Canadian Social Research Links
Non-Governmental and
Municipal Government Sites in Ontario

Updated April 30, 2018

version française

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Major Milestones in Poverty Reduction in Ontario
(PDF - 56K, 1 page)
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.
Open Policy (John Stapleton's website)


Weekly Media Scan page (Income Security Advocacy Centre)

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



NOTE : For all Ontario minimum wage links , go to the minimum wage section of the Ontario Government Sites page


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)


Current Welfare benefit levels in Ontario and much more:
Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates
Updated quarterly
This factsheet contains current rate information (benefit levels) for 15 federal and Ontario financial assistance programs.
[NOTE : Clicking the link above will take you partway down the Ontario Government Links page of this website.]

Prepared by the
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
[ ]



NOTE : for links to all Ontario social assistance review resources,
go to the Canadian Social Research Links Review of social assistance in Ontario links page.

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


NEW From Maytree:
[ ]

Social assistance summaries released
April 24
Maytree has released the latest update to Social Assistance Summaries, a resource that shows the number of social assistance recipients across Canada and how that has changed over time. This update includes 2017 data provided by provincial and territorial government officials alongside a brief description of the social assistance programs in each jurisdiction.

Social Assistance Summaries uses data provided by provincial and territorial government officials to track the number of social assistance recipients across Canada. It also includes a brief description of the social assistance programs in each jurisdiction.

How to view the reports:
Select a province or territory from the list below to download that jurisdiction's summary and statistics in a separate report (avg. 3-4 pages), or download the complete national report in one file (75 pages).


Download the all-Canada report (PDF, 75 pages) :

Download content directly for individual jurisdictions:

Alberta :

British Columbia :

Manitoba :

New Brunswick :

Newfoundland and Labrador :

Nova Scotia :

Northwest Territories :

Nunavut :

Ontario :

Prince Edward Island :

Quebec :

Saskatchewan :

Yukon Territory :

Maytree is committed to advancing systemic solutions to poverty and strengthening civic communities. It believes the most enduring way to fix the systems that create poverty is to have economic and social rights safeguarded for all people living in Canada.

Related link:

Social Assistance Summaries 2014 (PDF - 235KB, 49 pages)
Anne Makhoul, March 201

From the Financial Post:
|[ ]

Ontario's poverty numbers are growing again — the opposite of the rest of Canada
April 26, 2018
Matthew Lau: Even when the Ontario government is claiming to help the poor, they are doing more harm than good.
Take the minimum wage hike as an example...

Edges of Toronto : A penniless woman becomes a voice for Canada's poor
Opinion November 17, 2017
By Mike Adler
They wanted someone who knows poverty, and Boh Lee Soh is penniless. Soh, 56, shares a Scarborough basement with five people, but that’s better than her last room, cold and damp, where her leg swelled until she couldn’t walk. It’s better than being homeless, which Soh was years ago.
Soh lives in an illegal rooming house. People like her are invisible to their neighbours, let alone politicians running this city and country. So it’s startling she’s one of two people from Greater Toronto chosen to advise the Canadian National Poverty Strategy. (The other Toronto advisor is John Stapleton, 67, also from Scarborough, an expert on income security programs which do so little to help people like Soh.)

[ Click the link above to read the complete article. ]


Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Rates
and the Ontario Child Benefit – 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 from the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:
[ ]

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

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)

Who's Earning Minimum Wage? (Hint: Ontarians)
May 31, 2016
When it comes to employees earning the minimum wage, Ontario is Canada’s undisputed champion. Fully 11.6 per cent of all employees earned the province’s minimum wage last year, according to numbers crunched by Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) senior economist Angella MacEwen. That’s more than twice the share seen in British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan.

Huffington Post

Solitary Confinement Series
Innovation Fellowship, Inclusive Local Economies
By Metcalf Innovation Fellow John Stapleton

The Resilient Neighbourhood Economies (RNE) project [ ] focused on building sustainable economic opportunities for low-income people and ran from 2012 to 2015. The project was a partnership between Metcalf’s Inclusive Local Economies Program and two community-based organizations. During RNE’s three years, both community organizations raised concerns about roadblocks that individuals on social assistance face that prevent them from exploring self-employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. We asked Metcalf Innovation Fellow John Stapleton [ ] to explore this issue. The result is this series of guest posts titled Solitary Confinement. In these posts John will share first-hand accounts, provide analysis of structural barriers, and shine a light on examples or solutions that can address disincentives. Click on the two links below to read the first two postings.

May 2016: From Solitary Confinement to "One to Many"
This is the second in a series of posts that explore the difficulties social assistance recipients face when pursuing self-employment or entrepreneurial options. It is co-written by John Stapleton and Leila Sarangi. (...) While not an ideal framework, One-to-Many enabled the women to use Ontario Works benefits and resources to support a socially-driven collaborative enterprise model and help them on their path to self-sufficiency.

February 2016: Two case studies and the income/employment conundrum
This is the first in a series of posts that explore the difficulties that social assistance recipients face when pursuing self-employment or entrepreneurial options. My focus is primarily on newcomers who are searching for a way to be self-reliant. I also focus on situations in which barriers are particularly acute. (...) Fortunately, Toronto Employment and Social Services has developed a new experimental model that respects entrepreneurship and understands the need to provide consistent messaging to recipients and organizations undertaking group entrepreneurship. It is called the “one-to-many” model and the odyssey that resulted in that model is the subject of a future posting.

Metcalf Foundation

Putting a human face on poverty in Hamilton: Four personal tales of struggle and hope
April 8, 2016
How is Ontario faring when it comes to poverty? Just about every six years, the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition [ ] aims to find out. The Hamilton social audit was last conducted in 2010, and will again provide a window into the lives of those Hamiltonians living in poverty.
This year the panellists will have heard from more than 25 Hamiltonians from diverse backgrounds. The effort will result in a report that attempts to put a human face to on the serious challenges that poverty poses in Hamilton and across Ontario.

Hamilton Spectator

Ontario Tenant Heat & Electricity Survey

This interesting quality of life survey was done by Ontario Tenant Rights this year about insufficient heating for tenants.

Ontario Tenants Rights

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and
Ontario Works (OW)

New fact sheet: The ODSP Work-Related Benefit is Still Available
This fact sheet is a good resource for those who want to be sure that people on ODSP recognize that they can still receive the $100 / month Work-Related Benefit in any month they have employment income.
Download the fact sheet below:
English (Word) :
English (PDF) :
French (Word) :
French (PDF) :

OW and ODSP rates are increasing as of October 30 (2015), as announced in Ontario's 2015 budget
[ ].
Download our new rates sheet below:

English (Word) :
English (PDF) :
French (Word) :
French (PDF) :

Income Security Advocacy Centre

Who's Hungry 2015:
Daily Bread Food Bank's
Annual Report on Hunger in Toronto
September 21, 2015

Summary and infographics

Complete report (PDF - 1.7MB, 31 pages)

Daily Bread Food Bank

Media coverage:

Toronto Star:
Hunger in Toronto is a tale of two cities
September 21,, 2015
Food bank use in the city’s inner suburbs — Scarborough, North York, York and Etobicoke — has spiked 45 per cent since the 2008 recession with a corresponding 16 per cent drop in the old city of Toronto, according to the Daily Bread Food Bank’s annual Who’s Hungry report.
Toronto food bank use by the numbers:
* 25 Percentage who have been in Canada less than four years (down from 40 per cent in 2008.)
* 48 Average number of months a person uses a food bank (up from 24 months in 2008.)
* 65 Percentage who rely on social assistance as their main source of income.
* 34 Percentage who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Plan.
* more (scroll to the bottom of the article)


Globe and Mail:
Toronto's food banks see rising demand in inner suburbs
In total, 896,900 people visited a food bank across Toronto in the year to March, a 1.4-per-cent increase from a year earlier and a level still 12 per cent higher than during the recession, according to the annual count by the Daily Bread Food Bank.

NEW from the
Metcalf Foundation
[ ]

Toronto's Working Poor Are Moving to the Suburbs (small PDF file)
April 20, 2015
Press release
Toronto – A new report from the Metcalf Foundation examines the continued upward creep of working poverty in Canada’s wealthiest city. The report compares Toronto to a total of 16 other Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in Canada, including the ten largest. Of the 17 CMAs, Toronto has the highest incidence of working poverty: 9.1% of the working-age population in the Toronto Region and 10.7% of the working-age population in the City of Toronto.

Complete report:

The Working Poor:
Mapping working poverty in Canada’s richest city (PDF - 6.3MB, 40 pages)
By John Stapleton with Jasmin Kay
April 2015
From the report's conclusion:
"From 2006 to 2012, growth in working poverty rates in the Toronto Region slowed in comparison to the period of 2000 to 2005. This is due in part to increases to the minimum wage and new income supplements that helped raise incomes among the poor, both working and non-working. These interventions, which helped to
moderate the incidence of working poverty, illustrate that government has a role to play in assuring adequate incomes for citizens. At the same time, the continued upward creep of working poverty is strong evidence that good social policy is not sufficient."

Open Policy Ontario (the social policy consultancy of John Stapleton in Toronto)

NOTE: Metcalf will be hosting a webinar with John Stapleton on the report on Wednesday, April 29 at 2:30 pm.
This is a free event, please register at


From the
Toronto Star:
[ ]

Toronto: The Downton Abbey of Canada?
Toronto has the largest and fastest growing concentration of working poverty in the country.
By Laurie Monsebraaten
April 20, 2015
Toronto has become the Downton Abbey of Canada, home to the country’s largest and fastest growing concentration of working poor who are toiling in the service of the city’s burgeoning knowledge sector, according to a new report.
The analysis by social policy expert John Stapleton, bolsters a recent United Way report on growing inequality in Toronto, and research earlier this month that shows Ontario’s minimum wage continues to trap too many area workers in poverty.

From the Ontario
Equal Pay Coalition:

April 17, 2015
Media Advisory: Equal Pay Day Events Across Ontario
TORONTO, ONTARIO - April 20 is Equal Pay Day for the province of Ontario in 2015. To mark the occasion, the Equal Pay Coalition is calling on the provincial government to implement the commitments Premier Kathleen Wynne made towards closing Ontario's 30 percent pay gap between men and women. Several events are scheduled to mark this day, including wearing "red" to recognize that women are still "in the red. Click the link above to access information about Equal Pay Day events in Windsor, Kingston, London and Toronto.

Equal Pay Coalition


Related links:

From the
Ontario Pay Equity Commission:
[ ]
Click the link above to access links to the following:

* Features and Topics:
--- Results of the Wage Gap Pilot Program
--- Pay Equity Office Business Plan 2014-2015 | Strategic Plan 2015-16 to 2016-17
--- Pay Equity Office Annual Report 2013–2014
--- Attention Public Sector Employers
--- A Guide to Interpreting Ontario's Pay Equity Act Updated!

* Best Practices:
--- Gender Wage Gap
--- Monitoring
--- Reports
--- Submissions/Reports
--- Wage Gap Pilot Program

Also accessible from the Commission website's home page (the link above):

"New Employers – Getting Started"
To get started on understanding Ontario’s Pay Equity Act and meeting your obligations, we recommend that you download the following three documents:
1. A Guide to Interpreting Ontario's Pay Equity Act
2. Step-by-Step to Pay Equity (Mini-Kit)
3. E-Learning Modules: Pay Equity for Small Businesses


Huffington Post Canada

The Wage Gap Means Elderly Women Face Poverty
By Yen To
April 19, 2015
On Monday, April 20, women are encouraged to wear red to mark Equal Pay Day in Ontario. Red was chosen as the official colour to demonstrate the continued inequity of the average annual earnings ledger, showing that females are still "in the red" as compared to their male counterparts.

To date, women still make less than men, the generally quoted differential being approximately 30 per cent less or in the range of 70 cents on the dollar. This is not profound news to the world. The struggle for pay equity harkens back to first-wave feminism during the turn of the 20th century.

Huffington Post Canada

Rising disability caseloads = more people vulnerable to hunger?
December 2014 (blog post)
In September 2014, over 895,000 Ontarians, or approximately 6.5 per cent of the population, were receiving social assistance. However, the month of September also marks for the first time in recent memory that the majority of those individuals were receiving the disability portion of social assistance – known in Ontario as the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Food banks across the GTA are seeing similar trends to that of provincial social assistance caseloads. The latest Who’s Hungry survey (see the next item below) noted a steady increase in people receiving ODSP coming to food banks: in 2005 it was 17 per cent of respondents, whereas in 2014 it is nearly 30 per cent. Living with incomes that have fallen far behind the rate of inflation, people with disabilities receiving ODSP are requiring food banks in greater numbers.
Social policy expert John Stapleton predicted a year and a half ago that it wouldn’t be long before the number of individual people receiving ODSP would exceed that of Ontario Works. In his paper “The Welfarization of Disability Incomes in Ontario”, it was shown that social assistance is increasingly becoming the only means of income support available to people with disabilities in Ontario.

Daily Bread Food Bank

[ ]

Related links:

“The Welfareization of Disability Incomes in Ontario” (PDF)
By John Stapleton and the Metcalf Foundation

“The Brighter Prospects” (PDF)
Report by the Social Assistance Review Commission

Who’s Hungry : 2014 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area (PDF - 3.2MB, 36 pages)
By Richard Matern
Poverty and hunger are often hidden in the GTA. Other indicators of how people are faring in the economy, such as unemployment rates, only tell part of the story. This report looks deeper into the extent of hunger in our communities, and more closely at the reasons why people are going hungry in the first place. The information in this report comes from Daily Bread’s annual Who’s Hungry Survey, where trained volunteers conducted one-on-one interviews with approximately 1000 people accessing food banks across the GTA. Through these interviews, people share stories of having to water down soup, subsist on crackers, or not eat for an entire day due to lack of money.
Source: Excerpt (page 11)


- Go to the Food Banks and Hunger Links page:

New from the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:

The number of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
Medical Reviews will increase in 2015
December 5, 2014
La version française de cette note se trouve à la suite de l'anglais; cliquez le lien ci-dessus pour y accéder.
Vous y trouverez également la fiche « Révision de l’admissibilité médicale » en français.
Because the Ontario Disability Support Program provides support to people with disabilities even if their disability is not permanent, medical reviews have always been part of the ODSP system. For many years, however, the Ministry of Community and Social Services did not do medical reviews due to lack of resources. [There is currently a backlog of 60,000 people whose reviews have not been done]. Many people who should have had a medical review have not had one done. The Ministry received funding this year that will significantly increase the number of medical reviews being done.

Our Medical Reviews Fact Sheet talks about what medical reviews are, how they are done, and what you should do if you get a notice.
To read the fact sheet, click the link above and scroll down to "Our Medical Reviews Fact Sheet" and click (small Word file, one page).

Income Security Advocacy Centre

The most recent general election in Ontario took place on June 12, 2014.

New 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
[ Version française : ]
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.

Income Security Advocacy Centre

Weekly Media Scan page (Income Security Advocacy Centre)

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


Ontario Energy Support Program Announced:
Low-Income Energy Network Applauds Proactive Step
April 24, 2014
The Ontario government has just announced that it is moving to set up an electricity affordability program for low-income Ontarians.

This is great news for low-income consumers of electricity and great news for the Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN):
[ ]
The Low-Income Energy Network : Working to address the energy needs of Ontario’s low-income households
LIEN has been advocating with the government for this kind of program since 2006, as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing energy poverty in Ontario.
Full list of LIEN member groups (incl. links to each member group) :
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced yesterday [ ] that he sent a directive to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to develop the Ontario Electricity Support Program. The directive tells the OEB that the government wants the program to do three things:
1. It should be in place by January 1, 2016
2. It should give low-income electricity consumers a similar reduction to what they receive from the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit
3. It should operate so that the reduction is automatically applied to the electricity bills that low-income Ontario consumers receive.

You can read the Minister’s directive here: ( small PDF file)

And the government’s backgrounder on the Ontario Electricity Support Program has more details:

The directive also says that the OEB must consult with communities and stakeholders to create the program, and report back on the new program by December 1, 2014.

