Many people in Ontario agree that Ontario Works needs to be fixed. One of the ways it could be fixed is to give peopleÂ more help toÂ get a job, so they can get out of poverty and the trap ofÂ social isolation.
Some people call this fixÂ â€˜opportunity planning’. Others call it â€˜human capital development’, or a â€˜personalized approach’ with â€˜wrap-around services’.
But what do these wordsÂ mean? What are the pros and cons of â€˜opportunity planning’? Are there models for how it might work?
And howÂ wouldÂ it work given the kinds of jobsÂ availableÂ now?
What policies would the government have to change?
And what does this mean for people from disproportionately disadvantaged groups?
A full-day symposium wasÂ hosted by ISAC and the Ontario community legal clinic system’s Social Assistance Action Committee (SAAC) in March 2011 to explore these issues.
We videotaped theÂ presentations that were made at the symposium – click on the links below to access the variousÂ presentationsÂ as well as the question and answer sessions.
- Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy and Legal Services, ISAC
- Melodie Mayson, Co-Director, Neighbourhood Legal Services
Panel 1: The New World of Work: Labour Market Trends in Toronto and Ontario
Moderator: Naomi Ives, Parkdale Community Legal Services
- Tom Zizys, Independent Researcher
- Karen Charnow Lior, Toronto Workforce Innovation Group
- Sheila Block, Wellesley Institute
Panel 2: Opportunity Planning: The Big Picture
Moderator: Mary Marrone, Income Security Advocacy Centre
- Andrew Mitchell, Social Assistance in the New Economy project
- Allison Bramwell, Munk School of Global Affairs
Panel 3: Opportunity Planning: On the Ground
Moderator: Melodie Mayson, Neighbourhood Legal Services
- Josie Di Zio, COSTI
- Steve Johnston, Dixon Hall
- Douglas Bartholomew-Saunders, OMSSA
- Karen Wilson, Toronto Employment and Social Services