Catholic Charities Among Groups Participating In Social Assistance Review Discusssion
A Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario (SARC) will work through the summer to develop recommendations it hopes will improve social assistance in Ontario.
Catholic Charities was among more than two dozen groups who responded to it in Toronto in mid-July. Consultations began in Windsor in June and in addition to Toronto cover Hamilton, Niagara, Peterborough, Peel, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Timmins.
The paper’s focus is on several issues related to Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): Reasonable expectations and necessary supports to employment; how to create an appropriate benefit structure; making the system easier to understand; making the system viable over the long-term; and an integrated Ontario position on income security.
In addition to the consultation, groups are encouraged to provide feedback to SARC by September 1, 2011.
The plan is to develop an Options Paper before the end of 2011 so as to solicit further input from stakeholders and communities and help frame the Commission’s recommendations to government.
After a second round of consultation is complete and all feedback is received, SARC will present its final recommendations on proposed changes to OW and ODSP by July 2012.
As part of the 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy, the provincial government committed to do a review of social assistance in Ontario.
The review of social assistance is part of the commitment made by all parties in the legislature when they unanimously approved Bill 152, the Poverty Reduction Act, in May 2009.
The Commission has released A Discussion Paper: Issues and Ideas and a short version, Summary and Workbook. You can respond to the paper online through the Workbook.
To obtain printed copies of SARC documents such as Issues and Ideas or Summary - Workbook, e-mail SARC: email@example.com or call TOLL FREE 1-855-269-6250.