LIEN issued this press release [ ] yesterday, applauding the government for taking this proactive step to address energy poverty. For more information about the rate affordability model that LIEN has been proposing, you can watch this webinar.

LIEN has already said that they will take part in the OEB’s consultations, which will undoubtedly start soon. Watch for more information from LIEN - and use this information to contact them to find out how you can get involved in making sure that the Ontario Electricity Support Program is set up in a way that meets the needs of low-income energy consumers.

The Low-Income Energy Network was founded in 2004 by our partner clinics the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), us here at ISAC, and many other groups [ See ].

Congratulations to LIEN for their perseverance and for continuing to advocate for this important program for so many years!

Income Security Advocacy Centre
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) is a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. We have a provincial mandate to improve the income security of people living in Ontario through test case litigation, policy development, advocacy and community organizing.


Also from ISAC:

Two recent releases from
the Income Security Advocacy Centre:
* Submission to Minister Piruzza on Ontario's Next Five-Year Poverty Reduction Strategy (October 4, 2013)
* Submission to Ontario's Minimum Wage Advisory Panel (October 18, 2013)
For links to both submissions, go to:

(...or to the ISAC website home page - click the link below.)

Income Security Advocacy Centre
The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) is a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. We have a provincial mandate to improve the income security of people living in Ontario through test case litigation, policy development, advocacy and community organizing.

- Go to the Ontario Social Assistance Review Links page:


- Go to the Ontario Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

From the
Daily Bread Food Bank (Toronto):



Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy

On December 4, 2008, the Government of Ontario committed itself to reducing the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over the next 5 years. For a large (200+) and current collection of links to up-to-date online resources about the Ontario strategy from the Ontario government and from NGOs,
go to the Canadian Social Research Links Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

(click on "Ontario" in the list of provinces at the top of the page.)

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.

Daily Bread Food Bank (Toronto)
"The Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, non-denominational charitable organization working to eliminate hunger in the Greater Toronto Area. It is Canada's largest food bank, serving 170 food programs. In addition, we work together to try to end the root causes of hunger through public education and research."


Selected site content:

Who’s Hungry 2013: A Tale of Three Cities
September 24, 2013
For a fifth year in a row, food banks in the GTA saw over a million client visits. Underneath that figure hides very different numbers for different parts of the GTA, depending if people live in the city core, the former inner suburbs, or the 905 region. The former inner suburbs of Toronto (Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke) saw an increase of nearly 40 per cent since 2008 in numbers of visits to food banks. Those numbers include highly educated, but underemployed, newcomer families with children living in apartments that are barely affordable. In the city core, it is single baby boomers with disabilities who are more often turning to a food bank for support, as they struggle with fixed incomes and rising food costs.

Daily Bread Food Bank (Toronto)

Complete report:

Who’s Hungry: A Tale of Three Cities
2013 Profile of Hunger in the GTA
(PDF - 2.2MB, 28 pages)
September 2013
This report talks about three “cities” within the GTA. These cities, the city core, the former inner suburbs, and the 905 area, are seeing different trends in regards to who is coming through the doors of their local food banks. These trends illustrate what many already know, that the GTA and the City of Toronto are rapidly evolving and there are challenges that are emerging as a result of that evolution.

Children in Greater Toronto Area going hungrier
more often, according to new Daily Bread report
(PDF - 44K, 1 page)
September 19, 2012
TORONTO — As Daily Bread Food Bank launches its Thanksgiving Drive, a new report released today shows why it’s more important than ever to give. “While there has been a slight decrease in the percentage of children having to get food from a food bank, there has been an increase in the percentage of those children who are going hungry at least once a week. Same is true for adults—the hungry are getting hungrier,” said Richard Matern, acting director of research and the author of the newest Who’s Hungry: Faces of Hunger report.

Complete report:

Who’s Hungry: Faces of Hunger
2012 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
(PDF - 2.4MB, 28 pages)
By Richard Matern and Susie Kim
Every year Daily Bread conducts a survey across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) of people who access food banks. Over 100 volunteers go out to over 40 food banks across the city to conduct one-on-one interviews with food bank clients. The only project of its kind in Canada, Daily Bread’s annual survey is a crucial tool that helps to raise awareness of the issues that contribute to hunger and poverty by listening to the people that it is affecting the most.

Hunger Snapshot : Faces of Hunger (PDF - 408K, 4 pages)
- contains some statistical highlights from the 2012 survey to provide you with a brief picture of poverty and hunger in the GTA.


Toronto Regional Hunger Statistics
Posted December 12, 2011

From Toronto's
Daily Bread Food Bank:

Who's Hungry : Fighting Hunger
2011 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area

Greater Toronto Area Hunger Statistics - Google Map
Scroll down the page to "Regional Statistics" and click on a coloured section of the map for statistics for that region of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Stats include demographics (age groups, household composition, education, disability), hunger, income, housing, and transportation barriers.
- includes links to previous editions of the Daily Bread's annual Who's Hungry reports and key hunger statistics for the GTA back to 2005. <=== This link takes you to a full-screen version of the same Google Map as above, with links to the same stats as above for each of six Toronto's regions.

Related links:

Who's Hungry : Fighting Hunger
2011 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
(PDF - 1.6MB, 15 pages)
September 21, 2011
Unlike food, paying the rent every month is non-negotiable. The cost of housing is a key reason people go hungry and have to come to a food bank, regardless of any other circumstances...

Key findings in the 2011 report


- Go to the Food Banks and Hunger Links page:


Daily Bread food report says rents trump hunger
Study suggest 72% of clients' monthly income spent on housing

September 22, 2011
The majority of people relying on Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank to feed themselves and their families are facing such high rental rates that they often have little money left over for food. So says a new report from the non-profit charitable organization, which has urged the provincial government to help fight hunger in the Greater Toronto Area. The Daily Bread Food Bank has released a report that says over 70 per cent of its clients can't afford food because their income is going towards housing.
CBC News

The Daily Bread Food Bank report:

Who's Hungry : Fighting Hunger
2011 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
(PDF - 1.6MB, 15 pages)
September 21, 2011
Unlike food, paying the rent every month is non-negotiable. The cost of housing is a key reason people go hungry and have to come to a food bank, regardless of any other circumstances...

Key findings in the 2011 report

Toronto Hunger Statistics, 2005 to 2011

Daily Bread Food Bank
The Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. As Canada’s largest food bank, Daily Bread serves people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in approximately 170 member agencies.


Ontarians need a housing benefit (PDF - 156K, 1 page)
June 15, 2011
Media release
TORONTO – Despite an improving economy, people visiting food banks in the Greater Toronto Area are still struggling. The Hunger Snapshot report, released today, shows that food bank clients spend 72 per cent of their income on housing costs. When families are struggling to make ends meet and have to make a choice between paying the rent and putting food on the table, it is usually food that is sacrificed.

Housing Benefit --- find out more about the proposed Ontario Housing Benefit and how you can help make it a reality.


Hunger Snapshot:
Fighting Hunger
(PDF - 1.3MB, 6 pages)
2011 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
June 15, 2011
This snapshot here is just that – some statistical highlights from the 2011 survey to provide you with a brief picture of poverty and hunger in the GTA. This year, we will be releasing the full report on the results of the survey on September 21, 2011 at the launch of Daily Bread’s Fall Drive.
[ Publications - links to earlier Toronto hunger reports back to 2005 ]


Voice Of The Vulnerable (Audio podcast, duration 6:20)
Life on social assistance in Ontario
April 4, 2011
Matt Galloway of CBC Toronto spoke with Michael Oliphant. He is the director of research at the Daily Bread Food Bank. He will be at the People's Blueprint Conference today along with various other stakeholders to discuss issues of social assistance. The People's Blueprint is a joint project between Voices From the Street and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
CBC Metro Morning

The People's Blueprint Project
- series of videos presenting first-person testimonials on a number of topics related to social assistance, including:
* Stigma * Food & Health * Social Participation * Housing * Employment & Education * Caseworkers * Suggested Changes * Hopes & What Works
NOTE: Navigate by clicking either the topics near the top of the page or the right and left arrows in the video box.
Be sure to scroll down past the videos for the complementary text.

[ About the Project ]


Fall Drive launches with release of
new report on hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
(PDF - 24K, 1 page)
Media Release
September 23, 2010
TORONTO — Daily Bread Food Bank launched its annual Fall Drive today with a new report on hunger in the GTA showing the largest increase in food bank use in fifteen years. With food bank use at an all time high, the need to give is stronger than ever. While donors and supporters dug deep last year, donations have also flat lined, meaning Daily Bread Food Bank is trying to do more with less. (...) The report, Who's Hungry: 2010 Profile of Hunger in the GTA, shows an overall increase of 15 per cent in client visits. For Daily Bread’s member agencies, there were an extra 123,000 visits last year. The average person coming to a food bank spends 68 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. With an average monthly income of $1000, that leaves just over $300 for everything else: school supplies for the kids, clothes for winter, medications and food. The research shows most people are going into debt to make up the shortfall: 59 per cent have borrowed from family or friends and 28 per cent have used credit cards recently in order to pay the bills. The issue with hunger isn’t about food security, it’s about income security. There is enough food for everyone, but people on low incomes do not have enough money to purchase the food that is available.

The report:

Who's Hungry: 2010 Profile of Hunger in the GTA (PDF - 7.4MB, 32 pages)
This past year, food banks experienced the largest increase in client visits since social assistance rates were cut by 21.6 per cent in 1995. The percentage of children 18 years of age and under requiring food banks remains the same, while the percentage of people 45 years of age or older using food banks is getting larger.

Key Findings (60K, 1 page)


Picturing poverty: Ontario's new Material Deprivation Index
By Chandra Pasma
July 9, 2009
"(...) Canada has no official definition of poverty. There are a number of definitions and measures that are commonly but unofficially used for social policy discussions, but no formal agreement as to what we are seeking to eliminate in Canada. For this reason, provincial poverty reduction strategies have had to choose their own definition and measurement of poverty. Measuring is essential to tracking movement and providing accountability.

Ontario chose to develop a new measure, the Ontario Material Deprivation Index. Ontario’s strategy will use this measure in conjunction with two other measures: 40% of median income as a measurement of the depth of poverty, and 50% of median income to measure low income. (Although both of these are relative measures, Ontario chose to fix its target of 25% reduction of poverty in 5 years according to the 50% low income measure fixed at its 2008 level and adjusted by inflation only). The Deprivation Index fits in the context of these other two measures as a way of understanding standard of living. It is not considered to be a complete description of poverty, but a way of recognizing common symptoms of poverty. It includes multiple elements of poverty, including deprivation that leads to social isolation, issues of economic security, and the ability to make changes in your life.
[ more... ]

The Ontario Material Deprivation Index
was developed by the Daily Bread Food Bank
in conjunction with people living in poverty.
Chandra's Blog
[ Citizens for Public Justice ]


Fighting Hunger : Who’s Hungry
2009 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area

June 18
Complete report:
Fighting Hunger : Who’s Hungry
2009 Profile of Hunger in the GTA
(PDF - 798K, 28 pages)
June 2009

Report illustrates food bank use spike to over 1 million visits
Food bank clients going into debt and selling assets to pay for food and rent

June 18, 2009
TORONTO - Government programs are failing to support people ravaged by the recession, according to Daily Bread Food Bank's latest Who's Hungry: Profile of Hunger in the GTA. Client visits to GTA food banks over the past year exceeded 1 million for the first time ever. Total client visits were 1,030,568, a rise of 8% over last year. More disturbingly, the increase in client visits in the first three months of 2009 averaged 17%. The spike in food bank use is directly related to the current recession. Over half of new clients surveyed accessed a food bank for economic reasons due to job loss (35%), reduced hours at work (6%), or had no current source of income and were living on savings (11%).
Canada Newswire

Key findings
[there's more info on each finding below in the PDF file.]
* Food bank use in the GTA has rapidly increased in the past year due to the recession.
* The largest portion of new clients is people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut. A substantial number are not accessing welfare because of their savings.
* The majority of people using food banks do so for a relatively short period of time.
Over one third of food bank clients are children. However, single adults remain the largest household type using a food bank.
* The majority of respondents are Canadian citizens, and many are immigrants who have been in Canada for 10 years or more.
* A significant percentage of respondents are highly educated, and include newcomers who cannot get work in their field.
* The cost of housing is the largest expense for most people.
* Hunger in the GTA is the result of lack of money, not lack of food.
* Being employed is not always a ticket out of poverty.
* People living in poverty have a high level of vulnerability to costly forms of debt in order to pay for their basic needs


Coalition releases innovative plan to address housing poverty
[missing link]
News Release
November 17, 2008
TORONTO – A coalition of private, public and non-profit housing associations, community organizations, academics, and foundations released a proposal today for a new housing benefit for low-income Ontarians. The proposal, outlined in A Housing Benefit for Ontario: One Housing Solution for a Poverty Reduction Strategy, recommends a new income benefit that will help low-income, working age renters with high shelter costs in communities across Ontario. The proposal would add a necessary affordable housing component to Ontario’s highly anticipated Poverty Reduction Strategy, expected in December.

A Housing Benefit for Ontario
One Housing Solution for a Poverty Reduction Strategy
(PDF - 255K, 30 pages)
November 2008
"(...)The proposed benefit pays an average of $103 per month to an estimated 66,000 families and 129,000 individual and couple households. The amount of the benefit is based on a formula that pays 75% of shelter costs between a floor and a ceiling that varies by community size. The housing benefit is reduced as income rises."

Housing Benefit Summary (PDF - 57K, 2 pages)

Housing Benefit Q & A (PDF - 44K, 5 pages)

Proposal submitted to the Province of Ontario by a coalition of industry and community organizations:
Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
Greater Toronto Apartments Association (no website found)
Metcalf Charitable Foundation
Atkinson Charitable Foundation
Daily Bread Food Bank

NOTE: Links to the older Daily Bread site content below were broken so I removed the hyperlinks, but I left the text for info --- try doing a Google search on the title of an article or report...

Research shows food bank clients spend 77% of income on rent
TORONTO, June 24, 2008
People accessing food banks in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are unable to get ahead because of the high cost of housing, according to a report released today by Daily Bread Food Bank. Who's Hungry: 2008 Profile of Hunger in the GTA found that food bank clients pays an average of 77% of their income on housing alone, which crowds out money available for other basic necessities such as food.

Complete report:

Who’s Hungry:
2008 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area
(PDF - 672K, 32 pages)
June 2008

Hungry City> Make Your Mark!
Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank Blog
Launched in June 2007
"(...) It is time to take the next steps in the fight against hunger and that is where Hungry City> Make Your Mark comes in. It is also where you come in. We are armed with information and we have realistic policy solutions outlined in A New Deal to Fight Hunger. Now, we need to come together for real political change. You are invited to post your concerns about hunger and poverty in your community on this blog. Keep visiting to see where people stand on this important issue. Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to ending the need for food banks and we are excited to work with our community and start mobilizing to have our voices heard. No one should go hungry in our great city, province or country. I’ve made my mark…have you?" [Excerpt from the Hungry City Blog Welcome Message, June 5/07)

Who's Hungry: 2007 Profile of Hunger in the GTA (PDF file - 1.8MB, 32 pages)
June 5, 2007
Read a detailed report about the current hunger crisis in the GTA. It features Daily Bread's A New Deal to Fight Hunger, a significant next step toward solving the hunger crisis.

Who's Hungry 2007 : Key Statistics (PDF file - 63K, 1 page)
June 5, 2007
Check out the key statistics drawn from the survey over 1,800 food bank clients from across the GTA.

A New Deal to Fight Hunger (PDF file - 60K, 2 pages)
June 1, 2007
Daily Bread's call for a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy

Related link:

Hungry City - A Daily Bread Food Bank Initiative
There is no excuse for hunger and poverty in a country as wealthy as Canada, the Hungry City initiative is your chance to take action. Join with thousands of others to make your voice heard for real political change, to elect a provincial government committed to ending hunger and poverty on October 10th, 2007. Hungry City is about you. Find out how you can participate, make your mark here...

