Ontario Government

Updated September 12, 2017
Page révisée le 12 septembre 2017

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* Key Welfare Links in Ontario: scroll down to the grey box below What's New, right column
* Latest Ontario Budget --- April 27, 2017
* Poverty reduction in Ontario
* Welfare Statistics
- <===UPDATED September 12, 2017
--- current and historical, includes Social Assistance (stat) Summaries 2014 for ALL jurisdictions

-
* Welfare benefit levels, latest quarter - April - June 2017
+ other federal & provincial pensions and credits
* Non-governmental sites in Ontario - separate pages of links (see right column)

Also lower down on this page:

* Ontario Trillium Benefit
* Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy (November 2010)
* Ontario Consults On A More Secure Retirement (October 29, 2010)
* Special Diet Allowance
* The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario - incl. NGO critique/analysis
*
Annual Reports of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
* With Our Best Future in Mind:Implementing Early Learning in Ontario (June 2009)
* Early Learning and Child Care (May 6/05 federal-provincial agreement)
* Residential Tenancy Reform, Rent Reform (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing)
* Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
* Minimum wage in Ontario
* JobsNow and WCG International
* Accenture / Andersen Consulting - 20+ links to info about Andersen/Accenture's 1997-2002 contract with the Ontario government, the Business Transformation Project.

December 7, 2009

Canada Social Report

- includes (by province and territory) welfare incomes, poverty reduction strategies, # of welfare cases and beneficiaries, welfare program descriptions and much more!

Recommended resource from the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy.

 


See these related Canadian Social Research Links pages:

--- Guide to welfare in Ontario ("Welfare 101")
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [A-C]
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [D-N]
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [O-Z]
--- Review of social assistance in Ontario
--- The Ontario Special Diet Allowance
--- The Drummond Commission report
--- Drug testing people who apply for or receive welfare
--- Spouse-in-the-house (54) (welfare cohabitation rules for single people & single parents) 
--- Government Budget Links page - incl. Ontario budget links
--- Federal, provincial and territorial budgets - incl. Ontario budgets + analysis & critiques
--- Ontario anti-poverty strategies and poverty reduction
--- Early Learning and Child Care (for all Ontario ECD links)
--- Case Law / Court Decisions / Inquests
--- Provincial-Territorial Political Parties and Elections in Canada - incl. Ontario election links
--- Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients in Ontario/Canada/elsewhere
--- Gouvernement de l'Ontario - page d'accueil (version française)


Weekly Media Scan page (Income Security Advocacy Centre)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/isac_media_scan.htm

[ Toronto - Ontario - Canada - (some) international ]


Links to Ontario municipalities' websites
- from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario

 

 


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Social assistance / welfare in Ontario comprises two programs:
the Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works.

1. Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides, for eligible people with disabilities, financial assistance and other benefits and/or services to remove disability-related barriers to competitive employment.
*
ODSP Income Support Policy Directives - financial assistance
* ODSP Employment Supports Policy Directives - a continuum of supports intended to remove disability-related barriers to employment and lead to competitive employment.

---

2. Ontario Works (OW)
(General provisions applying to all municipalities/regions providing Ontario Works assistance)
Ontario Works provides financial and employment assistance for single people, couples with and without children, sole support parents, and people aged 60 to 64 years
* Ontario Works Policy Directives (welfare policy manual)

Ministry responsible:
Community and Social Services

---

City of Toronto : Ontario Works Directives (Specific OW policies regarding the application of Ontario Works in Toronto)
Click this link and then (on the next page) click "Policies and Procedures" in the left margin for Toronto's Ontario Works policy directives.

Source:
City of Toronto
http://www.toronto.ca/


See the grey box below to access the key welfare links in Ontario

See Guide to Welfare in Ontario
for more detailed information on how welfare works in Ontario.


Positive Changes to Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
http://incomesecurity.org/public-education/positive-changes-to-ow-and-odsp-changements-positifs-apportes-a-ot-et-au-posph/
October 19, 2017

The provincial government has announced a number of small but positive changes to Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Program (ODSP).
We have created a document that explains these changes and how they will affect people on OW and ODSP.

Download the complete document:
http://incomesecurity.org/publications/social-assistance-general/Positive-Rule-Changes-in-OW-and-ODSP-October-2017.docx
October 2017

Ten things to remember about the positive changes to OW and ODSP:
1. Increases to Liquid Asset Limits
2. Increases to Gifts / Voluntary Payment Limits
3. Increases to Compensation Award Limits
4. Exemption of Jury Duty Payments
5. Exemption of Charitable Donations
6. Increase to ODSP Disability-Related Employment Expenses
7. ODSP Transitional Health Benefit additions
8. CPP Disability and QPP Disability Child Benefits Exemption in ODSP
9. ODSP Rapid Reinstatement for Family Benefits recipients
10. ODSP Re-Application Process Improvements

-----------------------------------------------

Ontario News Release:

Ontario Boosting Social Assistance to Help People Get Ahead
Province Increasing Rates, Providing Extra Support for People in Remote and Northern Communities

https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2017/09/ontario-boosting-social-assistance-to-help-people-get-ahead.html
September 1, 2017
Ontario is making enhancements to the province's social assistance programs to help people reach their full potential and build fairer, more prosperous communities.
Improvements include a 2% increase in social assistance rates, an increase in the Remote Communities Allowance, an increase in the asset exemption limits, and more.

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/index.aspx

Ontario Helping Social Assistance Recipients Get Ahead:
Province Changing Compensation Award Exemption Rules
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2017/08/ontario-helping-social-assistance-recipients-get-ahead.html
August 11, 2017
Ontario is helping people who receive support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works by increasing the exemption limits on compensation awards for loss or injury in order to allow individuals to benefit more from these awards without reducing their income support.

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/index.aspx

New social assistance asset test welcome news
http://openpolicyontario.com/new-social-assistance-asset-test-welcome-news/
June 16, 2017
The 50 year experiment forcing welfare recipients and low income persons with disabilities into financial destitution finally appears to be over. In Charles Sousa’s Budget 2017, asset limits for single welfare recipients will be raised from $2,500 to $10,000 for a single person and to $11,000 for a lone parent with two children. Persons with disabilities will have their asset limits raised from $5,000 to $40,000 for singles and from $7,500 to $50,000 for couples. The amount families will be able to donate to family members receiving assistance will go from $6,000 a year to $10,000.
(...)
In the four years since 2013, policy analysts learned what the province of Quebec and Alberta and the states of Ohio, Illinois and Virginia had known for some time – that keeping recipients of social assistance in complete destitution does not save money.

Source:
Open Policy Ontario

http://openpolicyontario.com

Ont. announces $1.6B in funding, new strategy to increase access to child care
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ont-announces-1-6b-in-funding-new-strategy-to-increase-access-to-child-care-1.3447125
June 7, 2017 6:31AM EDT
TORONTO - Ontario is looking at ways to make child care more affordable for families in the province, announcing a framework the minister in charge calls a step toward universal child care. A new strategy aims to increase access to high-quality child care by funding new spaces, providing more funding for licensed home child care and offering more fee subsidies for families who need them.

Ontario’s minimum wage jumping to $15 in 2019
https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/05/30/ontarios-1140-minimum-wage-jumps-to-14-next-year-says-premier-kathleen-wynne.html
Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement Tuesday as part of a major overhaul of provincial laws. Minimum wage will jump from $11.40 an hour to $14 next year. (...) The wage will rise to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 — six months before what is expected to be a hotly contested Ontario election — and then to the $15 mark that labour groups have long demanded on Jan. 1, 2019. After that, wage increases will again be tied to the rate of inflation.

Source:
Toronto Star
https://www.thestar.com/

Welfare recipients see boost in asset limits in Ontario budget
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/welfare-recipients-see-boost-in-asset-limits-in-ontario-budget.html
The four-year $480 million investment will raise asset limits, boost exemptions for cash gifts and increase monthly benefits for more than 900,000 Ontarians who rely on Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP.)

Related coverage in the Toronto Star:
(all dated April 27, 2017)

Ontario Liberals unveil balanced budget that features free youth pharmacare plan
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/ontario-liberals-unveil-balanced-budget-that-features-free-youth-pharmacare-plan.html

Highlights from the 2017 Ontario budget
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/highlights-from-the-2017-ontario-budget.html

Winners and losers from the 2017 Ontario budget
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/winners-and-losers-from-the-2017-ontario-budget.html

A pre-pre-election budget to bolster Liberal fortunes: Cohn
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/a-pre-pre-election-budget-to-bolster-liberal-fortunes-cohn.html

Source:
Toronto Star
https://www.thestar.com/

---

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/assets.htm

Ontario Cutting Electricity Bills by 25 Per Cent
Province Introduces Legislation to Provide Lasting Relief for Households Across Province

https://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2017/05/ontario-cutting-electricity-bills-by-25-per-cent.html
News Release
May 11, 2017
Ontario has introduced legislation that would, if passed, lower electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for all residential customers to provide significant rate relief and ensure greater fairness. The proposed Fair Hydro Act, 2017 would result in lower electricity bills for all residential consumers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms, starting this summer. Lower-income Ontarians and those living in eligible rural communities would receive even greater reductions, as much as 40 to 50 per cent. As part of this plan, rate increases for four years would be held to the rate of inflation.

Background Information:

Ontario's Fair Hydro Act, 2017
[ http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2017/05/ontarios-fair-hydro-act-2017.html ]

Learn about Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan
[ https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-fair-hydro-plan ]

Read Premier Wynne’s statement announcing Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan
[ https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/03/premiers-statement-on-ontarios-fair-hydro-plan.html ]
March 2, 2017

Source:
Ministry of Energy
[ https://news.ontario.ca/mei/en ]

Ontario Budget 2017 - April 27, 2017
https://www.ontario.ca/page/budget-2017
- includes a summary of the key initiatives that are laid out in this year’s Budget

Welfare recipients see boost in asset limits in Ontario budget
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/27/welfare-recipients-see-boost-in-asset-limits-in-ontario-budget.html
Ontario’s budget will raise welfare rates by 2 per cent and boost asset limits and gift exemptions this year.

Ontario’s rent and housing reform: 16 big changes, explained in charts:
https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/toronto/ontario-housing-16-big-changes-explained-in-charts/article34757648/

Ontario to tackle soaring housing market with multipronged plan
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/the-market/ontario-housing-market-tax/article34757952/
The Globe and Mail
April 22, 2017

Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services update
http://mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/income_support/odsp_medical.aspx
April 5, 2017
Ontario is improving the medical review process to help Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients whose medical condition has not improved.
[ODSP = Ontario Disability Support Program]

Ontario ends onerous reviews for disabled people on welfare
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/04/05/ontario-ends-onerous-reviews-for-disabled-people-on-welfare.html
April 5, 2017

ISAC: New ODSP medical reviews start this month
http://incomesecurity.org/policy-advocacy/new-odsp-medical-reviews-start-this-month/
April 7, 2017

Advocate says Ontario’s social assistance programs need to do more (video, 30 minutes)
http://www.contextwithlornadueck.com/2017/04/05/episode-1614-canadas-working-poor/
Are economists feeling optimistic that the Canadian economy is showing its strongest growth since the summer of 2013? Not everyone is convinced sunny days are ahead. Sheldon Neil speaks to Amanda Lang on Canada's economy, and if the future really spells more money in your pocket.

[Ontario] Basic Income Pilot Consultation
https://www.ontario.ca/page/basic-income-pilot-consultation
Updated: March 16, 2017
Consultation status: Closed

From November 3, 2016 to January 31, 2017, we invited Ontarians to share their feedback online, in-person and through written submissions, on the design of a Basic Income Pilot. Read the report back to learn more about what we heard during the consultation. We are still in the process of designing the pilot, which we will launch in spring 2017. We are also continuing to work with Indigenous communities to tailor a culturally appropriate approach that reflects their advice and perspectives.

Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario
A discussion paper by Hugh D. Segal
https://www.ontario.ca/page/finding-better-way-basic-income-pilot-project-ontario#section-8
Using the Discussion Paper written by the Honourable Hugh Segal as a starting point, consultations were held across the province.

Basic income consultations: What We Heard
https://www.ontario.ca/page/basic-income-consultations-what-we-heard
* Ministers’ message
* Background
* What is basic income
* How the consultations worked
* Consultation findings at a glance
* What we heard
* Submissions to the Basic Income Pilot consultations


From Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:
[
http://www.incomesecurity.org/ ]

Ontario increasing mileage rates for social assistance recipients
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2017/01/ontario-increasing-mileage-rates-for-social-assistance-recipients.html
January 2017

ISAC: Full child support exemption for parents on Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) coming this month
http://incomesecurity.org/public-education/full-child-support-exemption-for-parents-on-ow-and-odsp-coming-this-month-exemption-complete-des-pensions-alimentaires-pour-enfants-des-ce-mois-ci/
January 2017


Avg. rents for studio/bachelor - 1-2-3 bedrooms

New report on rents in various communities across Canada
http://www.rentseeker.ca/blog/index.php/newly-updated-rental-data-shows-average-rents-for-20-canadian-cities/2917
News Release
September 14, 2016
By the RentSeeker Team
Canada’s Leading Real Estate Listing Website and Apartment Finder, published newly updated rental data in what’s become it’s [sic] highly popular Infographic format, which has become a popular resource for renters, landlords, economists, and journalists which shows Average Rent Prices for September 2016 with data provided for 20 Canadian cities. (Click the link above to select an apartment size and one of the 20 Canadian cities below, in no particular order.)

* Toronto : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Toronto.aspx * Lethbridge : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Lethbridge.aspx
   
* Ottawa : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Ottawa.aspx * Hamilton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Hamilton.aspx
   

* Calgary : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Calgary.aspx

* Mississauga : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Mississauga.aspx
   
* Montreal : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Montreal.aspx

Niagara Falls : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Niagara_Falls.aspx

   
* Edmonton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Edmonton.aspx

* Oshawa : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Oshawa.aspx

   

* Vancouver : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Vancouver.aspx

* Burnaby : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Burnaby.aspx

   

* Kingston : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Kingston.aspx

* Brampton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Brampton.aspx

   

* London : http://www.rentseeker.ca/London.aspx

* St. Catharines : http://www.rentseeker.ca/St._Catharines.aspx

   

* Sarnia : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Sarnia.aspx

* Halifax : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Halifax.aspx

   

* Windsor : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Windsor.aspx

 

Source:
RentSeeker.ca
– Canada’s Leading Real Estate Listing Website and Apartment Finder
http://www.rentseeker.ca/


Ontario Seeking Input on Basic Income Pilot
Province Launching Consultations on Innovative Way to Deliver Supports
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2016/11/ontario-seeking-input-on-basic-income-pilot.html
News Release
November 3, 2016
Ontario is seeking public input to help inform the design of a basic income pilot, which is an innovative new approach to providing income security.
The pilot would test whether a basic income is a more effective way of lifting people out of poverty and improving health, housing and employment outcomes. Through the consultations, Ontario is seeking input from across the province, including from people with lived experience, municipalities, experts and academics. The province will also work with Indigenous partners to tailor a culturally appropriate engagement process that reflects the advice and unique perspective of First Nations, urban Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities.
(...)

Basic Income Pilot: public survey
https://www.ontario.ca/form/basic-income-pilot-public-survey
We’re launching a pilot project to study how giving people a basic income might reduce poverty and improve health, housing and employment outcomes in Ontario. Click the "public survey" link above to access the online version of the survey. Complete the survey and submit it by January 31, 2017 to help us explore new ways to deliver income support across the province.

In June 2016, we asked the Honourable Hugh Segal for advice on the design of a Basic Income Pilot. Mr. Segal has submitted a discussion paper, Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot for Ontario, which we’re using as the starting point for this consultation.

Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario
A discussion paper by Hugh D Segal
.
HTML version : https://www.ontario.ca/page/finding-better-way-basic-income-pilot-project-ontario
PDF version (764KB, 101 pages) : https://files.ontario.ca/discussionpaper_nov3_english_final.pdf

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/

---

- Go to the Guaranteed Annual Income Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/gai.htm

Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Rates
and the Ontario Child Benefit – 2016

http://incomesecurity.org/public-education/ow-and-odsp-rates-and-the-ocb-2016
September 12, 2016
The provincial government increased Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates in the 2016 Ontario Budget. As in past years, we’ve created a rates sheet to give people an idea of what these increases really mean.

Our new rates sheet shows the new Basic Needs and Shelter rates, as well as the Ontario Child Benefit amounts, for different family types. We include the Ontario Child Benefit because it’s an important part of the total incomes of people on OW and ODSP who have children.
The rates sheet also explains the details of these increases, like how they’re being applied and to whom, and talks about increases being made to other benefits available inside OW and ODSP.
The increases come into effect on the September 30 OW and ODSP cheques.

Rates sheet:

Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Rates
and the Ontario Child Benefit – 2016
(Microsoft Word)
http://incomesecurity.org/publications/social-assistance-rates/OW-and-ODSP-rates-and-OCB-as-of-Sept-2016-ENGLISH.doc

Fiche des barèmes (Version française):

Hausses des barèmes d’Ontario au travail (OT) et du Programme ontarien de soutien aux personnes handicapées (POSPH) et de la POE à compter
du 30 sept. 2016
(fichier Microsoft Word)
http://incomesecurity.org/publications/social-assistance-rates/OW-and-ODSP-rates-and-OCB-as-of-Sept-2016-FRENCH.doc

Ontario Throne Speech Announced for September 12, 2016 :
All Government Bills to be Reintroduced This Fall

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2016/09/throne-speech-announced-for-september-12-2016.html
September 8, 2016

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, accepted the Premier's advice to prorogue the legislature as of 12 p.m. today. The Lieutenant Governor will deliver a Speech from the Throne outlining the government's plans for the new session when the legislature convenes on September 12, 2016.

Premier Wynne said the government will reintroduce, this fall, all government bills that were before the legislature prior to prorogation, so that debate on them can continue.

Source:
Ontario Government News
https://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en

Related links:

Let’s break the cycle of endless studies and consultations
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/09/12/lets-break-the-cycle-of-endless-studies-and-consultations.html
By Mike Balkwill, provincial organizer with the Put Food in the Budget campaign ( http://www.putfoodinthebudget.ca/ ).

The Ontario Liberal government needs to act immediately by raising social assistance rates to levels that let people pay their rent and still live in health and dignity. (...) Almost a decade of empty discussions about “poverty reduction” has shown that consultation is a diversionary tactic to avoid tackling poverty.
(...)
In June 2016, the Ontario government announced two more policy development and consultation processes:
• An Income Security Reform Working Group to make recommendations in June 2017 that would be the basis of further consultation.
• A Basic Income Pilot Project to be the basis of consultation in the coming fall and winter, with a proposed start in June 2017.

Source:
Toronto Star
https://www.thestar.com

Summoning and proroguing the Ontario legislature
http://www.lgontario.ca/en/crown/Pages/crown-in-parliament.aspx

---

Ontario throne speech promises electricity bill rebates
Provincial government also promises to create 100,000 child-care spaces

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-government-throne-speech-electricity-rates-1.3758002

CBC News
Posted: September 12, 2016

Six Ontario cities chosen as sites for anti-poverty case studies, to inform national poverty reduction strategy
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/09/02/six-cities-chosen-as-test-sites-for-national-anti-poverty-strategy_n_11836624.html
(...) The project will see federal officials run case studies in Saint John, Trois-Rivières, Que., Toronto, Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Tisdale, Sask., which was chosen so federal officials would have a rural community to test ideas.

Related link:

The Government of Canada announces the Tackling Poverty Together Project
Saint John, New Brunswick: first community to be studied

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1119579
September 2, 2016

Ontario Throne Speech Announced for September 12, 2016 :
All Government Bills to be Reintroduced This Fall

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2016/09/throne-speech-announced-for-september-12-2016.html
September 8, 2016

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, accepted the Premier's advice to prorogue the legislature as of 12 p.m. today. The Lieutenant Governor will deliver a Speech from the Throne outlining the government's plans for the new session when the legislature convenes on September 12, 2016.

Premier Wynne said the government will reintroduce, this fall, all government bills that were before the legislature prior to prorogation, so that debate on them can continue.

Source:
Ontario Government News
https://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en

Related link:

Summoning and proroguing the Ontario legislature
http://www.lgontario.ca/en/crown/Pages/crown-in-parliament.aspx?_ga=1.49474534.1901112743.1473359451#summon-convoquer

Ontario guaranteed-income pilot moves ahead with new report
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/minimum-income-hugh-segal-ontario-budget-1.3740373
August 30, 2016
Briefing note for federal minister raises red flags about guaranteed-income programs, including costs.
---
The long-debated idea of a guaranteed minimum annual income for Canadians moves a small step closer to reality this week. Former Conservative senator Hugh Segal delivers a report this week on how the "basic income pilot" announced in Ontario's February budget might work. The Ontario government earmarked $25 million this fiscal year to establish a pilot project in the province sometime before April 2017, and appointed Segal in late June as an unpaid special adviser.

Source : CBC
http://www.cbc.ca/news

Related links from the CBC:

Guaranteed annual income could affect job creation, wages
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/guaranteed-annual-income-opinion-1.3547324

Canada child benefit seen as fighting poverty — as long as provinces co-operate
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ccb-social-assistance-clawback-provinces-campaign-2000-1.3675873

Swiss voters overwhelmingly reject proposal for unconditional basic income
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ccb-social-assistance-clawback-provinces-campaign-2000-1.3675873

Majority Of Canadians Support Idea Of Basic Income Welfare System; But Not Higher Taxes To Pay For It
http://www.thetide.ca/news/1281540949/majority-canadians-support-idea-basic-income-welfare-system-not-higher-taxes-pay-it
August 30, 2016
A significant majority of Canadians support the idea of a basic income welfare system, according to a poll from Angus Reid. However, almost six in ten believe it would be too expensive to put realistically function. Furthermore, only 34% would be willing to pay higher taxes to support a basic income program.

Basic Income? Basically unaffordable, say most Canadians
http://angusreid.org/guaranteed-income/
Two in three say a basic income program would discourage people from working
August 11, 2016 – As governments across the country and around the world mull the concept of a basic income for all their citizens, a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians broadly supportive of the idea, and receptive to the two most-commonly cited arguments in favour of basic income programs: that they would streamline welfare systems, and provide greater security for workers whose jobs are threatened by improvements in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Basic income? How about basic services?
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/07/19/basic-income-how-about-basic-services.html
By Armine Yalnizyan
July 19, 2016
Could a provincial basic income approach federal levels of income support, knowing even $15,000 a year is far below the poverty line for a single person?
Basic math shows this is unlikely. Anyone working under 25 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, at the minimum wage ($11.40) is better off not working — not a strong government objective. But it’s also a safe bet that a basic income pilot proposing an amount far less than the poverty line is a political non-starter. So, how could we use this initiative to create a policy win? By expanding the public services from which anyone can benefit, irrespective of the amount or source of income.

Source:
Toronto Star
https://www.thestar.com/

Related link:

Ontario Moving Forward with Basic Income Pilot:
Province Appoints Special Advisor Hugh Segal

https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2016/06/ontario-moving-forward-with-basic-income-pilot.html
News Release
June 24, 2016
The province has appointed the Honourable Hugh Segal to provide advice on the design and implementation of a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario, as announced in the 2016 Budget. Basic income, or guaranteed annual income, is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum level of income. Ontario will design and implement a pilot program to test the growing view that a basic income could help deliver income support more efficiently, while improving health, employment and housing outcomes for Ontarians.

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/

Report shows Ontario’s new social assistance SAMS computer system is a health and safety disaster
https://opseu.org/news/sams-health-and-safety-disaster-report
July 20, 2016

Ontario Establishing Income Security Reform Working Group
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2016/06/ontario-establishing-income-security-reform-working-group.html
Bulletin
June 29, 2016
Ontario has established an Income Security Reform Working Group to help guide the province's efforts to reduce poverty, support people in their efforts to participate in the economy, and provide services in a way that makes sense to the people who need them.

The province is working to move away from a complex system of social assistance, to a more holistic, client-centred approach to a broader income security system. The working group will build on work already underway and provide advice to government on social assistance reform, income security, and supports for housing, health and employment. The Basic Income Pilot announced in the 2016 Budget will help inform this work.

George Thomson, Senior Director of the National Judicial Institute and former Ontario Provincial Court Judge, who also chaired the Ontario Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform, will act as the Income Security Working Group’s facilitator.

Membership of Ontario's Income Security Reform Working Group
Backgrounder
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2016/06/membership-of-ontarios-income-security-reform-working-group.html
June 29, 2016

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/index.aspx

Related link:

Provincial panel to draft welfare reform roadmap
https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/06/29/provincial-panel-to-draft-welfare-reform-roadmap.html
June 29, 2016

---

- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty_ontario.htm

Ontario Ensuring that Vulnerable Families Keep Child Support Payments
http://www.theasianconnectionsnewspaper.com/ontario-ensuring-that-vulnerable-families-keep-child-support-payments/
News Release
June 29, 2016
As part of Ontario's ongoing work to reform income security and combat child poverty, the province is ending the clawback of child support payments from social assistance. Starting in early 2017, child support payments will be fully exempt from social assistance benefit calculations to help increase incomes for families who receive both social assistance and child support. Currently, child support payments are treated as income and deducted dollar-for-dollar from benefits.

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/

Ontario Pension Plan Act changes welcomed:
http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2016/06/07/ontario-pension-plan-act-changes-welcomed
June 7, 2016
Ken Renshaw has already tucked away an RRSP for his retirement.
But news that the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (ORPP) – Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians – passed at Queen's Park last week gives Renshaw and his generation reason to be optimistic about their future.
(...)
ORPP was created to bring financial security and drive economic growth by giving Ontario workers a predictable stream of income in retirement. ORPP is also constructed to offer survivor benefits for all plan members.

---

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/15o05

Version française:

Loi sur le Régime de retraite de le Province de l'Ontario
https://www.ontario.ca/fr/lois/loi/15o05

---

Province passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act
https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2016/06/province-passes-ontario-retirement-pension-plan-act.html
June 2016

CPP reform should target middle-income Canadians should be target of CPP reform, says business and youth coalition
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cpp-reform-should-target-middle-income-canadians-coalition-argues/article30227426/

Fraser Institute report says expanding the CPP won’t help Canada’s most vulnerable seniors
http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/expanding-the-cpp-wont-help-canadas-most-vulnerable-seniors

Defense Minister Sajjan says veterans’ pensions are “a top priority”
http://www.hilltimes.com/2016/05/30/sajjan-says-veterans-pensions-a-top-priority-mps-getting-pensions-several-times-bigger-than-veterans-with-similar-tenures/65522

Defense Minister Sajjan says veterans’ pensions are “a top priority”
http://www.hilltimes.com/2016/05/30/sajjan-says-veterans-pensions-a-top-priority-mps-getting-pensions-several-times-bigger-than-veterans-with-similar-tenures/65522
May 30, 2016

Ontario Renovating More Than 300 Long-Term Care Homes;
Province Investing in Renovations to Improve Care and Comfort for Residents

https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/04/ontario-renovating-more-than-300-long-term-care-homes.html
News Release
April 4, 2016
Ontario is investing in long-term care homes to improve the quality of care and comfort of residents.
Today, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dipika Damerla visited Stouffville's Bloomington Cove Care Community, where more than 30 resident spaces will be upgraded. This is one of more than 300 long-term care homes that will be upgraded over the next nine years and are eligible to receive a construction funding subsidy.

