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Ontario Auditor General’s Report Underlines Need for Social Assistance Reform

Whether he meant to or not, the auditor general’s December 7th analysis of OW/ODSP let a dysfunctional social assistance system off the hook, instead laying blame with the people who have nowhere else to turn to for basic support. The ensuing debate risks losing sight of the simple fact that when it comes to social assistance, it’s not the people who are the problem.  Instead it’s the 800+ rules that trap people in poverty and powerlessness, fail to provide social and…

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Ontario Auditor General’s Report Underlines Need for Social Assistance Reform

Whether he meant to or not, the auditor general’s December 7th analysis of OW/ODSP let a dysfunctional social assistance system off the hook, instead laying blame with the people who have nowhere else to turn to for basic support. The ensuing debate risks losing sight of the simple fact that when it comes to social assistance, it’s not the people who are the problem.  Instead it’s the 800+ rules that trap people in poverty and powerlessness, fail to provide social and…

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Demand Ontario welfare reforms you would want as a recipient

About a week ago, the Ontario Government announced the creation of a panel to make recommendations for what is being described as the largest overhaul to Ontario’s welfare system in 20 years. It will be headed by the former head of Statistics Canada, Dr. Munir Sheikh and former Ontario NDP cabinet minister Frances Lankin. Over the next year it ill consult and make recommendations to the Ontario Government on ways to improve social assistance. Pardon me for a moment while…

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Webinar: The Commission’s Report and Future Direction for Social Assistance Reform

Brighter Prospects, the final report of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, was issued October 24, 2012. In this webinar, Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) provides an understanding of the content of the report and recommendations; an analysis of the impact of the recommendations; the policy and political context surrounding the report; and, thoughts on opportunities for action over the short, medium, and longer term.   This webinar was conducted for members of…

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Welfare reform: Breaking the cycle of poverty

Right now in Ontario, there are more than 830,000 people who can’t get by without a monthly welfare or disability support cheque. And more than 15 per cent of our children live in poverty, despite the fact that many of their parents have full-time jobs. Food bank use is up; affordable housing and subsidized daycare wait lists are growing; and good jobs are increasingly hard to find. Meanwhile, our existing social safety net has proved incapable of fixing these interconnected…

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Coalition warns poverty reduction at risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TORONTO – One year into the Ontario government’s commitment to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent by 2013, the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction warns the province risks missing its target unless further action is taken. An anniversary report released today by 25 in 5 that tracks Ontario’s progress shows the province’s poverty reduction strategy has taken significant steps in the first year, but the next steps cannot come soon enough to support struggling…

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Assistance review required, United Way

NORTHUMBERLAND — The comprehensive social assistance review the provincial government has launched is ‘vital’ with so many people out of work, running out of employment insurance, severance packages and having to live on welfare for the first time, says the head of Northumberland United Way. Lynda Kay’s concern is shared by Lois Cromarty, chair of the Poverty Reduction Committee of Northumberland. ‘If you’ve looked at the social assistance rates, you’d see (the need),’ Cromarty said in an interview Wednesday.  The…

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Advisers aim to fix Ontario’s welfare ‘quagmire’

Ontario has appointed the head of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank to head a panel of anti-poverty advocates to advise the government on a long-awaited review of its welfare system, the Star has learned. ‘If this group can’t make the proper recommendations, then nobody can,’ said food bank executive director Gail Nyberg. Almost 800,000 Ontarians – including about 236,000 children and about 260,000 disabled people – live on provincial welfare and disability supports that leave most of them trapped in grinding poverty…

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Advisers aim to fix Ontario’s welfare ‘quagmire’

Ontario has appointed the head of Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank to head a panel of anti-poverty advocates to advise the government on a long-awaited review of its welfare system, the Star has learned. ‘If this group can’t make the proper recommendations, then nobody can,’ said food bank executive director Gail Nyberg. Almost 800,000 Ontarians – including about 236,000 children and about 260,000 disabled people – live on provincial welfare and disability supports that leave most of them trapped in grinding poverty…

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Social Assistance in the New Economy

The Social Assistance in the New Economy (SANE) project, established in 2002, is a multi-year, multi-disciplinary inquiry into the changing nature of social assistance in Ontario and its relation to precarious employment and health in a globalizing economy. Funded primarily by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through five major grants to date, the research program comprises a number of complementary projects which are investigating the welfare and post-welfare experiences of social assistance recipients, as well as the labour market experiences of those precariously employed.Â…

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