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Analysis of Ontario Government’s New Direction for Social Assistance  

December 5, 2018 Poverty Reduction

Lisa MacLeod, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services (pictured below), recently announced a new direction for social assistance in Ontario.

What did she say in her November announcement?

According to the Income Security and Advocacy Centre (ISAC), the announcement showed promising directions for Ontario Works.”

ISAC notes, though, that the announcement “leaves many unanswered questions and creates serious risks for people with disabilities.”

Our Clinic is very disappointed regarding benefit rates. That is because nothing was said in the announcement about improving the inadequate benefit rates for people on OW and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

And, there will be a new definition of disability for ODSP. This is very concerning.

“What impact will this have on people with disabilities,” wonders Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy & Legal Services at ISAC.

Ms. Marrone also noted that, “the province’s new vision of providing wrap-around services to better support people in their efforts to find employment would be a move in the right direction if done well.”

The announcement included:

**A new Health Spending Account.

**Changes to amounts of money that people can keep when they work

**A change to the definition of disability for ODSP to align with federal guidelines.

The Income Security Advocacy Centre is a community legal clinic. They have a provincial mandate to advance the systemic interests and rights of low-income Ontarians around income security programs and low-wage precarious employment.

ISAC has analyzed the announcement on their website in a story called Many Questions, Few Answers, and Great Risk for People with Disabilities.

You can read that story at







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