Daily Bread’s Who’s Hungry report illustrates depth of hunger crisis
Survey examines hunger in the GTA and Daily Bread advances solutions
(PDF file - 96K, 1 page)
News Release
June 6, 2006
TORONTO, ON - Food bank use across the GTA has risen a dramatic 79% since 1995, according to the report Who’s Hungry: 2006 Profile of Hunger in the GTA released today at BCE Place. The results of Daily Bread’s annual survey paint a picture that cannot be ignored of the struggles and financial plight of the diverse population relying on food banks. The 894,017 people who accessed emergency food services last year through GTA food banks, 38% of whom were children, would not go hungry if the issue of poverty were addressed. So, in conjunction with the report, Daily Bread advances the Blueprint to Fight Hunger.

Complete report:

Who's Hungry:
2006 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area

(PDF file - 1.9MB, 13 pages)

Blueprint to Fight Hunger (PDF file - 214K, 1 page)
June 2006

Working people go hungry
Low pay, no health benefits drive families to welfare, says Sue Cox
Jun. 28, 2005
"Food banks are on a treadmill; we have to run faster just to stay in the same place. After 16 years of working at the Daily Bread Food Bank, I have never seen the food bank network as strained as it is now. We can't keep running more and more food drives to keep up to demand. So the time is right for fair and sensible welfare policies that make work pay and eliminate hunger. As Bob Geldof said this week, 'charity is always worth it, but it can never deal with the structure of poverty. That's politics.'"
[Sue Cox is the former executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.]
The Toronto Star

Who's Hungry: 2005 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area (PDF file - 393K, 28 pages)
June 07, 2005
"Daily Bread Food Bank insists that charitable food relief programs are only a temporary solution to hunger. Food banks have consistently advocated that government programs ensure a decent standard of living for everyone. Despite this work, food banks are still entrenched as a necessary social service for low-income people, compensating for the government cutbacks of the 1990s and the increasingly tenuous labour market."

Survey results indicate drastic overhaul of social assistance required (PDF file - 60K, 2 pages)
Report looks at who’s hungry in Toronto in 2005 and how to help them
News Release
June 7, 2005
"TORONTO, ON – Thirty-four per cent of people on Ontario Works are discouraged from working because of the deduction of employment income from their social assistance, according to the results of Daily Bread’s 2005 survey of people relying upon food banks. As a result, just thirteen per cent of this group reports work income (virtually identical to the 14% who do so across the province). The loss of dental and drug benefits is another major barrier to getting back to work as shown by the experience of people relying upon food banks who are working full-time—46 per cent of them have no dental coverage and only 43 per cent have an employer drug plan."

Rebuilding Lives:
Taking children off welfare and encouraging their parents to work
(PDF file - 390K, 18 pages)
March 15, 2005
"Daily Bread's detailed proposal on the best way for the provincial government to keep its promise to end the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement from social assistance cheques. To do so, it recommends changing how social assistance benefits are calculated so that adults have a greater incentive to work their way off welfare and their children receive the NCBS whether their parents are on or off welfare."

Governments Failing Newcomers:
Highly Skilled Immigrants Being Forced to Use Food Banks
(PDF file - 26K, 4 pages)
March 26, 2005
"Preliminary results from the 2005 Annual Survey on skilled immigrants being forced to rely upon foodbanks to survive in Toronto. This report builds a strong and compelling case for greater financial support from the federal government to help the province of Ontario aid immigrant settlement to quicken the pace of their integration into the Canadian economy--benefitting both the immigrants and the long-term health of the Canadian economy."

Housing Report Update: Rising Food Bank Use Linked to Tenant Protection Act (PDF file - 142K, 3 pages)
November 02, 2004
"Daily Bread has taken a closer look at our research statistics to determine the correlation between rent increases and food bank use. The results are included in the attached an update to our August report on housing. The data shows that there is a strong link between rising food bank use and the Tenant Protection Act. "

How much difference would the NCBS make for food bank families? (PDF file - 138K, 2 pages)
A review of the impact of the "clawback" of the National Child Benefit Supplement is affecting children whose families are on social assistance
Research Bulletin #4
August 31, 2004
" is possible to extrapolate that approximately 13,500 children in the Greater Toronto Area alone would no longer need to use a food bank if their families received the National Child Benefit Supplement."

Somewhere to Live or Something to Eat: Housing Issues of Food Bank Clients in the GTA
August 2, 2004
- based on housing statistics from the Daily Bread Food Bank's Annual Survey of Food Bank Clients.
"This 22-page paper looks at the key housing issues affecting food bank clients. Set against the context of the Welfare Rates cut in 1995 and the Tenant Protection Act in 1998, the paper focuses on rent and income problems many food bank clients are facing now. (...) It is particularly timely given that the Ontario government has just completed its consultation process for new landlord-tenant legislation and is currently engaged in writing a new act in which new rent control guidelines will be established. This paper should be viewed as a contribution to that process."

Complete Report (PDF file - 766K, 22 pages)
Summary of Housing Report (PDF file - 24K, 2 pages)

Who's Who? (PDF file - 56K, 1 page)
July 20, 2004
"This profile of food bank clients looks specifically at family groups, sources of income, immigration and gender by age. This information is collected from our 2004 Annual Survey."

Who’s Hungry? (PDF file - 39K, 1 page)
June 21, 2004"This updated fact sheet answers the question Who’s hungry? by examining data provided by Daily Bread’s annual survey of food recipients. The report provides statistics on the issues impacting low-income people in the GTA."

Ontario Works? (PDF file - 84K, 8 pages)
June 16, 2004
A submission on the work-for-welfare programs in Ontario to the Provincial Government.

DAWN DisAbled Women's Network - Ontario
"DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Ontario is a cross-disability, feminist organization working towards access, equity, and full participation of Women with disAbilities through public education, coalition-building, self-advocacy, resource development, and information & communication technology."
- incl. links to : Text version - What's New - Resources - Publications - Justice Issues - Health Issues - Inclusion Award - Access Checklist - Online Community - Research Posts - Who We Are - What We Do - Our Vision - Herstory - Fact Sheet - Action Alert - Membership - Join E-List - Guestbook - Feedback - Contact Us - Credits
Links - Links to hundreds of websites about women and disability - excellent resource!

NOTE: This site hasn't been updated since December 2007, but all links to older material are functional.

Selected site content:

Outcry against Bill 107 grows: more than 50 organizations call on Premier for change
June 15, 2006
Former Human Rights Commissioner and member of 1992 Cornish Task Force Advisory Committee Tom Warner joined community leaders at a press conference this morning to release an open letter to Premier McGuinty. The letter was signed by more than 50 organizations representing racialized communities, seniors, gays and lesbians and people with disabilities. It sets out growing concerns over Bill 107, the government's human rights reform legislation, and condemns the Premier's plan to hold public hearings on the legislation in the summer when people are less able to attend and boards are unable to meet to approve submissions. The groups are calling on the Premier to hold the hearings in the fall and be prepared to make the necessary changes.

Background info on Bill 107

DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) Ontario

Related Links:

Ontario Human Rights Reform - A Call to Action
May 18, 2006
summarizes what Bill 107 does, explains what’s wrong with Bill 107, and explains the three changes to Bill 107 we seek."
Ontario Human Rights Reform - A Call to Action ===> incl. 18 related links
[ Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA)]

Related Links:

Strengthening Ontario's Human Rights System - from the Ontario Human Rights Commission
- includes links to the August 2005 System Review Discussion Paper, the October 2005 Consultation Report and news release, the Ministry of the Attorney General's February 2006 news release, the Commission's preliminary comments on proposed reforms to Ontario’s human rights system and the letter from Chief Commissioner to the Attorney General, March 7th, 2006

More info on the history of human rights legislation
and proposed changes in Ontario

- links to a dozen presentations given at a January 2005 Faculty of Law (University of Toronto) workshop on administrative design and the human rights process in Ontario

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA)
(successor of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee since August 2005)

Legislature Gives Controversial Bill 107 Approval on Second Reading
& Refers the Bill to the Standing Committee for Public Hearings
June 24, 2006
[Bill 107 is the Ontario government's human rights reform legislation.]
Put in your Request Now to Make a Presentation to the Standing Committee Hearings
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
- incl. What's New? - What's Next? - An Important Partial Victory - What Should You Do? - Sample Request to Make a Presentation at the Standing Committee

Related Link:

Ontario Human Rights Commission Fact Sheet - June 13

R.E.A.L. Women of Canada's lobby efforts to disband
Status of Women and the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (FEWO)

June 24
REAL Women of Canada has obtained an additional Access to Information request on feminist groups for 2004 - 2005 through Status of Women Canada. In their latest newsletter (May-June 2006), they've posted budgets to organizations such as LEAF, NAWL and NAC on their website as a part of their Letter Writing Campaign to MPs.

Version française:
Bulletin : Le lobby R.E.A.L. Women of Canada tente de faire démanteler Condition
féminine Canada et le Comité permanent de la condition féminine (CPCF)

Senate Committee on Autism
Funding for the Treatment of Autism referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for Study and Report
"After all this hard work by so many, it appears that we finally got funding for autism treatment on the agenda! It is on the radar screen..."

National Child Benefit / National Child Benefit Supplement
Rate Increase July 2006
"The provincial government stopped taking the 2% NCBS increases, as part of the Clawback, a couple of years ago. Thus, as of July, you get to keep 6% of the increases, which are included in the amounts above. If you receive income assistance in Ontario, the provincial government reduces your assistance cheque by 84% of the NCBS you receive, regardless of whether you are working..."

Related Link:

Legal Challenge to the NCBS Clawback
from Families on social assistance

- includes a link to a detailed NCBS Backgrounder
Income Security Advocacy Centre

Ontario Budget Reaction 2006 - The People Have Their Say
March 24, 2006
Thanks to Barbara Anello of DisAbled Women's Network-Ontario for compiling (probably into the wee hours, if I know my friend Barbara...) and posting this selection of almost two dozen reactions to the 2006 Ontario budget by non-governmental organizations and individuals.
All on one page (with links at the top), you'll find:
The People have Spoken Loud and Clear - Dalton McGuinty's Budget is another Liberal Letdown:
* Health Care
* Education
* Energy
* New Deal for Cities
* Jobs
* Help for the Vulnerable
* Media Release: Dalton's leaky budget - missed opportunities for people
* Media Release: Dalton McGuinty's Pay More Get Less Budget - Tory says McGuinty should have focused on balanced budget, not reckless spending
* Social assistance payments rise again, but it's not enough, advocate says
DAWN Ontario (Disabled Women's Network - Ontario)

NOTE: for more info on the 2006 Ontario Budget, go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) Alliance Update
Major Tide of Opposition Rises in Opposition to McGuinty Government's Plans to Weaken the Ontario Human Rights Commission -- but McGuinty Government Has Not Answered Our Important Questions, and Signals it is Not Listening to Us
March 24, 2006

Related Links:

DAWN Ontario's Open Letter to Premier McGuinty
Re: Proposed Reforms to the Ontario Human Rights Code

March 19, 2006
"We, DAWN Ontario: the Disabled Women's Network Ontario, are writing to voice our strong opposition to your Government's plans to weaken the Ontario Human Rights Code, announced on February 20, 2006." [see the link below to the Feb. 20 govt. announcement].

Human Rights Reform Action Kit (DAWN-Ontario)
Help Prevent the Gov't from Weakening
Enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code
"On Feb. 20, 2006, the Ontario Gov't said it will introduce a law (likely late March or April) to change enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code. That system needs reform. It's too slow, frustrating, and hard for many to use. Yet, the Government's proposal will make things worse, not better. It will create new barriers that make it harder for people to get their human rights respected."

From the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General:

Ontario Government to Modernize Human Rights System:
Better Serving The Public The Aim Of Proposed Changes

February 20, 2006
News Release
"A stronger, faster, more effective human rights system that better serves the public is the aim of changes being proposed by the McGuinty government, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today."

Changes to the Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP) Earnings and Employment Supports
"On February 8th [2006], the Province of Ontario announced changes to the earnings and employment support rules for recipients under the Ontario Disability Supports Program. "
- includes the two links below PLUS links to the government press release, backgrounders and the actual text of the regulatory amendments that changed the rules

Preliminary summary of changes (analysis by the Income Security Advocacy Centre)

Chart - Comparison of the treatment of income from work before and after the ODSP changes.

Income Security Advocacy Centre
[found on the website of
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario]

Government fails Kimberly Rogers again:
Three years after her death while under house arrest, Queen's Park is still ignoring the bulk of the jury recommendations

August 3, 2004
Article by Jane Smith (a juror in the Kimberly Rogers inquest) and Jacquie Chic (Director of Advocacy and Legal Services at the Income Security Advocacy Centre, which represented two groups at the inquest).
The Toronto Star

Related Link:

Justice with Dignity : Remember Kimberly Rogers
A coroner's inquest was held, starting in October 2002 in Sudbury into the death of Kimberly Rogers on August 11 (2001), after being convicted of welfare fraud in the spring of that year for not declaring student loans she received while collecting social assistance. The Justice with Dignity website is where you'll find the most complete and current collection of information about this inquiry.
DisAbled Women's Network - Ontario

See Case Law / Court Decisions / Inquests (a Canadian Social Research Links page where you'll find links to information about the inquest into the death of Kimberly Rogers and more.)

United Ways of Ontario's Government Relations Bulletin*
April 30, 2004

Consultation Launched on Rental Housing
" Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has begun consultations aimed at reforming the Province's laws and regulations governing the relationship between landlords and tenants. A consultation paper has been published to help guide the process and frame some of the key issues.(...) Input to the consultation will be accepted until June 15th."

Legislation to Curb Sixty-Hour Work Week
"In late April, the provincial government introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act to reduce the legal workweek from 60 hours to 48 hours. If passed, the legislation will require employers to apply to the Ministry of Labour and obtain the employee's written consent to work more than 48 hours per week. To make the process as simple as possible, employers will be able to apply without fee and on-line."

New Provincial Rent Bank and Energy Emergency Fund
"The Province has announced one-time funding of $10 million to establish rent banks that will provide low-income tenants with short-term assistance to deal with rent arrears. In recent years, rent banks have been created in a number of Ontario communities, and have proven successful in reducing evictions."

Legislation to Allow Family Medical Leave
"The McGuinty government has introduced legislation that will allow workers unpaid leave to care for ill or dying family members.Under the proposed legislation, employees would be entitled to up to eight weeks leave, provided a qualified health care professional has issued a certificate stating that an immediate family member has a serious medical condition and there is significant risk of death within the next 6 months. "

Report Finds Domestic Homicides Predictable and Preventable
"In its first annual report, the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) found common risk factors were often present that could have led professionals experienced in domestic violence to predict a domestic homicide. (...) The Committee examined 11 of the 25 cases of domestic violence fatalities occurring in 2002. In many cases family, friends, healthcare professionals, counselors or the police were aware of problems, but failed to identify or appreciate the significance of obvious warning signs."

Additional Funding for Autism
" In late March the Province announced it will double the funding for autism initiatives in the 2004-2005 fiscal year. But the funds will continue to be focused primarily on meeting the needs of children under six years of age."

Minimum Wage Workers and Low-paid Worker Mobility
"Recent data released by Statistics Canada sheds new light on people who work for minimum wages. More that half a million Canadians, or 4% of the workforce, earn a minimum wage. Almost all work in the service or retail sectors, two-thirds are women, and most are under 25, a large number of whom are students. But 10% were heads of their households, with half of those being single parents, and the other half being people with spouses who were not working."

*United Ways of Ontario doesn't appear to have its own website...
- the above links point to the website of DisAbled Women's Network-Ontario
--- thanks to Barbara Anello of DAWN-Ontario for coding and posting this info on her site!