Additional Resources:

How to find and apply to a long-term care home
https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-long-term-care-home

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ms/ecfa/healthy_change/

Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care (PDF)
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ccac/roadmap.pdf

Source:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en

---

- Go to the Seniors (Social Research) Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/seniors.htm

NEW from the
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
:
[ https://news.ontario.ca/mah/en ]

Ontario Transforming Housing and Homelessness System
Province Announces Update to Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy

https://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2016/03/ontario-transforming-housing-and-homelessness-system.html
March 14, 2016
Ontario is introducing a suite of legislative and policy measures, and investing $178 million over three years, to ensure that the people of Ontario have access to affordable and adequate housing and to help them secure employment, raise a family and build strong communities.

Background Information:

Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update
https://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2016/03/long-term-affordable-housing-strategy-update.html

Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page9181.aspx

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
https://www.ontario.ca/page/realizing-our-potential-ontarios-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019

A Place to Call Home: Report of the Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness [PDF]
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=11038

Province Strengthens End-Of-Life Care With $75 Million Investment:
Ontario Developing Comprehensive Strategy on Palliative and End-Of-Life Care

https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/03/province-strengthens-end-of-life-care-with-75-million-investment.html
News Release
March 11, 2016
As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is proposing to invest an additional $75 million over three years to provide patients with more options and access to palliative and end-of-life care.

Additional Resources:

* Palliative and End-of-Life Care Provincial Roundtable Report
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/palliative/default.aspx

* Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/1ms/ecfa/healthy_change/

* Ontario’s Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ccac/roadmap.pdf

* Hospice Palliative Care Ontario
http://www.hpco.ca/

Ontario Budget 2016 (February 25, 2016)

Ontario's Investments Creating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow
https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2016/02/ontarios-investments-creating-jobs-for-today-and-tomorrow.html
Government Continues with its Plan to Grow the Economy, Create Jobs and Balance the Budget in 2017–18
News Release
February 25, 20166

---

From the
Ontario Ministry of Finance:
( http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/index.html )

2016 Ontario Budget:
Jobs for Today and Tomorrow

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2016/
- includes links to all budget documents

2016 Budget Highlights
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2016/budhi.html

---

Ontario Budget 2016: Key Highlights From Liberals' Spending Plan
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/25/ontario-budget-2016-highlights_n_9320274.html
February 25, 2016

Source:
Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

---

Ontario budget 2016: Low-income seniors, students get relief
Cost of some everyday items expected to go up

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-budget-1.3464504
By Andrea Janus
February 25, 2016

Source:
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

---

Highlights of the 2016 Ontario budget
A $133.9-billion spending plan with a $4.3 billion deficit – the provincial debt is $296.1 billion.
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/02/25/highlights-of-the-2016-ontario-budget.html

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

---

From
John Stapleton:

A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario
http://openpolicyontario.com/a-robin-hood-budget-for-2016-in-ontario/
February 26, 2016
Here are John's "idiosyncratic" top ten observations on Ontario’s Robin Hood Budget of 2016 read from back to front but delivered in no particular order:
1. A Basic Income experiment
2. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)
3. Child Activity Tax Credit demolition
4. A Portable Housing Benefit
5. Re-announcing the municipal upload
6. The ominous sounding ‘Digital by Default’ policy
7. OSAP changes to help low income students
8. Social Assistance Reform
9. A child support exemption on social assistance
10. Employment programs for adults with disabilities

Increasing Support for People Receiving Social Assistance
Ontario Invests $100 Million to Help Vulnerable Ontarians
https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2015/11/increasing-support-for-people-receiving-social-assistance-1.html
News Release
November 3, 2015
This fall, the social assistance rate increases announced in the 2015 Budget came into effect, including:
*
$25 more per month for single adults receiving Ontario Works who don’t have children, for a total monthly increase of $75 since 2013
* One per cent more for families receiving Ontario Works
* One per cent more for people with disabilities who access the Ontario Disability Support Program
* One per cent more for various other rates, including the Remote Communities Allowance and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities.

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/

Ontario Commits to Ending Chronic Homelessness in 10 Years
Province Releases Report from Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness

http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/10/report-of-the-expert-advisory-panel-on-homelessness.html
News Release
October 28, 2015
Ontario is moving ahead with an ambitious target to end chronic homelessness in 10 years and is implementing recommendations from an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness.

Complete report:

A Place to Call Home:
Report of the Advisory Panel on Homelessness
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=11038 (PDF - 2MB, 80 pages)

The following key themes have emerged through these discussions:
1. An Ontario definition must be inclusive and comprehensive
2. One size does not fit all
3. Most homelessness is hidden homelessness
4. Homelessness prevention is important
5. Youth homelessness is a pressing issue
6. Aboriginal Peoples are overrepresented
7. Chronic homelessness is an urgent problem
8. Institutional transition points are a systemic problem
9. Race plays a role when it comes to homelessness
10. Cultural sensitivity and awareness are needed
11. Collaboration is key
12. Communities need capacity

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/index.htm

---

Related links:

Premier Wynne Government Vows to End Homelessness in Ontario
http://www.netnewsledger.com/2015/10/28/premier-wynne-government-vows-to-end-homelessness-in-ontario/
October 28, 2015
(...)
On January 2015, Ontario established an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness to provide advice on how to achieve the goal of ending homelessness under the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Panel’s report acknowledges that homelessness is complex, and that progressive action is required to address it. In response, Ontario is committing to a number of immediate and long-term actions,

Source:
NetNewsLedger

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

---

Additional Resources:

* Report of the Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness [PDF]
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=11038

* Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness
http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/01/expert-advisory-panel-on-homelessness-members.html

* Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
http://www.ontario.ca/home-and-community/realizing-our-potential-ontarios-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019

* Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page9181.aspx

Premier Releases Details of Ontario Retirement Pension Plan
Province Moving to Close the Gap in Retirement Savings

http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2015/08/premier-releases-details-of-ontario-retirement-pension-plan.html
News Release
August 11, 2015
Premier Kathleen Wynne today announced key details in the design of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). The ORPP would help close the retirement savings gap for the two out of three Ontarians who do not have a secure workplace pension plan.

Related link:

Backgrounder : The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan
Comparability, Phase-in and Benefits

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/08/the-ontario-retirement-pension-plan.html
August 11, 2015

Source:
Ontario Government News Service

http://news.ontario.ca/archive/en

Two studies, two different takes on Ontario’s
new pension plan as province plans to announce details
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/ontario-pension-plan-draws-more-mixed-reviews-as-premier-readies-to-release-more-details
By Ashley Csanady
August 11, 2015
The province was to announce Tuesday some long-awaited details about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), which will likely include more information as to who will be exempted and how the program will be phased in. The news lands the same day as the Fraser Institute and the Mowat Centre release competing papers on retirement security.

----------------------------------------------------------


New from
The Fraser Institute:

[
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/ ]

Lessons for Ontario and Canada from Forced
Retirement Saving Mandates in Australia
(PDF - 675K, 16 pages)
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/lessons-for-ontario-and-canada-from-forced-retirement-saving-mandates-in-australia.pdf

----------------------------------------------------------

New from
The Mowat Centre:
[
http://mowatcentre.ca ]

Lower Risk, Higher Reward: Renewing Canada’s Retirement Income System (PDF - 1MB, 43 pages)
http://social-architecture.ca/wp-content/uploads/LowerRiskHigherReward.pdf

News Release
http://mowatcentre.ca/lower-risk-higher-reward-canadas-retirement-income-system/
August 11, 2015
By Tyler Meredith
Historically, Canada’s retirement income system (RIS) has done a fairly good job of ensuring that seniors have sufficient sources of savings and income in order to avoid poverty and enjoy a standard of living comparable to that during their working lives.

---

- Go to the Pension Reforms Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

Related media coverage:

Ottawa slammed for refusing to help run Ontario pension plan:
Finance minister says many Ontario workers will need help in retirement, noting that Stephen Harper’s ‘gold-plated pension plan’ is secure.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/30/charles-sousa-slams-ottawa-for-refusing-to-help-run-ontario-pension-plan.html
By Rob Ferguson
July 30, 2015

Fraser Institute says the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan will “reduce choice and bring little benefit”
http://www.thesudburystar.com/2015/07/28/column-ontario-pension-plan-will-reduce-choice-and-bring-little-benefit
July 30, 2015

CCPA-Ontario: Fraser Institute report misses the mark on retirement security
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/07/30/fraser-institute-report-misses-the-mark-on-retirement-security-2/
July 30, 2015

---

Related link (ON Govt.):
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

http://www.ontario.ca/government/ontario-retirement-pension-plan

Government Increasing Ontario Child Benefit to Help 500,000 Families:
Province Supporting Families and Reducing Child Poverty

http://news.ontario.ca/mcys/en/2015/06/government-increasing-ontario-child-benefit-to-help-500000-families.html
News Release
June 18, 2015
Ontario is increasing its maximum monthly Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) payment to help eligible families with the cost of raising children. The OCB supports about 500,000 families across Ontario. Tying future increases to the Ontario Consumer Price Index will ensure that the OCB keeps pace with inflation now and in the future. The OCB provides direct financial support to low- to moderate-income families with children under the age of 18.

Starting July 1, 2015, the OCB, which supports about one million children in Ontario, will be increased to a maximum of $1,336 per child, per year --- that's an increase of $26 per child PER YEAR.
That's fifty cents a week per child.
"Don't spend it all in the same place."

Small wonder the amount of the pitiful OCB increase doesn't appear anywhere on the news release - I found the old amount on this Ontario govt. rates page:
[ http://goo.gl/A4OVpN ] --- Click this link, then check the left margin for "Ontario Child Benefit"

Source:
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/index.aspx

From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre :
[ http://www.incomesecurity.org/ ]

Change Coming to ODSP Medical Reviews
Government announces rethink of flawed process

http://goo.gl/u6aK6d
May 16, 2015
In a welcome change of direction, the government has just announced that they are rethinking the way that ODSP medical reviews are done.

---------------------------------------

Related link from
the Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/

Ontario to rethink disability welfare reviews
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/05/16/ontario-to-rethink-disability-welfare-reviews.html
By Laurie Monsebraaten
May 16, 2015
Queen’s Park is reversing an aggressive plan to clear a backlog of more than 60,000 medical reviews for people on disability welfare after advocates warned it would be a waste of public funds and put vulnerable Ontarians at risk.

Bill Strengthening Retirement Security for Millions of Workers Passes in Ontario Legislature:
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan to Become Law
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/04/bill-strengthening-retirement-security-for-millions-of-workers-passes-in-ontario-legislature.html
News Release
April 29, 2015
Ontario is one step closer to establishing a strong and secure Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP).

[ More info re. ORPP from Ontario Budget 2014 : http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/ch4.html ]
[ More info re. ORPP from Ontario Budget 2015 : http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/bk6.html ]

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 [ http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/ontario-retirement-pension-plan-act-2014.html ] has been approved by the Ontario Legislature. The Act forms the foundation of the ORPP, which the government will put in place by January 1, 2017.

Ontario has held extensive consultations across the province with business, labour, associations, young workers, pension experts, individuals and families to ensure that the government creates the best plan for the people of Ontario. Once established, the ORPP will be the first of its kind in Canada, building on key features of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) [ http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/cpp/index.shtml ] .

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/

---

Background Information:

* Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/pooled-registered-pension-plans.html

* The Retirement Savings Gap
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/the-retirement-savings-gap.html

* Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/ontario-retirement-pension-plan-act-2014.html

Read about the province’s plans to strengthen retirement security in Ontario in the 2014 budget
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/fallstatement/2014/chapter1e.html

Building Ontario Up:
2015 Ontario Budget
April 23, 2015

From the
Ontario Ministry of Finance:
[ http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en ]

Budget 2015 Makes Largest Infrastructure Investment in Ontario's History
Government Is Building Ontario Up, Growing the Economy and Creating Jobs

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/04/budget-2015-makes-largest-infrastructure-investment-in-ontarios-history.html
News Release
April 23, 2015 4:10 P.M.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa today released the 2015 Budget, which makes possible an unprecedented investment in infrastructure to support economic growth and new jobs. The Budget acts on the government's commitment to finding more innovative ways to grow the economy while maintaining the vital public services that families and communities rely on. This includes unlocking the value of provincial assets to support the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history.

Building Ontario Up:
2015 Ontario Budget
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/
- main budget page, includes links to all budget papers, backgrounders and other related content (incl. selected links to specific budget documents appearing below)

The Complete 2015 Ontario Budget
HTML version : http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/papers_all.html
PDF version
(3.4MB, 426 pages) : http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/papers_all.pdf

Budget 2015 Highlights
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2015/budhi.html
* Infrastructure: The Largest Investment in Ontario’s History
* Partnering with Business to Create Jobs
* Developing a Highly Skilled Workforce
* A Fair Society: Living and Working in Ontario
* Managing Responsibly

-----------------------------------

Review and Analysis

From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:

Budget 2015:
Not Much Assistance for Social Assistance
http://goo.gl/MYKw1E
April 24, 2015 – Ontario’s 2015 Budget provides very little assistance to people relying on the low incomes provided by the province’s two social assistance programs, Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

---

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

[ http://www.policyalternatives.ca/ ]

Ontario Budget 2015: Kicks the can on fixing Ontario’s real problems
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/04/23/ontario-budget-2015-kicks-the-can-on-fixing-ontarios-real-problems/
By Sheila Block and Kaylie Tiessen
April 23, 2015
CCPA-Ontario's economists Sheila Block, Kaylie Tiessen, and Hugh Mackenzie emerged from the April 23 Ontario budget lock up with this assessment: it's a procrastinator's budget – one that kicks the can down the road on fixing Ontario's revenue problem and on making needed public service investments.

Ontario Budget 2015 – throwing everything but infrastructure under the bus.
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/04/23/ontario-budget-2015-throwing-everything-but-infrastructure-under-the-bus/
April 23, 2015
By Hugh Mackenzie

Source:
Behind the Numbers
http://behindthenumbers.ca/
Behind the Numbers is the blog of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
(CCPA National Office):
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Authors Sheila Block, Kaylie Tiessen, and Hugh Mackenzie are economists with CCPA-Ontario.

CCPA-Ontario
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/ontario

---

Condo reforms, winter tires discounts and OSAP changes:
20 things to know about Ontario's 2015 budget

http://goo.gl/4HV8ND
April 24, 2015
Source:
National Post

[ http://www.nationalpost.com/ ]

Ontario ’s 2015 budget is an exercise in wishful thinking
http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/ontarios-2015-budget-is-an-exercise-in-wishful-thinking
April 24, 2015

Source:
Financial Post

http://www.financialpost.com/index.html

From Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat:
http://news.ontario.ca/tbs/en

Local Poverty Reduction Fund to Support Community-Driven Solutions:
New Fund Taps into Grassroots Initiatives

http://news.ontario.ca/tbs/en/2015/04/local-poverty-reduction-fund-to-support-community-driven-solutions.html
News Release
April 7, 2015
Ontario is investing $50 million to support grassroots community partners in lifting people and families out of poverty.
The Local Poverty Reduction Fund will support innovative local solutions and help community organizations demonstrate their progress, evaluate their programs and build a collective body of evidence of poverty reduction initiatives that work.

Backgrounder
http://news.ontario.ca/tbs/en/2015/04/ontarios-local-poverty-reduction-fund.html

April 7, 2015
The Local Poverty Reduction Fund will support innovative local solutions and help community organizations demonstrate their progress, evaluate their programs and build a collective body of evidence of poverty reduction initiatives that work.
The fund is available to a wide range of groups...

---

- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty_ontario.htm

Ontario Allocates $587 Million to Help End Homelessness:
Building on Success of the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative
http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/03/ontario-allocates-587-million-to-help-end-homelessness.html
News Release
March 30, 2015
Ontario is partnering with municipalities across the province to prevent and address homelessness. Through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative, the province is providing $587 million to municipalities to help families and individuals at risk of homelessness get the housing that best suits their needs. This funding will enable communities to offer a wider range of services to meet their local needs, including:
* Setting up emergency shelters for people in crisis.
* Offering homelessness prevention programs like providing emergency financial assistance to prevent eviction.
* Providing a mix of long-term and transitional housing.
* Other support services like street outreach, food banks and transportation.

Source:
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/index.htm

---

From the
Toronto Star:

Ontario puts $587 million toward ‘ending homelessness’ :
The Liberal government plan will give Toronto $223 million to combat homelessness.
The province says its homelessness prevention program has found housing for 33,000 people.
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/03/30/ontario-puts-587-million-toward-goal-of-ending-homelessness.html
By Richard J. Brennan
March 30 2015
This spring’s budget will commit the Liberals to spending $587 million over the next two years to combat homelessness, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin says.

---

Fixing Toronto’s broken public housing system would help us all: Editorial
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/03/31/fixing-torontos-broken-public-housing-system-would-help-us-all-editorial.html
A report (see next link below) on the crushing repair backlog at Toronto Community Housing shows that fixing it would generate thousands of jobs and billions of tax dollars.
March 31, 2015

Report:
Socio-Economic Analysis : Value of Toronto Community Housing’s
10-Year Capital Investment Plan and Revitalization Research Report
(PDF - 4.8MB, 109 pages)
http://www.torontohousing.ca/webfm_send/11430
March 2015

Ontario’s legal aid system gets some well-targeted help: Ontario announces
$4.2 million for cash-starved legal aid clinics, with an equal amount to come next year.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/03/22/ontarios-legal-aid-system-gets-some-well-targeted-help-editorial.html
Editorial
March 22, 2015
Ontario has the best legal aid system in the country. Unfortunately, that’s faint praise: the province’s 76 legal aid clinics operate on shoestring, forcing the public-spirited lawyers who serve Ontario’s poorest residents to turn away clients, work punishing hours and skimp on everything from office supplies to support staff.
The cash-starved clinics have finally received some good news: Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) announced a $4.2-million boost in their funding.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

Related Links:

Legal Aid Ontario
http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/

Ministry of the Auditor General
http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/

Ontario Ministry of Labour Minimum Wage - Revised March 19, 2015
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/minwage.php

Ontario to raise minimum wage starting Oct. 1
http://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-to-raise-minimum-wage-starting-oct-1-1.2287558
March 19, 2015
Ontario's minimum wage will rise to $11.25 an hour starting Oct. 1, making it the second-highest rate in the country after the Northwest Territories.
The Liberal government enacted legislation in the fall that tied minimum wage to inflation, so every year the new rate will be announced by April 1 to take effect that October.

Source:
CP24
http://www.cp24.com/

Related link:

Current And Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates For Experienced Adult Workers in Canada
http://srv116.services.gc.ca/dimt-wid/sm-mw/rpt1.aspx?lang=eng
Source:
Canada's Labour Program
http://www.labour.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml

Ontario Launches Online Consultation Tool:
Ontarians Invited to Have Their Say on Provincial Priorities
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/02/ontario-launches-online-consultation-tool.html
February 10, 2015
The province has launched an online tool [see below] that gives the public the opportunity to provide input and ideas on how the government should deliver on Ontarians' priorities while meeting fiscal savings targets. The new online consultation builds on the annual pre-budget consultations [ http://goo.gl/5Fwimi ] by providing Ontarians with an opportunity to discuss with the government - and with each other - what's important to them and how they would like to see public dollars spent.

Pre-budget consultations began on January 19, 2015 and will run until mid-February 2015.
---
Comment (by Gilles):
The Ontario news alert (above) is dated February 10, 2015.
The consultations end in mid-February, five days after dissemination of the above news alert.
Kinda tight, as time frames go, eh?

Source:
Ontario Government Newsroom
http://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en

---

Budget Talks 2015:
The Ontario Budget lays out the government’s priorities.
https://talk.ontario.ca/
The government has a four-part economic plan that is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
Every year, we reach out Ontarians to hear about their priorities and learn what is most important to them.

Have your say!
https://talk.ontario.ca/home

Additional resources:

* Ontario Budget Basics:
http://www.ontario.ca/government/ontario-budget-basics

* 2014 Budget:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/index.html

* Public Accounts:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/paccts/2014/

Ontario Appoints Panel to Look at Ending Long-term Homelessness:
Province Taking Steps to address Homelessness

http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/01/ontario-appoints-panel-to-look-at-ending-long-term-homelessness.html
News Release
January 26, 2015
Ontario is taking an important step to help break the cycle of poverty by establishing an Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness. The government's new Poverty Reduction Strategy is focused on achieving better outcomes for Ontarians living in poverty such as employment opportunities, income supports, education and housing. As part of this strategy, Ontario set a bold long-term goal to end homelessness. The province will work with this new panel to get practical advice on how to best approach this goal, beginning with ways to define and measure homelessness.

Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness Members
http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/01/expert-advisory-panel-on-homelessness-members.html

Source:
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/index.htm

Related links:

Realizing Our Potential: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy (2014-2019)
http://www.ontario.ca/home-and-community/realizing-our-potential-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019
[Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy Home Page]

Realizing Our Potential:
Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (2014-2019)
HTML version :
http://www.ontario.ca/home-and-community/realizing-our-potential-ontarios-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019
PDF version (4MB, 52 pages) : https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net/documents/3384/en-prs-bklt-aug-28th-approved-final-s.pdf
E-Book version : http://www.ontario.ca/home-and-community/realizing-our-potential-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019-0

Ministry of Children and Youth Services
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/

Government of Ontario
http://www.ontario.ca/

---

- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty_ontario.htm

Ontario Helps Over 25,000 Young People Through the Youth Employment Fund:
Fund Provides Young People with Valuable Work Experience
http://news.ontario.ca/tcu/en/2015/01/ontario-helps-over-25000-young-people-through-the-youth-employment-fund.html
News Release
January 27, 2015
Ontario's Youth Employment Fund [ http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employmentontario/youthfund/ ] has exceeded its initial goal by helping more than 25,000 young people access job opportunities, develop skills and gain valuable work experience.

The Youth Employment Fund provides up to $7,800 to support each young worker, including up to $6,800 for wages and training, and up to $1,000 for other costs like tools and transportation to work.

As part of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy [ http://www.ontario.ca/jobs-and-employment/making-impact-youth-jobs-strategy ] , the fund helps employers offer four- to six-month job placements for youth aged 15-29 who are looking for work, particularly those facing multiple barriers to employment. Since its launch in September 2013, the program has helped 26,582 youth. Eighty five per cent of youth who have participated in the program have either been retained or gone on to further employment elsewhere.

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/

Related links:

Search for Youth Jobs Programs
https://www.ontario.ca/business-and-economy/youth-jobs-programs

Employment Ontario
http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employmentontario/

Ontario Employment programs for people under 30
http://www.ontario.ca/jobs-and-employment/employment-programs-people-under-30
If you are under the age of 30, we have programs and tools to help you build skills, start a business, or find work.

Ontario Government's Plan Is Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future
Province Taking a Balanced Path to Achieve a Balanced Budget by 2017–18 In Fair, Fiscally Responsible Manner

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/11/ontario-governments-plan-is-building-opportunity-securing-our-future.html
News Release
November 17, 2014
Ontario is moving forward with its economic plan to grow the economy and create jobs. The government is committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18, and will do so in a way that is both fiscally responsible and fair.

Source:
Ontario Government News

http://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en

From the
Ontario Government Newsroom:

Province Passes Legislation to Increase Minimum Wage:
Ontario Strengthening Protections for Vulnerable Workers
http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2014/11/province-passes-legislation-to-increase-minimum-wage.html
November 6, 2014
Today, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 [ http://goo.gl/NqDY2j ], passed third reading with all party support in the Ontario legislature. The new act supports Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy [ http://goo.gl/4y5y2o ], and is designed to further increase protections for vulnerable workers.

The act will help workers by:
* Tying future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index for Ontario which will be announced by April of each year, and come into effect on Oct.1
* Ensuring Occupational Health and Safety Act coverage for unpaid co-op students and other unpaid learners , which will give them protection under the OHSA such as the right to know about workplace hazards and the right to refuse unsafe work
* Eliminating the $10,000 cap on the recovery of unpaid wages through Ministry of Labour orders to pay and increasing the period of recovery to two years
* Expanding employment protections to cover all foreign employees who come to Ontario under an immigration or foreign temporary employee program
* Holding temporary help agencies and their employer clients accountable for certain employment standards violations, such as failure to pay regular wages, overtime pay, and public holiday entitlements.

---

Related link:

Report and Recommendations to the Minister of Labour:
2014 Minimum Wage Advisory Panel

HTML version : http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/mwap/index.php
PDF version (2.3MB, 91 pages) : http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/mwap_report.pdf
January 27, 2014

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Labour
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/

2014 Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/mwap/index.php

More spin than substance in poverty reduction plan:
Deb Matthew unveils the latest Liberal poverty reduction plan, setting no targets and offering no money
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/09/09/more_spin_than_substance_in_poverty_reduction_plan_goar.html
Deputy Premier Deb Matthews unveiled a 56-page blueprint for fighting poverty in Ontario last week, which consisted of recycled promises, long-term goals, soothing language and self-congratulations
By Carol Goar
September 9, 2014
Anti-poverty advocates have learned to welcome crumbs from the Ontario Liberals. That is what they got in the five-year poverty reduction strategy unveiled by Deputy Premier Deb Matthews last week. The 56-page blueprint consisted of recycled promises, long-term goals, soothing language and self-congratulations (despite the fact she fell far short of her last five-year target.)

But social activists lauded the government for its good intentions, its comprehensive framework and its long-sought acknowledgement that homelessness is a provincial responsibility. They politely overlooked the fact that the minister did not raise welfare rates, did not provide a nutrition allowance, did not address the shortage of child care spaces and did not offer rent supplements. Do these advocates really speak for people living in poverty?
(...)
Deputy Premier Deb Matthews did not offer any new funding in her poverty reduction strategy. Nor did she set any measurable objectives.
In fairness, this is more than either of the opposition parties has offered to do. The Liberals have a vision of social justice. And they have made incremental progress since they took power in 2003. Is this reason enough to cheer? Social activists apparently think so. The 1.6 million Ontarians living in poverty still long for tangible help.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

---

Note regarding
Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy:

- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty_ontario.htm

Since May 2010, ALL links to content concerning poverty reduction strategies and campaigns in Ontario can be found at the link immediately above

Social Assistance Rates Update (eff. July/August 2014)
Ontario Works (OW) & Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
http://goo.gl/FIzfsc
The Income Security Advocacy Centre has prepared a new rates sheet that shows changes in OW and ODSP rates and OCB.
The new rates will be in effect between July / August 2014 and Sept / Oct 2014.

