What is the Social Assistance Review?
The Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario released its final report and recommendations on October 24, 2012.
Here is ISAC’s response to the report.
Here is a webinar we held on December 3, 2012 that will provide you with an analysis of the report and the implications of its recommendations.
Here is a backgrounder on one of the recommendations of the Review’s report, around increasing the amount of money that people who are receiving social assistance can keep when they’re working:
A review of Ontario’s social assistance programs – Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – is being done by a Commission appointed by the provincial government.
The Commission has done two consultations / discussions about reforming social assistance.
The first focused on issues in the Commission’s first discussion paper, called “Issues and Ideas”.
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) and partners prepared several resources for individuals and communities to use to respond to the first discussion paper:
- ISAC’s submission to the Commission
- ISAC’s analysis of the consultation paper
- ISAC’s vision for Social Assistance Reform
- ISAC partnered with the ODSP Action Coalition and the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario to create a workshop facilitator’s guide for advocates to use to hold discussions with people on social assistance.
- Here are some submissions sent to the Commission based on workshops held using the facilitator’s guide.
- The ODSP Action Coalition made two submissions to the Commission – Dignity, Adequacy, Inclusion and An Activation Agenda.
The Commission released a summary of the consultations around the first discussion paper, called “What We Heard“.
The second consultation focused on issues in the Commission’s second discussion paper, called “Approaches for Reform“.
ISAC and partners produced these resources on the second discussion paper:
- ISAC’s response to the second discussion paper
- ISAC’s “The Options Paper: What Does It Say and What Does It Mean” Webinar – explaining the second discussion paper, with backgrounders and other resources
- ISAC’s “Preparing for the Options Paper” Webinars – with a toolkit of important background information and tools you can use
- A backgrounder on the impact of the Drummond Report on the Social Assistance Review
- The ODSP Action Coalition’s response, entitled “Positive or Punitive: What will Reform Mean for People with Disabilities?”
- The ODSP Action Coalition has also created a lobby kit that groups across Ontario can use to talk with their local MPPs about the important issues at stake in the review.
The review of social assistance programs is one of the commitments made by the provincial government in its 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy. All parties in the legislature supported poverty reduction by unanimously approving Bill 152, the Poverty Reduction Act, in May 2009.
The Review is the best opportunity in many years to actually improve Ontario Works and ODSP.