Federal Election 2004:
DAWN Ontario's Voter Education & Awareness Campaign for Women's Equality Rights in Canada
- incl links to
: Political Parties in Canada - Federal Ridings & Candidates - Tools & Resources
Equality Issues
Aboriginal Women --- Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Racism --- Childcare --- Democracy --- DisAbility --- Employment Insurance / Maternity & Parental Leave --- 2004 Federal Budget --- Housing and Homelessness --- Human Rights --- Immigration --- Income Security --- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Transexual Rights --- Poverty --- Student Debt --- Violence against Women --- Women's Equality Rights --- Women & ICTs --- Women & Politics --- Women in Prison


Canadians for Equal Marriage to respond to opponents' big bucks campaign
April 28, 2004
"Canadians for Equal Marriage today launched its "Vote Equality 04" campaign at press conferences in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. 'Canadians for Equal Marriage will urge Canadians to vote for equality and against discrimination when they cast their ballots in the upcoming federal election,' said Alison Kemper, spokesperson for Canadians for Equal Marriage (CEM). 'Our Vote Equality 04 campaign is designed to draw supportive voters to our website, which will make it easy for people to get involved in the campaign of supportive candidates.'"
Election 2004 Issues
[ DisAbled Women's Network - Ontario ]

Related Links:

Canadians for Equal Marriage (CEM)
Egale Canada
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
PFLAG Canada (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Free Vote on Same-sex Marriage
Foundation for Equal Families


Report calls on Ontario to reform welfare system to better protect abused women
Media Release
"TORONTO, April 5, 2004 -- A report released today calls on the Ontario government to make substantial changes to Ontario’s welfare system to better protect abused women. The report, Walking on Eggshells: Abused Women’s Experiences of Ontario’s Welfare System, outlines 34 recommendations. The report stems from the Woman and Abuse Welfare Research Project launched in 2000. It was written by York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Janet Mosher (Principal Investigator) and researchers from Carleton and Queen’s Universities in conjunction with the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses and the Ontario Social Safety Network. Funding was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)."
- incl. brief summary and key recommendations

Complete report:

Walking on Eggshells: Abused Women's Experiences of Ontario's Welfare System
Final Report of Research Findings from the Woman and Abuse Welfare Research Project
(PDF file - 806K, 129 pages)
Report calls on Ontario to reform welfare system to better protect abused women
April 5, 2004
York University (Toronto)

Related Links (from DisAbled Women's Network - Ontario ):
HTML version of the complete report
Key Findings and Recommendations from Walking on Eggshells
Earlier report:
Women and children more at risk in province
November 2003 (by the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses)
- HTML file (22 pages if printed)
(Posted on the DAWN-Ontario website)

Welfare rates must rise: Study
Abused women at risk, study finds

April 5, 2004
Toronto Star

Welfare maze needs fixing
City Editorial
April 6, 2004
"Finding realistic ways to solve major social problems is far more useful than merely identifying them, but too few social scientists seem to realize that. The latest example is a report from three professors, including one at Carleton University, on how poorly Ontario's welfare system treats women fleeing abusive relationships.
The Ottawa Citizen

The Ottawa Citizen editorial supports the study authors' recommendations concerning increasing welfare benefits, improving earnings exemptions and not penalizing recipients for 'unproven fraud'. But, the editorial goes on, "there's little in the report to prove that some of their recommendations are based on anything other than ideology." Dismissed as "overreaching" are recommendations concerning welfare rates that are adequate enough to allow for 'equitable participation in society', elimination of the mandatory work requirement, and an increase in subsidized housing units.
The editorial's bottom line?
"These are multibillion-dollar ideas, sung out from an ideological hymnal with no direct evidence that they'd work, or even that they'd be needed if unjust rules were fixed."
[Gee, I wonder how many abused women sit on the Ottawa Citizen's editorial board?]

Google Web Search Results: "Ontario welfare, abused women"
Google News Search Results: "Ontario welfare, abused women"


The Ontario government wants input?
Let's give it to them!

The Web site also offers a long list of links to "information about accessibility legislation, and issues, guides, and other tools, for accessibility planning, and connections, to other groups, and organizations, committed to greater accessibility for all people".
NOTE: the public consultation ended March 31, 2004.

DisAbled Women's Network Ontario

Coalition Work in Ontario:
Organizations doing work on the Income Support front
December 15, 2003
List (19 groups) compiled by Loreen Barbour of Daily Bread Food Bank with amendments by Barbara Anello of DAWN Ontario.

Organizing Information & Resources for Ontario Social Justice Activists
Extensive collection of tools and resources for individuals and groups working in the field of social justice, including:
- Ontario MPP Contact Info - Links to info about the Ontario Disability Support Program (employment & income supports for Ontarians with disabilities) - Ontario Works (Ontario government's welfare-to-work program providing financial and employment assistance to single people, couples with and without children, and sole-support parents - Ministry of Community, Family & Children's Services [now called the Ministry of Community and Social Services] - DAWN Media Kit (Letters to Editor - Op-Eds - Airwaves - How to work the media - Ontario Media Directory - Access to ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program - Action Coalition) - Poverty (Feed the Kids AND Pay the Rent Campaign, Pay the Rent Lobby Blitz Action to raise social assistance's shelter allowance to average rent levels, Pay the Rent (Toronto) Campaign, Implement Rogers Inquest Jury Recommendations, Ban the Welfare Bans,Ontario Needs a Raise Campaign, Leaving Welfare for Work? Questions & Answers, Child Benefits in Ontario, Minimum Wage - Questions & Answers, Housing & Homelessness,Housing Ontario Means Everyone Campaign, Housing & Homelessness Network in Ontario - Fair Wage for Workers - Stats Comparing Social Assistance Rates Across Canada - more....

Ontario Media Directory
"In preparation for the upcoming Ontario election, we have worked hard to develop the following resources with updated contact information of Media in Ontario. Use your voice - write letters to the editor!"
- incl. e-mail addresses for letters to the editor and detailed contact information for all major media outlets in Ontario

Statement of Principles: New Landlord/Tenant and Rent Control Legislation
Released by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) and the Legal Clinics' Housing
June 5, 2003
"Issues Committee (composed of representatives from legal clinics in each region of Ontario) have jointly released this paper. Topics include: fair eviction application process, security of tenure against forfeiture, what a new tribunal would look like ... This platform will be distributed to the government and both opposition parties, and LCHIC/ACTO will request a meeting with all three parties."

Justice with Dignity : Remember Kimberly Rogers
A coroner's inquest started on October 15 (2002) in Sudbury into the death of Kimberly Rogers on August 11 (2001), after being convicted of welfare fraud in the spring of that year for not declaring student loans she received while collecting social assistance. The Justice with Dignity website is where you'll find the most complete and current collection of information about this inquiry.

A Critical Analysis of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act and Social Citizenship Rights in Ontario
By Tanya Hyland, B.A. Hons.
A research paper submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts
(Reprinted on the DAWN Ontario website)
Read the abstract (9 pages) at the above link, or...
Complete report (PDF file - 217K, 97 pages)
[Also available as a Word file]

Related DAWN Link:

Access to ODSP Campaign
"In the fall of 2001, the Steering Committee on Social Assistance [SCSA], a provincial organization representing social assistance advocates in Ontario community legal clinics, launched a concerted public law reform campaign to work for changes in the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] disability determination process."

Sixteen forums and focus group meetings were held around the province from March to November 2002.
"These forums and the reports that were generated from them served as the practical underpinning for the ODSP Action Coalition's ultimate recommendations for reform of the ODSP disability determination process."

Federal-Ontario housing update - September 2002
Housing and Homelessness Network in Ontario

Housing and Homelessness Network in Ontario - Update
PM and Martin agree: housing a top priority - August 20, 2002
Housing announcement postponed - August 19, 2002
Money? Rents? Units? - Ontario set to unveil new "affordable" housing plan - August 19, 2002
Average rents are NOT affordable rents: Comparing average rents of tenant households in Toronto
Backgrounder from HHNO on new Ontario housing program - July 31, 2002
Housing in Ontario - July 15, 2002

Sharing our Stories
"A Place in the Sun : Where audacious Women with disAbilities meet to Share Our Stories.
What it was like, what happened, and what it's like today: that's what we intend to share"
Project Listserv - A Yahoo Groups community where women with disabilities can register to share their stories of "the grand expedition from exclusion to inclusion: to shine a light on those doors, open those windows wider, and disassemble those walls."

Action Alert - BILL 118
Voice your disappointment that the Conservative gov't Voted Against NDP MPP Tony Martin's Bill 118 to raise ODSP

June 13 , 2002
[This private members bill would index Ontario Disability Support Program benefits to the annual cost of living]

Jennifer Keck - In Memory site
"Jennifer Keck, age 48, passed away Wed. June 12, 2002 in Sudbury, Ontario. Jennifer was a mother, partner, writer, professor, advocate and activist living with metastatic breast cancer who gave the Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers & the Justice with Dignity campaign her intelligence, brilliance, knowledge, principles and driving force."

Economic Inequality

Economic inequality is a big subject, and a lot of energy from a lot of people is needed to create more equality. Our organization is creating opportunities for public discussion of the kinds of policies we need and the kinds of actions (by us and by others) that are required.

Economic Inequality: What Do We Do?
Public Meeting: Tuesday January 24th
Public Meeting
Tuesday, January 24 (7 pm – 9 pm)
Trinity St. Paul’s Centre
427 Bloor St. West (one block west of Spadina)
This summer the Occupy movement rekindled widespread interest in the growing income gap in our society. You are invited to the first in a series of public forums on the subject of economic inequality.


Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star columnist and co-author of The Trouble with Billionaires
Ed Waitzer, partner of law firm Stikeman Elliott, former chair of Ontario Securities Commission, and professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business.

End Abuse Now
End Abuse Now is the website of the Grey Bruce Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee.
It provides information, resources and links for all members of the community on abuse and how we can work together to end it.

Counting Women In:
A Toolkit for Rural Action on Poverty

Counting Women In: A Toolkit for Rural Action on Poverty is the culmination of eight years of research and community development by the Rural Women Take Action on Poverty Committee. The strategies and tools in the toolkit were developed and piloted in Grey, Bruce, Huron and Perth counties (Ontario) to make the issue of poverty more visible and to build hope for change. The toolkit is a resource to change attitudes and beliefs about rural women and poverty and to support action and change.

Counting Women In:
A Toolkit for Rural Action on Poverty
(PDF - 1.8MB, 109 pages)
By Colleen Purdon et al.
June 2009

Counting Women In Additional Online Resources (PDF - 2MB, 43 pages)

Family Net
[version française : Entraide-Familles ]
The Family Net web site is committed to providing information and support to those families in Ontario who have a child or children with any kind of special need. Join us here, to find answers to your questions, share stories of your triumphs and to gain support from others who have 'walked a mile in your shoes'. Join us to improve your advocacy skills - individually and as a collective of families. Let's help each other."
- incl. links to : Today's News - About Family Net - Contact Family Net - Education - Parent to Parent - Community Resources - Our Sponsors - Letters and Opinions - News Archives - Rate Our Website -
Send a news tip - Ask Lindsay Moir - How to use this site - Search this site - Search for resources - Disability Links - Ministry Links - Advocacy Information - About OACRS

Related Link:

Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services (OACRS)
"The Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) promotes a province-wide, co-ordinated, community-based service system for children and youth with special needs and their families, and supports its member centres to achieve responsive, family-centred care.
OACRS, the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services, is a non-profit independent organization representing, with a collective voice, the 19 children's treatment centres in Ontario.

Family Service Association of Toronto - "Building a Better Toronto"
- incl. links to : Our Programs & Services - Help Us Make A Difference -
What’s New - Employment & Volunteer Opportunities - Media Centre - Policy & Research - Resources - Email Newsletter

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
FCM is a national organization of 1000 plus cities in Canada. Comprised of locally elected politicians, FCM endeavours to support local governments through conferences, research and information and acts as a lobby for the interests of cities with the Federal Government. Over the past 15 years besides issues of local infrastructure, FCM has advocated for a better quality of life in our local communities. To achieve our goals, FCM liaises and works with numerous other Canadian groups and organizations.

Reports provide wake-up call on future of Canada’s cities
Media Release
March 23, 2005
"‘Social inclusion’ reports were released today in five cities -- Saint John, Toronto, Burlington, Edmonton and Vancouver. They are the work of Inclusive Cities Canada, a unique, participatory research initiative that uses a social inclusion framework to build people-friendly cities, promote good urban governance and develop strategies for supporting urban diversity. The federally-funded initiative set up Civic Panels made of community and municipal leaders to conduct social inclusion ‘audits’. Over 1,000 participants contributed to the findings. The research examined important dimensions of social inclusion, such as how cities respond to diversity, levels of civic engagement, living conditions, opportunities for human development and community services."

Download the report for Toronto:
* Complete report (PDF file - 287K, 64 pages)
* Executive Summary (74K, 11 pages)
The Community Social Planning Council of Toronto (CSPC-T) is a not-for-profit community organization. The CSPC aims to promote equitable, effective and inclusive policies for improving the quality of life in Toronto. Collectively, the predecessor organizations have over 100 years of experience in social planning, community development, policy analysis and research, advocacy, and service coordination. The work of CSPC-T is fuelled by the efforts and commitment of highly qualified staff and dedicated volunteers from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. The Community Social Planning Council of Toronto also serves as project sponsor (as an incorporated charitable organization) and provides administrative support for the ICC initiative.

Download the report for Burlington:
* Full Report (1.1MB, 138 pages)
* Executive Summary (138K, 16 pages)

Community Development Halton (CDH) is an intermediary organization that through social research, needs identification, volunteerism and education serves the voluntary sector, municipal and regional government and local grass roots organization. Our purpose is to build the capacity of our community to improve the quality of life for all residents of Halton.

Inclusive Cities Canada
"Inclusive Cities Canada: A Cross-Canada Civic Initiative is a unique partnership of community leaders and elected municipal politicians working collaboratively to enhance social inclusion across Canada. The goals of Inclusive Cities Canada (ICC) are to strengthen the capacity of cities to create and sustain inclusive communities for the mutual benefit of all people, and to ensure that community voices of diversity are recognized as core Canadian ones."
- Inclusive Cities Canada works in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

- Go to the Municipalities Links page:

The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations
The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations (FMTA) is a non-profit Organization which advocates for better rights for Tenants. Founded in 1974, we are the oldest and largest Tenant Federation in Canada. The FMTA is comprised of affiliated Tenant Associations and of individual Members. We have over 3,000 members and continue to grow.
- incl. links to : * Tenant Hotline * Tenant Hotline * Outreach & Organizing * Tenant Activism * Get Involved * Literature & Links * Recent News & Events * Contact Us

Food Banks Canada

Hunger Count 2011 (PDF - 4.2MB, 36 pages)
November 2011
A comprehensive report on hunger and food bank use in Canada, and recommendations for change

Selected HungerCount Information 1999-2011 (Microsoft Excel 2007 file - 626K)

Chart : Food bank use in Canada (March 2011)
Food Banks Canada has released data detailing how many Canadians used food banks across the country in March 2011. Hover over the chart to read how many people used food banks in each province that month, and what percentage of those people were children.

Provincial HungerCount 2011 Reports
Click this link to access all HungerCount reports for 2011 as well as reports for 2008 to 2010.
NOTE: HungerCount 2011 reports are available for the following provinces only:
* British Columbia * Alberta * Saskatchewan * Manitoba * Ontario * Nova Scotia

Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing and supporting the food bank community across Canada. Our Members and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of people accessing food banks and food programs nationwide. Our mission is to help food banks meet the short-term need for food, and to find long-term solutions to hunger.


Media coverage:

Food bank use stays high
November 1, 2011
Food bank use across Canada remained more than 25 per cent above pre-recession levels in March, the group representing food banks said Tuesday. Food Banks Canada said an annual survey of its members showed a slight decrease in the number of food recipients from the same month a year earlier — two per cent to 851,014 — but little change over all. The steady numbers show the effects of recession are still being felt across Canada, and the organization says that means economic recovery isn't working for everyone.
CBC News


Stretched food banks a measure of Canada’s frail recovery
By Tavia Grant
November 1, 2011
The number of Canadians using food banks has declined slightly, but persistent demand indicates many are struggling in a frail economic recovery. More than 851,000 individuals visited a food bank in March alone, a number that’s little changed from last year’s record and still 26 per cent above prerecession levels, Food Banks Canada’s annual survey, to be released Tuesday, shows.