---

Rates Sheet : OW & ODSP Rates and OCB amounts
as of July / August 2014
(Microsoft Word file - 99K, 2 pages)
http://sareview.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OW-and-ODSP-rates-and-OCB-as-of-July-Aug-2014.doc

Version française du barème en vigueur en juillet et en août 2014 (fichier Word)
http://sareview.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OW-and-ODSP-rates-and-OCB-as-of-July-Aug-2014-french.doc

Ontario Budget 2014 - July 14, 2014
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/
Main budget page, includes links to all budget documents (including some that appear below)

---

Building Ontario Up Today For A Brighter, Stronger Tomorrow:
2014 Ontario Budget Moves Forward With Plan to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy, Build Modern Transit and Infrastructure, and Help Ontarians with Their Retirement, While Balancing the Budget by 2017–18
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/7/building-ontario-up-today-for-a-brighter-stronger-tomorrow.html
News Release
July 14, 2014
- includes detailed Budget highlights

---

Budget Speech
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/statement.html

---

Detailed (hyperlinked) Table of Contents for the 2014 Budget
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/papers_all.html

Excerpt (re. Social Assistance Review):

Progress on Implementing Recommendations of the
Lankin-Sheikh Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario:

With the initial steps taken in the 2013 Budget and the proposed changes for 2014, the government continues to transform the social assistance system by increasing benefits for recipients with the lowest level of support, harmonizing program rules and reducing barriers to employment.Progress on transforming the social assistance benefit structure in the first two years includes:Increasing the support for single Ontario Works recipients without children by $50 per month — an important step in meeting the Commission’s recommendation of a $100 rate increase for Ontario Works single adults without children, who experience the lowest level of support in social assistance;
Introducing an earnings exemption of $200 monthly to reduce employment barriers for all social assistance recipients; and
Taking steps to align Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works rules by harmonizing the treatment of employment income for full-time students and self-employed individuals, and by increasing asset limits for singles receiving Ontario Works from $606 to $2,500, and from $1,043 to $5,000 for couples.
Moving forward, the government will continue to reform social assistance guided by the Commission’s advice.

NOTE: For social assistance improvements, see Chapter I, Section D:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/ch1d.html

On the 2014 Budget home page [ http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2014/ ], you'll find links (in the left-hand margin) to the following:
* About Ontario's Fiscal Cycle * Ontario Budget * Expenditure Estimates * Quarterly Finances * Public Accounts * Fall Economic Statement * Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund * Pre-Budget Consultations

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/

------------------------------------------------------

Related links:

Ontario Budget 2014: Liberals Steamroll Ahead With Big-Spending Plan
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/14/ontario-budget-2014_n_5583471.html
July 14, 2014
Source:
Canadian Press
http://www.thecanadianpress.com/

---

Ontario Liberal government tables ‘déjà vu' budget
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/07/14/ontario_liberal_government_tables_dj_vu_budget.html
July 14, 2014
Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

---

Ontario Liberals reintroduce their budget
Finance Minister Charles Sousa gives nod to budget déjà vu at start of speech
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-liberals-reintroduce-their-budget-1.2706657
July 14, 2014
Source:
CBC News

http://www.cbc.ca/news/

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:
[
http://www.incomesecurity.org/ ]

Latest Media & Policy News: 16 July 2014
http://goo.gl/BlbyHG

Budget Responses & Coverage
(Click the above link to see the articles below)

OFL welcomes the Budget but rejects privatization and cuts
25in5 says Budget invests in fairness and builds momentum for the upcoming second Poverty Reduction Strategy
Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries says the 2014 Budget doesn’t do enough for people living in poverty
ISAC repeats Budget analysis but adds comment on increased funding for ODSP medical reviews
More on medical reviews
Criminal Lawyers Association applauds more funding for Legal Aid
Globe editorial on the 2014 Budget as an austerity budget

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also from the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):

Budget 2014 - Update
Budget Re-introduced: More Comment Required
http://goo.gl/p7siJr
July 15, 2014
The new Ontario government re-introduced the 2014 provincial Budget yesterday – the same Budget that was originally introduced on May 1. The Budget includes a social assistance rate increase, with proportionally more going to singles on OW and a continuation on the freeze on rates for the family members of people with disabilities on ODSP. It also includes a new Remote Communities Allowance that replaces and is higher than the Northern Allowance, and consolidation of seven OW and ODSP employment-related benefits. As well, it includes an additional $42 million in annual funding for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) program, and a number of investments in other poverty-related areas. But there’s one additional issue that requires comment. The 2014 Budget also includes new money to hire additional Disability Adjudication Unit staff to increase the number of medical reviews for people on ODSP.
[Click the link above to read how additional adjudication staff "will mean a lot more stress for people with disabilities."]

ISAC's original response to the Budget (May 1, 2014)
http://goo.gl/PKHkh3

Response from Ontario Campaign 2000
http://www.campaign2000.ca/Ontario/
(Link to media release not working on July 16)

Response from the 25in5 Network for Poverty Reduction
http://goo.gl/fCemzI
July 14, 2014

---

More information about medical reviews on the
website of the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/income_support/odsp_medical.aspx

NOTE :

The most recent general election in Ontario took place on June 12, 2014.
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_prov_terr.htm#o

Ontario Child Benefit increases to be tied to inflation
Liberals also want to give early childhood educators $2/hr wage increase
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/ontario-child-benefit-increases-to-be-tied-to-inflation-1.2617706
April 22, 2014
As part of a previously passed budget, the benefit will increase on July 1 by as much as $100, depending on a family's income. However, the governing Liberals on Tuesday announced a proposal to tie future increases to the rate of inflation, beginning in July 2015.
(...)
The province on Tuesday also promised a $2 hourly wage increase for early childhood educators.
The first increase would be $1 in January 2015.

[ Ontario Budget coming May 1. ]

Source:
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

Related link:

Ontario Child Benefit
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/financialhelp/ocb/index.aspx
The Ontario Child Benefit is financial support that low and moderate income families – whether they are working or not – may receive to help provide for their children. The Ontario Child Benefit will reach more than one million children in 530,000 families each month and provides a maximum payment of $1,210 per year per child. The maximum payment will increase in July 2014 to $1,310 per year per child.

Source:
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/index.aspx

Ontario nixes merger of province's two welfare programs
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/04/07/ontario_nixes_merger_of_provinces_two_welfare_programs.html
By Laurie Monsebraaten
April 7, 2014
Anti-poverty and disability-rights activists are claiming victory after the Wynne government’s decision this week not to merge social assistance programs for disabled and non-disabled Ontarians.

“We are very pleased the government has decided not to do this,” said Kyle Vose, who has HIV and is among about 440,000 Ontarians who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Another 450,000 are supported by Ontario Works (OW), the province’s welfare program for everyone else. “People with disabilities have different needs that are unique to our population,” said Vose, co-chair of the ODSP Action Committee, which opposed the merger. “The program’s focus on those needs would be lost if we were folded into OW,” the Toronto man said Friday.

Community and Social Services Minister Ted McMeekin made the surprise announcement in the legislature Thursday after activists spent more than a year lobbying against the move. The merger was one of the key recommendations of the Liberals’ Social Assistance Reform Commission, co-chaired by former NDP cabinet minister Frances Lankin and former Statistics Canada head Munir Sheikh. The commission reported in the fall of 2012.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

The Province of Ontario has launched a
call for proposals for Social Impact Bonds
.
http://www.ontario.ca/business-and-economy/social-impact-bonds
[Focus areas are Housing, Youth at Risk and Improving employment for people facing barriers.]

(The deadline for submissions was May 2, 2014.)

What are Social Impact Bonds, you ask?
Social Impact Bonds, and other innovative pay-for-performance social finance tools, bring together diverse sectors of society – governments, corporations, private investors, foundations, service providers and social enterprises – to create novel solutions to pressing social challenges. Through a Social Impact Bond, private investment is used to finance these interventions upfront, which are delivered by service providers with a proven track record.

For dozens of links to related information, both govt. and NGO
go to the Social Finance and Social Impact Bonds Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/social_impact_bonds.htm

Weekly Media Scan page (Income Security Advocacy Centre)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/isac_media_scan.htm

[ Toronto - Ontario - Canada - (some) international ]
- dozens of new links in each issue

UPDATED TO 06 JANUARY, 2017

Minimum wage in Ontario
- this link takes you further down on the page you're now reading.

NEW



Hotlinks

The links below will take you directly to the following
Ontario Government web pages:

Government of Ontario Home Page
Office of the Premier
Newsroom - Ontario.ca

Government of Ontario Telephone Directory
Ministries
Agencies, commissions
Legislative Assembly
Ombudsman Ontario
Intergovernmental Affairs
Community and Social Services
Children and Youth Services
Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
Finance
Education
Training, Colleges and Universities
Health and Long-Term Care

Attorney-General
Labour
Municipal Affairs and Housing
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Auditor General of Ontario
Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
Citizenship and Immigration

Other

 

 

 


Major Milestones in Poverty Reduction in Ontario
December 2008
By John Stapleton
Brief overview of 10 significant poverty reduction initiatives in Ontario, from the First Upper Canada Statute in 1792 to the 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy.
[this is a more detailed version of the feature that appeared in the Toronto Star on December 5 just above the article entitled 'First step' on poverty draws praise.
Source:
Open Policy (John Stapleton's website)

 

 


Ontario Provincial Election Resources

Source:
Election Almanac
- complete coverage of federal, provincial and territorial elections in Canada including election results, public opinion polls, ridings and candidates, election news, electoral history, links, and more

- Go to the Political Parties and Elections Links in Canada (Provinces and Territories) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_prov_terr.htm

 

Key welfare links

Department responsible for welfare
Community and Social Services

Name of the welfare program
Ontario Works - for eligible people without disabilities 

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) - for eligible people with disabilities

Legislation
Ontario Works Act
- General Regulation ===> main welfare regulations for people without disabilities
- Administration and Cost-sharing
- Designation of Geographic Areas and Delivery Agents
- Prescribed Policy Statements

Ontario Disability Support Program Act
- General Regulation ===> main welfare regulations for people with disabilities
- Administration and Cost-sharing
- Assistance for Children with severe Disabilities
- Employment Supports
- Prescribed Policy Statements
Source:
Ontario Statutes and Regulations

Policy Manual
Ontario Works Policy Directives

ODSP Income Support Policy Directives
ODSP - Employment Support Directives

City of Toronto : Ontario Works Directives
[Click this link and then (on the next page) click "Policies and Procedures" in the left margin for Toronto's Ontario Works policy manual]

Welfare statistics
Updated to July 2017: Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) caseloads
See Social Assistance caseload/beneficiary statistics and expenditure information, 1997 to 2014 - this link takes you to a section of the Key Welfare Links page of this site.
Ontario Disability Support Program Statistical Report
Ontario Works Statistical Report
See also:
Number of People on Welfare, March 1995 to March 2005 (PDF file - 133K, 1 page) Source: National Council of Welfare

Welfare rates (benefits
* Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, October to December 2016 (small PDF file, 2 pages)
--- Prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services [Source: Community Advocacy and Legal Centre]
* Ontario Works Policy Directives (see sections 6 &7)
* ODSP Income Support Policy Directives (see sections 6-9)
* Part V of the Ontario Disability Support Program Regulation

* Section 41 of the Ontario Works Regulation
+ for families with chidren:

Ontario Child Benefit
- from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Latest search results on Google.ca for
"welfare, -child, -animal, Ontario"
- Web search results
- News search results
- Blog search results

Related Links
* From Isthatlegal.ca (Ontario):
--- Legal Guide : Welfare (Ontario Works) Law
--- Legal Guide : Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Law
* Ontario Social Assistance Review Links page

* Ontario Trillium Benefit (Eff. July 2012)
* Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario for 2011 (December 5/11)
* Review of social assistance in Ontario (2011)
* Ontario Social Assistance Review Commission
* Special Diet Allowance Changes April 1, 2011
* Ontario Launches Comprehensive Social Assistance Review (Nov. 30/10)
* 2009-2010 Annual Report : Ministry of Community and Social Services
- this annual report is part of the Results-based Plan Briefing Book 2010-11
...from the Ministry of Community and Social Services
* Social Assistance (Legal rights guide) - from CLEO - Community Legal Education Ontario
* [ Social Assistance Advisory Council Members - biographical notes ]
* Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review: Report of the Ontario social Assistance Review Advisory Council (May 2010)
* Letters from Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur
to the Chair of the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council:
(1) June 10, 2010 (PDF - 22K, 2 pages)
(2) March 26, 2010 (PDF - 42K, 1 page)
* Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy : Breaking the Cycle (PDF - 1.3MB, 45 pages) - December 4, 2008
[ Highlights ] Source: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy
Poverty Watch Ontario (NGO reactions to the poverty reduction strategy)
Income Security Advocacy Centre
* Welfare raise leaves cheque at 1988 levels (Nov. 1/08) from The Toronto Star
* Report of the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review - Facing the Future Together (PDF - 1.6MB, 64 pages) Fall 2008
* Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy - home page
* Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy - from the 2008 Ontario Budget (March 25, 2008)
* Poverty Watch Ontario - "To monitor and inform on cross-Ontario activity on the poverty reduction agenda"
* Ontario Child Benefit - from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
* Review of Employment Assistance Programs in Ontario Works & Ontario Disability Support Program (PDF file - 167K, 48 pages) December 2004 - By Deb Matthews, M.P.P.


For more information about welfare in other Canadian jurisdictions,
see the
Canadian Social Research Links Key Provincial/Territorial Welfare Links page


Legal Guide : Welfare (Ontario Works) Law

Updated to August 15, 2012

Table of contents:
* Overview * Claimants * Basic Assistance*. Benefits * Information Eligibility * Income Rules * Asset Rules * Applications and Procedures * Administrator Decisions * Appeals and Other Remedies * Workfare * Fraud and Prosecutions * Advocacy

Legal Guide : Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Law
Updated to November 1, 2012

Table of contents:
* Overview * Claimants * Income Support * Benefits * Severely Handicapped Children * Information Eligibility * Income Rules * Asset Rules * "Person With a Disability" * Applications and Procedures * Director Decisions * Appeals and Other Remedies * Workfare * Fraud and Prosecutions * Advocacy * Appendices (Sources and Forms, Currency of Law, Cases Considered)

Source:
Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
http://www.isthatlegal.ca/index.php?name=homepage
Click the link to access guides in the following areas:
* Income Maintenance : Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (see the links above) * Civil and Administrative Litigation * Family Law * Estates and Related Law * Consumer Law * Constitutional, Human Rights and Related * Criminal and Regulatory Offences * Property Law * Animal Law * Employment Law * Freedom of Information and Privacy Law * Legislative Process * Miscellaneous Law
NOTE : Some of the above guides are produced and maintained by Simon Shields, while others are from outside sources (the source of each guide is duly noted.)

Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law is part of
Isthatlegal.ca (Ontario)
Legal Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
Simon Shields, LLB :
Online lawyer and Isthatlegal.ca author

Government of Ontario Home Page

Ministries

Agencies
ServiceOntario Government Employee directory

Service Ontario - Government services for residents of Ontario

e-Laws - consolidated laws and regulations of Ontario
You can find a specific statute or a specific regulation. Or you can search all of the laws using the search or advanced search features.



Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy

- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty_ontario.htm

Since May 2010, ALL links to content concerning poverty reduction strategies and campaigns have been moved to the above page from the individual provincial/territorial pages, including government and NGO links.

Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)


NOTE: If you're not familiar with needs-tested social assistance [welfare] in Ontario, see Welfare in Ontario (A Canadian Social Research Links page),
a guide to government information on welfare in Ontario --- what are the programs, who delivers them, who pays for them, links to statistics, legislation, policy manuals, key documents on welfare in Ontario, etc. 
Welfare in Ontario includes links to Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program and the Toronto Social Services program.

The key welfare links from the Ontario Government website appear in the grey box near the top of the page you're now reading

HOME PAGE
On the Ministry home page, you'll find links to:

* About the ministry * Programs and services * Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities * Community Services * Developmental services * Family Responsibility Office * Social assistance * News room * Publications * Forms * Spotlight * Popular topics *
Contacts

News Releases




Ministry of Community and Social Services:
Supporting Ontario's communities since 1930

The year 2005 was the 75th anniversary of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Click on the link above and then, on the next page, scroll down to "Stories from our Past" for links to six short historical bits about welfare and social services in Ontario in the last century and even before.
Origins of the welfare department (1930) - breaking 650 lbs. of rocks to qualify for welfare in 1915 - houses of refuge - the Mothers' Allowance Act (1920) - the first foray into the field of day care in the mid-40s - the Soldier's Aid Commission (est. 1915).



Welfare benefit levels in Ontario
and much more...

------------------------

From the
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services:

Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, April---June 2017 (small PDF file, 2 pages)
http://www.communitylegalcentre.ca/legal_information/Tips/IM/SA-pension-rate-Apr-Jun-2017.pdf
Prepared by the
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

[ http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/ ]

Recommended reading!
All in two pages, (just about) everything you ever wanted to know about federal and provincial social program benefit levels in Ontario.
NOTES:
1. This factsheet comprises federal and provincial benefit levels in effect for the period cited above - to find corresponding program information, click the PDF factsheet link above, then (when the PDF file is open), do a Google search using any program name(s) from the list of programs in the factsheet

2. Although this fact sheet was prepared from an Ontario perspective, it's also a useful guide to federal benefits that are payable everywhere across Canada.
Recommended reading!

3. Thanks to the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre in Belleville for posting this rate table on their website. I'm not sure why the provincial ministry responsible for social assistance in Ontario has chosen NOT to publish benefit levels on its own website where it would reach the largest number of researchers and other interested parties. Transparency, eh? Hmmmmmmm.
Thanks again to the nice folks in Belleville!

4. This factsheet is revised every three months to reflect changes in benefit levels from programs whose rates change quarterly. That does *not* include Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program; rates for those two programs are increased on a whim of the party in power or when there's a provincial election coming up...
(;-)

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/index.aspx

Source of factsheet:
Tip Sheet List
http://www.communitylegalcentre.ca/legal_information/Tip_Sheet_List.htm
- (check this link for more recent updates under "Income Maintenance and Social Assistance")

This factsheet contains current rate information (benefit levels)
for the following federal and Ontario programs:

* Federal Income Security and tax benefit programs
----- Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance (formerly Spouse's Allowance)
----- Canada Pension Plan
----- Harmonized Sales Tax Credit
----- Working Income Tax Benefit Credit
----- War Veterans Allowance
----- Employment Insurance
----- Canada Child Tax Benefit (incl. the Basic Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, the Child Disability Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit)
----- Medical Expense Tax Credit

* Ontario income assistance programs
----- Ontario Works - Social Assistance rates + earnings exemptions and incentives
----- Ontario Disability Support Program - Social Assistance rates
----- Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (provincial top-up for Ontario seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement under the federal Old Age Security program)
----- Ontario Child Benefit
----- Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families
----- Ontario Trillium Benefit
(replaces former energy, property and sales tax credits)
----- Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities

Found in:
Tip Sheet List - (check this link for more recent updates under "Income Maintenance and Social Assistance")
[ Community Advocacy & Legal Centre - a non-profit community legal clinic serving low income residents of Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties.]

--------------------

NOTES:

1. The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services produces this excellent guide to current benefit levels under Ontario's social assistance programs, but it doesn't appear anywhere on their website. The link above is to a copy of the pension and rate table that appears on the website of the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre in Belleville:
[ http://www.communitylegalcentre.ca/ ]. <YAYYYYYYYY!!>

2. Although this fact sheet was prepared from an Ontario perspective, it's also a useful guide to federal benefits that are payable everywhere across Canada.
Highly recommended!

Enhancing Housing and Homelessness Supports:
McGuinty Government Providing Transition Funding to Help Most Vulnerable Ontarians
http://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2012/12/enhancing-housing-and-homelessness-supports.html
News Release
December 27, 2012
Ontario will help municipalities deliver housing and homelessness programs through additional one-time assistance in 2013-14. The funding will assist eligible municipalities as they develop and implement their Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) plans [ PDF - http://goo.gl/z24aw ]. Funds will be allocated to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Ontarians - including social assistance recipients - to ensure their stability through this period of transition as plans are developed. Announced in the 2012 Budget, the prevention initiative combines five housing and homelessness programs into a single, municipally delivered program to better address local priorities. It supports the McGuinty government's goal of ensuring all Ontarians have access to safe and affordable housing.

---------------------------------------------

From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:

Social Assistance Rates Update (eff. September/October 2014):
Ontario Works & Ontario Disability Support Program and the Ontario Child Benefit

http://incomesecurity.org/documents/OWandODSPratesandOCBasofSeptOct2014.pdf
[ Version française : http://sareview.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OW-and-ODSP-rates-and-OCB-as-of-July-Aug-2014-french.doc ]
The 2014 provincial Budget increased Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates. Different family types will receive different increases. This chart shows Basic Needs and Maximum Shelter amounts for different family types, as well as Ontario Child Benefit amounts. The increases come into effect starting on the September 30 ODSP cheque and the October 1 OW cheque. These and other rate increases are described on the second page of the file.

Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre
http://www.incomesecurity.org/

With this one-time investment of $42 million, municipalities will have additional funds to meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

---

Ontario Integrating Housing and Homelessness Supports
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/housing_bulletin_june.aspx
Bulletin
June 8, 2012
Ontario is integrating housing and homelessness support programs to better meet peoples’ needs. As outlined in the 2012 Budget (see the next link below), the government is combining funding from social assistance programs and other sources to create an integrated program. Low-income earners and people in need will not have to be receiving social assistance in order to access these supports.

-----------------------------------

Ontario Social Assistance Rates eff. Nov/Dec 2012

Ontario Social Assistance Rates Update (Word file - 56K, 1 page)
http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/1percentincrease-NovDec2012.doc
November / December 2012
The provincial government is increasing Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates by 1%, starting on the November cheque (for ODSP) and December (for OW).
---
Version française:
Mise à jour des barèmes d'aide sociale en Ontario
http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/1percentincrease-NovDec2012_FRENCH.doc

---

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
http://www.incomesecurity.org/

---


Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario
July 2011

Commission for the Review
of Social Assistance in Ontario
[Ontario Government Website]

Led by Frances Lankin and Munir A. Sheikh, the Commission is charged with examining social assistance in Ontario through engagement, research and analysis to provide the government with a concrete action plan to improve the system for the people who need it.

NOTE : The section of this page containing links pertaining to the 2011-2012 review of social assistance in Ontario was growing in leaps and bounds, so I created a new page for ALL Ontario social assistance review content. [Gilles].

Go to the Ontario Social Assistance Review Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/on_sa_review.htm



Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario for 2011

Ontario undermining its own restraint efforts, auditor’s report reveals
http://goo.gl/2V28V
By Karen Howlett
December 5, 2011
TORONTO—The Ontario government has paid richer fees to family doctors, with little proof patients are getting more access to their services. The government fast-tracked its flagship green energy projects without putting in place appropriate checks and balances.
Both policies are leading to higher health care and electricity costs in Ontario, but the bad news does not end there, according to the provincial auditor. Consumers also pay too much to drown their sorrows.
Source:
Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

From the
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario:
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/default.htm

Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario for 2011
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_2011_en.htm
- incl. links to the complete report in one PDF file and a table of contents with links to individual chapter sections in PDF format

2011 Annual Report News Releases
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/news_en/11newsreleases.htm
Links to 15 news releases on various themes covered in the 2011 report : auto insurance - renewable energy - electricity debt retirement charges - fnunding for doctors - specialists' pay - Liquor Control Board of Ontario - legal aid - more...

Complete report (PDF - 4.7MB, 462 pages)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/2011ar_en.pdf

Selected sections of the report:

Chapter 2 : Public Accounts of the Province (pdf 404kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/200en11.pdf

Chapter 3.10 : Office of the Children's Lawyer (pdf 383kb)

Chapter 3.14 : Supportive Services for People with Disabilities (pdf 295kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/314en11.pdf

Chapter 4: Follow-up on 2009 Value-for-money Audits, includes:
4.01 Assistive Devices Program (pdf 218kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/401en11.pdf
4.04 Education Quality and Accountability Office (pdf 191kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/404en11.pdf

4.09 Ontario Disability Support Program (pdf 207kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/409en11.pdf
4.11 Ontario Works Program (pdf 224kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/411en11.pdf
4.12 Social Housing (pdf 176kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/412en11.pdf

4.14 Unfunded Liability of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (pdf 179kb)
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en11/414en11.pdf

---

Related links:

Refresher on how welfare works in Ontario

According to the 2011
Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario:
(December 5, 2011)

Ontario Works (OW)
The Ontario Works program is delivered on behalf of the Ministry by 47 Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards as well as 101 First Nations, all referred to as service managers. A service manager is typically either a large municipality or a grouping of smaller ones, and each is accountable to one of the Ministry’s nine regional offices. The Ministry and the service managers share the total financial and employment assistance costs of the Ontario Works program. The Ministry, which currently pays 81% of these costs, has committed to start gradually increasing its share in 2010 until it pays 100% in 2018. Administrative costs will continue to be shared on a 50/50 basis.

---

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
The Ministry of Community and Social Services (Ministry) administers the Ontario Disability Support Program Act (Act), which provides income and employment support to more than 270,000 individuals with eligible disabilities as defined by the Act. Total annual Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefit payments made in the 2010/11 fiscal year amounted to over $3.5 billion ($3 billion in 2008/09—which was a 42% increase since the time of our last audit in 2004). ODSP income support is intended to assist with
basic living expenses such as food, shelter, clothing,
and personal-needs items
Source:
2010 Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_2011_en.htm

---

2009 Annual Report:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

December 7, 2009
Complete report:
PDF version - 6MB, 494 pages
HTML version <=== table of contents with PDF links to 39 individual files (one per section), only a few of which appear below

* Assistive Devices Program (PDF - 474K)
* Ontario Disability Support Program (PDF - 436K)
* Social Housing (PDF - 268K)
* Ontario Works Program (PDF - 351K)
NOTE: for many sections, you'll also find a separate news release with highlights.
The news release about Ontario Works appears below along with the link to all 17 releases.

Ontario Works Payments
Need More Scrutiny: Auditor General
(PDF - 132K, 1 page)
News Release
December 7, 2009
(TORONTO) Unrecovered overpayments to about 350,000 current and former Ontario Works recipients have increased by 45% to $600 million as of last March—but the Ministry of Community and Social Services has made only minimal efforts to get that money back, Auditor General Jim McCarter says in his 2009 Annual Report, released today. (...) The province pays 80% of benefits under Ontario Works to about 200,000 people in temporary financial need who are unemployed or underemployed; municipalities pay the remaining 20% and provide front-line services to recipients. In 2008/09, the government spent about $1.9 billion on Ontario Works.

