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City, province eye social assistance issues in Hamilton

City council has approved a local push to reform Ontario’s social assistance system by setting rates that would meet basic needs. Economist Dr. Atif Kubursi and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic staff lawyer Craig Foye presented a report to council Monday about the economic impact of spending by Hamiltonians living on social assistance. They requested councillors endorse the report and write to the province, emphasizing the need for an “evidence-based” model for setting social assistance rates. Council’s endorsement came on the…

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Frances Lankin on CBC’s Metro Morning

Frances Lankin, co-Commissioner of the Social Assistance Review Commission, was interviewed this morning (July 5) by Matt Galloway on Toronto’s Metro Morning radio program. You can listen to the interview on the CBC’s website by clicking here. Here is an unofficial transcript of the conversation: Matt Galloway (MG): How could Ontario’s social assistance programs better help those who need them and encourage those who can work to find work? Those are the questions being asked by the Commission for the Review of Social…

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People on welfare boost local economy: study

Spending by Hamiltonians living on social assistance pumps back hundreds of millions of dollars into the city and provincial economies, a report by local researchers says. Dr. Atif Kubursi, a professor at McMaster University and economist for Econometric Research Limited, is speaking to city councillors Monday about the findings published in The Economic Impact of Social Assistance in Hamilton report. Commissioners who were appointed by the province to review social assistance, Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh, are also in Hamilton…

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Dignity, Adequacy, Inclusion: Rethinking the Ontario Disability Support Program

Submission to the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario June 27, 2011 Canadians have a very different view of disability than they did a few decades ago. Today we recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to participate fully in the economic and civic life of our communities. These rights are protected by human rights legislation, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United Nations Convention on the Rights…

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A More Balanced Economic Study of Social Assistance

Events scheduled for July 4th in Hamilton got me reflecting on Canada Tax Freedom Day. I think I missed it this year. How about you? Nationwide it occurred on June 6th. On that day we’d be living tax free for the rest of the year. For those of us living in Ontario, we were able to celebrate two days earlier. If we were lucky enough to call Alberta home, we could set off the fireworks a full five hard-working-taxpayer days…

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Disability Should Not be a Life Sentence to Poverty

The ODSP Action Coalition is a province-wide coalition of community agencies, provincial organizations, anti-poverty groups, legal clinics and people who receive income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).  The Coalition was formed in 2002 following province-wide community consultations that found deep problems with ODSP.  Our aim is to advocate for improvements to ODSP so that people with disabilities can live with dignity. In June 1998, the Ontario Disability Support Program was created. The government of the day said…

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“If it’s Still Broke, Fix It”

Reducing Poverty by Improving the Ontario Disability Support Program Introduction and Summary The ODSP Action Coalition was formed in 2002 and is made up of community activists, community clinic caseworkers, and agency staff. We undertake activities designed to raise awareness of issues affecting persons in receipt of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits. The ODSP Action Coalition is leading the campaign to document and publicize problems with ODSP and engages in advocacy to encourage solutions to these problems. We are…

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