Related Globe and Mail articles:

* Feed a student, feed the future
* Food bank use drops, but still higher than before recession
* It's time to close Canada's food banks

Globe and Mail

Foster Care Council of Canada
The Foster Care Council of Canada is a non-profit organization made up of people who have lived in foster care and their supporters. (...) The Council's mission is to involve current and former child-welfare service clients and their supporters in the process of improving the quality and accountability of child-welfare services through a strong and united voice.
- includes links to :
* NEWS * About Us * Campaigns * Enforcement * Message Board * Resources * Contact Us

Foster Care News (blog)
The Foster Care Council of Canada, keeping you informed of child-welfare related matters in Canada including enforcement issues, legislative updates, public campaigns and more.

Message Board - discussion forum on a variety of issues related to child welfare

Related link:

Canada Court Watch Program - Family Justice Review Committee
A program of the National Association for Public and Private Accountability
"Protecting the public's interest in the administration of Justice"
Canada's only independent media source dedicated exclusively to news and information related to the Canadian Justice System and Canada's system of child protection

Fraser Institute
"A free and prosperous world through choice, markets and responsibility"

Selected site content:

The State of Ontario's Indebtedness (PDF - 1.4MB, 66 pages)
January 31, 2013
Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis
The essays collected for this publication are designed to provide readers and particularly those in Ontario a better sense of where the province’s debt stands today, the expectations for the future, and warnings about the likely costs of inaction. Part of the motivation for this publication was the lack of genuine response to the much-heralded report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, or what became known as the Drummond Report, named after the chair of the commission, Donald Drummond. Simply put, the conclusions of the Drummond Report should have been a wake-up call for the Ontario Government regarding the immediate need for reform of the province’s spending. Instead, the government has chosen to try to simply slow the rate of growth in spending over the next few years without any serious reform.


Reality check from the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Repeat After Me: Ontario is not Greece
January 31, 2013
By Trish Hennessy
The Fraser Institute has a new report warning Ontario could become the next Greece or California because of the size of its debt. Of course we know Ontario is not Greece or California, and such comparisons are disingenuous. But it is possible that Ontario could find itself in a similar mess if it follows the Fraser Institute’s standard issue prescription for government financial management: more public spending cuts, more public sector layoffs, and more tax cuts.
Repeat after me: Ontario is not Greece, nor should it make the same mistakes as Greece. It’s time to move on. It’s time to define our own agenda, a post-austerity agenda, and truly put Ontario on the path to economic recovery.

Behind the Numbers

This blog is a feature of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


But wait!!
How do you really feel about the Fraser Institute??

The Fraser Institute Produces Junk: Graham Steele (Nova Scotia Finance Minister)
By Alex Boutilier
September 13, 2011
After delivering an update on Nova Scotia's 2011-2012 budget forecast, Finance Minister Graham Steele was asked what he thinks about a new report from the Fraser Institute that ranked Premier Darrell Dexter first among sitting Canadian premiers in terms of fiscal restraint.
"The Fraser Institute produces junk."

Vancouver Observer


- Go to the Social Research Organizations (II) in Canada page:


More than $27 billion spent by Ontario governments on corporate welfare since 1991
News Release
December 8, 2011
TORONTO, ON—Ontario governments are addicted to dispensing corporate welfare.
Between 1991 and 2009, Ontario governments of all political stripes spent more than $27.7 billion on direct subsidies to corporations, says a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank. “Subsidies to businesses, whether bailouts, loans that may not be repaid, or straight grants are all forms of corporate welfare and do nothing to benefit Ontario families,” said Mark Milke, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Ontario’s Corporate Welfare Bill: $27.7 billion.

The report:

Ontario’s Corporate Welfare Bill: $27.7 billion (PDF - 324K, 10 pages)
December 2011
(...) In 2008/09 alone, the bill for corporate welfare [i.e., subsidies to business and industry] amounted to almost $2.7 billion. For anyone who paid income tax in 2008, the cost of corporate welfare was $424 per Ontarian. (...) Ontario’s corporate welfare expenditures could have been redirected to personal or corporate income tax reductions in equal dollar amounts in the current fiscal year, among other measures.

[ Comment : The Fraser Institute's solution to corporate welfare is to redirect Ontario’s corporate welfare expenditures (i.e., subsidies to business and industry) to personal or corporate income tax reductions, going so far as to suggest a corporate tax rate of 8% in 2011/12, a $2.9 billion revenue loss to the Province. "If this option were chosen, Ontario would have the lowest corporate income tax rate in the country." Surprise, surprise. So listen up, corporations --- we're going to terminate your subsidies to make it look like we're tough on everyone, but we'll decrease your corporate income tax rates to compensate. Suffer, Baby... - By Gilles]


But wait!!
How do you really feel about the Fraser Institute??

The Fraser Institute Produces Junk: Graham Steele (Nova Scotia Finance Minister)
By Alex Boutilier
September 13, 2011
After delivering an update on Nova Scotia's 2011-2012 budget forecast, Finance Minister Graham Steele was asked what he thinks about a new report from the Fraser Institute that ranked Premier Darrell Dexter first among sitting Canadian premiers in terms of fiscal restraint.
The Fraser Institute produces junk. It is not a serious institution, it is a political organization. And it is no accident that their focus is on the Ontario election (Premier Dalton McGuinty came second last). They're trying to make themselves relevant to the Ontario election. It is no accident that the three premiers they rank at the bottom (PEI's Robert Ghiz, McGuinty, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest) are three non-Conservative premiers who are up for re-election right now. So the next time the Fraser Institute issues something that has Nova Scotia at the bottom, remember that when they put us at the top, my answer is still: the Fraser Institute produces junk. It does not deserve any serious consideration.
[Speaking directly to the interviewer:]
Remember that the next time you ask me about something else the Fraser Institute produces, that even when I could say 'yes, this is validation of what we're saying.' It's ... it's crap.
Metro News Halifax



New Study Warns Against Expansive Welfare Policies in Ontario
News Release
December 7, 2004
"Toronto, ON - A new study, Welfare Reform in Ontario: A Report Card released today by The Fraser Institute, gives Ontario praise for its previous welfare reforms but warns that these policies may be under threat. 'Ontario has been a leader in Canadian welfare reform by focusing on employment and diverting potential welfare recipients to alternatives,'said Sylvia LeRoy, policy analyst at the Institute and co-author of the study. 'However, last week, the Ontario Government received a report by Liberal MPP Deb Matthews [see below] which recommended abandoning many of those reforms and returning to policies that were in place pre-1995. Such policies had disastrous effects, including the doubling of welfare use between 1985 and 1995, increasing from 5.2 percent of the population in 1985 to 12.4 percent in 1995 and a substantial increase in welfare spending', she continued."

Complete Fraser Institute report:

Welfare Reform in Ontario: A Report Card (PDF file - 524K, 53 pages)
December 2004
- examination of welfare policies in Ontario since 1985, "evaluating the welfare reforms initiated under the newly elected provincial government in June 1995. These will be compared with reforms of welfare policies in the United States, which have proven abundantly successful in reducing dependency, increasing employment and earnings of welfare leavers, and lowering poverty rates, as well as with reforms of welfare policies undertaken by other Canadian jurisdictions.
- the evaluation of Ontario's welfare reforms is based upon "six principles that research has found to play a prominent role in effective welfare reform" - these principles are: Ending the entitlement to welfare - Diversion - Immediate work requirements and sanctions - Employment focus - “Making work pay” - Competition for the administration of welfare and for program delivery.


It's important to expose oneself to opposing views on issues as delicate as welfare reform and social justice --- it makes for healthy debate and broader perspectives. That's why, from time to time, I link to reports from organizations that have a different interpretation than mine of society's ills and how to cure them. The Fraser Institute, a Vancouver conservative think tank / lobby group, is one such organization whose site I visit occasionally.
Sometimes, though, the left-leaner in me finds it difficult to post links on my site to reports such as this one (the Ontario welfare reform report card) as if it were the Gospel Truth, without including a rebuttal or a counterpoint.

Welfare Reform in Ontario: A Report Card rates Ontario's reforms against the Fraser Institute's five "principles of effective welfare reform", all of which are focused on ending or severely curtailing welfare entitlement, on ensuring that work is always more attractive than welfare, and on putting both the administration and delivery of welfare up for competitive bidding from the non-profit and private sectors. All of these principles are consistent with the Fraser Institute's view that American welfare reforms are a model for Canada. Not surprisingly, there is not one principle that refers to adequacy of income and employment supports, nor to health or social indicators.

Two observations and a few recommended readings for folks who read the Fraser report (and perhaps even for those who wrote it):

1. Canadian and American welfare systems are different from one another, a fact that Fraser wilfully and consistently ignores in its reports. Unlike the Canadian welfare system, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program excludes both single people and childless couples, who must apply to the national Food Stamp program and to residual programs where they live (if there are any such programs, which is not always the case), as well as people with disabilities (who must apply under the separate American Social Security program. In Canada, singles and childless couples make up close to 60% of the total welfare caseload and households headed people with disabilities account for about a third of the total caseload. These are just a few of the more significant reasons why Canadian welfare shouldn't be compared with American programs under TANF.

A Short Review of the Fraser Institute Report Card: Welfare Reform in Ontario
December 2004
By John Stapleton

2. Welfare time limits are successful? - one of the Fraser Institute's principles of effective welfare reform is "Ending the entitlement to welfare". The Fraser report speaks of the success of the American welfare time limits and, to a lesser extent, the BC welfare time limits. In the case of the American time limit policy, it's still too early to determine the long-term impact of the time limits on welfare recidivism and labour market attachment (see the link to the Welfare information Network studies below), and in the case of British Columbia, perhaps someone should tell the Fraser Institute that the two-years-out-of-five welfare entitlement policy was effectively disabled back in February of 2004. On second thought, perhaps the authors should check this editorial from the Fraser Institute:

BC’s U-Turn on Welfare Reform Spells Disaster
Editorial (Vancouver Sun, February 16, 2004)
By Jason Clemens, Sylvia LeRoy and Niels Veldhuis

"In a disastrous U-turn on welfare reform, the BC Government de-legitimized what was one of Canada’s most important social welfare reforms to date; a limit that capped the amount of time employable adults could collect welfare to 2 out of every 5 years. Late on Friday afternoon, February 6th, the BC Liberals announced a series of new exemptions to the time limits, including one that exempts anyone abiding by their work plan. The policy change effectively nullifies the time limit rule and speaks more to the government’s immediate political concerns than any genuine concern for those still struggling to make the transition from a life of welfare dependence to one of self-sufficiency."
The Fraser Institute

Welfare Time Limits in British Columbia - a Canadian Social Research Links page
80+ links to welfare time limit info from BC and the U.S

Welfare Time Limits
- 60+ links from the Welfare Information Network (U.S.)

Globe and Mail

Selected content:

New Statscan survey aims to pinpoint where the jobs are
By Tavia Grant
June 20, 2011
Details on Canadian job-seekers are abundant, ranging from where they live to their age and gender to how long they’ve been out of work. But relatively little is known about the demand side of the equation – the employers with current job openings. That’s about to change. Statistics Canada plans to launch a new monthly job-vacancy survey this fall, a move that will shed light on a key aspect of the labour market that has long puzzled economists and policy makers: where the jobs are.

Globe and Mail

Related G&M articles:
* Unemployment rates in Canada
* Gaping holes in our knowledge of the labour market
* Five key trends likely to shape the world of work in coming years


Big cities attracting poverty, Statscan data show
By Heather Scoffield
June 21, 2011
Canada’s biggest urban areas are stuck in a rut of persistent poverty, while mid-sized cities are gaining ground despite the recent recession, new data from Statistics Canada show. The metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have poverty rates far above the national average, details of a report on income in Canada in 2009 show.


Related G&M articles:
* One in 10 Canadians is a low-income earner, Statscan says
* Residents of Toronto public housing four times more likely to be murder victims

With temporary workers, flexibility’s the name of the game
ByTavia Grant
June 2, 2011
The modern temp industry began in a simple office in Detroit in 1946, where a businessman named William Kelly hit upon the idea to loan one of his typists for a day, billing a local company $6.75.
Today, Kelly Services has grown into a staffing giant that arranges employment for about 530,000 people a year. The industry, meanwhile, generates global revenue of $269-billion and hires out a range of workers that now includes nurses and accountants, oil workers and chief executive officers.
Temporary workers tend to earn less than permanent staff, they get little or no benefits and many can be fired without notice. The earnings gap between a permanent and a contract worker is about 13 per cent, while between a permanent and casual worker the gap is about 34 per cent, Statscan figures. The disparity persists even after the agency adjusts for demographic differences like education levels, immigrant status and gender.


Ontario politician believed society had an obligation to help those in need
The first Ukrainian to win election in Ontario, Yaremko championed ethnic communities and presided over social services expansion
September 2, 2010
COMMENT: I don't generally highlight obituaries or eulogies in my site and newsletter, but news of the passing of John Yaremko on August 12 reminded me of Lawrence Martin's column of August 26 in The Globe, Is there an old-style Tory in the House? [Spoiler : "... the old Tories of Robert Stanfield and Dalton Camp and Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark have been vanquished."]
John Yaremko was one of those red Tories whose social views were non-partisan and progressive, and his devotion to helping those in need was truly inspirational.


Is there an old-style Tory in the House?
Murray and Mulroney: Is there an old-style Tory in the House?
The Canada we know was a blend of the centre and the centre-left. Now it’s a hybrid of the centre and the hard right
By Lawrence Martin
August 26, 2010
But the [Tory] party’s hard right now appears, with a few policy exceptions, to have assumed control of the agenda. And that agenda is about keeping out boat people, letting in Fox News, building new jails, reviewing affirmative action, killing the gun registry, playing down climate change, revamping the census and giving more voice to social conservatives.


Ontario seeks Ottawa's help as welfare cases spike
Province calling for national standard for accessing
Employment Insurance payments as laid-off workers exhaust their federal benefits

March 15, 2009
By Bill Curry
"(...) Ontario in particular is calling on Ottawa to step in with a further expansion of federal EI so that provinces and workers are treated the same no matter where they live in Canada. Because EI is easier to get in regions of historically high unemployment, the province says many Ontarians who lost their jobs during the recession were left out."


How to make recovery quicker and less painful for those hurting most
By Roy Romanow (in the Globe and Mail)
August 3, 2009
The Bank of Canada recently declared an end to the recession. There’s a world of difference, however, between an end to economic decline as measured by GDP and a real recovery as felt by Canadians. And when we look behind the numbers, we can’t avoid the fact that the costs of the recession are profoundly unequally shared, as those who suffer most will be those who can bear it least – unemployed and poor Canadians. History has a lot to tell us about the difference between the technical end of a recession and real economic recovery, and about the economic consequences for lower-and middle-income Canadians.

Greater Toronto Summit 2011
On February 10 and 11, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance will host its next Toronto Summit. This major regional gathering of leaders from business, labour, the academic, non-profit and voluntary sectors, and all three levels of government, will consider current challenges and opportunities facing the Greater Toronto Area and inspire ground-breaking thinking about how to respond to them. Summit 2011’s recommendations will be aimed at all levels of government and civil society, in particular the role that CivicAction and its partners can play.

Leading up to the Summit 2011, we have embarked on a broad-based consultation process involving many hundreds of people in Working Groups, topic-specific Roundtables and one-on-one and small group consultations. This process is informing our thinking and developing the content for the Summit and the civic actions that may constitute the outcomes of the Summit process and has been focused on the following themes:
* Game Changing: Reinventing our Economic Base
* Advancing the “Big Move” & Other Infrastructure Plans
* Realizing the Value of Neighbourhoods & Social Capital; Affordable Housing
* Creativity 3.0: Cultural Policy, Marketing & Accessibility
* Labour Market/Force Readiness
* Income Security in a Post-Recession Age

Sample backgrounder:

Income Security:
Collective Responses for a Prosperous Toronto Region

[Short Version (PDF - 88K, 3 pages)
[Long version (PDF - 186K, 17 pages) ]
February 7, 2011
Greater Toronto Summit 2011 Backgrounder
By Andrea Baldwin, Stephanie Procyk and John Stapleton
and informed by discussions of CivicAction’s Income Security Working Group.
Table of contents:
* Current Situation
* Promising New Developments
* Chief Barriers to Progress
* Opportunities for Action
* Questions for Discussion
Greater Toronto Summit 2011 Publications
- incl. links to over a dozen more Summit 2011 backgrounders, plus another dozen reports from earlier initiatives of the City of Toronto, including the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults, Toronto Summit 2007, and more...