Source:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

Related links:

Millions wasted on welfare: Ontario auditor general
A dramatically underfunded workplace insurance plan and
lax inspection of Ontario's bridges among other highlights of annual report
By Rob Ferguson and Tanya Talaga
December 7, 2009
The recession hasn't stopped Ontario government bureaucrats from playing fast and loose with taxpayers' hard-earned dollars — particularly on social assistance to the poor, the provincial auditor general says in a new report released Monday. Despite lessons learned from the eHealth and Ontario Lottery Corporation expense scandals earlier this year, examples abound of public money being carelessly spent on welfare overpayments, disability support and assistive devices for people with disabilities.
Source:
Toronto Star

---

Auditing the Ontario Auditor General
December 14, 2009
by Reuel Amdur
Social worker and freelance writer Reuel Amdur asks some pointed questions about the 2009 Ontario Auditor General's report.
Source:
Peacock Poverty
PeacockPoverty is a Canadian collective of individuals with an experience of poverty who join together to share knowledge, strength, talent and wisdom with each other and friends. The collective is autonomous, independent of agency affiliation, by and for poor people and friends.

---

Stand Up Against the Backlash from the Auditor General’s Report:
Ontario Auditor General’s Report Underlines Need for Social Assistance Reform
November 11, 2009
Whether he meant to or not, the auditor general’s December 7th analysis of OW/ODSP let a dysfunctional social assistance system off the hook, instead laying blame with the people who have nowhere else to turn for basic support. The ensuing debate risks losing sight of the simple fact that when it comes to social assistance, it’s not the people who are the problem. Instead it’s the 800+ rules that trap people in poverty and powerlessness, fail to provide social and community supports and education and training tools to enable opportunity, and leave people so short of income that living a healthy, dignified life is impossible. As Premier McGuinty recently stated, social assistance “stomps people into the ground” and something must be done to make the system work the way it should. That something cannot come soon enough, as evidenced by the confusing picture painted by the auditor general’s report.

NOTE: the above link includes a detailed backgrounder covering the following points:
* Overpayments and Program Costs: Comparing Apples to Oranges
* What Is An Overpayment?
* The System Routinely Generates Overpayments
* Overpayments are Generated Monthly – Increasing Misperceptions
* Overpayments and Breaking the Rules
* Program Complexity and 800 Rules
* “Temporary” Assistance?
* Special Diet
* Conclusion
* What Can You Do? TAKE ACTION
Source:
25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
[ Social Assistance Review ]
[ Income Security Advocacy Centre ]

---

Welfare fraud in perspective
December 09, 2009
The provincial government is in the midst of "a new billion dollar boondoggle involving extravagant welfare overpayments," according to the opposition Conservatives.
Source:
Toronto Star

---

Saluting the best in waste, sloth and scamming
By Jim Coyle
December 09, 2009
Hello, and welcome to Ontario's annual Fritters Awards, showcasing the very best in waste, profligacy, sloth, scamming, incompetence and general bureaucratic lethargy, sponsored, as usual, by Auditor General Jim McCarter and his crack team of accountants.
Source:
Toronto Star


2009-2010 Annual Report:
Ministry of Community and Social Services
(MCSS)
"Income and Employment Supports:

During 2009-10, the ministry continued to improve Ontario’s social assistance programs while managing increased social assistance caseload and costs, much of which was driven by the 2008 global economic downturn. Since 2008, the Ontario Works caseload has grown almost 27 per cent. Over the last three years, the Ontario Disability Support Program caseload has grown by five per cent per year, on average."
Source:
The 2009-2010 MCSS
Annual Report is Appendix I of:
Results-based Plan Briefing Book 2010-11
Table of contents:
* Results-based Plan 2010-11
* Organization Chart
* Cost Sharing with the Federal Government
* Ministry Statutes
* Agencies, Boards and Commissions
* Ministry Planned Expenditures 2010-11
* Overall Summary (Operating and Capital)



Welfare Statistics

Ontario begins posting more detailed reports on Ontario Works and ODSP caseload statistics:
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/open/index.aspx
September 1, 2017

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) - Monthly Caseload Statistics
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/open/sa/odsp_Quarterly.aspx

Ontario Works (OW) - Monthly Caseload Statistics
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/open/sa/ow_Quarterly.aspx

Social Assistance Trends:
---
Ontario Disability Support Program [ http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/open/sa/trends/odsp_trends.aspx ]
--- Ontario Works [ http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/open/sa/trends/ow_trends.aspx ]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- the two links below will take you to the most recent version of the statistics in each case

Ontario Works (OW) Statistical Report
[This link takes you to the latest version of the OW statistics.
]
Ontario Works provides employment and financial assistance to people who are in temporary financial need. The employment assistance helps people become and stay employed and includes job search support services, basic education and job skills training, community and employment placement, supports to self-employment, Learning, Earning and Parenting, addiction services and earning exemptions that allow participants to earn income as they move back into the workforce. Temporary Care Assistance provides support for children in financial need while in the temporary care of an adult who does not have a legal obligation to support the child.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Statistical Report
[This link takes you to the latest version of the ODSP statistics.]
The Ontario Disability Support Program was designed to meet the income and employment support needs of people with disabilities. The program provides income support and health-related benefits to people with disabilities who are in need of financial assistance. The employment supports component of the program offers a range of goods and services to help people with disabilities to look for, obtain or maintain jobs on a volunteer basis. Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities provides a benefit for parents caring for children with severe disabilities at home.

NOTE: Any comparison of Ontario's welfare stats with those of other Canadian provinces and territories must include both the OW and ODSP components of the welfare caseload.


Ontario : Latest welfare statistics (November 2011) and analysis by John Stapleton
January 6, 2012

Below, you'll find links to the statistical reports for both of Ontario's social assistance programs, along with an analysis of the caseload trends by John Stapleton, who is a former official with the Ontario ministry responsible for social assistance programs now working with the social advocacy community in Toronto.

Ontario Works provides employment and financial assistance to people who are in temporary financial need.
The Ontario Disability Support Program was designed to meet the income and employment support needs of people with disabilities.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE : For more information about how welfare works in Ontario,
see the Guide to Welfare in Ontario page:

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onwelf.htm

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The caseload reports:

Ontario Works (OW) Caseload, November 2011 (PDF - 156K, 1 page
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/reports/OW_EN_2011-11.pdf
- OW caseloads and Beneficiaries by family structure, April 2009 to November 2011

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Caseload, November 2011 (PDF - 156K, 1 page)
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/reports/ODSP_EN_2011-11.pdf
- ODSP caseloads and Beneficiaries by family structure, April 2009 to November 2011

Source:
Social assistance in Ontario: Reports
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/reports/index.aspx
Ministry of Community and Social Services
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss

------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: For analysis of the November OW and ODSP
caseload statistics by John Stapleton,
go to the
Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

------------------------------------------------------

Commentary by John Stapleton
re.
February 2011 social assistance (welfare) caseloads

[ For more information on how welfare works in Ontario, see the Guide to Welfare in Ontario : http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onwelf.htm ]

The reports:

* Ontario Disability Support Program Statistical Report
* Ontario Works Statistical Report

Commentary by John Stapleton:

Social assistance dependency is already starting to moderate in Ontario, but entirely thanks to the newest and most profound long term trend we have seen in social assistance in many a decade. Although the count of social assistance households is only down by about 300 overall, the drop is almost entirely due to a reduction in lone parents and their children.

The combination of child support guidelines, better enforcement of child support, the advent of DNA evidence for use in paternity cases, large child benefits outside of welfare that stack with child support and better opportunities at the low end of the labour market for women, has made a real difference.

Once again, lone parents on social assistance - despite the recession are closing in on multi-decade lows in both absolute numbers and even longer as a proportion of population.

From a communications perspective, it is always difficult to point out that the number of social assistance households is rising but the number of beneficiaries (men, women, and children) is going down. The number of households overall went up by about 700, but the total number of beneficiaries went down by 300. This occurs because families with 2+ beneficiaries are decreasing while singles with 1 beneficiary (by definition) are increasing.

-----------------------------------------------------------

December 1, 2010
Commentary on October 2010
Ontario social assistance statistics
by John Stapleton of Open Policy:

Well, now I'm waiting for someone to note a precipitous drop in social assistance in Ontario from September to October 2010, and perhaps cautiously see it as a harbinger of better times.

Time to think again, however.

The drop in lone parents is due to women leaving Ontario Works (OW) to go back to school and OSAP ( Ontario Student Assistance Program) where they will stay until May next year. This caused the overall beneficiary count to go down by about 4,000 month over month . Now look closer at the previous three years on the charts and you'll see a tendency to dip in most cases and categories in this period when outside brawn-based seasonal jobs related to packing away the summer come to the fore.

Leaf raking and cottage close-up are not full time jobs.

The bad news is that the usual seasonal upswing starts in October and ends in March. That is not to say that we should be unimpressed by a 2,000 drop in singles and modest reductions in couples receiving OW. It is good to see.

This is a tricky balance-sheet recession, but barring something unforseen, we should see a post recession top in caseloads in March 2011 and a long slow recovery from that top which will see caseloads at about 6.6 to 6.9% of Ontario's population - very modest indeed for the most momentous recession since the Great Depression and a far cry from the 13.9% of population reached in March 1994.

Source:
John Stapleton
Open Policy (personal website)


NEW

From the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy:

Social Assistance Summaries 2014 (PDF - 235KB, 49 pages)
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/1062ENG.pdf
Anne Makhoul, March 2015

The informative Social Assistance Statistical Report [ http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/rhdcc-hrsdc/HS25-2-2008-eng.pdf ], published by the federal and provincial/territorial governments, was last released in 2010 and presented 2008 data. In its place, the Caledon Institute will publish a Social Assistance Summaries series as part of its web-based Canada Social Report, which will be operational in spring 2015. In the interim, this publication offers an advance viewing of 12 of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial Social Assistance programs. Material from Nunavut was not available in time to be included in this paper.
A summary was prepared for each province and territory with input and feedback from government representatives in every jurisdiction. All reports include program descriptions and data on the number of social assistance cases and recipients dating, in most jurisdictions, from 1997 to 2014. The summaries will be updated annually.

Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
http://www.caledoninst.org/

--------------------------------------------------------

Ontario Helps Social Enterprises Create Jobs and Strengthen Communities
Province Launches Fund to Build a Fair Society and Prosperous Economy
http://goo.gl/VZliA
May 24, 2013
News Release
The Ontario government is launching the country's first microloan fund to help social enterprises -- businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue -- create more jobs and strengthen local communities.
The province has partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation, TD Bank Group, Microsoft Canada, Alterna Savings, KPMG and Social Capital Partners to launch the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund. Under the fund, social enterprises that help solve a social, environmental, cultural or economic problem, such as youth unemployment, may qualify for a loan of $5,000 to $25,000 and support services like mentorship.

Source:
Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

 

NEW

Ontario Welfare historians and number-crunchers, Rejoice!

Ontario Social Assistance rates
and Minimum Wage for a Single Person, 1967 to 2010
(Excel file - 26K)
This excel worksheet shows a comparison of incomes between a single person working at minimum wage and a single person on social assistance since 1967
Source: Open Policy (John Stapleton)

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Caseload Change
- April 2007 to July 2009
(PDF - 159K, 1 page)
This graph shows the steady increase in ODSP cases since the recession began
Source: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

---

Ontario Works (OW) Caseload Change
- April 2007 to July 2009
(PDF - 159K, 1 page)
This graph shows the steady increase in OW cases since the recession began
Source: Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

---

OW & ODSP Combined Caseload Change
- June 2007 to July 2009
(Excel file - 52K)
This excel worksheet shows the steady increase in ODSP and OW cases since January 2008
Source: Open Policy (John Stapleton)

---

Selected Welfare Rates, 1935 to date (PDF - 64K, 1 page)
This graph shows the monthly change in income of a single person and a single mother with one child on social assistance in Ontario from 1935 to 2009
Source: Open Policy (John Stapleton)



Historian Alert!!

Dorothea Crittenden: Canada's first woman deputy minister
reformed welfare and social assistance

December 24, 2008
Obituary
By Gay Abbate
"(...) Dorothea Crittenden was a trailblazer who devoted her life to helping build Ontario's welfare system. She was also a key player in the creation of the Canada Assistance Plan, a federal-provincial cost-sharing plan that guarantees all Canadians equal access to social assistance."

As a rule, I don't include links to obituaries on my site or in my newsletter. In this case, however, I've made an exception based on the valuable historical insights that I've found in the obituary, and moreso in the paper below by John Stapleton, and that I wanted to share with Canadian social historians --- more pieces of the puzzle, as it were...
[...and no, I won't link to your Aunt Bertha's obituary. Don't even ask.]

The above obituary by Gay Abbate appeared in The Globe and Mail on December 23, and it's based on information provided by Dr. Crittenden in the course of interviews with John Stapleton in 1991.
The content of those interviews appears in the paper below, which provides valuable historical information about Canadian social policy from the Depression to the mid-1970's when she was Ontario's Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services. Of particular interest to Canadian social historians, I'm sure, will be sections like * What Ontario gave up for CAP * Project 500 in the 1970s * the cap on CAP (I should note that the cap on CAP was in the early 1990s and not the 1980s, as noted in the above obituary. John's paper has the correct info on that.)

Coming of Age in a Man’s World:
The Life, Times and Wisdom of Dorothea Crittenden,
Canada’s First Female Deputy Minister
(PDF - 355K, 22 pages)
January 2007
Source:
Open Policy (John Stapleton's website)


Ontario Social Assistance
Special Diet Allowance Changes
April 1, 2011
The Special Diet Allowance helps social assistance recipients who have eligible medical conditions receive the special diets they need to help manage their conditions. The Special Diet Allowance will change on April 1, 2011 to make the program more accountable and comply with a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision.

Policy changes include:

* Revising the list of eligible medical conditions. Allowances for some medical conditions have increased, others have decreased. Also, medical conditions that the Special Diets Expert Review Committee found to not require a special diet that involves additional costs were removed. This means some people will stop getting an allowance at the end of the transition period, July 31, 2011.

* Requiring recipients to consent to the release of relevant medical information to support their application, and

* Putting stronger tracking methods in place to improve accountability.

---

How to apply for the revised Special Diet Allowance

List of eligible medical conditions

Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services


Special Diet Policy : City of Toronto
April 1, 2011
The Toronto municipal government is responsible for the the provision of financial assistance to people in temporary financial need in the City of Toronto under the Ontario Works Act and Regulations.

Source:
City of Toronto - Employment and Social Services



Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Registered Disability Savings Plan is a savings plan designed specifically for people with disabilities in Canada. The first of its kind in the world, this new tax-deferred savings vehicle will assist families in planning for the long - term financial security of their relatives with disabilities.
- incl. links to : What is it? - How do I qualify? - Where do I get it?

Registered Disability Savings Plan Blog
"...everything you wanted to know about the RDSP"

Related links:

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) is the non-profit organization that proposed, researched, and campaigned for the RDSP.
PLAN created and maintains the RDSP website and the RDSP Blog.

Registered Disability Savings Plan - from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
- incl. links to info about the Canada Disability Savings Grant, the Canada Disability Savings Bond and the RDSP
- also includes a link to Budget 2007 (Oct. 30/07) when the RDSP was first announced, and more...



NOTE: the two items in this box are not from MCSS, but I couldn't find any related info on the MCSS site...

Welfare raise leaves cheque at 1988 levels
November 1, 2008
By Laurie Monsebraaten
"(...) Twenty years after a provincial task force recommended major increases to welfare, Ontario's most destitute residents are finally seeing the money, or at least some of it. A promised 2 per cent welfare rate increase that kicks in Dec. 1 – bringing the monthly rate for a single person ... to $572 – will boost welfare payments to levels recommended in 1988 by David Peterson's Liberal government. But when you factor in inflation, next month's increase would have to be at least $350 higher to equal the spirit of that 20-year-old recommendation.
Source:
The Toronto Star

New Social Assistance rates effective Nov/Dec 2008 (Word file - 50K, 1 page)
- detailed rates by family size for the Ontario Works Program and the Ontario Disability Support Program
- incl, the list of other programs to which the 2% increase applies, incl. Northern Allowances, the Guide Dog Benefit, the Advanced Age Amount, the Special Boarder Allowance, the Temporary Care Assistance amount, Assistance for Children with Severe Disability, etc.
Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre (Toronto)
The Income Security Advocacy Centre works with and on behalf of low income communities in Ontario to address issues of income security and poverty.


BC Jobs Firm a Bust for Ontario
Private contractor did no better than public effort it replaced

By Andrew MacLeod
October 30, 2008
If British Columbia's government wants to know how well its jobs program is working, new numbers from Ontario might fuel the urge. Ontario's government tried a private job placement service offered by a B.C. company, but an independent review found it worked no better than the ministry's own programs and did not save the government money. The report raises questions about whether the company's programs work any better in B.C. than they do in Ontario, and whether the B.C. government is looking closely enough to know. "There were no incremental reductions in [Income Assistance] that could be attributed to JobsNow," says the report on the Ontario pilot program produced by Ottawa management consulting firm Goss Gilroy Inc. and dated Oct. 10, 2008. "JobsNow was not more effective than regular Ontario Works programming."
Source:
TheTyee.ca


Ontario Child Benefit and Changes to Social Assistance [dead link]
June 2008
"In 2007, the Ontario government introduced a new non-taxable Ontario Child Benefit to help low-income families provide for their children. Starting in July 2008, monthly Ontario Child Benefit payments of up to $50/month per child ($600/year) will begin. When these payments begin, social assistance (Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program) will change for families who have children under age 18."
Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services

The "change" in social assistance programs mentioned in the above fact sheet refers to the removal of children's benefits from welfare and the extension of those same benefits to *all* low-income families with kids in Ontario. That's the good news. The bad news for families receiving benefits under the Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Programs is the termination of the Back-to-School Allowance and the Winter Clothing Allowance paid seasonally to all families receiving social assistance. The Ministry of Community and Social Services likely justified the elimination of the two special allowances by pointing to the slight increase in total monthly income for families on assistance (see the link "New social assistance rates..." below for rates before and after July 2008).

Many would argue that while setting aside a few dollars each month for a child's return to school or winter clothing needs sounds pretty reasonable, those few extra dollars in a welfare household are often re-assigned when an emergency occurs or when "there's still month left at the end of the money." Middle-class Canadians are occasionally tempted to dip into their savings for an extravagant purchase, but for Ontario's welfare households, the elimination of these two lump-sum seasonal allowances will, in many cases, mean a decision between enough food on the table now vs. a new pair of shoes for school in the fall, or a new snowsuit for a growing child.

These two allowances should be reinstated.

Related links:

* From the Ministry of Children and Youth Services:

Ontario Child Benefit


* From the Income Security Advocacy Centre:

Ontario Child Benefit
In July 2008, the provincial government will launch the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB). This will be a monthly payment to eligible low-income families who have dependent children under 18. Parents who get social assistance (Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program) as well as those who are employed are eligible for the OCB.

---

Income Security Advocacy Centre's Response
to the Ontario Government's Poverty Announcement
(PDF file - 36K, 1 page)
Press Release
March 17, 2008
Premier’s Poverty Reduction Announcement:
“A Good Start, but a Long Way to Go”
Toronto – Calling the Premier’s Poverty Reduction announcement “a good start,” Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy & Legal Services at ISAC, said, “But they’ve got a long way to go.” The Income Security Advocacy Centre is a specialized community legal clinic with a provincial mandate to improve the income security of people living in Ontario through test case litigation, policy advocacy and community organizing. The Premier’s office announced funding for three priority programs this morning as a ‘kickstart’ to a Poverty Reduction Strategy, expected by the end of 2008.
Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)

----------------------
Related links : go to the Antipoverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm


June 22, 2007
McGuinty Government Helping Build Job Opportunities For People on Social Assistance [dead link]
OTTAWA – The McGuinty government is opening the door to job opportunities for Ontarians on social assistance by funding innovative community projects that connect local businesses with job-ready people, Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

November 22, 2006
McGuinty Government Improving Employment Options For Ontarians On Disability Support [dead link]
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is helping people on disability support pursue job opportunities and keep more of what they earn by improving the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Minister of Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

Social Assistance Rate Increase [dead link]
[Undated text - "page last modified November 02, 2006"]
The Ontario government is increasing the maximum monthly social assistance rates by 2% for recipients of benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW). The increases come into effect in November and December, respectively, and they apply to all basic needs allowances, shelter, board and lodging rates. Northern allowances, and special allowances paid to people in certain institutions and guide dog users. The 2% increase also applies to Back to School and Winter Clothing Allowances for eligible recipients with children under the age of 18. Families receiving assistance under the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities program (payable to a parent with a child with a severe disability) will see the maximum monthly allowance increase from $400 to $410 per month, a 2.5% increase.

A New Vision for Ontario's Social Assistance Programs - [dead link]
[Undated text - "page last modified November 01, 2006"]
"The Ministry of Community and Social Services is working hard to improve the way Ontario’s social assistance system works. The ministry is making significant changes to the way Ontario’s social assistance programs — Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program — are delivered. Many of these changes are in direct response to what Deb Matthews, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services, heard during her discussions with social assistance recipients, community organizations and municipalities in 2004. Stakeholders called for the removal of barriers and disincentives to employment and greater emphasis on the supports recipients need to help them find and keep meaningful jobs."
NOTE: includes a list of 10 recent program changes designed to help people move from welfare to long-term self-sufficiency

Read the report by Deb Matthews:

Review of Employment Assistance Programs in Ontario Works &
Ontario Disability Support Program
(PDF file - 167K, 48 pages) [dead link]
Deb Matthews
December 2004

October 24, 2006
McGuinty Government Helps Boost Profile Of People With Disabilities In Canadian Media [dead link]
TORONTO – The McGuinty government today launched a new partnership aimed at raising the profile of people with disabilities in the Canadian movie, television and radio industry, announced Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services.

October 23, 2006
Making Ontario More Accessible To People With Disabilities [dead link]
TORONTO – The McGuinty government has made important progress towards implementing the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, which will make Ontario fully accessible by 2025, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

Ontario Disability Support Program Special Payments [dead link]
[Undated text - "page last modified October 2, 2006"]
Since the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) was created in June 1998, recipients had been limited to receiving up to four months of retroactive income support, even if they had to wait longer than four months to be reviewed and determined eligible for the program. On May 31, 2006, the government announced that it had removed this limit. The government will now be providing a special payment to eligible people who had to wait longer than four months to be granted ODSP income support. People who waited longer than four months to be granted ODSP, but who only received the previous limit of four months of retroactive income support may be eligible to receive a special payment for additional months of support they did not receive when the limit was in place. There are an estimated 13,000 to 19,000 cases that may be eligible for a special payment. (..) Starting in October 2006, a dedicated team will begin to identify and contact current and former ODSP recipients who were impacted by the four-month rule.

Employment Innovations Fund - Examples of Innovative Partnerships [dead link]
[Undated text - "page last modified August 30, 2006"]
As part of the 2006 provincial budget, the government established the Employment Innovations Fund to engage Ontario's employers in creating and expanding job opportunities for people receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program.


JobsNow and WCG International

On August 3/07, WCG International was sold to Providence Service Corporation of Arizona.
WCG International has a contract with the BC Government for back-to-work programs for people with disabilities in that province.
The company also has a contract with the Ontario Government (see the JobsNow link below).
This is disconcerting to me, because the bottom line in the corporate sector is always the profit margin first and the client's best interest second - and often a distant second. Simply put, governments that outsource human services to the private sector are shirking their responsibilities to their most disadvantaged citizens. Period.

As noted in the Times Colonist article below, for companies like Providence there's a financial interest in maintaining poverty and suffering, and that's just not right. Simply put, governments that outsource human services to the private sector are shirking their responsibilities to their most disadvantaged citizens. Period.

BC : Contracting social services a risky bet
Huge U.S. firm taking over back-to-work programs for the disabled
By Jody Paterson
September 21, 2007
For better or worse, the bulk of B.C.'s back-to-work programs for people with disabilities are now under the control of a large, aggressive American corporation. The ink is barely dry on the Aug. 3 agreement that saw the sale of the local company that has run the programs up until now -- WCG International -- to Arizona's Providence Service Corp. So it's much too soon to speculate whether clients will notice any difference, or to assume that it's automatically a bad thing when one more big U.S. company takes over yet another aspect of B.C.'s human services. But man, I get cold shivers down my spine when I think about how easily British Columbians are giving this stuff up, all of it without a whisper of public debate. Providence in particular is a heavy-duty acquisitor of government social-service contracts, and delighted to be gaining its first foothold in Canada.
Source:
Victoria Times Colonist

Related links:

WCG International
--- Tucson-based Providence Service Corp. expands to Canada (August 3, 2007 - small one-page PDF file) (Excerpt: "The $9.8 million purchase is expected to produce $25 million in revenue for Providence...")

Providence Service Corporation - "Human services without walls"
--- Workforce Development Services

From The Tyee (independent alternative daily newspaper):

Libs' Welfare-to-Jobs Program a Bust, Reveals Delayed Report
Loses $13 million, high failure rate and neediest not served.
August 11, 2005

Welfare Reform's Public-Private Partnerships
July 13, 2004
The Fraser Institute says they're a huge advance in social policy. Critics say work placement companies are growing rich but doing little.

---

From the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services:

JobsNow - [dead link]
The Ontario government launched JobsNow in April 2005. It’s an innovative pilot project to help people currently on Ontario Works find and keep sustainable jobs. The program is a partnership between the province, WCG International and municipal social services in six municipal areas: Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor, Nipissing, Peel and Durham.

----------------------------------------

JobsNow Pilot Program Is Helping People Find And Keep Jobs:
More Than 2,000 Social Assistance Recipients Start On The Path To Financial Independence
[dead link]
News Release
April 21, 2006

Pilot Program Helping People Move Into The Workforce And Off Welfare
1,000 JobsNow Clients Are Back To Work -
[dead link]
News Release
October 24, 2005
"OTTAWA – More than 1,000 social assistance clients are working right now thanks to the McGuinty government's innovative JobsNow pilot program, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today. Launched in April, JobsNow provides ongoing, personalized employment counselling, job placement and retention support to Ontario Works clients who have been on social assistance for more than 12 months. The program helps people find and keep real, sustainable, long-term employment so that they can stop working for welfare and start working for a living.

Related Links:

JobsNow Ontario [dead link]
- from the website of the Ontario
Ministry of Community and Social Services

JobsNow [dead link]
"JobsNow is a two-year pilot project developed to assist referred Ontario Works participants find sustainable employment and achieve long-term financial independence. The JobsNow team assists participants every step of the way to overcome employment challenges and build the skills and confidence to grow in their jobs. JobsNow assists employers with the hiring process and acts as a network to help income assistance recipients connect with Ontario's hidden job market. Since the project launched in April 2005, JobsNow has helped over 1,400 people return to long term sustainable employment."


Incentive or a kick in the teeth?

