The Social Assistance Review Advisory Council issued a report on June 14, 2010. In this report, the Council calls on the provincial government to conduct an Ontario Income Security Review.

The Council’s report is important, because it gives the government a roadmap for how to review social assistance and other income security programs in Ontario. But it’s also important because it expands the focus of the discussion.

Before, people were talking about how to improve Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Now, we can talk about a bigger vision for how to improve all income and support programs, so that people on OW and ODSP – and all low-income people in Ontario – can have better, more productive, more respectful programs to help them when they need it.

Who Was On the Council?

In December 2008, the provincial government promised to review social assistance, as part of its Poverty Reduction Strategy. In December 2009, the government appointed the Council to make recommendations on how to do that review.

The Council was made up of eleven people who have history and expertise in working on issues related to poverty and social assistance. You can read more about them at

Now that the Council’s report is done, the government has said they will respond this fall. We think that means they will announce the start of some kind of review.

This Backgrounder will help people understand what the Council’s Report says, in order to help prepare for the government’s announcement in the fall. 

Download the entire Income Security Review backgrounder in Word