CivicAction: The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance is a place for collaboration, collective leadership and real action on the issues that matter for the Toronto region. Formerly called the “Toronto City Summit Alliance,” our new identity speaks to our mission to catalyze change by engaging action-oriented leaders from all sectors to advance the Toronto region.

Guide to Ontario Courts
- incl. links to : Court of Appeal for Ontario - Superior Court of Justice - Ontario Court of Justice - Ontario Judicial Council - Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee - Notice and Rule Changes - Court House Contacts - Courtrooms and Classrooms - Links

Community Development Halton
(formerly the Halton Social Planning Council & Volunteer Centre)
- Use the site map to see everything on this large site...

Some sample content:

The Quality of Life in Halton - Snapshot of a Decade
Summer 2003
Full Report (PDF file - 1.9MB, 33 pages)

Memo : National Children's Agenda
Joey Edwardh, PhD

October 12, 2000

 The National Children's agenda is an opportunity to develop a policy framework and plan of action to implement a set of services to children,    youth and their families across Canada. The purpose of this memo is to outline the developments associated with the National Children's Agenda, and to identify a role for Halton in supporting an agenda that meets the needs of children and their families.

The Social Assistance Reform Act: An Information Package- December 1998
Updated to February 2000
- incl. : New Rules - Ontario Works as Workfare - Appeals Process - The Consequences and Effects of Welfare Reform - Ontario Works and Families - Ontario Works and Persons 60-64 Years of Age - Ontario Disability Support Program Act - References

The Cost of Living in Halton 2000
The cost of living increases and concern for families meeting their "basic needs" also increases

September 18, 2000 -- The cost of living in Halton has risen, according to the latest figures from the Cost of Living in Halton 2000 published by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Despite appearances of an upturned economy, the Council worries that more families and individuals cannot afford to live in Halton and purchase the basic necessities of life.

Cost of Living 2000 Report (PDF file, 2 pages, 230K)

Related Link:

Volunteer Halton - incl. an online database of volunteer opportunities in Halton


Hamilton Community Foundation
Gift by gift and donor by donor, Hamilton Community Foundation has been quietly and effectively building a permanent legacy for the people of Hamilton for more than 50 years. Hamilton Community Foundation was the first of its kind in Ontario when it was established in 1954. There are now 148 community foundations in Canada. The Foundation's total assets have grown to more than $100 million, thanks to the many hundreds of donors from all walks of life who have made contributions - large and small - during their lifetimes or through their estate plans, to ensure that this community has a brighter future.

Tackling Poverty in Hamilton
Hamilton, Ontario, is a vibrant community with a proud history of achievement. It’s a city located in an outstanding natural environment, and one that is rich in arts and culture. Hamilton has business, health and educational organizations that are famous world-over. But poverty is Hamilton’s biggest challenge, with 20 per cent of its citizens living at or below the poverty line. As a community, Hamilton is saying this is unacceptable. In spring 2005, a multi-sector Roundtable for Poverty Reduction was formed and the Tackling Poverty in Hamilton initiative began. This web site provides information about Tackling Poverty in Hamilton.February 10, 2006
- incl. links to : Who's Involved - News - Poverty Facts - Process Plan - Links - Contact Us

Community Update (PDF file - 38K, 2 pages)
February 10, 2006
- first issue of a newsletter by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction to report on the progress of Tackling Poverty in Hamilton, and to rally support for it.

Project Update (PDF file - 99K, 2 pages)
February 2006

Anti-Poverty Initiative to Focus on Prevention in Children and Youth (PDF file - 96K, 1 page)
February 10, 2006

The Hamilton Spectator

Selected site content:

Hamilton covering $1.8m in provincial cuts to welfare recipients
May 14, 2012
By Emma Reilly
The City of Hamilton will pick up the tab for $1.8 million worth of healthcare and support for needy Hamiltonians to fill a gap left by provincial budget cuts.
Councillors on the emergency and community services committee voted unanimously to shoulder the cost of some benefits for Ontario Works recipients. These benefits -- which are called "discretionary benefits" because the city isn't provincially mandated to provide them -- cover things like funerals, glasses, dental care, cribs and baby supplies.
In this year's provincial budget, the province put a cap on the amount of money it gives to municipalities to fund discretionary benefits. The cap meant the city had to choose between to scaling back the assistance it provides to people on Ontario Works or absorb the extra cost.

The Hamilton Spectator


Facing facts about poverty
March 7, 2011
Poverty is not a choice. In fact, a deeply-ingrained sense of hopelessness, of a continuing lack of choices, is both a result and a cause of the continuing cycle that traps about three million Canadians – about one of every nine of us. Being poor is miserable. It is demoralizing, unhealthy, stigmatizing and stressful. It is frustrating and it is discouraging. No one in poverty – or, crucially, the professionals who work to combat poverty – see being poor as a “holiday” from personal responsibility or from work. And yet a survey commissioned by the Salvation Army, as part of its new Dignity Project initiative, shows that half or nearly half of Canadians believe that if people really want to work, they can always find a job; that a family of four can “get by” on $10,000 to $30,000 a year; that people who live in poverty in Canada “still have it pretty good.” One out of every four Canadians blames poverty on laziness and low moral values.
Reducing poverty is not going to happen by trying to change the people who are poor. It is going to happen when we all fully understand the benefits not just to society but to our economy by removing roadblocks, shattering the stereotypes, allowing people to build on assistance without penalizing them immediately for it. There are success stories in Hamilton’s poorest neighbourhoods, where innovative programs are focusing not just on employment skills but on self-confidence, self-education, physical and mental health. What the Salvation Army initiative does is try to make Canadians recognize the realities of poverty; that clarity could lead to better understanding of what is needed to reduce it.


Time to transform social assistance
As this recession wanes, let's ensure we give Ontario's poor a better life
December 18, 2009
By Jennefer Laidley and Deirdre Pike
Whether he meant to or not, the auditor general's analysis of social assistance lets a dysfunctional welfare system off the hook and erroneously lays blame with the people who have nowhere else to turn for basic support. It's not the people who are the problem. The real problem is the patchwork of more than 800 rules that trap people in poverty, limit their options, and compromise their health with punishingly low levels of income support. While some have seized on the report to renew a round of poor-bashing reminiscent of the mid-1990s, what Ontario really needs is swift movement on its promised social assistance review.
[Jennefer Laidley, of the Income Security Advocacy Centre,
and Deirdre Pike, of the Social Planning and Research Council
of Hamilton, are members of the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction.]

Related link:

Governments must work to lift people out of poverty
December 15, 2009
By John Stapleton and Greg deGroot-Maggetti
Following the sharpest and deepest recession since the 1930s, Ontario now faces a major debate over how governments should respond.
The Record (Kitchener)

Homes First Society - Supportive Housing Solutions (Toronto)
"The Mission of Homes First Society is to provide affordable, permanent housing and transitional supports for people who are homeless and/or have the fewest options in society.
To achieve its Mission, Homes First Society uses its financial and human resources within an anti-oppression and anti-racist framework to work with the strengths of tenants and community partners..."
- incl. links to : Home | Mission Statement | Donate Now | Contact Us | History & Awards | Board of Directors | Management Staff | The Foundation | Housing Sites | Facts | Faces | Tenant Support | Events | Useful Links
The Honeybadgerpress challenges the tired thinking common in the mainstream corporate media concerning politics, economics and war.

The Treatment of Welfare Fraud
by the Ontario Government: 1995-2003
(11 pages)
By Morgan Duchesney
Everything you wanted to know about Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution, and more.
[The author is a Canadian writer and martial arts instructor with an interest in social justice and international affairs.]

Housing Again - "...a site dedicated to putting affordable housing back on the public agenda"
Putting Housing Back on the Public Agenda is a community group which brings together senior housing government officials, (past and present, elected and nonelected, from all levels of government), community housing proponents, housing developers, and others interested in affordable housing.

Sample reports:

HOUSING AGAIN • Bulletin Number 108 February 2008
"...a monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to put housing back on the public agenda in Ontario, across Canada and around the world."
The Housing Again Bulletin is sponsored by Raising the Roof as a partner in Housing Again.

Selected content from Issue Number 108:

* Building Momentum: Affordable Housing Agenda Gets Boost
Ken Dryden's 16-city anti-poverty tour across Canada - the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recommendations for a National Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness - Community Spotlight on Operation Go Home - What's New on Raising the Roof’s Shared Learnings on Homelessness Web site, etc.

* Nurturing the Next Wave of Housing Professionals
The theme of this year’s Tri-Country Conference, to be held in Toronto , October 14-17, is Creating a Modern Housing Policy: A Legacy for Tomorrow’s Leaders, which includes a sub-theme of tomorrow’s leadership and youth.

The Housing Again e-bulletin is distributed by e-mail free of charge monthly.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, log onto the main page at
You'll see the Bulletin's subscribe/unsubscribe box at the bottom right hand of the page.

Our web sites are:

Housing Again

Shared Learnings on Homelessness

Raising the Roof


Where's Home? Update Released [dead link]
Study shows Ontario losing much more rental housing than is being built; 21 Municipalities Studied: London, Ottawa, Peel and Hamilton lose the most

"A housing study released today provides the first Ontario estimate of the loss of private rental housing units over the last decade (1991-2001). 24,298 existing private rental housing units were lost, at a rate almost 50% greater than the number of new rental housing units built, leaving Ontario tenants with less available housing in 2001 than existed in 1991."
Where's Home? Update 2002
(PDF file - 138K, 13 pages)
Earlier versions of Where's Home?
Source: Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)
Housing Again - "a site dedicated to putting affordable housing back on the public agenda"

Federal-Ontario housing update - September 2002
Housing and Homelessness Network in Ontario
Source : DAWN DisAbled Women's Network - Ontario

The Where's Home? Reports - A housing awareness project of Housing Again
Where's Home? A picture of housing needs in eight Ontario municipalities.
Where's Home? Part 2 - Housing data on 13 additional Ontario municipalities.
Annual updated data for the 21 Where's Home?cities and regions
1999 Update (PDF file - 166K, 4 pages)
--- Next update: Spring 2002

A New Canadian Pastime? Counting Homeless People
J.David Hulchanski
December 2000
Addressing and preventing ‘homelessness’ is a political problem, not a statistical or definitional problem.

Categorizing Houselessness for Research and Policy Purposes: Absolute, Concealed and At Risk
J.David Hulchanski
University of Toronto
December 2000
Homelessness or Houselessness?

Social Issues Now Dominate Polls about the Concerns of Canadians:
"House the Homeless" say 85% in Annual Maclean's Poll
Press Release
December 25, 2000

Where's Home? Part 2 (November 1999) is an extension of the housing data collection and analysis project that began with "Where's Home? A Picture of Housing Needs in Ontario" (May 1999). With Part 2, there are now detailed profiles of housing needs over the last 10 years for 21 Ontario municipalities (cities, municipal districts and regions).

The 13 communities in Where's Home? Part 2 are Cornwall, Durham, Guelph, Kingston, London, Muskoka, Owen Sound, Sarnia, St. Catharines-Niagara, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Windsor. The cities in the first part were Barrie, Hamilton-Wentworth, Kitchener-Waterloo, North Bay, Ottawa-Carleton, Peel, Peterborough and Toronto.
Among the findings:
- one in four tenant households are at risk of homelessness.
- in most parts of Ontario, tenant incomes are falling even as rents rise faster than inflation.
- about 16,000 new rental units are needed annually according to CMHC, but almost no new affordable rental housing is being built.
*Check out Housing Again's Online Housing Resources - Canadian and International. Awesome

Human Rights Legal Support Centre
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers human rights legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who believe they have experienced discrimination. The Centre’s services range from legal assistance in filing an application at the Tribunal to legal representation on human rights applications.
- incl. links to : * About Us * Getting Legal Help From the Centre * Calling the Centre * Ontario Human Rights System * Resources * Ontario’s new human rights system * A guide to human rights applications * Housing and Human Rights * Temporary and Casual Workers * Pregnancy * Policies (Accommodation Policy - Complaints Policy - Draft Eligibility Criteria)

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
ISAC was established in 2001 by Legal Aid Ontario to serve low income Ontarians by conducting test case and Charter litigation relating to provincial and federal income security programs. These programs include Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, (un)Employment Insurance, and the Canada Pension Plan. ISAC's legal work takes place in the broader context of law reform, public legal education and community development.

Selected site content:

Ontario Social Assistance Rates Update (Word file - 56K, 1 page)
November / December 2012

Version française:
Mise à jour des barèmes d'aide sociale en Ontario

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). The table shows the monthly Basic Needs and Maximum Shelter amounts both before and after the increase for select family types. Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) amounts are included here to give a sense of the total maximum monthly income that people on assistance get from these provincial sources. No increases were made to the OCB this year.

NOTE : The updated rates sheet also includes information on how some other benefits will also be changing.

Media and Policy News
("New Social Assistance Rates - Nov / Dec 2012")


In the same issue
of Media and Policy News:

" likely know that the government is making changes to other benefits for people on social assistance. Information on these changes can be found in ISAC’s response to Budget 2012:
[ Word file - ]
... and in the government's budget:
[ ]
[ ]

Please click here[ ] to learn more about cuts to housing and homelessness funding (the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit and the Home Repairs Benefit) and to take part in our campaign on this issue.

And please note that the Social Assistance Review Commission’s final report and recommendations [ ] was released on Wednesday, October 24. Look here for a roundup of media articles and various responses to the report:

ISAC will be providing additional analysis and information on the report and next steps in the coming weeks.

Media and Policy News is a project of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)


Ontario media coverage of welfare and poverty issues
from Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (Toronto):

A recent op-ed on the same issue, from the Hamilton Roundtable:

An online petition:

Pat Capponi at an OW forum in Chatham

The latest Voices from the Street program gives women a voice:

Yutaka Dirks from ACTO, on how social change happens:

Ontario’s got a $443 million pinch:

Campaign 2000’s national report on child poverty:

Canada Without Poverty blog on poverty in the North:

Star editorial on making EI standards national:

Income tax changes eliminate refunds for many Ontario residents
March 2, 2012
By Ellen Roseman
Ontario residents with low to moderate incomes may get a nasty surprise when filing their 2011 tax returns. Their refunds are disappearing, thanks to a low-key provincial decision to stop giving lump sum tax credit payments once a year. Instead, it has combined several tax credits into the Ontario Trillium Benefit. This will be paid monthly, starting in July, to those who receive relief for energy costs, rent, sales tax and property tax. The government made the move after consulting welfare experts, who said a monthly benefit would provide a steady income flow to pay bills. But that’s no consolation to people who expected to get a lump sum refund. They’re furious to get a promise of monthly payments later this year instead of a windfall at tax time.

Toronto Star

Related link:

Choice in Tax Credit Payments Coming
The Minister of Finance has recently stated that low- to moderate-income people receiving provincial tax credits are going to be given a choice in how they receive these credits – either in monthly cheques or in a lump sum.

A Star article from last Friday [ ] quotes the Minister as saying: “We’re looking at ways of allowing people to choose. There are some administrative issues, but it seems perfectly reasonable to me.”

And in a CTV “consumer watchdog” interview conducted with the Minister earlier this week [ - Click "Tax Refunds"], he says the government acknowledges that they “dropped the ball” on this issue by not properly communicating the change to quarterly and monthly payments. He confirms that they are going to let people choose whether to receive their tax credits in one lump sum cheque or in monthly instalments.

However, the Minister is very clear that the change to a system that lets people choose “won’t happen this year”.

ISAC has prepared two information bulletins related to these changes that we hope will be helpful to you.

The first information bulletin describes the changes.

English version (Word file - 101K, 4 pages):

Version française (fichier Word) :

The first information bulletin says:
* how payments for three tax credits have been changing since 2009
* how these payments are changing again in 2012
* why these changes are being made
* some of the implications of these changes
* who is eligible for these tax credits
* how to get help with filing your tax return, which you must do in order to get the tax credits
* action you can take to get government to provide more help for people with filing their income tax return.