July 20, 2005
By Carol Goar
"The Ontario government calls it 'an incentive to work and earn more.' Many welfare recipients call it a kick in the teeth. Beginning Aug. 1, people living on social assistance will lose 50 cents in benefits for every dollar they earn. There will be no exemptions, no progressive deductions and no time limit. Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello announced the change in May, but most clients were unaware of it — or didn't want to think about it — until now. Reality hit when they got their July welfare cheque, which spelled out how the 50 per cent clawback would work. Under the old rules, a person could earn up to $143 a month ($249 for a couple and $275 for a single parent with one child) without any reduction in social assistance. It was one of the few breaks in an otherwise punitive system. Under the new regime, every cent a welfare recipient earns — by babysitting, telemarketing or doing odd jobs — will result in a smaller cheque.
Source:
The Toronto Star

Google Web Search Results : "JobsNow"
Google News search Results : "JobsNow"
Source:
Google.ca

----------

McGuinty Government Breaks Down Barriers To Help People Move From Welfare To Work
Better Health, Employment And Child Care Supports Part Of Province's Plan To Bridge People Into Permanent Employment [dead link]
News Release
May 17, 2005
"TORONTO – The McGuinty government is helping Ontario Works clients get back into the workforce by overhauling Ontario's social assistance programs and providing new health, employment and child care supports, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today."
Four key measures:
- extending health benefits for up to six months (up to one year in exceptional cases) or until employer health benefits are available for people exiting social assistance for employment.
- a flat exemption rate of 50 per cent on earnings to provide a better incentive for Ontario Works clients to work and earn more.
- increasing the maximum deduction for informal child care costs from $390 to $600 per month to provide another child care option for working parents.
- Creating an employment benefit of up to $500 to help recipients who obtain full-time employment pay for job-related expenses like uniforms and transportation.

Backgrounder - Improving Ontario Works [dead link]
May 17, 2005
- more detailed info on the changes

McGuinty Government Launches Innovative Pilot To Help People Leave Welfare For Work:
JobsNow Part Of Province's Plan To Restore Integrity To Social Assistance Programs
[dead link]
News Release
April 20, 2005
"TORONTO – The McGuinty government is launching an innovative pilot project that will help people move from working for welfare to working for a living, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today. JobsNow will provide ongoing, individualized employment counselling, job placement and retention support to help people find jobs so that they can leave welfare for good. 'Social assistance recipients are not statistics – they are real people who want to work. It's time our welfare programs worked, too,' said Pupatello. 'Our plan will get thousands of people into the workforce, and that's good for our clients, our economy and our taxpayers.'"

JobsNow Ontario [dead link]
"JobsNow begins in April 2005 and continues to May 31, 2007, with a target of 12,000 participants referred to the JobsNow service."

JobsNow Backgrounder [dead link]

Related Links:

WCG International
WCG International will run the JobsNow pilot in six pilot communities in cooperation with municipal Ontario Works offices.

JobWave (WCG International)
"JobWave™ is the most successful employment program in the history of British Columbia, continually bringing innovation to the field of job placement."

McGuinty Government Helping People With Disabilities Find Jobs And Increase Their Income [dead link]
News Release
February 8, 2006
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is helping people with disabilities gain greater financial independence and increase their standard of living by improving the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today

Related Links:

- McGuinty Government Helping People With Disabilities Find Jobs And Increase Their Income [dead link]
- Better Employment Services and Supports… How They Can Help You
[dead link]

Related Link:

Changes to the Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP) Earnings and Employment Supports
"On February 8th, the Province of Ontario announced changes to the earnings and employment support rules for recipients under the Ontario Disability Supports Program. "
- incl. links to the government press release, backgrounders, analysis of the changes and the actual text of the regulatory amendments that changed the rules

------------------------------------------

Creating Job Opportunities For People On Social Assistance
Innovations Fund Encourages Ontario Businesses To Get Involved
[dead link]
News Release
June 14, 2006
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is calling on the Ontario business community to help social assistance recipients get into the workforce and on the path to a brighter future, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, announced today. (...) The government is launching a new Employment Innovations Fund to engage employers in expanding employment opportunities for people on social assistance, including people with disabilities. Organizations such as employer associations, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are invited to submit proposals for new programs that will create sustainable job opportunities and help businesses tap into this pool of willing, job-ready people.

Backgrounder - Ontario’s New Employment Innovations Fund [dead link]
June 14, 2006
As part of the 2006 provincial budget, the government established the Employment Innovations Fund to engage Ontario’s employers in creating and expanding job opportunities for people receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program.

------------------------------------------

Opening More Doors For Ontarians With Disabilities
McGuinty Government Developing New Accessibility Standards
[dead link]
News Release
June 13, 2006
"TORONTO – The McGuinty government is developing three new accessibility standards to target barriers in information and communications, the built environment, and employment for people with disabilities, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities, announced today."

Backgrounder - Enforceable Standards Key To Making Ontario Accessible [dead link]
June 13, 2006
One year ago, the McGuinty government proclaimed the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, which requires the province to develop accessibility standards that will remove barriers for people with disabilities.

------------------------------------------

Improving Opportunities For Social Assistance Recipients [dead link]
News Release
June 12, 2006
TORONTO ? The McGuinty government is removing more barriers to education and employment to help people on social assistance realize a brighter future, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, announced today.

Backgrounder - Improving Ontario’s Social Assistance System [dead link]
- more detailed info on improvements

See also:
Income and Employment Supports

------------------------------------------

Breaking Down Communication Barriers For Ontarians Who Are Deaf Or Deafblind
Budget Investment Means More Service, Greater Independence For People With Disabilities
[dead link]
News Release
June 1, 2006
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is investing in more services for Ontarians who need intervenors or sign language interpreters to assist them with daily activities. “For someone who is deafblind or has a hearing disability, communication barriers can seriously limit their access to things that most of us take for granted, such as going to the bank or visiting their doctor,” said Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur. “By breaking down these communication barriers, we are building greater independence for people with disabilities.”

------------------------------------------

$11 Million Investment Results In Better And Faster Service [dead link]
Backgrounder
June 1, 2006
The Ontario government’s $11 million budget investment in interpreter and intervenor services will help provide more service to people who need it, improve the quality of services and improve wages to attract and keep people who provide interpreter and intervenor services.

------------------------------------------

Greater Fairness For People Awaiting Disability Support
Government Eliminates Four Month Retroactive Payment Rule
[dead link]
News Release
May 31, 2006
TORONTO – The McGuinty government has eliminated a rule that limited retroactive payments for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) applicants, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today.

----------------------------------

Removing Barriers For People With Disabilities Helps Open Doors To New Customers
McGuinty Government Partnerships Demonstrate The Benefits Of Improved Accessibility
[dead link]
News Release
May 31, 2006
TORONTO – The McGuinty government is working with Ontario businesses and community groups to build awareness of the benefits of removing barriers for people with disabilities, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities, announced today. Meilleur joined representatives of the Ontario Chinese Restaurant and Food Services Association (OCRFA) in Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood to announce the government’s seven new EnAbling Change partnership projects.

EnAbling Change Partnership Program 2006-2007 [dead link]
Backgrounder
May 31
The EnAbling Change partnership program builds strategic partnerships with business, broader public sector and non-profit organizations to promote accessibility for people with disabilities. The government is investing almost $300,000 in seven partnerships that will help promote strategies to break down barriers for people with disabilities.

Building Accessibility Champions [dead link]
Backgrounder
May 30, 2006
Improving accessibility for people with disabilities in employment, customer service and universal design is the driving force behind the projects funded under the Ontario government’s EnAbling Change partnership program.

McGuinty Government Builds Better Access For People With Disabilities
Partnership Project Promotes the Shaw Festival to More Tourists and Theatre-goers
[dead link]
News Release
May 30, 2006
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE – The Ontario government, Shaw Festival and the Canadian Standards Association are changing the way patrons with disabilities are being served when they go to the theatre. Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities, Madeleine Meilleur, today joined Shaw Festival Executive Director Colleen Blake to celebrate the results of the Shaw Festival’s participation in the Building Champions program. Through this program, the Canadian Standards Association worked with seven “champion” businesses and organizations to develop and test new customer service training for businesses to use when serving customers with disabilities.


Ontario Government Increases Support For Homeless
Addresses Shelter Shortfall And Tops Up Prevention Programs [dead link]
News Release
February 8, 2005
"TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing communities across the province with additional funding for essential services for people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello confirmed today. (...) In total, the province spends almost $135 million each year on services that protect the homeless, and programs to prevent people from becoming homeless."


McGuinty Government Restoring Integrity To Welfare System [dead link]
News Release
December 15, 2004
"TORONTO – The McGuinty government is implementing its plan to transform Ontario’s social assistance programs and restore integrity to the welfare system, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today."

Backgrounders:
* New Measures Hold Defaulting Sponsors Accountable For Welfare Costs [dead link]
* Improving Ontario's Social Assistance Programs
[dead link]


Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services

-----------------------------------------
Related Links:
-----------------------------------------

Welfare changes reduce penalties : Education savings plans no longer will trigger cuts,
National child benefits still face clawbacks
[dead link]
December 16, 2004
"Welfare recipients will be able to keep more of their own money under changes to social assistance announced yesterday. Under one change, welfare recipients won't be penalized for having registered education savings plans or for education grants and bursaries given to them or their children. As well, parents won't be penalized for money their children save from part-time jobs. But the provincial government stopped short of allowing welfare recipients with children to keep the national child benefits they get. The benefits are clawed back by the government, despite a Liberal election promise to end the practice.
Source:
The Toronto Star

Ontario government revamps welfare [dead link]
December 15, 2004
TORONTO -- Ontario residents on social assistance will be allowed to keep registered savings for their children's education and won't have to count earnings from their children's jobs as income, the government announced Wednesday."
Source:
The National Post



Education plans safe under welfare change
Savings funds won't have to be liquidated
'It's a dumb rule,' minister says
October 7, 2004
"The Ontario government is scrapping a welfare rule requiring applicants to liquidate their education savings plans, Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello says. 'It's a dumb rule that works at cross-purposes to what welfare is suppose to be doing for people and their families ... that rule is going to be eliminated,' Pupatello told the Toronto Star yesterday, adding the change should happen before the end of the year."
Source:
The Toronto Star

Related:

Change in policy allows disadvantaged to save social assistance benefits
October 11, 2004
"We would like to take this opportunity to commend Sandra Pupatello and the government of Ontario for taking an important step to end the rule that disallows social assistance recipients from saving for their children's future while retaining their eligibility for benefits.

The whole point of social assistance is to help people to maintain themselves with dignity when they find themselves without resources, usually for a temporary period, and to move themselves out of a cycle of poverty. We fully understand that there have to be rules that limit eligibility to those who do not have alternative means to support themselves. However, we strongly agree with the government that denying eligibility to a parent who saves for a child's future simply perpetuates the very situation that such programs should be designed to prevent.

By making this policy change, Pupatello is also permitting parents in economically insecure situations to save with confidence and take advantage of the new Canada Learning Bond and the proposed enhancements to Canada Education Savings Grants through RESPs. They can now purchase tax advantaged savings vehicles like other Ontario parents and secure a brighter future for their children.

We acknowledge that in taking this step, the government is sending the important signal that federal and provincial policies must work together to respond to real need and the public good. We are hopeful that in taking a clear leadership role in this area, other jurisdictions that have yet to make this change will undertake parallel amendments to their regulations underscoring again the crucial role that Ontario can play in shaping positive social policy in Canada. Once again, we commend Ontario for making this change."

Susan Pigott, CEO, St. Christopher House
David Pecaut, Chair, Toronto City Summit Alliance


McGuinty Government Restoring Hope, Dignity for People in Need:
Special Payments Deliver Help Sooner
[dead link]
News Release
June 30, 2004
"TORONTO – Ontarians who rely on the province’s social assistance programs will see their first increase in 11 years beginning with a special payment scheduled for early this fall, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today."
- two equal lump-sum payments (end of September --- beginning of December) to eligible client households of Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
[the government is delivering the increase this way because the "new technology (implemented by Andersen Consulting / Accenture) cannot process a welfare rate increase until system changes are made and properly tested."
- the federal government's July 2004 increase to the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) will not be deducted ("clawed back") from social assistance payments
- the nutritional allowance for pregnant women on social assistance is restored effective July 1
Source:
Ministry of Community and Social Services

-----------------------------------------------------

Canada and Ontario sign agreement to assist people with disabilities [dead link]
News Release
May 3, 2004
"Toronto - Ontarians with disabilities will be able to more easily participate in the labour market due to a new agreement signed today by the Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, and the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. The Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister for Social Development and the Honourable Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, also participated in the ceremony. 'This agreement will assist persons with disabilities by removing barriers and fostering opportunities,'said Prime Minister Martin, 'it demonstrates how Canadian governments can work together to address issues faced by Canadians with disabilities. Equality of opportunity for Canadians is the pillar of our successful society.'"
Source:
Social Development Canada

This agreement was signed under the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities.
For more info about the national framework and the agreements signed with other jurisdictions to date, go to the Disability Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/disbkmrk.htm

-----------------------------------------------------

McGuinty Government Takes Action to Help Families Get the Support They Are Entitled [dead link]
February 6, 2004
"TORONTO — The McGuinty government is taking immediate steps to improve service at the Family Responsibility Office (FRO), making it the first government to show real leadership in helping families get the support they are entitled to, Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Community and Social Services, announced today."

McGuinty Government Scraps Lifetime Welfare Ban
Police and Courts to handle fraud, punitive policy repealed
[dead link]
News Release
January 9, 2004

Related Links:

Liberals lift lifetime ban for welfare cheats
Liberal government scraps life sentence handed to those who cheat system
January 9, 2004
Canadian Press
"A controversial lifetime ban on Ontario welfare recipients who cheat the system has been lifted a year after a coroner's inquest into the death of a pregnant woman recommended that it happen."
NOTE: this link will expire after awhile - to read it, you'll have to go to the Toronto Star archives where you pay per article.
Source:
The Toronto Star

Making Ontario’s Communities Accessible for all its Citizens
A message from Sandra Pupatello
Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities
[dead link]
September 1, 2005
"We have already begun to see the results from our efforts – the passage into law of the historic Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and support from people with disabilities, the private sector, the broader public sector, all government ministries and individuals from every walk of life.(...) I am excited about my new role as minister responsible for people with disabilities."


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

From the
Office of the Premier of Ontario:


Ontario Regulations Coming into Force on January 1, 2013
http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2012/12/ontario-regulations-coming-into-force-on-january-1-2013.html
December 31, 2012
Backgrounder

Excerpts from this backgrounder:

(...)

3. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is amending a regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to add requirements to increase accessibility in public spaces. These would apply to the government, the broader public sector (e.g., universities, hospitals) and the private sector, with a phased implementation beginning in 2015 with the public sector.

4. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is amending a regulation under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act and the Ontario Works Act to remove the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit from social assistance regulations and transfer 50 per cent of its funding to the new Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative, as announced in the 2012 Budget. Ontario will provide one-time transitional funding of $42 million total to municipalities as they develop their new community homelessness prevention plans. Changes also would be made to exempt payments made to social assistance clients as income under the new initiative.

5. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is amending a regulation under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act to remove the Home Repairs Benefit from the Ontario Disability Support Program.

6. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is amending a regulation under the Ontario Works Act to retain authority to provide emergency hostel services by First Nations delivery agents.

7. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is amending a regulation under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act to deem named groups of individuals with developmental disabilities as eligible for ministry-funded adult developmental services.

(...)

30. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending a regulation under the Housing Services Act to exempt, as income, payments under the new Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative for the purposes of calculating a tenant's rent based on their monthly household income.

31. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending a regulation under the Housing Services Act to update the Household Income Limits (HILs) and associated High Need Income Limits (HNILs). Changes to HILs are technical matters to reflect information received from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. HILs are used, for example, to determine eligibility for rent geared to income assistance and eligibility for certain provincially funded programs.

(...)

50. The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat is amending a regulation under the Retirement Homes Act to maintain the exclusion of domiciliary hostels and emergency hostels from the definition of a "retirement home" under new Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative.

51. The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat is enacting part of a regulation under the Retirement Homes Act to update requirements related to care standards, safety plans, assessment and care plans for new residents and staff training.

Source:
Office of the Premier
http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/home/index.php?Lang=EN

From the Ministry of Community and Social Services(MCSS)

Accessibility Ontario [dead link]

Paths to Equal Opportunity [dead link]
"The Government of Ontario presents the Gateway to Diversity and the Gateway to Accessibility with resources for business and service providers that will help them create inclusive workplaces and to remove the barriers which prevent full independence and opportunity for people with disabilities."

Links - to 1200+ organizations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world, mostly disability-related. [dead link]

A-Z Index of resources --- thousands of online resources, organized by subject [dead link]

Guide to Government of Ontario Programs and Services for People with Disabilities - 3rd edition (revised) [dead link]

December 13, 2005
McGuinty Government Launches New Accessibility Council [dead link]
News Release
"TORONTO — The McGuinty government’s commitment to accessibility is getting a big boost today with the appointment of CITY-TV veteran David Onley and community leader Tracy MacCharles to lead the province’s new Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, Minister of Community and Social Services Sandra Pupatello announced today."

Frequently Asked Questions about the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
[dead link]

---

Making Ontario’s Communities Accessible for all its Citizens
A message from Sandra Pupatello
Minister Responsible for Ontarians with Disabilities
[dead link]
September 1, 2005
"We have already begun to see the results from our efforts – the passage into law of the historic Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and support from people with disabilities, the private sector, the broader public sector, all government ministries and individuals from every walk of life.(...) I am excited about my new role as minister responsible for people with disabilities."

---

Google.ca News Search Results : "Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act"
Google.ca Web Search Results : "Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act"
Source:
Google.ca



Family Responsibility Office [dead link]
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) receives every support order made by a court in Ontario and enforces the amounts owed under the support order. The FRO works under the authority of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996 (FRSAEA). The FRO's role is to enforce court orders for child and spousal support by ensuring that support payments flow properly from payors (people who make support payments) to recipients (people who receive them). The FRO has the legal authority to take enforcement action against those that do not meet their family responsibilities.

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children.

Young People in Care Call for Fundamental Changes to Child Welfare System
Youth Leaving Care Hearings Team to Deliver Report to Ontario Legislature Today
(PDF - 44K, 2 pages)
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/documents/en/ylc/YLC_Hearings_Report_Press_Release_EN.pdf
[ Version française:
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/documents/en/ylc/YLC_Hearings_Report_Press_Release_FR.pdf ]
May 14, 2012
News Release
TORONTO - Young people in and from care who held public hearings last November will deliver a report to the Ontario Legislature today that includes a strong call for fundamental change to the existing child welfare system. The report entitled, My REAL Life Book, stems from almost 200 submissions from young people and others across the province about how to improve outcomes for the Province’s children. The report provides deeply personal insights into the care system, in the words and experiences of youth themselves.

---

My REAL Life Book (PDF - 2.4MB, 36 pages)
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/documents/en/ylc/YLC_REPORT_ENG.pdf
[ version française:
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/documents/en/ylc/YLC_REPORT_FR.pdf
]

For some time now, across the province, youth in and from care have been speaking out about the many issues now contained in this report. After voicing those concerns to Irwin Elman, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, we decided to plan and hold two days of public hearings on the issues facing youth as we age out of care. On November 18th and 25th, 2011, the Youth Leaving Care Hearings took place at Queen’s Park, home of the Ontario Legislature. This is the report that came out of the submissions we received. The purpose of this report is to improve the experiences and lives of youth in and leaving care.
(...)
On page 20 : "Comprehensive health and dental benefits, including prescriptions, should be extended to youth to the age of 25 to allow them to complete their education and gain employment before coverage ends." (Mary Ballantyne, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies)

---

Youth Leaving Care Hearings
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/main/en/hearings/pages/home.html
The Youth Leaving Care Hearings were the first public hearings organized and run by young people at Queen’s Park, the home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth partnered with dozens of volunteers — all young people in and from care — to hold hearings designed to address the issues faced by many of the 8,300 children and youth who are Crown Wards in Ontario.

In November 2011, children and youth from across the province spoke about their experiences and had the opportunity to help make changes. Professionals, families, and friends added their voices to help build understanding about what young people in care need to succeed as adults. Members of the Provincial Parliament, ministry staff, service providers and members of the public attended to listen and learn.

Source:
Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children.

Related links:

25 Is The New 21:
The Costs and Benefits of Providing Extended Care
and Maintenance to Ontario Youth in Care Until Age 25
(PDF - 1.2MB, 70 pages)
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/documents/en/25istheNew21.pdf
March 2012
Seven cost-benefit analyses have been undertaken in the United States and Australia to examine the costs to society of providing extra supports to youth in care after the age of 18. The studies reveal vastly different approaches, assumptions, and data sources. Yet all reach the same concl usion: increased investment in services for youth transitioning from care yield benefits in the long term. This is the first such study to be done in Canada. The analysis is based on the best and most promising aspects of the seven cost-benefit analyses mentioned above. The report examines available Ontario data, as well as Canadian and international sources, to estimate the cost of a program extension in Ontario. It also estimates the savings that could be achieved by bettering the lives of youth aging out of care.
Source:
Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/

From the
Toronto Star:

Ontario Crown wards deserve provincial help to age 25, child advocate Irwin Elman says
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1138906
March 1, 2012
By Laurie Monsebraaten
Ontario’s provincial child advocate is adding his voice — and new evidence — to the call for Queen’s Park to provide financial and emotional support to former Crown wards until age 25. Currently, these vulnerable youth lose all support on their 21st birthday when children’s aid workers often take them to welfare offices and homeless shelters as a last resort. A cost-benefit analysis being released Thursday says the $103.5 million price tag to extend support to about 3,000 former Crown wards for an additional four years would be more than recouped through reduced jail and social assistance costs and increased tax revenue, as these youth are better able to complete their education and get good jobs.

Ontario should help foster kids until they turn 25
http://www.thestar.com/mobile/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1138937
February 29, 2012
By John Stapleton
On an impulse, while working on a social policy fellowship years ago at St. Christopher House, I asked a number of low-income adults in a community reference group — some in their 40s and 50s — if they had ever been in foster care. Slowly, more than half put up their hands. At that time, I was surprised. But I have asked the same question again in similar settings with similar results. I am no longer surprised. At age 21, youth who “age out” of care are not allowed to have any further relationship with the system that brought them this far — the foster care system or a group home. They often have nowhere to go.
(...)
Ontario’s children’s aid societies have several programs to help support young people as they age out of care. These include Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) agreements that extend financial and emotional support past the age of 18 until age 21. These agreements are available only to youth who are Crown wards or to those in customary care or other specified arrangements. But these agreements only extend to age 21 and that’s simply not long enough. Studies show that 20-24 year-olds now stay at home at three times the rate their counterparts did just two generations ago. Youth aging out of care do not have this option.
(...)
Last year, I was asked by Irwin Elman, Ontario’s Advocate for Children and Youth, to conduct a cost-benefit analysis, the first such study we know of to have been completed in Canada. The result is a new report — 25 Is The New 21 — released on March 1.
Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

---

See also:

Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal
http://www.cecw-cepb.ca/
The Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal (CWRP) provides access to up-to-date research on Canadian child welfare programs and policies. The Portal was originally developed through the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare (CECW), the Portal continues to maintain links with the Child Welfare League of Canada, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Groupe de recherche et d'action sur la victimisation des enfants (GRAVE-ARDEC), and other groups and organizations that collaborated with the CECW. The Portal is designed to provide child welfare professionals, researchers, and the general public with a single point of access to Canadian child welfare research.
- Topics include : Child Abuse & Neglect - Out-of-Home Care - Intervention & Prevention - Families & Communities - Aboriginal Child Welfare - Policy & Legislation - Provinces & Territories

---

Youth in Care Canada
http://www.youthincare.ca/
The National Youth In Care Network is a national charitable organization driven by youth and alumni of care across Canada. The NYICN exists to voice the opinions and concerns of youth in and from care and promote the improvement of services for this group.

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Home-Page/

Commissioner Cavoukian launches Symposium and www.RealPrivacy.ca to raise
awareness: Beware of "Surveillance by Design:" Standing Up for Freedom and Privacy (PDF - 48K, 2 pages)
http://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/2012-01-12-Surveillance_by_Design_Symposium.pdf
Media Advisory
January 12, 2012
(...) The new website, www.RealPrivacy.ca [ http://www.realprivacy.ca/ ], includes:
• background information on proposed lawful access legislation such as relevant media articles, key letters, and editorials;
• proposed solutions on how the federal government can improve the legislation to respect privacy while also enhancing security; and
• a new Write My MP tool by which individuals can easily share their concerns with their Member of Parliament and urge the government to reconsider the proposed laws. We are inviting members of the public to write to the MPs, raising their concerns and asking them to question the proposed legislation.

Related link:

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Home-Page/

Source:
RealPrivacy.ca
http://www.realprivacy.ca/

Ministry of Children and Youth Services
HOME PAGE
Adoption - Child Care - Child Protection - Early Years Challenge Fund - Early Years Initiatives - Foster Care - Northern Ontario Grant Assistance Program - Child and Family Service Advocacy - Children with Special Needs - Youth Justice Services

Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
The Ontario Child Benefit is financial support for low-income families to help provide for their children. In July, eligible families saw an increase in their monthly payments.
- incl. links to:
* What is it?
* How do I get it?
* How much will I receive?
* I need more information

New Ontario Child Benefit
- from the 2007 Ontario Budget (March 22/07)

OCB Backgrounder
- from the 2007 Ontario Budget

---

From the Government of Ontario:

More Support For Crown Ward Students
McGuinty Government Building Tomorrow's Highly Skilled Workforce

November 12, 2009
Ontario is helping more Crown wards succeed at college, university and apprenticeship training. Seven new Crown Ward Education Championship Teams will offer mentorship, peer support, motivation, and guidance to Crown wards across the province. This doubles the number of teams in Ontario to 14. The teams will help these students access and succeed in postsecondary education and training. Teams include volunteers from local school boards, Children's Aid Societies, postsecondary institutions, community agencies, Employment Ontario and provincial ministries. Support of Crown wards is part of Breaking the Cycle: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, which aims to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over five years -- lifting 90,000 kids out of poverty -- by boosting benefits for low-income families and enhancing publicly-funded education.

