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Ontario welfare system needs overhaul: panel

A government-appointed panel says the Ontario welfare system is not working, and is calling for it to be completely overhauled. The Social Assistance Review Advisory Committee released its report Monday morning at Queen’s Park. It says the emphasis of welfare should be shifted from providing financial assistance to helping people break out of poverty. The panel wants the government to launch a full-scale review of all income-assistance programs. NDP critic Michael Prue is skeptical anything will come of it under…

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Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review

REPORT OF THE ONTARIO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE REVIEW ADVISORY COUNCIL May 2010 There is deep and continuing dissatisfaction with the existing approach to social assistance from all quarters: community groups, business, labour, policy makers, the people who run the system and those who receive its benefits. Ontario’s core social assistance programs – Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program – together with the other programs that make up Ontario’s income security system, continue to fall short in providing an economic…

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Government appointed Council recommends bold vision for social assistance reform

TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ – The province urgently requires a more effective system of income security programs that meet the needs of Ontarians in a rapidly shifting economy, says a new report by the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC). Appointed by the government of Ontario, the Council was mandated to recommend a scope and terms of reference for a review of Ontario’s social assistance system. In a report released today, it outlines a consultation process focusing on six key…

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Act Now to Save Housing Supports for People on OW and ODSP!

Download the Housing Supports Template here in order to send it as a hard copy letter to the politicians. You can also distribute it at community meetings or events. Use this Backgrounder in advocacy efforts in your own community. La version française est disponsible ici. And here is a Toolkit for Frontline Workers, developed by Parkdale Community Legal Services, to help people apply for the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit before the end of December 2012. People on social assistance themselves will probably find this toolkit…

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Designing new architecture for Ontario social assistance

When Ontario’s long-promised review of welfare begins this spring, the provincial government faces a stark choice. Does it spend years trying to unravel a set of 800 social assistance rules that make up the current outdated system? Or will this government take the bolder road and build an entirely new and improved income security system? Unravelling the rules is a long and involved process. Each time a rule is changed, another set of rules would emerge. It would require the…

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Income Delivery Architecture: Where Does Your Cheque Come From?

And Why Does It Matter? 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? ISAC and the Ontario community legal clinic system’s Social Assistance Action Committee (SAAC) held a…

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Towards a New Architecture for Canada’s Adult Benefits

Introduction Since its creation in 1992, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy has worked to modernize Canada’s social security system. We have made the case for major changes not only to individual social programs, but also to the basic structures and functions ? the ‘architecture’, to use the current vogue term ? of social policy. This paper advances our work on the modernization agenda in a large area of Canadian social policy that has for the most part defied successful…

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