The second information bulletin talks about a problem that some low income people have had with getting their taxes done this year, in hopes of getting a lump-sum tax refund.

English version (Word file - 74K, 3 pages):

Version française (fichier Word) :

The second information bulletin says:
* some companies that do people's taxes are asking people to enter into a contract in order to get their taxes done
* the contract means people have to sign up for a bank account and a debit card
* they also have to change their direct deposit so that all tax-delivered benefits go into this new bank account
* both the bank account and the debit card charge high fees
* the companies get paid first, when benefits get deposited into the bank account
* there are other ways to get your taxes done that don't require you to enter into these contracts
* these other ways to get your taxes done are free.

Also from ISAC:

Ontario Tax Credits and Tax Refunds
November 17, 2011

The way that certain tax credits are being paid to low income people by the province has changed and will continue to change in the next several months – and this means that these credits are no longer being paid in lump-sum tax refunds.
ISAC has prepared an Information Bulletin about this issue.

Information Bulletin:
Tax Filing, Tax Credits & Tax Refunds
(MicrosoftWord file - 74K, 3 pages)
November 17, 2011
(...) Since July 2010, the government has been paying these tax credits* in smaller amounts every three months instead of as a lump-sum at the end of the year.
The goal is to give people with low incomes a more stable and steady source of income throughout the year. You would have received the tax credits in cheques or by direct deposit to your bank account. This money is exempt as income from Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
* Tax credits include the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, the Energy and Property Tax Credit, and the Northern Ontario Energy Credit.


By Linda McQuaig:

Ontario Special Diet Allowance:
Restraint hits poor the hardest : Ontario's
austerity program literally takes food out of the mouths of the hungry

By Linda McQuaig
May 3, 2010
After inflation, welfare benefits today only have 55 percent of the buying power they had in 1993.
(...) The elimination of the special diet allowance in the recent provincial budget is really just the continuation of the assault on the incomes of the very poorest citizens that began with former premier Mike Harris's 22 percent cut in provincial welfare rates in 1995.


Government Has Decided to Eliminate the Special Diet Allowance Program
Posted April 13, 2010
On March 25, as part of its 2010 budget, the provincial government announced that it will cancel the Special Diet Allowance Program and replace it with a new program. The government has said very little at this point about what the new program will be.

Read ISAC's backgrounder about what the
government has said and how they are justifying the decision
The decision is a cut to welfare rates. It means that $200 million will come out of the pockets of people on OW and ODSP. For single people with disabilities who get the maximum allowance, this will mean a cut in benefits of up to 20%.The decision is also equality with a vengeance. This is because it makes everyone on assistance equal by giving nothing to everyone.

Read ISAC's analysis of what this
decision means and how it will affect
the people who rely on it to maintain their health.

The decision to end the Special Diet Allowance program increases insecurity for people on social assistance in Ontario.
Read ISAC's response to the
2010 Budget and the decision to end Special Diet.

This decision responds in part to a recent Order by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, which found that the way the program was providing benefits to three individuals with medical conditions violated the Human Rights Code.

Read more about the Tribunal's
decision and ISAC's role in the legal proceedings.


* ISAC backgrounder on what happened to the Special Diet program (PDF - 37K)
* ISAC analysis of what this decision means (PDF - 41K)
* ISAC backgrounder on the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario's decision on Special Diet


From the
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

Driving the Poor Deeper Into Poverty:
The Province and the City of Toronto
Team up to Attack the Special Diet

March 19, 2010
By Liisa Schofield and John Clarke
Since 2005, a large part of OCAP's (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) work has involved organizing to obtain and defend access to a benefit known as the Special Diet Allowance (SDA). Under this, people living on the Province's sub poverty social assistance system who obtain the appropriate diagnoses from a medical provider, can receive up to an additional $250 a month for food. Access to the Special Diet has had to be fought for tooth and nail. Medical providers interested in helping poor people access this benefit are few and far between. (...)
As this is being written, the prospect that the Liberals will use their upcoming Budget to abolish the Special Diet outright is looming very large (see our submission to the pre-budget ‘consultations’ - Feb. 3, 2010).
[ Liisa Schofield and John Clarke are organizers with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. ]
E-Bulletin No. 329
[ The Bullet Socialist Project ]



Daily media scan for social researchers : Archive
835 links as at Aug. 10/10
(covering the period from June 25 to August 10, 2010
===> Ontario / Canada / International <===
By Jennefer Laidley
[ Income Security Advocacy Centre - Toronto ]


Ontario Election 2007
Join ISAC in pressuring candidates in the upcoming Ontario election on October 10th, 2007. Use ISAC's election kit to lobby candidates in your community to reduce poverty and improve the lives of low-income people in Ontario.
ISAC Election Demands [ version française ]
ISAC Election Materials [version française ]

Referendum on Electoral Reform
Ontario is holding a referendum on electoral reform on election day on October 10th, 2007. Voters will be asked to vote "for" or "against" a new way of holding elections that has been recommended by a citizen's assembly.

--- The Hands Off! Campaign has ended [ version française ]
ISAC's Hands off! Campaign against the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) from families on social assistance has ended, although the struggle will continue in other ways. ISAC will focus on getting increases to social assistance rates for everyone on OW and ODSP and getting improvements to the new Ontario Child Benefit.
ISAC evaluation of the Hands off! Campaign and our current focus - May 2007 - PDF file - 82K, 10 pages
[version française ]
"(...) The Hands off! Campaign made a difference. The provincial government was pressured to: 1) allow all new increases to the NCBS to flow through to families on social assistance; 2) let families keep the new Universal Child Care Benefit that was announced by the federal government in July 2006; and 3) ensure families on OW and ODSP will benefit from the new Ontario Child Benefit that will be implemented in July 2008.
More information about the Hands Off Campaign

...but ISAC's NCBS Clawback legal challenge continues
The implementation of the Ontario Child Benefit, and the resulting restructuring of social assistance that will happen in July, 2008, reduces the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) but doesn't end it. So ISAC's NCBS clawback legal challenge against the provincial and federal governments continues.

Put poverty on political agenda
Asking why reveals we can do better, says Sarah Blackstock
October 3, 2006
"Ask why 4.8 million people in Canada are poor — and insist on better. We should all be outraged and ashamed reading the Star's campaign on the working poor, but we shouldn't be surprised. We have chosen to allow poverty to flourish by permitting wages to stagnate, setting welfare rates at dangerously low levels, failing to regulate the growing temporary work industry, failing to provide adequate training for those who do not have marketable skills and refusing to recognize foreign credentials. It doesn't have to be this way..."
Toronto Star

NOTE: This is one in a series of commentaries in the Toronto Star following a series on working poor families that started with the story of Maheswary Puvaneswaran, "one of 650,000 Canadians struggling to make ends meet." If you click the link near the beginning of this paragraph, you'll see that the next page includes both the article and links to six related articles. In my website and newsletter, I rarely provide links to articles in most mainstream media (e.g., The Star, The Globe and Mail) because, for the most part, the links expire after a predetermined period and the article is moved to a pay-per-hit archive. However, I encourage you to explore the media websites and to use their on-site search tools - you'll be able to retrieve and read all articles that are still in the "public" domain.
For example, I did the following sample searches in the Toronto Star's 7-day free search feature:
"working poor" ===> 10 results (+ a link to "Search our paid archives")
"working poor" ===> 20 results using "Search our paid archives" - and all results are free in this case...
"Maheswary Puvaneswaran" ===> 6 results
<go figure.>

Hands Off! Stop Taking Our Baby Bonus!
A campaign to stop the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)
[dead link]
"The Hands off! Campaign asks the Provincial and the Federal government to do 2 things:
* End the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement from families on social assistance, now!
* Fund the reinvestment programs that work for low-income families out of other provincial and federal revenues.
- includes links to : Take Action | Send an e-Card | Lobby MPP / MP | Endorse Campaign | Links | Income Security Advocacy Centre | Contact Us

Related Link:

McGuinty defends bonus clawback
Families on social assistance take baby bonus demands to Queen's Park

April 6, 2005
Families on social assistance seeking baby bonus relief left the provincial legislature empty-handed today after the Ontario government defended its clawback of the federal child benefit. Premier Dalton McGuinty held firm on denying those parents the National Child Benefit Supplement while a handful of them looked on from the public galleries. (...) Under the federal plan, families with incomes less than $22,600 receive approximately $125 per child each month. In Ontario, families living on social assistance or disability benefits see that money taken back by the province. (...) Although the federal government allows the baby bonus clawback, New Brunswick and Manitoba no longer withhold the supplementary benefits."
The Toronto Star

NCBS Clawback Court Challenge
In December 2004, a legal challenge to the clawback was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by the Income Security Advocacy Centre, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)and the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues.
NOTE: for more info on the NCBS Clawback challenge, go to the Case Law / Court Decisions / Inquests page:

Related Links:

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Charter Committee on Poverty Issues

Social Assistance Fact Sheet (Word document - 35K, 2 pages)
- updated Feb.23 , 2005 to reflect the 3% increase to social assistance rates that comes into effect in March

Minimum Wage Fact Sheet (Word document - 32K, 2 pages)
- updated Feb. 23, 2005 to reflect the recent 30 cent increase to the minimum wage

No child deserves to be poor
March 11, 2005
Life was supposed to get better for Canada's poorest children when the federal government introduced its national child benefit supplement seven years ago.
For approximately half the 1 million kids living below the poverty line, it did. The other half got nothing.
The difference: their parents' source of income.
This week, a coalition of child welfare organizations, faith groups, women's shelters, legal aid clinics, unions and municipalities launched a public appeal to the Ontario government to treat all low-income children equally. The campaign is called Hands Off! It is designed to convince Dalton McGuinty that it is wrong to snatch money out of the pockets of parents who can't afford groceries, decent housing or school supplies."
The Toronto Star

Related Links:
NOTE - the links were dead so I removed them but left the text in for information

Challenge to the Clawback of the
National Child Benefit Supplement
December 10, 2004
"Today the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC), the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues (CCPI), have formally launched a legal challenge to the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement from families on social assistance. The Applicants are three single parents who have been struggling on OW or ODSP to make ends meet, without the benefit of the NCBS. They live in Timmins, Port Colborne and Toronto. Counsel for this application are Kate Stephenson from WeirFoulds and Cynthia Wilkey from ISAC. Both the Federal Government and the Province of Ontario will be served today with an Application under Rule 14 claiming that the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Agreement to claw back the NCBS and the Regulations that implement the clawback in Ontario violate both s.7 and s.15 of the Charter."

Press Release (Word doc., size 88 kb)
Backgrounder (Word doc., size 31 kb)

Ontario Project for Inter-Clinic Community Organizing (OPICCO)

Activists fighting welfare cheque clawback
Call on McGuinty to end deduction of benefit

Threaten Ontario with constitutional challenge
November 18, 2004
"When the rent is $775 and total income is $1,334, an extra $226 would make a huge difference.That's the extra benefit the federal government pays each month to Toronto's Dave Lance, 24 and the father of 2 1/2-year-old twin boys. And that's the amount the Ontario government deducts each month from his welfare payment. The clawback has been controversial since the national child benefit program was introduced by the federal government in 1997 with the stated objective of preventing and reducing child poverty. While all Ontario families with an income of less than $22,615 receive the national child benefit supplement of $126 a month for the first child and decreasing amounts for subsequent children, only working families are allowed to keep it. Parents on social assistance or a disability pension are out of luck Municipalities across Ontario have called for an end to the clawback and Premier Dalton McGuinty, while in opposition, promised he'd get rid of it. Now, a year after McGuinty was elected, anti-poverty advocates say it's time he kept his word.And if he doesn't, they warn, they'll take legal action.
The Toronto Star

McGuinty Government Falls Short in Overhauling Social Assistance (Word document - 88K, 1 page)
ISAC News Release
Dec. 15 2004
On December 15, 2004 the government introduced changes to the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program regulations. The changes took effect immediately, and will have an important effect on people applying for assistance after December 15, 2004 and on those already on assistance.

Fact Sheet - Changes to OW/ODSP Rules (Word document, 39K, 2 pages)
December 2004
"The new changes include getting rid of a rule that forced people to cash in their children’s RESPs before they could get on social assistance and a rule that punished sponsored immigrants who were forced on to social assistance when their sponsorship broke down. ISAC had taken the government to court over both rules."

Kimberly Rogers Inquest: a year later - Ontario
Press Release
December 16, 2003
"Tis the season of food drives, toy drives and charity dinners. Every year at this time thousands of people make donations to assist those in their community who are too poor to be able eat properly or purchase a small gift for their child. 'While such donations are welcome, what’s really needed are hard questions about why more than 1.6 million people in Ontario are living in poverty and why our governments are not doing anything about this harsh reality,' says Jacquie Chic, Director of Advocacy and Legal Services at the Income Security Advocacy Centre."

Call for ACTION
To Implement ALL the Recommendations from the Rogers Inquest Jury

December 18, 2003

Pupatello vows to act on welfare : Says she'll abolish Tory lifetime ban after fraud
Action demanded on Rogers inquest recommendations

December 17, 2003
The Toronto Star

Social Assistance exchange between MPP Shelley Martel, NDP Nickel Belt, and Minister of Community and Social Services, Sandra Pupatello
Hansard - Legislative Assembly - Oral Questions
December 17, 2003

Welfare activists baffled by Grits' inaction
December 15, 2003

Related Links:

Justice with Dignity : Remembering Kimberly Rogers
[ Disabled Women's Network Ontario ]


Plain Talk - Summer 2003 Issue
Newsletter of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
1. Looking for justice in all the wrong places (ref. to the Kelly Lesiuk case)
2. Low Income People Hit Hardest By Blackout
3. ISAC Persuades Premier To Declare ODSP Offices An Essential Service
4. Ontario Needs a Raise!
5. An Ontario Child Benefit?
6. Regional Updates
7. The "Lifetime Ban" Goes to Court
8. ISAC AGM Notice

Denial by Design ... The Ontario Disability Support Program
John Fraser, Cynthia Wilkey, and JoAnne Frenschkowksi
Released January 28, 2003
35 pages
HTML version - on the DAWN Ontario website
Related DAWN Ontario link:
Email campaign re: ODSP Reform


Social Assistance Rate Restructuring and the Ontario Child Benefit (MS Word file - 118K, 4 pages)
Fact sheet
June 2009
If you are a parent with dependent children under 18 and are on Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), there are changes to your benefits coming soon. Starting in July 2009, the Ontario Child Benefit will increase to $92 per month per child. However, social assistance rates for families with dependent children are being further restructured.
- includes a description of the changes coming into effect on July 1 along and maximum monthly
Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rates before and after July 2009 for different family sizes.


ISAC UPDATE - June 2009 issue (PDF - 264K, 4 pages)
- Newsletter
Table of contents:
* ISAC’s upcoming Forum: “Time For a Bold Review of Social Assistance”;
* Final arguments in the lead Special Diet Allowance case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario;
* LIEN’s work on the new Low-Income Energy Affordability Program from the Ontario Energy Board;
* Advocacy around the start of another round of ODSP disability reviews;
* Unanimous support in the Legislature for poverty reduction legislation; and,
* The Ontario Child Benefit goes up to $92, but OW and ODSP take another hit.

ISAC UPDATE - April 2009 (PDF - 295K, 4 pages)
Income Security Advocacy Centre
(Volume 1, Issue 1)
This edition of ISAC UPDATE includes information on: the lead Special Diet Allowance case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario; our community-based Ending Poverty Project; Bill 152, the new Poverty Reduction legislation; the Poverty Reduction Results Committee; the upcoming Social Assistance Review; new case-selection criteria recently confirmed by ISAC’s Board of Directors; and, ISAC’s analysis of decision-making at the Ministry’s Disability Adjudication Unit.

Transition Child Benefit Fact Sheet (Word file - 95K, 4 pages)
June 2008
The Transition Child Benefit was created to ensure that no family would receive less under the new Ontario Child Benefit starting in July 2008.
For eligible families, the Transitional Child Benefit will make up the difference between current social assistance rates and the new rates that start in July 2008.

