Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario
June 10, 2011 Poverty Reduction
It has been a long time coming but it seems that a proper review of the social assistance system in Ontario is now underway.
Late last year the province appointed Francis Lankin and Munir A. Sheikh to lead the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario.
An Order in Council established this Commission which is to develop specific recommendations and a concrete action plan for reforming the social assistance system to improve client outcomes.
This review is focussing on social assistance and how it impacts, and is impacted by other parts of the income security system. The detailed terms of reference can be found at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/social_assist_tor.aspx
Some of the outcomes we can expect from this work include recommendations which would establish an appropriate benefit structure and simplification of income and asset rules.
The Final Report is due in June 2012.
In a letter the commissioners point out the importance of public input.
“Listening to people with lived experience in social assistance, consulting with stakeholders and experts, and engaging communities is a critical part of our plan. We have begun to have some conversations; for example, with former members of the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council who advised the government on our Terms of Reference. We expect to launch a formal consultation process in the spring.”
There are several ways you can make input.
1. Go to their website www.socialassistancereview.ca/ where you can find a discussion paper and complete a Workbook online or make a submission.
2. Mail or Fax input to the Commission.
3. Get involved in discussion in your community. The Commission has provided A Guide to Hosting a Community Conversation.
4. You might also wish to contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament.
Keep an eye on this website for more information.