Learn more:
* Breaking the Cycle: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy
* Find out more about Ontario's colleges and universities.
* See how Ontario is helping to build a highly skilled workforce.
* ontario.ca/news
* Removing Education Barriers For Crown Wards

Source:
Newsroom - Ontario Government

---

Helping Families In Need:
McGuinty Government To Increase Ontario Child Benefit And Invest In Affordable Housing
March 20, 2009
Ontario is doing more to support low income families facing challenging economic times. The government is proposing to increase the Ontario Child Benefit this July, from $600 to a maximum of $1,100 per child per year. The Ontario Child Benefit helps 1.3 million children by giving moms and dads monthly support. Ontario is also planning to increase its investment in social and affordable housing to create short-term jobs in construction and renovation while improving the lives of people with low-incomes. Working with the federal government, Ontario would renovate 50,000 social housing units and build 4,500 new affordable housing units through a joint investment of $1.2 billion.
Source:
Newsroom - Ontario.ca

Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
The Ontario Child Benefit is financial support that low-income families can receive to help provide for their children. It’s also the centrepiece of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. About 465,000 families with 960,000 children receive a monthly Ontario Child Benefit payment each month. That’s up to $50 per child each month, increasing to up to $67 per child each month as of July 2009.
Source:
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

***********
Related links:
***********

Ontario doubles payout for low-income children
Child benefit increases to $1,100 yearly to ease the economic fallout
March 21, 2009
By Tanya Talaga
The Ontario child benefit available to low-income families will nearly double to $1,100 a year beginning in July, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday. The Liberals had planned on increasing the monthly child benefit by 2011 as part of their anti-poverty reduction strategy, but accelerated the payout to help families during the economic downturn, he told a news conference at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre. The government promised four months ago to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent in five years, but said that federal funding and a strong economy were required to reach the target. Anti-poverty advocates have been watching closely to see whether the Liberals, facing a projected $18 billion deficit over two years, will deliver. Yesterday's announcement increases the maximum child benefit to $92 from $50 per child, per month. About 465,000 families with a total of 960,000 children receive a monthly payment, with the maximum annual benefit currently $600. The maximum benefit is available to families earning less than $20,000 a year.
Source:
The Toronto Star

---

Poverty investments a good first start: 25 in 5
March 20, 2009
Commitments made by Premier Dalton McGuinty today to invest in two important poverty reduction initiatives bode well for all Ontarians, says the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction.
NOTE: the following links are copied from the above blog posting:
Media and community responses
to the Ontario Government announcement:
* Low-income Ontarians, and provincial economy get welcome boost from new investments - The Wellesley Institute
* Ontario budget to boost child benefit, social housing funds - CBC.ca
* Affordable housing to get $1.2B boost - Toronto Star
* Ont. speeds up increase in child benefit to July 1 - CTV.ca
* Municipalities Welcome $1.2 Billion Investment in Social Housing - Association of Municipalities of Ontario
Source:
25 in 5 Network
for Poverty Reduction

---

Ontario makes substantial
down payment on new provincial housing plan

March 20, 2009
By Michael Shapcott
Ontario has made a substantial down payment to meet the housing needs of tens of thousands of people who are precariously housed or homeless. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and housing minister Jim Watson have announced plans today to invest $624.5 million over the next two years in affordable housing initiatives. When combined with matching federal dollars, it amounts to more than $1.2 billion. (...) Today’s provincial housing announcement meets the first priority set out by the Wellesley Institute in our 2009 budget recommendations to the Government of Ontario, which was to fully match federal affordable housing dollars. But provincial housing investments still lag behind the deep and persistent need across the province, and Ontario is lagging behind provides such as Alberta [see below] in making commitments for urgently needed new housing investments.
Source:
Wellesley Institute Blog
[ Wellesley Institute ]

---

For related links, go to the Canadian Social Research Links Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm

---

Foster children left behind, NDP charges
February 20, 2008
By Tanya Talaga
News that 20,000 Ontario foster children were left out of an anti-poverty plan proves how flawed Premier Dalton McGuinty’s child benefit program is, the province’s NDP leader says. In 2003, McGuinty promised he would end a clawback of the national child benefit supplement, which takes about $1,500 a year out of the pockets of families on welfare and disability support, Howard Hampton charged yesterday. However, parents who receive Ontario disability support or Ontario Works payments are still having the national child benefit deducted from those cheques, Hampton said.
Source:
The Toronto Star

---

Governments of Canada and Ontario sign funding agreement on Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) [dead link]
News Release
November 25, 2005
"Social Development Minister Ken Dryden and Mary Anne Chambers, Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services, today signed a multi-year funding agreement on early learning and child care. Under this initiative Ontario will receive approximately $1.9 billion over five years to support its early learning and child care goals. Ontario signed an Agreement-in-Principle on May 6, 2005 , in which it committed to release an action plan identifying its priorities and how it intends to meet them."
Source:
Social Development Canada

Google Web Search Results : "Ontario, early learning and child care, agreement"
Google News search Results : "Ontario, early learning and child care, agreement"
Source:
Google.ca

Best Start : Ontario's Plan for Early Learning and Child Care

Related Links:
- Go to the Government Early Learning and Child Care Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd.htm

For more info concerning the federal-provincial ELCC agreements signed in the spring of 2005, go to the Government Early Learning and Child Care Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd.htm

Office of the Premier
HOME PAGE

Premier Launches Review to Strengthen Communities
Province And Municipalities Working Together To Continue To Improve Services For Ontario Families
[dead link]
August 14, 2006
OTTAWA — Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the province is building on its partnership with municipalities by launching a joint review aimed at improving the delivery and funding of municipal services for Ontario families.

McGuinty Government Investing in Early Childhood Development
Premier Encourages Ontarians To Help Tackle The Deficit And Set Goals

News Release
January 19, 2004
"Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today said that his government is committed to improving important services like early childhood development and that strengthening the province's fiscal foundation will make it possible to deliver real, positive change. 'After years of neglect, our government is repairing the foundation for child care because we believe the early years are crucial to a child's future success', said Premier McGuinty. (...) 'The government is making $9.7 million in federal funds available to child care centres throughout the province (...) There's so much more we want to do -- and that's why we're working hard to tackle the $5.6 billion deficit that we've inherited from the previous government. It's an obstacle to the change Ontarians want and need.'"

Related Link:

Child care community welcomes new funding - first of its kind for years!
News release
January 8,
2004
"
Yesterday Minister Bountrogianni announced that this year's federal Multi-lateral Framework money - 9.7 million dollars - will go to non-profit, regulated, child care centres for capital repairs and upgrades. This is the first announcement of new funding for child care in Ontario for some time and is welcomed by the child care community. It meets an important need and is an encouraging sign that the new Liberal government recognizes the value of not-for-profit and regulated care.
Source:
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

- Go to the Early Learning and Child Care page for all Ontario ECD links

$3.5M aid for abused women to improve counselling services
April 6, 2004
"The Ontario government has come up with $3.5 million for transitional housing for women fleeing abuse. Premier Dalton McGuinty will announce today the cash to fund counselling for women as they move from emergency shelters to temporary apartments. The counselling will involve everything from dealing with the legal system to getting children enrolled in new schools. Almost $3 million in transitional housing money was eliminated by the former Conservative government as part of 1996 across-the-board budget cuts.
(...) Meanwhile, Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello signalled yesterday that welfare and disability support rates are unlikely to rise in next month's budget."
Source:
Toronto Star

Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal
"This new ministry will manage infrastructure planning to achieve maximum leverage for taxpayer dollars in the key areas of education, health, transportation, housing and the environment."

Non-governmental links:

Raising the Roof
"Raising the Roof is the only national charity in Canada dedicated to finding long-term solutions to homelessness"
Shared Learnings on Homelessness (from Raising the Roof)
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
Housing and Homelessness Network in Ontario

Ministry of Finance 
HOME PAGE

Budgets, Public Accounts, Ontario Financial Reports


Latest Ontario Budget:

From the
Ontario Ministry of Finance:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/

May 2, 2013
2013 Ontario Budget

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2013/
[ Version française:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fr/budget/ontariobudgets/2013/
]
- main budget page, includes links to all budget papers.

2013 Ontario Budget: Highlights
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2013/budhi.html
[ Version française:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2013/budhi.html ]
* A PROSPEROUS AND FAIR ONTARIO
* PATH TO BALANCE
* A PLAN FOR JOBS AND GROWTH
* A FAIR SOCIETY
(...) Proposing to Increase Opportunities for People by:
--- Introducing a $200 per month earnings exemption to reduce barriers to employment for social assistance recipients.
--- Increasing social assistance rates, including a top-up for single adults without children receiving Ontario Works.
--- Increasing Ontario Works liquid asset limits to help recipients save and become more financially secure.
--- Supporting greater opportunities for Aboriginal people through direct engagement on social assistance reform, more support for housing as well as transforming services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal children and young people.
* HELPING ONTARIO DRIVERS SAVE MONEY
* ONTARIO TRILLIUM BENEFIT: MORE CHOICE FOR PEOPLE

------------------------------------------------------------------

Media coverage of the 2013 Ontario Budget

------------------------------------------------------------------

From Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:

Media and Policy News for 9 May 2013
http://goo.gl/3C8Ep

Click the above link to access any of the articles below.

Ontario Budget 2013: Coverage

* “Far reaching and fundamental”
* “Heading in the right direction”
* “The right direction, but more work to do”
* “Long awaited improvements to social assistance”
* “A path to transformation”
* “Good news on the poverty front”
* “A lot further than we were last week”
* “A good start”
* "An NDP-ish budget"
* "An overarching emphasis on cutting the deficit"
* "A missed opportunity"
* NDP proposes an independent budgetary watchdog to ensure accountability
* Kevin Page, former Parliamentary Budget Officer, says it’s a good idea

Ontario Budget 2013: Reactions

* ISAC’s Analysis
* Anglican Diocese Social Justice and Advocacy
* ARCH Disability Law Centre
* Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
* CARP
* Daily Bread Food Bank
* Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination
* Hamilton Poverty Roundtable
* ISARC
* OCASI
* Ontario Campaign 2000
* Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
* Ontario Non-Profit Network
* Pathway to Potential
* Poverty Free Ontario
* 25in5 Network for Poverty Reduction
* Wellesley Institute

And the Conference Board of Canada notes:
“The only spending category slated to receive any meaningful growth in funding will be social services, reflecting the government’s planned increases to social assistance and its plan to increase the Ontario Child Benefit in 2013 and 2014.”

-----------------------------------------------

Compiled by
Jennefer Laidley
Policy & Research Analyst
Income Security Advocacy Centre
http://www.incomesecurity.org/

---

Check the Media and Policy News archive:
http://goo.gl/I32FD
(Back to October 29, 2012, but doesn't include a table of contents for each issue)

Check Gilles' Media and Policy News archive:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/isac_media_scan.htm
(Back to April 2, 2012, includes the table of contents for each issue)

Subscribe to ISAC's Latest Media and Policy News mailing list:
http://goo.gl/XEGZg

Subscribe to the main ISAC E-List (to receive info on ISAC's law reform work, the social assistance review, and other OW / ODSP -related information):
http://goo.gl/j3gzt

------------------------------------------------------------------

From
CBC News - Toronto:

Ontario Liberals' fate over budget hangs on NDP
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/05/02/ontario-budget.html
Ontario's governing Liberals delivered a budget with few surprises on Thursday afternoon, though it was clear they paid close attention to the demands of the New Democrats whose support will be needed for it to pass.

Related Stories
from CBC News - Toronto:
[For links to the articles below, click the link above and select an article in the left margin of the page.]

* Budget statements by leaders of the NDP (Andrea Horwath) and the Ontario PCs (Tim Hudak)
* Finance Minister Charles Sousa's budget speech
* Ontario budget: Highlights and key figures
* Four key questions about the coming Ontario budget
* Ontario budget will drop auto insurance premiums 15%
* Ontario Liberals seek support on youth employment, budget
* Ontario Liberals won't be 'held hostage' by budget demands

Source:
CBC News - Toronto:
http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/news/

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From the
Globe and Mail:

Ontario NDP push Liberals after provincial budget
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-ndp-push-liberals-after-provincial-budget/article11717777/
By Adrian Morrow
May 3, 2013
Ontario’s New Democrats have hardened their demands from Premier Kathleen Wynne a day after the provincial budget, telling the government it must build measurable targets into its fiscal plan. Ms. Wynne’s minority Liberals gave the left-wing party nearly everything it asked for in the budget, with promises to slash auto-insurance premiums by 15 per cent, pump money into home care and increase benefits for welfare recipients. But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Ms. Wynne has to put mechanisms in the budget to ensure the new spending actually meets the NDP’s goals.
- also includes links to the following articles:
* NDP demands accountability in Ontario budget
* Ontario unveils budget, opposition support not clear
* Ontario budget sees 2013-14 deficit of C$11.7 billion

Source:
Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

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From the
Toronto Star:
http://www.thestar.com/

Ontario budget: Kathleen Wynne rules out big changes to appease NDP
http://goo.gl/qh60A
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath plans to talk to Ontarians before she sits down with Premier Kathleen Wynne to announce whether the New Democrats will prop up the Liberals.

Ontario budget 2013: Changes to social assistance ‘far-reaching and fundamental’
http://goo.gl/OecQP
The Ontario Liberals’ budget includes $400 million over three years to begin transforming the welfare system. Anti-poverty activists are welcoming the Wynne government’s “first steps” to transform Ontario’s $8.3 billion welfare system into a program that helps more people, including the disabled, escape poverty through employment.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

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From the
Toronto Sun:

Ontario Liberal budget drives debt up another $40B over two years
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/02/ontario-liberals-unveil-provincial-budget
TORONTO - Ontario’s scandal-plagued Liberal government plans to drive up debt by more than $40 billion over the next two years. Finance Minister Charles Sousa introduced a budget Thursday calculated to appease the NDP, avoid an election and maintain minority Premier Kathleen Wynne’s grasp on power.

More Sun Coverage of the 2013 Ontario Budget
Click the link above, then select one of the following articles.
* Ontario's finances in a mess thanks to Liberals' make-believe budgets
* Snapshot of 2013 Ontario budget
* Time to judge the Liberals
* NDP won’t defeat the Liberals’ budget
* Rob Ford both 'happy' and 'somewhat concerned' about Ontario budget
* Horwath says she'll follow what Ontarians tell her about budget
* Rob Ford 'disappointed' no subway money in Wynne's budget
* NDP Leader Andrea Horwath needs to grow up and make a decision
* Nothing Liberals promise should be trusted

Source:
Toronto Sun:
http://www.torontosun.com/

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Analysis/critique of the 2013 Ontario Budget

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From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):

Budget 2013 Analysis:
Moving Forward on Social Assistance Reform
(Word file - 81K, 3 pages)
http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/BudgetAnalysis2013.doc
Budget 2013 has begun to make positive changes to a social assistance system that has continued to impoverish and cause hardship for low-income Ontarians.As a package, these changes don't make major progress toward improving the lives of people on Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), but do represent positive steps toward making the systemic changes that are required.

Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
http://www.incomesecurity.org/
The Income Security Advocacy Centre works with and on behalf of low income communities in Ontario to address issues of income security and poverty.

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From
25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction:

Anti-Poverty Advocates: Budget Makes Progress Towards Poverty Reduction
http://25in5.ca/press-release-anti-poverty-advocates-budget-makes-progress-towards-poverty-reduction/
Press Release
May 3, 2013
Anti-poverty advocates expressed optimism that today’s budget renews Ontario’s commitment to reducing poverty and building a fairer and more prosperous province.
- includes info on the more significant changes affecting individuals and families in receipt of social assistance.

Source:
25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction

http://25in5.ca/
25-in-5: Network for Poverty Reduction is a multi-sectoral network comprised of more than 100 provincial and Toronto-based organizations and individuals working on eliminating poverty.

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From the
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP):

Wynne's First Budget - More Austerity and Deeper Poverty:
2013-2014 Ontario Provincial Budget Breakdown by OCAP

http://www.ocap.ca/node/1077
May 2, 2013
OCAP had no great expectations that the 'Social Justice Premier's' first Budget would give poor communities in Ontario much reason to celebrate. We are surprised, however, at just how shamelessly she has continued to push people into deeper poverty.
Key Highlights
• Deficit projected at $9.8 billion. Corporate tax cuts alone have contributed $8.5 billion or approximately 87% of this deficit. The tax cuts have not created new jobs – unemployment remains high, at 7.7%
• Ontario now spends less on programs per capita than any other province
• Cabinet Committee will work this year to implement the austerity recommendations of the SARC report, most of which echo the Drummond report. If the government follows through on these plans, 2014 will likely see major, devastating changes to social assistance, especially ODSP.
• Social assistance rates will increase by 1%, with a top up of $14 for single people on OW. This is less than inflation, so it is a cut when cost of living is factored in.
• Everyone on OW and ODSP can now keep up to $200 per month of their earnings, but earnings above $200 will be clawed back by 50%.
• Single adults can now keep $2500 of their assets when going on to OW. Couples can now keep $5000.
• Government is working hard to push people with disabilities into low wage work. Committed to working with private sector to find jobs for people on ODSP – given how inaccessible society is, these will mostly be low paying, precarious jobs.
• They are moving ahead with 60% of the austerity recommendations in the Drummond Report
• Government boasts of keeping public sector wages down. Promises to freeze wages until deficit is eliminated. Looking to cut 1500 jobs from public sector.

Source:
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)
http://www.ocap.ca/
OCAP is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We mount campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working people.

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From the
Ontario Office of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Ontario Budget 2013: Four More Years of Austerity
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/four-more-years-austerity
May 2, 2013
By Hugh Mackenzie and Trish Hennessy
All budgets are political in nature, but Ontario’s 2013 budget – tabled by a minority government with a new leader – stands out as a case in point: it is carefully designed to survive a non-confidence vote. It extends a few olive branches to the opposition NDP. A promise to reduce auto insurance premiums by 15%. Increases in spending on home care, youth unemployment and infrastructure in rural areas and the north. Restructuring the Employer Health Tax to claw back the small business reduction from large corporations.

Source:
Ontario Office
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/ontario
of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

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From the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario:

Liberals' 2013 budget insults hundreds of thousands living in poverty:
Business keeps getting $8.5 billion in annual tax cuts, but Ontario's poor
get tiny rate increases that are wiped out by inflation and rent increases

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/-1786186.htm
May 2, 2013
The Liberal 2013 budget insults hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty in Ontario by continuing $8.5 billion in annual tax cuts for corporations, while providing minuscule social assistance rate "increases" that are wiped out by inflation and rent increases, anti-poverty activists with the Raise the Rates campaign said today.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

http://cupe.ca/ontario

Raise the Rates! Fight Poverty!
http://www.cupe.on.ca/raisetherates
CUPE Ontario is working in solidarity with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty [ http://www.ocap.ca/ ] and other partners, including the Public Service Alliance of Canada-Ontario [ http://ontario.psac.com/ ], to "Raise the Rates" of social assistance in our province.

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From the
Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction:

Ontario Budget 2013: Poverty Reduction Must Remain the Priority
http://hamiltonpoverty.ca/?p=694
May 2, 2013
Budget commitments a start… Poverty Reduction must remain the priority.
Several poverty-related measures were announced in today’s Ontario budget: including increasing social assistance rates by 1% (as well as an additional $14 monthly increase for singles on Ontario Works) and increasing earnings exemptions for those on social assistance that are able to work. However, the changes do not go far enough to address the crisis facing many families in Ontario living who live in deep poverty.

Source:
Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

http://hamiltonpoverty.ca/

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From
TD Bank Economics:

Federal and Provincial Budgets
http://www.td.com/economics/analysis/canada/public-policy-government-finances/gov-finances.jsp
TD Economics
http://www.td.com/economics/about-td-economics/about.jsp


NOTE: On this page, you'll find information about the latest provincial budget only.

To avoid unnecessary duplication of budget links on multiple pages, I've moved links to all earlier budgets over to the pages below, organized by fiscal year. The pages below include links to media analysis and selected critique from NGOs on the budgets, and the amount of coverage varies across jurisdictions and over the years.

Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2013
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2012
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2011
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2010
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2009
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2008

Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2007
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2006
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2005
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2004

From the
Ontario Ministry of Finance:

Ontario Trillium Benefit
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html
Starting July 2012, the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) combines the following into one monthly payment:
* Ontario Sales Tax Credit * Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit * Northern Ontario Energy Credit.

If you are receiving any of the three tax credits that have been rolled into the new Ontario Trillium Benefit your money will be coming to you by direct deposit or by mail. Starting July 2012, you will be paid monthly rather than having to wait until after you file your tax return next year.

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html

---

From the
Toronto Star:

Ontario’s Trillium Benefit: A new way to help the poor
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1225861
July 12, 2012
Laurie Monsebraaten
Social Justice Reporter
22 Comments
About 3.5 million low- and moderate-income Ontarians this week are receiving their first Trillium Benefit, a provincial initiative that combines three quarterly tax credits into a new monthly payment.
The benefit, which includes the provincial sales, property and energy tax credits, was first announced in the 2011 budget and provides monthly payments of up to $113 for a single person, $142 for a single parent and $124 for a senior.
(...)
Designed to help households better manage their monthly expenses by providing the money earlier and more frequently than before, the benefit, worth about $2.4 billion annually, is the first outside Quebec to be paid monthly through the tax system to all low- and moderate-income people. Quebec’s monthly “Solidarity Tax Credit” [see "Related link" below] was also introduced this month. Until now, only seniors, the disabled and parents with children received monthly benefits through the tax system. And it is why some social policy experts say the benefit sets the stage for the introduction of a guaranteed annual income.

“It puts the delivery platform in place,” said John Stapleton, a retired social services ministry official who now advises government and community agencies on policies to ease poverty.

“The next step would be to increase the amount of money available,” he said. Stapleton encouraged the government to move to monthly tax credits and also appears in a finance ministry video explaining the new benefit.

The benefit is part of the province’s poverty reduction strategy, said Children and Youth Minister Eric Hoskins who oversees the province’s anti-poverty file.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

Related link:

Québec Solidarity Tax Credit
http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/citoyen/credits/solidarite/
On July 1, 2011, the solidarity tax credit took effect, thereby replacing the QST credit, the property tax refund and the credit for individuals living in northern villages.
(Revenu Québec : http://www.revenuquebec.ca/ )

Ontario Seeks to Strengthen Canada's Retirement Income System:
McGuinty Government Consults On A More Secure Retirement

News Release
October 29, 2010
Ontario is taking the next step to strengthen retirement income security by releasing the discussion paper "Securing our Retirement Future: Consulting with Ontarians on Canada's Retirement Income System." It outlines the challenges facing Ontarians and all Canadians who are seeking a stable and secure retirement income and the options available to them.

Securing Our Retirement Future:
Consulting with Ontarians on Canada's Retirement Income System

(...) While our system is already strong, we can do a number of things to make it even better. Ontario supports a three-point approach to help create a truly world-leading retirement income system.
First, we need to update our own employment pension laws.
Second, we must build on the strengths of the CPP through a modest expansion of benefits.
Third, we need more pension innovation.
...
Feedback on the discussion paper should be submitted no later than November 29, 2010.
Please submit comments to Pension.Feedback@ontario.ca
... or send written comments to:
Ministry of Finance
Retirement Income Security Submission
c/o Communications & Corporate Affairs Branch
3rd Floor, Frost Building North
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON
M7A 1Z1

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance

--------------------------------

Related links from the
Government of Ontario:

Further Improvements To Pensions For Ontarians:
McGuinty Government Continues to Modernize and Strengthen Retirement Income System
October 19, 2010
Reforms to be introduced today will further strengthen Ontarians' pensions, addressing concerns of workers, retirees, and employers. The Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010 builds on the first phase of reforms that passed unanimously last Spring.

* Learn more about Ontario's position on retirement income reform
* Read a summary of the report by the Expert Commission on Pensions

Ontario Ministry of Revenue


The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario

From the
Ontario Ministry of Revenue:

Tax Changes for a Stronger Ontario:
What the changes mean to you
(PDF - 780K, 2 pages) [dead link]
Revised February 2010
Moving to the HST will cause some purchases to cost more because some goods and services that were not subject to the PST will become subject to the provincial portion (eight per cent) for the first time. However, 83 per cent of consumer purchases will not see a new tax. In fact, on a number of items, prices will eventually come down.

Ontario's Comprehensive Tax Package [dead link]
Last updated May 2010
Ontario's new comprehensive tax package includes the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and a number of personal and business income tax cuts, credits and benefits that could affect you.

What's Taxable Under the HST and What's Not? [dead link]
Last updated May 19, 2010
In total, about 83 per cent of products and services purchased by consumers will see no new tax. Only 17 per cent will see a new tax, things like personal and professional services such as hairstyling and legal fees, as well as energy costs including home heating fuel and electricity.
- includes a large list of examples of common products and services and how they will be affected by the HST

Frequently-Asked Questions about the HST in Ontario [dead link]
Last updated April 27, 2010

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Revenue

----------------------------------

From the
Canada Revenue Agency:

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) for Ontario and British Columbia
The HST would replace existing provincial sales taxes and
the Goods and Services Tax in those provinces beginning July 1, 2010.
The Government of Canada is committed to developing partnership agreements with the provinces to improve the competitiveness of their tax systems and deliver services on behalf of its federal, provincial, and territorial partners.

Everything you want to know about
the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax

- organized by topic, applies to all of Canada

Harmonized Sales Tax for Ontario and British Columbia:
Questions and Answers for Public Service Bodies
(PDF - 267K, 18 pages)
GST/HST Notice No.P P253
April 2010
This publication provides questions and answers that reflect the proposed tax changes as announced in the 2009 Ontario Budget and Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth issued on November 16, 2009, as well as the News Release issued by the Government of British Columbia on July 23, 2009, the British Columbia Budget, and Information Bulletin 2010FIN0002-000026 issued by the Government of British Columbia on January 14, 2010.

Taxable or exempt?
Most supplies or importations into Canada of goods and services are taxable. A small number of goods and services are exempt from GST/HST (this means no GST/HST applies to them). It is important to know which goods and services are taxable and at which rate. You also need to know which goods and services are exempt from GST/HST. However, the rules for charities are different in that most supplies made by charities are exempt. To know more, see Taxable or exempt for charities.

Source:
Canada Revenue Agency

_____________________

What about the effect of the
HST on poor households and
those on social assistance in Ontario?

---

From the
25-in-5 Network for Poverty Reduction:

Submission to the Ontario Government
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
regarding Bill 218, An Act to implement 2009 Budget
measures and to enact, amend or repeal various Acts
December 7, 2009
By Michael Creek and Greg deGroot-Maggetti
Co-chairs of the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
"(...) In order to benefit from the HST credits, households must complete annual income tax returns. Many low income people do not file tax returns, for a variety of reasons, yet will be required to pay HST on many daily items."
Source:
25-in-5: Network for Poverty Reduction
25-in-5 is a multi-sectoral network comprised of more than 100 provincial and Toronto-based organizations and individuals working on eliminating poverty.
(Michael Creek and Greg deGroot-Maggetti are co-chairs of the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction.)

---

From the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):

Fact Sheet : Harmonized Sales Tax (PDF - 58K, 4 pages)
March 2010
Beginning July 1, 2010, the two sales taxes Ontarians pay (GST & PST) will be combined into one tax: the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
What will this mean for people on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program Ontario?
(...)
ISAC will continue to monitor the implementation of the HST to see what impact the tax changes will have for people on OW and ODSP. And ISAC is working with the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction, other partners, and officials in the Ministry of Revenue to make sure that the government takes action to help people file their taxes, and to reduce other barriers to tax filing.
Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre
The Income Security Advocacy Centre works with and on behalf of low income communities in Ontario to address issues of income security and poverty.

---

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Not a Tax Grab After All
A Second Look At Ontario's HST
(PDF - 484K, 18 pages)
By Ernie Lightman and Andrew Mitchell
December 14, 2009 (Revised January 6, 2010)
This in-depth analysis of Ontario's proposed Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) shows the tax is virtually revenue neutral when viewed as part of a total tax package that includes increased sales and property tax credits and a significant decrease in personal income tax rates.
[ This is an updated version (January 6, 2010) of the report first released December 14, 2009. ]
Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice.


