Action through consultation. Change through advocacy.

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 two Commissioners, Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh, will issue their final report by July of this year.

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:

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:


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.

In late 2009, the provincial government appointed an advisory council to give ideas on how a review would work. In 2010, the Commission was appointed.

The Review is the best opportunity in many years to actually improve Ontario Works and ODSP.

Read more about the Review on the provincial government’s website here.

See the Commission’s Social Assistance Review website here.