supports are delivered to people in Ontario. Why are people proposing a different “delivery architecture”? What problems would a different system help to resolve? What are some of the options for different kinds of systems? What do they look like, and how would they work?
The Social Assistance Review now underway is part of Ontario’s strategy to reduce poverty. That’s why social assistance programs should have Poverty Reduction as their goal. Government has taken four very important steps that acknowledge that poverty is…
These are powerful stories, interwoven with themes of fear and desperation, of shame and frustration, of dignity and resilience. The stories raise the need for more appropriate education and training, for more sensible treatment of income, and for rules that are easy to understand and designed to encourage people rather than break their spirits. They highlight the punitive nature of the current social assistance system, and the need to break down the systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty.
The Ontario government’s announcements today on the social assistance review and special diet allowance program are both welcome steps forward on the road to improved income security for Ontarians.
“This is the bold and broad review that we’ve been looking for, led by two credible commissioners who we have confidence will lead an independent and thoughtful review process,” says Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy and Legal Services for the Income Security Advocacy Centre.
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction welcomes the news that Ontario’s long awaited Social Assistance review will start in January and be led by two very able commissioners: Frances Lankin and Dr. Munir Sheikh.
“We’re very pleased with the broad terms of reference for this review. It will provide recommendations not only on how to transform social assistance but on how it should connect to other income security programs that many of us need to rely on at some point in our lives, such as disability support programs and Employment Insurance,” said Jacquie Maund, Coordinator of Ontario Campaign 2000.