Ministry of Education

HOME PAGE


With Our Best Future in Mind:
Implementing Early Learning in Ontario

June 2009
Complete report:
HTML - table of contents + links to individual chapters of the report

Summary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Early Learning
This new initiative will give our youngest students a stronger start on learning as they benefit from a full day at school. The program was carefully developed to ensure it truly benefits students, families and communities. The program got its start in 2007 when Premier Dalton McGuinty committed to introducing full-day early learning for four- and five-year olds. In November 2007, Premier McGuinty appointed Dr. Charles Pascal to recommend the best way forward. Dr. Pascal consulted with many parents and members of the education, child care and municipal sectors about early learning for children and supports for families. On June 15, 2009, Dr. Pascal presented his report, “With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario”. The report contains 20 recommendations on how to introduce full-day learning to Ontario students, how to improve education for children up to 12-years-old and how to increase supports for young families. On October 27, 2009, Premier McGuinty announced Ontario would move ahead with full-day early learning for four- and five-year-olds. The program will be introduced in phases to help more students succeed.

Early Learning - Ministry of Education

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ontario Gets Roadmap For Early Learning
Report Gives Strategy To Introduce Full-Day Learning For Four- And Five-Year Olds
News Release
June 15, 2009
Ontario has received a comprehensive report on full-day learning for four- and five-year old children. Dr. Charles Pascal, the government's Early Learning Advisor, delivered his With Our Best Future In Mind report with 20 recommendations on how to improve education for children up to age 12.

Related link from The Toronto Star:

Opportunity to transform early learning in Ontario
Evidence supports Pascal's blueprint for an integrated approach for children under 6

June 16, 2009
Opinion
By Jim Grieve and Bill Hogarth
We know for certain that every dollar we invest in children before they are 6-years-old saves us up to $17 in social service costs. So why does Canada shamefully spend so little in support of its youngest and most vulnerable citizens? What will it take to change the status quo – to move from talk to action and make a difference for children, families and our communities?The good news is we finally have an opportunity to make that difference. A new report entitled With Our Best Future in Mind by Charles Pascal, early learning adviser to Premier Dalton McGuinty, presents a clear and powerful blueprint for Ontario. The report calls for sweeping, collaborative action to place early learning firmly on the public agenda for Ontario and the rest of Canada. With Our Best Future in Mind calls attention to the need to build on best practice and embed proven strategies uniformly toward a total transformation of our approach to early learning. The report proposes expanded Best Start Child and Family Centres and introduces early learning programs as the enhanced full-day model for 4- and 5-year-olds.

Ontario: Pressure on Premier McGuinty
to act on the Pascal Blueprint for Early Learning

Budget clouds early-learning plans
September 23, 2009
The province will go ahead with full-day learning starting next September, but says it might not be able to move as quickly on implementing changes because of budgetary restraints, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne said yesterday. Her comments came as a group of high-profile community members and educators urged the province to act on all aspects of a report by early learning adviser Charles Pascal – the full-day, before- and after- school and summer care for children from ages 4 to 12, as well as turning schools into local hubs with parenting and other family supports.
Source:
ParentCentral (Toronto Star)

---

More about the Pascal Blueprint for early learning
In June of 2009, Charles E. Pascal of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation submitted his report,
With Our Best Future in Mind, to the Premier on how to implement full day learning for 4- and 5-year-olds.
Click the link above to read the report, supporting documents and much more...
- from the Government of Ontario

---

From ParentCentral:

The people behind the report
Fraser Mustard, Charles Pascal and Lorna Weigand were all
instrumental in the Ontario plan to make elementary schools full-day hubs for 4- and 5-year olds
June 15, 2009

Early Learning : A Star special on a new vision for Ontario Children
- includes links to a number of articles on the report on early learning


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
HOME PAGE
Site Map - All on one page, including links to what's new, programs and services, publications, contacts and links to related sites

$45M dental-care boost protects poorest children
October 1, 2010
Ontario is expanding free dental services for poor children to include preventative care such as check-ups, cleanings, X-rays and fillings, the Star has learned.Health Minister Deb Matthews will announce Friday that the “healthy smiles” program — costing taxpayers $45 million annually — is designed to help 130,000 kids aged 17 and under. (...) Despite the new program, the government has not kept its 2007 election promise to provide free dental care for adults who are among the working poor. Officials said the $135 million budgeted in 2008 for such a program over three years is being poured into dental care for children because the recession has left the government in a cash crunch.
Source:
Parent Central
[ Toronto Star ]

----

From the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:

Healthy Smiles Ontario
30 Sept 2010
Healthy Smiles Ontario is a new program providing regular dental services to kids 17 and under who do not have access to any form of dental coverage. The 36 local Public Health Units across Ontario are leading the program in communities and are working with local partners such as Community Health Centres, primary care providers, dentists, dental hygienists, hospitals, schools and universities to deliver this program. The initiative is part of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to support the development of healthier communities.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

Province Moves Forward With Legal Aid Transformation
McGuinty Government Resolves Legal Aid Boycott
News Release
January 24, 2010
Ontario is transforming the province's legal aid system, to help ensure that Ontarians have access to the legal services they need, regardless of their ability to pay, and to drive reforms in the family and criminal courts.
Source:
Office of the Ontario Attorney-General

Criminal lawyers and Ontario make deal to end legal aid boycott:

CityTV: http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/68640--ontario-promises-legal-aid-lawyers-more-money-to-end-boycott

The Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/755330--lawyers-end-boycott-stalling-legal-aid-cases

The Globe: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/legal-aid-spending-increase-ends-boycott/article1442656/

[Thanks to Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) for the above media links.]

Making The Justice System Easier And More Accessible:
McGuinty Government Launches New Tool To Help Court Users

News Release
May 3, 2010
Ontario is taking the next steps in its family justice reforms by providing information sessions and launching an online tool to complete legal forms. The new Ontario Court Forms Assistant is an interactive website to help people fill out 11 of the most commonly-used Ontario family and civil court forms.
This will make it easier to:
* Get a restraining order
* Apply for custody of a child or change a child support order
* Start a case in family court or respond to a family law claim.
Information programs will help people to understand the effects of separation and divorce on adults and children, as well as alternatives to litigation.

The Ontario Court Forms Assistant
- includes links to several court forms for Small Claims Court and Family Court

Links to more information about
Small Claims Court and Family Law in Ontario
- dozens of online resources!

McGuinty Government Reforms Family Justice For Ontarians
December 17, 2009
Ontario is strengthening and improving access to justice by making the family courts easier to use, more focused and more affordable.

---

Report of the Legal Aid Review 2008
July 2008 (PDF file date)
Complete report:
PDF version - 780K, 206 pages
HTML version - includes an expanded table of contents and links to individual sections of the report

Executive Summary (HTML)
Recommendations (key themes):
* management of the legal aid system cannot be approached in isolation from the broader justice system
* financial eligibility criteria need to be significantly raised to a more realistic level that bears some relationship to the actual circumstances of those in need.
* some range of legal aid services should be provided to all Ontario citizens on a non-means-tested basis
* LAO needs a strategic focus on mechanisms for facilitating greater integration in the delivery of legal aid services, minimizing the attachment of particular legal aid services to particular classes of institutions or classes of problems, and enhancing single entry point or one-stop shopping approaches to the need for legal aid services.
* LAO must be much more aggressive and enterprising in experimenting with innovative forms of service delivery
* the legal aid tariff needs to be significantly raised in the immediate future, along with salaries for staff lawyers in the clinic and duty counsel systems
* most of the objectives cannot be fully realized without a substantial infusion of additional financial resources.
Source:
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

Related link:

Legal Aid Ontario
In 1998, the Ontario government enacted the Legal Aid Services Act in which the province renewed and strengthened its commitment to legal aid. The Act established Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation, to administer the province’s legal aid program. LAO’s mandate in the Legal Aid Services Act, 1998 is to “promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by means of providing consistently high quality legal aid services in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Ombudsman Ontario

Ministry of Labour 

HOME PAGE

News Releases

Selected site content:


Consultation on Ontario's Minimum Wage
by the Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
Summer/Fall 2013

[Links below are in reverse chronological order.]

Provincial advisory panel calls for annual minimum wage hikes pegged to inflation
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/27/panel_calls_for_annual_minimum_wage_hikes_pegged_to_inflation.html
By Laurie Monsebraaten
January 27, 2014
A provincial advisory panel says Ontario’s minimum wage should be increased annually by inflation, the Star has learned. But the panel’s report, to be released by the government Monday, doesn’t address the thorny issue of what today’s rate should be, sources say. Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen at $10.25 since 2010. (...) The report also recommends businesses get four months notice before any increase takes effect and that the government review the scheme in five years.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

---

The complete report:

Report and Recommendations to the Minister of Labour:
2014 Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
HTML version :
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/mwap/index.php
PDF version (2.3MB, 91 pages) : http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/mwap_report.pdf
January 27, 2014

Table of Contents:

Note to the Minister
Executive Summary
Section 1: The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
Section 2: Minimum Wage in Ontario: Profile and Trends
Section 3: The Economic Impact of Minimum Wages
Section 4: Discussion of Minimum Wage Policy Options for Ontario
Section 5: Summary of Recommendations
Section 6: Conclusion and Reflections
Appendix 1: Terms of Reference
Appendix 2: List of Panel Members and Biographies
Appendix 3: A Consultation Paper on Ontario's Minimum Wage
Appendix 4: Minimum Wage Rates
Appendix 5a: Number of Consultations
Appendix 5b: Minimum Wage Regional Consultations – List of Organizations
Appendix 6: Summary of Stakeholder Consultations
References

Source:
Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php
- includes information about the panel:
* Membership * Terms of reference * Regional consultations * Consultation paper

The Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel is part of the
Ontario Ministry of Labour:
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/

---

Related links:

Consultation Paper on Ontario's Minimum Wage
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/consultation.php
July 17, 2013

---

Worker’s Action Centre
http://www.workersactioncentre.org/
The Workers’ Action Centre is a worker-based organization committed to improving the lives and working conditions of people in low-wage and unstable employment. We want to make sure that all workers have a voice at work and are treated with dignity and fairness.

Ontario to raise minimum wage to close to $11
http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/01/27/kathleen_wynne_objects_to_14_minimum_wage.html
January 27, 2014
By Laurie Monsebraaten
The provincial Liberal government is moving to raise the minimum, frozen at $10.25 for four years, and tie future increases to inflation, sources said Monday. After a four-year freeze at $10.25 and a provincial advisory panel’s call Monday to peg future minimum wage increases to inflation, the Wynne government is poised to boost the rate retroactively later this week, sources say. The cumulative inflation rate since 2010 is 6.7 per cent, putting the new minimum wage at $10.94.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

Ontario : A $14 minimum wage could put Ontario on the right side of history
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2014/01/27/a-14-minimum-wage-could-put-ontario-on-the-right-side-of-history/
January 27, 2014
By Trish Hennessy
Six months ago, when Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne struck a panel to review the province’s minimum wage, the debate was still stuck in a 20-year-old business frame. The business frame is predicated on fear. It projects a worse-case scenario response to even the slightest of minimum wage increases: job displacement, higher costs for consumers.
(...)
The business frame limits the answer to the question ‘how high should the minimum wage be’ to simply: how much is business willing to pay without threatening mass layoffs. But over the past six months, as Ontario’s minimum wage panel went from community to community, something started to shift on the minimum wage frame.

The Workers' Action Centre grassroots campaign to raise Ontario’s minimum wage to $14 an hour began gaining ground.
[ See http://www.workersactioncentre.org/issues/minimum-wage/ ]

The idea that a minimum wage should lift workers out of poverty was being promoted by a growing number of organizations.
(...)
South of the border, there were mutually galvanizing developments.
(...)
Efforts are underway to raise the minimum wage in some 30 states right now.
[ See http://goo.gl/6zmNYd ]

(...)
In Ontario yesterday, the minimum wage panel began to slowly move the goal posts by recommending the provincial government index the minimum wage every year to the cost of living (the Ontario Consumer Price Index).
(...)
“That’s just not good enough,” CCPA economist Armine Yalnizyan rightly says. “If you want people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and they can’t working full-time, full year, you’ve got a problem. And it’s not good enough for a government to stand by and say they’re okay with that.” A $14 minimum wage is a small ask, comparatively. But in terms of getting ahead of the curve on this rapid shift in pay expectations for low-wage workers, the political, social and economic returns could be worthwhile.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Ontario workers buoyed by U.S. minimum wage hikes
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/01/23/ontario_workers_buoyed_by_us_minimum_wage_hikes.html
By Laurie Monsebraaten
January 23, 2014
A $14 minimum wage in Ontario doesn’t seem like much when some American workers are winning $15 minimum wages.
---
Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen at $10.25 for four years, allowing inflation to drive full-time earnings 25 per cent below the poverty line, said Deena Ladd, of the Worker’s Action Centre [ http://www.workersactioncentre.org/ ]. (...) The Wynne government is expected to introduce an increase this year based on recommendations of an advisory panel it appointed last summer:
[ Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel : http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php ]
(...)
Minimum wages in the U.S. are set by cities, states and the federal government. Washington state’s is one of the highest and is indexed to inflation. On Thursday, a state lawmaker introduced a bill to increase it further to $12 within three years. [ http://goo.gl/KxAtmL ]

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

From the Ontario Office of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Making Every Job a Good Job:
A Benchmark for Setting Ontario's Minimum Wage

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/node/11938
By Trish Hennessy, Kaylie Tiessen and Armine Yalnizyan
November 14, 2013
In the summer of 2013 — three years after the provincial government froze Ontario’s minimum wage at $10.25 an hour — the Ministry of Labour struck an advisory panel to “examine the current approach to setting the minimum wage and to provide advice on how to adjust Ontario’s minimum wage.” Upon striking the panel, the government stated: “Addressing the minimum wage is a key part of the Ontario government’s strategy to build a stronger economy, a more prosperous province and help the most vulnerable.” (Ministry of Labour, 2013). The panel consists of representatives from business, worker, labour and youth organizations. After consulting with Ontarians across the province, the panel will report to the Ontario government by December 2013. This paper [click the link below] proposes a core benchmark against which to set the minimum wage: 60% of the average industrial wage, which would be roughly $14.50 today. Once the benchmark is reached, it proposes that the minimum wage be adjusted annually for inflation. This is an approach that balances the needs of vulnerable workers with the dual goal of shared prosperity and ensuring that every job in Ontario is a good job.

Complete paper:

Making Every Job a Good Job:
A Benchmark for Setting Ontario’s Minimum Wage
(PDF - 391K, 36 pages)
http://goo.gl/66iHX9
By Trish Hennessy, Kaylie Tiessen and Armine Yalnizyan

Contents:
* Executive Summary
* Introduction
* Ontario’s Minimum Wage: Historical Norms
* Ontario’s Shifting Labour Market
* Relative Measures
* Determining the Minimum Wage Rate
* Getting From Here to There
* The Business Case for Raising the Minimum Wage
* Conclusion

--------------------------------------

Related Fact Sheets & Infographics from CCPA-ON:
(PDF files - each one-pager below is just over 500K)

Raising Ontario's Minimum Wage: The Workers Case
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/raising-ontarios-minimum-wage-workers-case
December 18, 2013

How To Raise Ontario's Minimum Wage: An Explainer
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/how-raise-ontarios-minimum-wage-explainer
December 18, 2013

Raising Ontario's Minimum Wage: The Business Case
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/raising-ontarios-minimum-wage-business-case
December 18, 2013

What Difference Would $14/hr Make?
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/what-difference-would-14hr-make
November 14, 2013

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Ontario Office
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/ontario

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - National Office
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Related links:

Back to scratch: The gap between the minimum wage
and the welfare rate is as wide as it was during the Depression.
http://pioneers.themarknews.com/articles/1240-back-to-scratch
By John Stapleton
March 31, 2010

Income from Ontario Social Assistance and
Minimum Wage for a Single Employable Person
(Excel chart, 101K)
http://openpolicyontario.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ONTARIO-SA-rates-and-Minimum-Wage-Single-Person-1967-to-2013.xls
By John Stapleton
2013
- includes three charts:
* Annual income from social assistance vs full-time employment at minimum wage, 1967 to 2013
* Annual income from social assistance as a percentage of annual income from minimum wage employment , 1967 to 2013
* Social assistance as a percentage of minimum wage (37.5-hr week)
... and two tables:
* data and input to charts
* preliminary data

Source:
Open Policy Ontario
- John Stapleton's website
http://openpolicyontario.com/

From the
Canadian Safety Reporter:

Ontario's minimum wage workers below poverty line: CUPE
Labour ministry wraps up minimum wage consultations this week
http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/19315-ontarios-minimum-wage-workers-below-poverty-line-cupe
November 4, 2013
Ontario’s minimum wage earners are struggling to make ends meet, according to a report from the Canadian Union of Public Employees. On November 1, CUPE submitted its report to the labour ministry’s minimum wage advisory panel:
[ http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php ]
In it, the union said a full-time employee working for minimum wage earns an income 21 per cent below the poverty line. As such, the minimum wage should be increased to $14 an hour, up from the current $10.25, CUPE said.
(...)
The Ministry of Labour’s advisory panel wraps up consultations with the public this week, and is expected to report back on its findings this winter.

Source:
Canadian Safety Reporter

http://www.labour-reporter.com/
Canadian Labour Reporter (formerly CLV Reports), is a weekly publication that has been serving the industrial relations industry, labour professionals and lawyers since 1956.

From the
Canadian Union of Public Employees:

Minimum wage is 21 per cent below poverty line – CUPE Ontario report
to Minimum Wage Advisory Panel calls for increase to $14/hr
http://cupe.ca/minimum-wage/minimum-wage-21-cent-below-poverty-line
News Release
November 1, 2013
Excerpt:
"This is an equality issue. Minimum wage earners are disproportionately women, racialized workers, people with disabilities and new immigrants,” she said. “They are also the people doing difficult, front line service jobs like cleaners, food service workers, the child care workers who look after our kids, the personal support workers who look after our aging parents, and the social service workers who support people with developmental disabilities.

Complete submission:

Towards a Living Wage:
Submission to the Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
(PDF - 156K, 13 pages)
http://goo.gl/RbY8d6
October 2013

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees

http://cupe.ca/
With 627,000 members across Canada, CUPE is Canada's largest union. CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.

---

BTW --- A BIG THANKS TO CUPE for allowing me to piggyback the Canadian Social Research Newsletter onto their mailing list system for the past ten years - it makes my task of administering my mailing list and distributing the weekly issues of my newsletter quite a bit easier. I should mention that I don't share my newsletter mailing list with anyone, including CUPE, nor does CUPE impose any editorial control over my work or my views...
Gilles

Income Security Advocacy Centre
Submission on the Minimum Wage
http://goo.gl/v3LkIv

October 17, 2013

Advisory Panel to report to government in December
The Ontario government appointed a Minimum Wage Advisory Panel in June 2013 to give advice on how to set the minimum wage. Although ISAC mainly works on social assistance issues, the minimum wage is an important part of ensuring income security for Ontarians and their families. So we wanted to give the Panel our perspective on this issue.

Our submission:
* Supports the 25in5 Network's proposal that the minimum wage should be set at a level that lifts minimum-wage workers out of poverty, adjusted annually for inflation, and reviewed periodically by an independent body;
* Supports the call from the Raise the Minimum Wage Campaign to immediately raise the minimum wage to $14 / hour;
* Calls on the Panel to bring forward recommendations to government to extend minimum wage protections to workers who are currently exempt; and,
* Calls on the Panel to bring forward recommendations to highlight the role of other employment and labour market policies that would help ensure that jobs provide the income security and stability that Ontarians require.

The minimum wage can help ensure income security, but it can also help reduce poverty and income inequality, and help close the gap between the wages of racialized and non-racialized workers, men and women, and recent immigrants and longer-term residents.

Our submission (Microsoft Word file - 100K, 2 pages):
http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/ISACsubmissiontoMinimumWageAdvisoryPanel-17Oct2013.doc

Read more about the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel:
https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php

Source:
Income Security Advocacy Centre
http://www.incomesecurity.org/

A Closer Look At Who Is Making Minimum Wage In Ontario
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/economics/income-inequality-economics/a-closer-look-at-who-is-making-minimum-wage-in-ontario/
October 8, 2013
By Sheila Block
Many people’s image of a minimum wage worker is a teenager, perhaps at a fast food restaurant, earning some money to buy the newest smart phone. And a teenager flipping burgers is an accurate part of the picture: in 2011, almost 60 percent of minimum wage workers in Ontario were between 15 and 24 years of age. Some of them are likely earning pocket money for extras, while others are likely making crucial contributions to their family’s incomes and survival.
But, we also need to look at the rest of the picture: minimum wage is not just a youth issue. Forty percent of minimum wage earners are over 25 years old. More than 1 in 10 racialized women aged 25 and over were working for minimum wage between 2009 and 2011, two and a half times the rate of the total population over 25. For women who are recent immigrants, the number is almost 1 in 5. These workers are not earning pocket money to buy a flashy new smart phone; they are trying to pay the bills for themselves and their families on $10.25 per hour.

Source:
Wellesley Institute
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/

Ontario Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage
http://raisetheminimumwage.ca/
The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage was launched in March 2013, with communities across Ontario demanding the government break the freeze [in the minimum wage]. Creative actions and rallies took place in 14 cities with local community groups and activists delivering our message to local MPP’s and Ministry of Labour offices.
The Ontario government has said that it will have a panel study minimum wages.
But Ontarians can’t wait for another commission.
We need a raise now.
Take Action! Help organize for a minimum wage increase in your community

Ontario Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php
- includes information about the panel:
* Membership * Terms of reference * Regional consultations * Consultation paper
Source:
Ministry of Labour :

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english

---

- Go to the Minimum Wage / Living Wage Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/minwage.htm

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (A-C) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk2.htm

New Advisory Panel to Examine Ontario's Minimum Wage System:
Province Committed to Ensuring a Fair and Prosperous Society for All Ontarians
http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2013/07/new-advisory-panel-to-examine-ontarios-minimum-wage-system.html
July 17, 2013
Ontario has appointed a Minimum Wage Advisory Panel, chaired by Anil Verma, Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, to help ensure a process that is fair for workers, predictable for business and creates more opportunities for all Ontarians
[Govt. of Ontario news release]

The Consultation paper:

A Consultation Paper On Ontario’s Minimum Wage
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/consultation.php

Panel Terms of Reference
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/terms.php
The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel (Panel) will examine Ontario’s current minimum wage policy and provide advice on an approach for determining the minimum wage in the future. It will examine the effectiveness of other jurisdictions’ minimum wage models.

Panel Members
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/membership.php

Regional Consultations
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/regional.php

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Labour
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english

---

Related link:

Ontario minimum wage panel to look at more than just inflation
http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/741338/ontario-minimum-wage-panel-to-look-at-more-than-just-inflation/
July 17, 2013

Source:
Metro News Toronto
http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/


Minimum Wages in Canada:

Current and Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates for Adult Workers in Canada
- federal govt. site --- the best resource for info on current and upcoming minimum wage levels
Source :
Minimum Wage Database

2011 Minimum Wage Rate Set - Highest of Canadian Provinces
McGuinty Government Striking the Right Balance
February 11, 2011
After seven consecutive increases, the Ontario minimum wage rate will remain at $10.25 per hour in 2011, the highest provincial minimum wage in Canada. The Ontario minimum wage has increased by 50 percent with annual increases in the last seven years. These increases outpaced inflation in part to make up for a nine year minimum wage freeze between 1995 and 2004.

Ontario's Minimum Wage Goes Up April 1, 2010
March 30, 2010
McGuinty Government Helps Hard Working Families
Ontario is bringing in the seventh consecutive annual increase to the minimum wage - raising it to $10.25, effective tomorrow. As of tomorrow, the minimum wage will have increased almost 50 per cent since 2004, when it stood at $6.85. Between 1995 and 2004 the minimum wage in Ontario remained frozen.

Ontario Increases Minimum Wage March 31, 2009
McGuinty Government Helps Hard Working Families
March 2, 2009
Ontario is raising the minimum wage to $9.50 on March 31, 2009. This is the sixth increase since 2004. The province of Ontario started implementing annual increases early in 2003, raising the general minimum wage from $6.85 in 2004 to $8.00 in 2007. By 2010, Ontario will further increase the minimum wage to $10.25.

Ontario is raising the minimum wage to $8.75 on March 31, 2008. This is the fifth increase since 2004.

How do Ontario's minimum wage rates compare
with other Canadian jurisdictions?

Current And Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates For Adult Workers in Canada
(this is the BEST resource for info on current and upcoming minimum wage levels by province/territory)
NOTE: In addition to Ontario, several other jurisdictions have either recently increased their minimum wage level or will be doing so in the coming months.
Click the link above to see who changed when...
Source:
Minimum Wage Database
[ Labour Program, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ]

Minimum Wage - Frequently-Asked Questions
Source:
WorkSmartOntario
"... the official website of the Ontario Ministry of Labour
for young workers and new workers."

Related links:

Minimum wage scare
Editorial
April 1, 2008
Some social activists are calling it "recession spook" – the talk of a looming economic downturn and the subsequent need to rein in the province's anti-poverty agenda. In that vein, some economists have warned that yesterday's 75-cent increase in the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour will lead to job losses. But the evidence for that is inconclusive, at best.
Source:
The Toronto Star

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Minimum wage (International)
This resource is worth viewing --- it contains information on minimum wages in 17 countries (including Canada), along with some objective information on the debate over consequences of minimum wage laws, costs and benefits of minimum wage legislation, recent trends in the U.S., policy alternatives to the minimum wage and much more.
TIP: See "References" and "External Links" (at the bottom of the table of contents) for links to dozens and dozens of free online resources!

Minimum Wage - Frequently-Asked Questions
Source:
WorkSmartOntario
"... the official website of the Ontario Ministry of Labour
for young workers and new workers."

A family consumed by long hours, low pay
January 20, 2007
Rita Daly
"You have to admire people like Sam Thuraisamy. For the last 14 years he has delivered tens of thousands of pizzas across the city and says he has only himself to blame for a lifetime of long hours and dismally low pay."
Re. the upcoming Ontario minimum wage increase
See also:
[Minimum Wage Review] Boards set wage in six provinces
January 20, 2007

Source:
The Toronto Star

Minimum-wage hikes must be routine - Ontario
Toronto Star Editorial
January 5, 2005
"People who earn the minimum wage in Ontario should not be the only ones celebrating the raise of 30 cents per hour that takes effect Feb. 1. The ripple effect through the local economy will likely be greater than from similar increases in any other job class. Certainly, minimum-wage earners have something to cheer. The new general rate of $7.45 still isn't a princely sum anywhere in Ontario in 2005, but it's a hike of more than four per cent on top of a similar 30-cent boost last year. It beats what happened in the nine years prior to 2004, when the rate stayed static."
Source:
The Toronto Star
NOTE : the general minimum wage in Ontario will rise twice again to reach $8 per hour in 2007.

From the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
:

Ontario’s Shrinking Minimum Wage (PDF file - 20K, 3 pages)
February 2003
"Ontario has seen a steady decline in the value of its minimum wage because the rate has been frozen at $6.85 for eight long years."
Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Google Web Search Results:
"Ontario, minimum wage"
Google News Search Results:
"Ontario, minimum wage"
Google Blog Search Results
"Ontario, minimum wage"
Source:
Google.ca

Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH)
HOME PAGE


Governments of Canada and Ontario Celebrate New Affordable Housing
http://goo.gl/Xu5xe
May 22, 2012
Toronto, ON - The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto joined YWCA Toronto to celebrate the official opening of 300 affordable housing units. The project is supported by $21 million in funding through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. The construction of the affordable housing component of the YWCA Elm Centre has created up to 750 jobs in Ontario and helps to meet the housing needs of families and individuals in the Toronto area.
(...) The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In Ontario, this represents some 237,750 households.
(...) Ontario continues to build new affordable housing and repair existing units. Since 2003, Ontario's investment in affordable housing has translated into the construction and repair of more than 270,000 housing units and the provision of 35,000 rent supplements for Ontario families on fixed incomes.

Backgrounder:
New affordable housing rental units for seniors, persons with disabilities and families in Ontario
http://goo.gl/lM8yC
List of 27 projects that received combined $144.93 million federal/provincial funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan and the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
NOTE: The above backgrounder is part of a news release from the City of Ottawa announcing the new funding; click the link above and scroll halfway down the next page for the list of 27 projects, including name of the community, street address of the project, the number of units and the total federal and provincial funding for each project.

Related links:

Affordable housing is a key component of
Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy:
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/breakingthecycle/index.aspx

Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy - Government of Ontario (PDF - 1.1MB, 20 pages)
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=8590

Affordable housing in Ontario
http://www.ontario.ca/housing

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
http://www.cmhc.ca/en/index.cfm

Ontario Ministry of Municpal Affairs and Housing
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/page11.aspx

Canada's Economic Action Plan
http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

McGuinty Government Releases [Affordable Housing] Long-Term Strategy
November 29, 2010
Families in need of affordable housing will soon have access to a more flexible, coordinated and supportive system that is focused on people first. Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy will address the unique needs of individuals and communities by building a strong foundation that is based on four key pillars: putting people first, creating strong partnerships, supporting affordable options and accountability.

Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Document
Safe and affordable housing is fundamental for Ontarians striving to build a strong future for their families and their communities.
HTML version - 20 pages of text all on one long page
PDF version (1MB, 20 pages) more printer-friendly

Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy
Building Foundations: Building Futures

The Ontario government’s long-term housing strategy makes it easier for Ontario families to find and maintain affordable housing.
- Click the above link to access the following:
* What people are saying about Building Foundations: Building Futures
* Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy: An Overview
* Local Plans and Accountability
* Consolidating Housing and Homeless Programs
* Simplifying Rent-Geared-To-Income Rules
* Frequently Asked Questions:
- What Does the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Mean to:
---------- Ontario Families and Individuals?
---------- Municipalities and Service Managers?
----------Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing Providers?
Source:
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Related links:

From Michael Shapcott in
the Wellesley Institute Blog:

Scaffolding up, but lots of work still needed before Ontario finishes building its housing plan
November 29, 2010
The Ontario government has put up the scaffolding for a long-term affordable housing strategy, but there’s plenty of unfinished business for Queen’s Park as it seeks to build a truly comprehensive plan to ensure everyone has access to a healthy, affordable home. There are no targets, timelines and no new housing investments. After six months of consultations, more than 1,000 detailed submissions and a year of writing, Ontario housing minister Rick Bartolucci released the much-needed and long-overdue plan earlier today.

Housing Checklist – How does Ontario’s Long Term Housing Strategy measure up?
November 29, 2010
As the provincial government releases their plan for affordable housing, we thought it might be helpful to share a checklist to track whether or not the Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy measures up.

Source:
The Wellesley Institute
The Wellesley Institute advances the social determinants of health through rigorous community-based research, reciprocal capacity building, and the informing of public policy.

---

From
stableandaffordable.com
:

Ontario's proposed affordable housing plan fails to meet five basic tests set by Housing Network of Ontario
November 30
The Ontario government released its much anticipated Long-term Affordable Housing Strategy today, but the document failed to provide a plan that meets all five basic tests set out by the Housing Network of Ontario and its almost 500 supporters across the province.

stableandaffordable.com
... is an initiative of the Wellesley Institute and many partners across Ontario. Here, you’ll find plenty of facts and figures about housing in Ontario, along with stories from people around the province, and tips for actions that you can take to ensure everyone in Ontario has a stable and affordable home.

---

From the
Toronto Star:

Ontario housing strategy: Won’t reduce long wait lists
November 30 2010
Claiming it needed “the time to get it right,” the Liberal government at Queen’s Park long delayed releasing a long-term affordable housing strategy. That’s what makes what was released Monday – three years after it was first promised in the 2007 election campaign – all the more disappointing.The housing strategy is little more than a series of regulatory changes that reduce red tape, simplify convoluted rules and provide municipalities more flexibility to cater to local needs.
(...)
One change (calculating income annually, instead of monthly) will be helpful to low-income households lucky enough to already live in subsidized housing and to raise their income levels through paid work. Under the new rules, their rent would not go up for a year. The strategy is called “Building Foundations: Building Futures,” but it does not propose actually building any new housing. Nor does it fund any new rent subsidies to help people afford existing apartments. That means it does next to nothing for the 142,000 low-income families in Ontario on waiting lists of up to 20 years for subsidized housing.
Source:
Toronto Star

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/homeless.htm

Province Eases Financial Pressures on Municipalities and Property Taxpayers
Provincial and municipal partners reach agreement
News Release
October 31, 2008
The McGuinty government is moving to upload all social assistance benefits and court security costs from municipalities, as stated in an agreement announced today by the Province of Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the City of Toronto.

Complete report:

Report of the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal
and Service Delivery Review - Facing the Future Together
(PDF - 1.6MB, 64 pages)
Fall 2008

Uploading Ontario Works
- this fact sheet (one of several backgrounders and related documents found on the Fiscal and Service Delivery website) provides a brief description of the current provincial-municipal funding arrangement for welfare in Ontario and a 10-year timeline for the gradual uploading of 100% of welfare costs to the provincial government.

-----
Some contextual information:
* Ontario is the only Canadian province that still requires a direct municipal government contribution towards the cost of providing welfare (known as the Ontario Works Program or OW) to the able-bodied needy population residing within their municipal boundaries. Municipalities pay 20% of the total OW bill on their territory.
* Last-resort financial assistance for people with disabilities is provided under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Municipalities also pay 20% of the total ODSP bill on their territory.
* The Ontario Government has already announced that the cost of ODSP will be gradually be transferred to the provincial government between 2009 and 2011.
-----

Source:
Provincial Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review
[ Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing ]

Related links:

Hefty housing costs stay local in "good news / bad news" provincial funding deal
October 31, 2008
By Michael Shapcott
Good news: The Ontario government, along with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the City of Toronto, jointly announced earlier today a plan to upload the costs of several provincial income assistance programs back to the provincial level over the next decade. This will give municipalities some significant fiscal breathing room – as it takes the cost of this income-distributive program off the municipal tax base and returns it to the provincial tax base, where it belongs. The timing is good as the demand for income assistance programs may well increase with the current economic crisis. Bad news: The cost of the provincial social housing program – which was downloaded to municipalities under the former Harris government starting in 1998 – remains at the local level.
Source:
Wellesley Institute Blog
[ The Wellesley Institute ]
The Wellesley Institute advances the social determinants of health through community-based research , community engagement , and the informing of public policy.

---

Uploading move good but slow
November 1, 2008
It won't happen as quickly as urban advocates would like, but a newly announced deal between Ontario and its hard-pressed municipalities goes a considerable way toward lifting a historic burden from them. In the deal announced yesterday, the province has agreed to "upload" the cost of all welfare benefits from municipalities (which now pay 20 per cent of the cost) by 2018. An important principle is thus underlined – income support programs are best paid through the income and sales taxes, not through property taxes. Collectively, Ontario's municipalities stand to save more than $400 million yearly from this shift.
Source:
The Toronto Star

---

Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) takes effect January 31, 2007. On June 22, 2006, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) received Royal Assent. This act, once it is proclaimed by the government, on January 31, 2007, will replace the Tenant Protection Act, 1997 (TPA). The new legislation will give tenants more protection while keeping Ontario’s rental housing market strong. Our aim is to create a rental housing system that protects tenants, helps landlords and promotes investment in Ontario’s rental housing market.

Highlights of the new legislation

Residential Tenancies Act Takes Effect
News Release
January 31, 2007

Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
Backgrounder
January 31, 2007

Affordable Housing
Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program

Housing Research Reports

---------------------

Related links:

City of Toronto - includes a link to the same release and backgrounder as you'll find on the CHMC and MAH sites above - PLUS a link to the Memorandum of Understanding (small PDF file) signed by partners CMHC, MAH, Ontario municipalities (as represented by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario) and the City of Toronto, in the implementation of the Agreement.

------------------------

From the The Toronto Star:

Needy families to get help with rent
News Release
April 29, 2005

"Ontario is getting back into the affordable housing business today with the announcement of a $602 million provincial-federal deal. Sources say the $602 million, which will start flowing this fall, will build 15,000 affordable housing units and provide rent supplements to 5,000 needy families across Ontario. There are about 150,000 Ontario families awaiting affordable housing. In Toronto alone, there are 63,000 families on the waiting list."

------------------------

Google.ca News Search Results : "Canada, Ontario, affordable housing agreement"
Google.ca Web Search Results : "Canada, Ontario, affordable housing agreement"
Source:
Google.ca

------------------------

Residential Tenancies Act Consultation (2004-2005)

Landlord and Tenant Board

Education Quality and Accountability Office 
HOME PAGE

Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)
HOME PAGE

The Ontario Human Rights Code

Publications - links to annual reports andConsultation and Discussion documents covering a variety of topics related to human rights

More OHRC housing resources - incl. backgrounders, consultation paper, background paper and more...

Sample site content:

Commission launches report calling for collective housing strategy
News Release
July 8, 2008
Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched “Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario.” This report, which follows a year of public sessions, meetings and submissions involving hundreds of individuals and organizations across the province, focuses on housing as a human right, and sets out a framework for collective action to identify, remove and prevent discrimination in rental housing.
* includes links to five backgrounders

RIGHT AT HOME : Report on the
consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario
(PDF - 460K, 107 pages)
Approved by the Commission: May 28, 2008

* Background Paper
* Consultation Paper

The Cost of Caring: Report on the Consultation on Discrimination on the Basis of Family Status

Policy and Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Family Status
- Table of Contents

Fact Sheets - links to 35 fact sheets on a variety of topics under the theme of human rights, such as discrimination based on age, race or disability, accommodation of people with disabilities, mandatory retirement, etc.

Policy on Drug and Alcohol Testing
September 2000
HTML
| PDF (43K, 19 pages)

Provincial Auditor 
HOME PAGE

Index of Reports by year and by topic

Selected reports:


2009 Annual Report:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

December 7, 2009
Complete report:
PDF version - 6MB, 494 pages
HTML version <=== table of contents with PDF links to 39 individual files (one per section), only a few of which appear below

* Assistive Devices Program (PDF - 474K)
* Ontario Disability Support Program (PDF - 436K)
* Social Housing (PDF - 268K)
* Ontario Works Program (PDF - 351K)
NOTE: for many sections, you'll also find a separate news release with highlights.
The news release about Ontario Works appears below along with the link to all 17 releases.

Ontario Works Payments
Need More Scrutiny: Auditor General
(PDF - 132K, 1 page)
News Release
December 7, 2009
(TORONTO) Unrecovered overpayments to about 350,000 current and former Ontario Works recipients have increased by 45% to $600 million as of last March—but the Ministry of Community and Social Services has made only minimal efforts to get that money back, Auditor General Jim McCarter says in his 2009 Annual Report, released today. (...) The province pays 80% of benefits under Ontario Works to about 200,000 people in temporary financial need who are unemployed or underemployed; municipalities pay the remaining 20% and provide front-line services to recipients. In 2008/09, the government spent about $1.9 billion on Ontario Works.

Source:
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

Related links:

Millions wasted on welfare: Ontario auditor general
A dramatically underfunded workplace insurance plan and
lax inspection of Ontario's bridges among other highlights of annual report
By Rob Ferguson and Tanya Talaga
December 7, 2009
The recession hasn't stopped Ontario government bureaucrats from playing fast and loose with taxpayers' hard-earned dollars — particularly on social assistance to the poor, the provincial auditor general says in a new report released Monday. Despite lessons learned from the eHealth and Ontario Lottery Corporation expense scandals earlier this year, examples abound of public money being carelessly spent on welfare overpayments, disability support and assistive devices for people with disabilities.
Source:
Toronto Star

---

Auditing the Ontario Auditor General
December 14, 2009
by Reuel Amdur
Social worker and freelance writer Reuel Amdur asks some pointed questions about the 2009 Ontario Auditor General's report.
Source:
Peacock Poverty
PeacockPoverty is a Canadian collective of individuals with an experience of poverty who join together to share knowledge, strength, talent and wisdom with each other and friends. The collective is autonomous, independent of agency affiliation, by and for poor people and friends.

---

Stand Up Against the Backlash from the Auditor General’s Report:
Ontario Auditor General’s Report Underlines Need for Social Assistance Reform
November 11, 2009
Whether he meant to or not, the auditor general’s December 7th analysis of OW/ODSP let a dysfunctional social assistance system off the hook, instead laying blame with the people who have nowhere else to turn for basic support. The ensuing debate risks losing sight of the simple fact that when it comes to social assistance, it’s not the people who are the problem. Instead it’s the 800+ rules that trap people in poverty and powerlessness, fail to provide social and community supports and education and training tools to enable opportunity, and leave people so short of income that living a healthy, dignified life is impossible. As Premier McGuinty recently stated, social assistance “stomps people into the ground” and something must be done to make the system work the way it should. That something cannot come soon enough, as evidenced by the confusing picture painted by the auditor general’s report.

NOTE: the above link includes a detailed backgrounder covering the following points:
* Overpayments and Program Costs: Comparing Apples to Oranges
* What Is An Overpayment?
* The System Routinely Generates Overpayments
* Overpayments are Generated Monthly – Increasing Misperceptions
* Overpayments and Breaking the Rules
* Program Complexity and 800 Rules
* “Temporary” Assistance?
* Special Diet
* Conclusion
* What Can You Do? TAKE ACTION
Source:
25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
[ Social Assistance Review ]
[ Income Security Advocacy Centre ]

---

Welfare fraud in perspective
December 09, 2009
The provincial government is in the midst of "a new billion dollar boondoggle involving extravagant welfare overpayments," according to the opposition Conservatives.
Source:
Toronto Star

---

Saluting the best in waste, sloth and scamming
By Jim Coyle
December 09, 2009
Hello, and welcome to Ontario's annual Fritters Awards, showcasing the very best in waste, profligacy, sloth, scamming, incompetence and general bureaucratic lethargy, sponsored, as usual, by Auditor General Jim McCarter and his crack team of accountants.
Source:
Toronto Star

Ontario's 'affordable' homes aren't affordable to those who need them the most: New report from auditor-general
December 7, 2009
By Michael Shapcott
More than half the new "affordable" housing funded by the Ontario government isn't really affordable to the households that need it the most. That's one of the devastating findings in the Ontario auditor-general's latest annual report, released today. "A provincial strategy is needed to define the Ministry [of Municipal Affairs and Housing's] roles, set measurable goals and program priorities, assess risks and options to manage the risks, determine the resources required, and measure the impact of the Ministry's contribution to social housing," urges the auditor-general - echoing the concerns and recommendations made by the Wellesley Institute (PDF - 396K, 7 pages), and many other partners in the Housing Network of Ontario to the Ontario government's consultation for a long-term housing strategy.
Source:
Wellesley Institute Blog
[ Wellesley Institute ]

2006 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
- includes chapters on Children's Aid Societies, the Child Welfare Services Program, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP - see below), Community-based Services and much more...

Ontario Disability Support Program (PDF file - 154K, 6 pages)
(Section 4.03 of the 2006 report)
Here's an excerpt (with bolding added by me) from section 4.03:
"To help enable the Ministry to efficiently and effectively administer the Ontario Disability Support Program, the Ministry should:
• develop and produce accurate and useful performance and operational reports;
• provide recipients with more complete information; and
• correct known system deficiencies on a more timely basis."
[*Comment re. the MCSS annual reports: I hardly think that an eight-page report covering two years is either accurate, useful or complete...]

NOTE: The ODSP section of the 2006 report is a followup to The ODSP section of the 2004 Annual Report (PDF file - 187K)

Also from the 2004 report:

Ontario Works Program: Follow-up (PDF file - 70K, 9 pages)
NOTE : the Ontario Works section of the 2004 is a followup to the Ontario Works section of the 2002 Auditor's report (PDF file - 196K)

Links to all Ontario Auditor reports - all on one page, reports back to 1997

Legislative Assembly
HOME PAGE (frames only) - includes members, documents, hansard, services, info and library 
e-Laws - consolidated laws and regulations of Ontario

Citizenship and Immigration
HOME PAGE

Women's Directorate
HOME PAGE

The Ontario Women's Directorate (OWD) provides focus for government action on issues of concern to women. A division of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the OWD has two key areas of activity: preventing violence against women and promoting women's economic independence


Accenture Canada - formerly Andersen Consulting
In January 1997, the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services entered into an agreement with Andersen Consulting for the development and implementation of the business processes and technologies inherent in the new social assistance system that is to be put in place through the Business Transformation Project

.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2004 Annual Report of the Office of the Provincial Auditor of Ontario
[NOTE: click the link above to access any of the report sections below; I've hyperlinked only the Ontario welfare-related links below.]
Chapter One: Overview and Value-for-money Audit Summaries pdf (108kb)
Chapter Two: Towards Better Accountability pdf (70kb)
Chapter Three: Reports on Value-for-money (VFM) Audits

Introduction pdf (26kb)
Attorney General: Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee
Centre for Leadership and Human Resource Management : Human Resource Renewal
Community and Social Services: Ontario Disability Support Program pdf (187kb)
Environment: Air Quality Program - Groundwater Program
Finance: Land Transfer Tax Program
Health and Long-Term Care: Community-based Services - Independent Health Facilities
Labour: Employment Rights and Responsibilities Program - Occupational Health and Safety Program
Management Board Secretariat: Purchasing Cards - Travel and Other Related Expenditures
Ontario Media Development Corporation and Ministries of Culture and Finance: Media Tax Credits
Transportation: Maintenance of the Provincial Highway System
Chapter Four: Follow-up of Recommendations in the 2002 Annual Report
Introduction
Ontario Works Program pdf (70kb)

NOTE: this section of the Annual Report includes further observations concerning the Business Transformation Project (Ontario's not-so-excellent Accenture adventure), for example:
"The intent of the Common Purpose Procurement agreement was for the Ministry to work closely with the selected private-sector vendor to develop and implement new ways of delivering services and, in so doing, share the investment in and risks and rewards of the project. However, we concluded that the Ministry did not meet this objective, in that it accepted most if not all of the risk for the Business Transformation Project while Accenture received a disproportionate amount of the rewards."

Source:
Office of the Provincial Auditor of Ontario

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accenture IT System Under Fire in Ontario:
Upgrade needed to calculate welfare benefit changes; inquiry sought into deal with vendor
August 2, 2004
"Questions about the cost, stability and usability of a controversial $213.8 million welfare payments system being used in Ontario continue to plague IT services firm Accenture Ltd., which developed the system for the province's Ministry of Community and Social Services. In the most recent development, an Ontario legislator is calling on the province's attorney general to open a formal inquiry into the contract with Accenture, including an investigation of whether the province did sufficient due diligence before awarding it and whether there were any improprieties during the bidding process. Accenture is currently billing the province nearly $1 million (U.S.) to tweak the mainframe-based system so it can calculate a 3% across-the-board increase for welfare recipients. The upgrade is expected to eventually cost the province a total of $7.5 million, which includes the coding work and the creation of a specialized testing system, according to a spokeswoman for the social services ministry."
Source:
Computerworld

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Google.ca News Search : "Accenture, Welfare, Ontario"
Google.ca Web Search : "Accenture, Welfare, Ontario"

Source:
Google.ca

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Accenture Canada defends welfare system, says it can calculate 3% hike
July 12, 2004
"TORONTO (CP) -- The computer system that calculates welfare and disability payments for Ontarians is well-equipped to make changes, the chairman of Accenture Canada said Monday in defending a delay in payment hikes.
"The statement out there that the system can't make changes is incorrect, and I flatly rejected that statement -- it can," David Seibel said of the computer system his company built for Ontario's Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Source:
Canoe Canada
NOTE: As at July 19, clicking on this link pops up an error message. If you go to the Canoe home page and do a site search on the word "Accenture", you'll end up with the exact same article header and link - and that link is also dead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Fie on you, Mr. Baird, for disability mess
by Helen Henderson
Jul. 10, 2004.
"
So John Baird thinks it's "laughable" to point the finger at him or the former Conservative government for the $500 million computer boondoggle that has stalled a long-awaited raise in support payments for people with disabilities. Deny. Deny. Deny. At least the man stays in character."
Source:
The Toronto Star

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

$20M to fix welfare pay delay
Glitch in welfare computer program has Liberals, Tories playing blame game

670,000 people in Ontario must wait...
July 7, 2004
"It could cost another $20 million to fix the Queen's Park computer problem that has Liberals and Tories pointing the finger of blame at each other. More than 670,000 people on welfare and disability assistance will have to wait weeks for a 3 per cent increase because the government's $500 million computer system cannot yet calculate the increase, slated to go into effect July 1."
Source:
The Toronto Star
NOTE: in this article, Janet Ecker, the former Conservative Minister who was responsible for welfare in Ontario from 1996 to 1999, says she was surprised that the Ontario Liberals were "blaming the technology" for the delay in a welfare increase "because there is always a lag between the announcement of a rate hike and it actually taking effect."
Like she'd even remember --- the last time welfare rates were actually "hiked" in Ontario was two years before the Ontario Conservative Party won the 1995 provincial election. In October of 1995, the Tories slashed Ontario welfare rates by 21.6% for everyone except people with disabilities. Technically, she's correct --- unless the announcement of a rate hike is made at exactly the same time as the hike itself, there is a lag. In the real world, though, and based on my 25 years as welfare information specialist with the federal government, I can say that governments, Ontario's included, have always announced welfare rate increases a few weeks to a month before their implementation.
[Gilles Seguin]

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Provinces strive to avoid Ontario-style welfare glitch
July 7, 2004
"As Accenture works to correct a $20-million problem, we check in with other parts of the country to find out how they're evolving their disbursement systems. The secret may be in the mainframe."
Source:
ITBusiness.ca


.....................................................................................................................................

Ontario Works (PDF file - 195K, 39 pages)
"The Ministry paid Accenture $246 million to March 2002, which was significantly more than the original $180-million payment cap. In our view, the basis for these payments continues to be questionable because:
- savings attributed to the Business Transformation Project and hence to Accenture were exaggerated; and
- contrary to the recommendations of the Provincial Auditor and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to minimize out-of-cap expenditures, the Ministry paid Accenture $66 million outside the original $180-million payment cap. Of that amount, $22.2 million related to work that the Ministry had agreed to do in January 2001 and later but was unable to perform.
The new service-delivery system did not adequately support the administration of Ontario Works because of numerous unresolved systems defects. Business Transformation Project staff considered many of these defects to be emergency or high-priority items in need of repair."
Source:
2002 Annual Report of the Provincial Auditor
December 2002
Provincial Auditor of Ontario

.....................................................................................................................................

Business Transformation Project/Common Purpose Procurement (2000 report - Office of the Provincial Auditor)

.....................................................................................................................................

1998 Report of the Provincial Auditor of Ontario - See section 3.01 --- Business Transformation Project 
Source : Audit Reports on Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services (Office of the Provincial Auditor) 

.....................................................................................................................................

GATS/WTO Pusher Profile: ACCENTURE
"Identifying Characteristics: Big business consultants who are big-time privatization pushers of government services, especially social services. Makes lots of money replacing people’s jobs with machines, love to slash welfare benefits, and pillage public health care and education funds."
Source :
Corporate Campaigns
"Corporations pushing the World Trade Organization General Agreement on Trade in Services Agenda"

[Polaris Institute]

 


Mavi v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009

November 12, 2009
Ontario Court of Appeal

Related links:

Court opens door to immigrant debt relief
By Nicholas Keung
November 12, 2009
People who found themselves with huge debts after sponsoring immigrants have won a landmark decision in Ontario's Court of Appeal. The court Thursday told the Ontario government to revisit its social assistance collection policies to recover debts owed by residents who sponsored immigrants to Canada. The court chided both the federal and provincial governments for disregarding the changing circumstances of the sponsors and the people they sponsored with their cut-and-dried collection policies.
Source:
Toronto Star

---

Sponsors not automatically responsible for family debts: court (dead link)
Ontario Court of Appeal orders governments to stop automatically charging
individuals for social assistance debts of relatives they sponsored as immigrants;
ruling could cost governments millions

By Kirk Makin
November 12, 2009
The Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered governments to stop automatically charging individuals tens of millions of dollars for social assistance debts run up by family members who they had sponsored as immigrants. The Court said that it is unfair to force people to pay substantial sums of money on behalf of a relative they sponsored without first giving them an opportunity – on a case-by-case basis – to explain why they should not have to pay.
Source:
Globe and Mail


List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the third periodic report of Canada : United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (June 10, 1998) 
Ontario Government Response to the U.N. List of Issues - November 1998 
This report contains a wealth of information about welfare reforms in Ontario in recent years


 Go to Ontario Municipal Government and Non-Governmental Organization Links

---

See these related Canadian Social Research Links pages:

--- Guide to welfare in Ontario
--- Provincial government
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [A-C]
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [D-N]
--- NGO/Municipal govt. [O-Z]
--- Review of social assistance in Ontario
--- The Ontario Special Diet Allowance
--- The Drummond Commission report
--- Drug testing people who apply for or receive welfare
--- Spouse-in-the-house (54) (welfare cohabitation rules for single people & single parents) 
--- Government Budget Links page - incl. Ontario budget links
--- Federal, provincial and territorial budgets - incl. Ontario budgets +analysis & critiques
--- Ontario anti-poverty strategies and poverty reduction
--- Early Learning and Child Care (for all Ontario ECD links)
--- Case Law / Court Decisions / Inquests - incl. information on the Kimberly Rogers inquest.
--- Provincial-Territorial Political Parties and Elections in Canada - incl. Ontario election links
--- Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients in Ontario

--- Gouvernement de l'Ontario - page d'accueil (version française)

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E-MAIL: gilseg@rogers.com

 

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