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.

Related link:

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

Ending Poverty in Ontario:
Building Capacity and Organizing for Change
A Workshop for Engaging Low Income People
(PDF - 980K, 116 pages)
Spring 2008
This manual has been developed to assist facilitators to hold community-based workshops with low income people and other community members active in ending poverty. The workshop is designed to encourage discussion about what is needed to end poverty in Ontario, and to identify actions that can be taken within your community. (...) Campaign 2000 and ISAC will be working with community partners to deliver these workshops in Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Windsor, and Toronto, and will be producing a “Call to Action” report at the end of 2008 for government and the community.
NOTE : On the ISAC Resources page, you'll find links to the Word version of individual sections of the manual, along with over three dozen more Public Education Materials, Policy Papers and Legal Documents
A joint project of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) and
Campaign 2000
(a cross-Canada public education movement to build Canadian awareness and support for the 1989 all-party House of Commons resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000.)

Make your voice heard on Social Assistance (PDF - 36K, 2 pages)
- May 2008

Action Alert: Poverty Reduction Consultations (Word file - 60K, 3 pages)
- May 2008

Action Alert:
Back-to-school and Winter Clothing allowances end in 2008
(Word file - 49K, 2 pages)
- May 2008

OW and ODSP Recipients Should File 2007 Tax Returns (PDF - 32K, 1 page)
- April 2008

Related links:

25-in-5: Network for Poverty Reduction
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. We have organized ourselves around the call for a Poverty Reduction Plan with a goal to reduce poverty in Ontario by 25% in 5 years and 50% in 10 years.
Community Social Planning Council of Toronto

Related links:
- Go to the Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity
The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity is an independent, not-for-profit organization that deepens public understanding of macro and microeconomic factors behind Ontario’s economic progress. We are funded by the Government of Ontario and are mandated to share our research findings directly with the public. The Institute serves as the research arm of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress. The mandate of the Task Force, announced in the April 2001 Speech from the Throne, is to measure and monitor Ontario’s competitiveness, productivity, and economic progress compared to other provinces and US states and to report to the public on a regular basis.

Selected site content:

The poor still pay more:
Challenges low income families face in consuming a nutritious diet

Press Release
December 21, 2010
The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity, in collaboration with Open Policy Ontario’s John Stapleton and research consultant from Toronto Public Health, Brian Cook, releases its report recommending initiatives to help low income families overcome challenges in consuming a nutritious diet.

The report:

The poor still pay more: Challenges
low income families face in consuming a nutritious diet
(PDF - 941K, 20 pages)
December 2010
Report recommendations:
* A new housing benefit geared to income and rental costs to free up constrained finances to purchase food
* Improved incentives for retailers and community groups to increase accessibility by low income communities to lower priced and healthier food options, particularly in urban “food deserts”
* The eventual elimination of the price influence of dairy marketing boards

Related links:

* Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity
The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity is an independent, not-for-profit organization that deepens public understanding of macro and microeconomic factors behind Ontario’s economic progress. We are funded by the Government of Ontario and are mandated to share our research findings directly with the public.
The Institute serves as the research arm of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress.

* Toronto Public Health

* Open Policy - personal website of John Stapleton, co-author of The Poor Still Pay More
--- Check out John's Publications - Media Commentaries - Presentations


CTV News coverage:

Poor are hit hardest by rising food prices: study
December 21, 2010
Although social assistance in Canada has more or less kept pace with inflation in recent years, it has not kept up with the speed at which food prices have increased, making it more and more expensive for poor Canadians to eat healthy.A study from the Toronto-based Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity released a report Tuesday looking at some of the major issues low-income Canadians face when grocery shopping.
[ Comments (75) ]
CTV News

Institute for Social Research - York University (Toronto)

Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC)
The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition was born out of the hope that together a coalition of faith groups could contribute to new public policies based upon greater justice and dignity for Ontarians marginalized by poverty. The central message shared by religious communities throughout the world, inspires people of faith to respond to our neighbours in need.

Ontario-Wide 2010 Community Social Audit
"An exciting new project to assess social conditions in Ontario"

Persistent Poverty:
Voices from the Margins
By Jamie Swift, Brice Balmer and Mira Dineen
$19.95 CAD - Paperback, 184 pages
December 2010
(...) In early 2010 over two hundred civic and faith leaders fanned out into thirty Ontario communities. Their goal? To explore how the least fortunate people in one of the world’s richest places are faring. The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s latest social audit exposed a tattered social assistance system run by volunteers desperately struggling to fill the gaps. There can be no papering over the savage inequalities and suffering exposed in this compelling look at life from the margins.

Related links:

2010 Social Audit:
A Faith Community Assessment of the Status of Poverty in Ontario

May 2010

Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC)
The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition was born out of the hope that together a coalition of faith groups could contribute to new public policies based upon greater justice and dignity for Ontarians marginalized by poverty. The central message shared by religious communities throughout the world, inspires people of faith to respond to our neighbours in need.

New book launched at city hall
sheds light on trials and hardships of poverty

February 3, 2011
By Andrew Sztein
The impoverished were given a voice at city hall on Jan. 26 during the launch of the new book, Persistent Poverty: Voices from the Margins.
The book compiles true-life stories of extreme poverty in a process that the authors called a social audit. The social audit process involved talking to many who live or have lived in extreme poverty about their experiences.
Ottawa East EMC News (Ontario)
Legal Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
The purpose of the website is to provide, in one convenient and generally accessible on-line location, detailed and thorough legal guides to areas of Ontario and Canadian law of general importance to the economically vulnerable in our society, and to their advocates. All users should ensure that they meet the Terms of Use of the site.
[ Terms of Use ]
Click the above link to access the following guides:
* Constitutional, Human Rights and Related (Human Rights Law in Ontario - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Immigration Law - Canadian Law of International Crimes [War Crimes])
* Animal Law (Animals and the Criminal Law in Canada - Dog and Cat Control Law in Ontario)
* Employment Law (Employment Law in Ontario - Employment Insurance [Canada] - Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board - Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Law
* Property Law (Ontario Residential Landlord and Tenant - Line Fences in Ontario)
Civil and Administrative Litigation (Small Claims Court in Ontario - BC Tort Law - BC Contract Law - Limitation Periods in Ontario - Charts and Explanations - Ontario Family Law and Family Court Procedures - Administrative Tribunal Procedures - Criminal Injuries Compensation in Ontario)
Freedom of Information and Privacy Law (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Law in Ontario and Municipal FIPPA - Access to Information Law Annotated [Canada] - Privacy Act Guide [Canada] - PIPEDA [Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada)] Guide
* Income Maintenance and Related (Welfare [Ontario Works] - Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] - Auto Insurance in Ontario
* Legislative Process (Ontario Legislative Process - Canadian Federal Legislative Process)
* Miscellaneous Law (Canadian Maritime Law - Charity and Not-for-Profit Law - Church Law)

Legal Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
Simon Shields, LLB :
Online lawyer and author

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)

Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
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 (Ontario)
Legal Guides to Ontario and Canadian Law
Simon Shields, LLB :
Online lawyer and author

The purpose of the website is to provide, in one convenient and generally accessible on-line location, detailed and thorough legal guides to areas of Ontario and Canadian law of general importance to the economically vulnerable in our society, and to their advocates.
March 2012 revision:
Over time a second purpose evolved as high internet traffic offered a chance to shift my law practice entirely on-line, thus facilitating world travel.

All users should ensure that they read the Mandatory Conditions of Use of the Website.
[ Mandatory Conditions of use ]

More about this site and its author:


Case Law (Court Decisions)
- direct links to the Decisions page of each of the following:
* Ontario Court of Justice (most family and criminal cases in Ontario)
* Ontario Superior Court (main civil court in Ontario, some family and criminal)
* Ontario Divisional Court (administrative appeals, judicial reviews and smaller civil appeals)
* Ontario Court of Appeal (highest Ontario Court)
* Federal Court - Trial Division (first level court for matters under federal jurisdiction such as telecommunications, intellectual property, rail/air/shipping, maritime, immigration etc)
* Federal Court of Appeal (appeals from Federal Court - Trial Division)
* Supreme Court of Canada
* International Courts
* Worldwide Case Law
* UK and Ireland Cases (British cases are often relevant to the interpretation of Canadian law)
* Australia and NZ Cases (also useful in interpretation)


The John Howard Society of Toronto

Selected site content:

Cost-benefit analysis shows that providing transitional housing for ex-prisoners could
save millions of dollars in tax-payer’s money while increasing community safety
(PDF - 67K, 1 page)
News Release
April 2011
TORONTO- A study funded by The Toronto Community Foundation and Commissioned by The John Howard Society of Toronto entitled, “Making Toronto Safer: A Cost Benefit Analysis” examined two specific groups of ex-prisoners; the homeless and those at high risk of re-offending sexually or violently against a minor.

Complete study:

Making Toronto Safer
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Transitional Housing Supports
for Men Leaving Incarceration
April 2011
By Open Policy and Chronicle Analytics
(John Stapleton, Brendon Pooran, René Doucet)
Commissioned by:
The John Howard Society Toronto
& Toronto Community Foundation
(...) The cost benefit analysis clearly demonstrates that with transitional housing and supports in place, better outcomes can be achieved at lower costs. Such benefits are enjoyed by the public first and foremost. The likelihood of re-offending decreases thereby creating safer communities. At the same time, the tax dollars spent on prisoners throughout the criminal justice process and beyond is far less than the alternative of continued reincarceration.
The per-person estimated savings provided by Transitional Housing and support is estimated to be:
° $350,000 for a homeless person; and
° $109,000 for a Section 810 prisoner (sexual offender).

Related links:

Toronto Community Foundation
The Toronto Community Foundation connects philanthropy with community needs and opportunities in order to make Toronto the best place to live, work, learn, and grow. We are one of the largest of Canada's 165 community foundations. Established in 1981, we have grown to hold over $225 million in assets and to work with hundreds of concerned Torontonians and high-impact community organizations.

John Howard Society of Ontario

John Howard Society of Canada


Another related link:

Housing for ex-cons: Spend a little, save a lot
By Jim Rankin
June 15, 2011
(...) The John Howard Society of Toronto is hoping a transitional housing program already successful in Ottawa will stop the cycle (cycling in and out of jail) earlier for other released inmates and, in turn, save taxpayers’ money — and make Toronto safer. In an effort to persuade governments to invest, the society commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of the program, which provides just-released inmates a room in a controlled facility where they can live up to a year before permanent housing is found. The study, funded by the Toronto Community Foundation, looked at existing research and applied it to what could be saved if two ex-prisoner groups in Toronto — the homeless and serious offenders subject to certain conditions — had access to the program.
Toronto Star

Laidlaw Foundation (Toronto)
The Laidlaw Foundation is a public interest foundation that uses its human and financial resources in innovative ways to strengthen civic engagement and social cohesion. The Foundation uses its capital to better the environments and fulfil the capacities of children and youth, to enhance the opportunities for human development and creativity and to sustain healthy communities and ecosystems.

Selected reports:

Laidlaw Foundation 2010 Annual Report (PDF - 543K, 21 pages)
June 2011
Excerpt, page 3:
"In 2010, The Foundation published Not So Easy to Navigate (PDF - 511K, 40 pages), the result of a commissioned policy research and advocacy project. John Stapleton and Anne Tweddle produced three related papers that identify ways to link and leverage various federal and provincial income security entitlements to maximize RESP benefits for children and youth in care. The Government of BC is exploring the introduction of new legislation and the Child Welfare League of Canada has received federal funding support to work with the provinces to explore implementation. Copies of the guidebook have been circulated through the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and the Toronto Children’s Aid Society."

Laidlaw Foundation
The Laidlaw Foundation promotes positive youth development through inclusive youth engagement in the arts, environment and in the community.
[ More about the Laidlaw Foundation ]

[Proactive disclosure : I've known and collaborated with John Stapleton since the mid-1970s, and I've been married to Anne Tweddle for over 20 years. They make an excellent research team, and I'm pleased to highlight not only their work but the accolades they receive and so richly deserve.]


Benefits for Children in Ontario Incomplete and Unfair
News Release
May 17, 2010
A new report says children not living with their parents are denied financial benefits that other children get. Not so Easy to Navigate, a report written by social policy experts John Stapleton and Anne Tweddle for the Laidlaw Foundation, reveals that the most vulnerable children in Ontario - those living in state care - don’t benefit from federal programs like the Canada Learning Bond and Canada Education Savings Grant the same way that children living with their families do.

Complete report:

‘Not so Easy to Navigate’:
A Report on the Complex Array of Income
Security Programs and Educational Planning for
Children in Care in Ontario
(PDF - 511K, 40 pages)
By John Stapleton & Anne Tweddle
May 2010
Young people who have been taken into state care report that the most difficult issue they faced when leaving care was the lack of emotional, financial, and educational support. This paper describes the major financial supports currently available in Ontario and proposes ways to improve the financial and educational well-being of youth once they leave care.

Two pamphlets by the same authors
released with the above report:

* 7 Things you Should Know (PDF - 291K, 14 pages)
May 2010
Do you know a child who is in the care of a Children’s Aid Society?
Are you concerned about their financial and educational future?
This fact sheet tells you about financial benefits from the government for children in Ontario, with special emphasis on programs that build savings for a child in care. It also explains some of the changes that happen to benefits when a child goes into care.

* A message to all mothers in Ontario:
March 2010
Collect child benefits of up to $8,400 and more every year!

There are four things you should do when you give birth
in order to obtain the benefits that you are entitled to:

1. Go to Service Ontario to get a birth certificate and a Social Insurance Number for your child.
2. Apply for Canada Child Tax Benefits (CCTB).
3. Fill out a tax return and send it in.
4. Go to any bank and setup a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- includes links to online resources

The Laidlaw Foundation
The Laidlaw Foundation promotes positive youth development through inclusive youth engagement in the arts, environment and in community.

Related earlier report
from The Laidlaw Foundation:

Youth Leaving Care – How Do They Fare?
Briefing Paper
(PDF file - 242K, 31 pages)
September 2005
By Anne Tweddle
Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults (they produced the report)
Laidlaw Foundation
(they funded the report)

[ More reports from The Laidlaw Foundation - click "Resources" in the left margin for links to all Laidlaw Foundation reports by theme.]

Related links from
Human Resources and Social Development Canada:

* Canada Learning Bond
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is a grant offered by the Government of Canada to help parents, friends, and family members save early for the post-secondary education of children in modest-income families. (...)
The Government of Canada will make a one-time payment of $500 into the RESP of children who qualify for the Canada Learning Bond and a $100 deposit each subsequent year the child’s primary caregiver receives the National Child Benefit Supplement, to a maximum of $2,000. offers more information regarding the amount of CLB the child could receive.

* Canada Education Savings Grant
When you, as a parent, friend or family member, open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) on behalf of a child and apply for the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), the Government of Canada will deposit a percentage of your own contribution directly into the RESP. To date, more than three million children have benefited from the Canada Education Savings Grant.

Related link:

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website


From CBC Toronto:

Ont. youth in state care need RESPs: foundation
May 17, 2010
An Ontario youth foundation is calling on Ottawa to set up education savings accounts for the 18,000 Ontario children in state care. The Laidlaw Foundation has released a new report that suggests Ontario children living in foster care don't benefit from federal programs like the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant the same way that children living with their families do.


From The Toronto Star:

Youth in state care need RESPs
By Laurie Monsebraaten
May 17, 2010
Ontario should press Ottawa to give children in foster care the same educational support as children who live with their families. A report being released Monday says it would cost the federal government about $8 million a year to set up educational savings accounts for the approximately 18,000 Ontario children in state care. “Parents with children living at home often use their federal child benefits to open Registered Education Savings Plans for their children,” said social policy expert John Stapleton, co-author of report by the Laidlaw Foundation. The investments trigger the $2,000 federal learning bond and the education savings grant, which matches parental contributions to a maximum of $7,200. (...) Ontario should press for a change in federal policy so that all children in care can have access to the federal money to use toward a post-secondary education, says the report. The province should also extend financial support to youth in care to age 25 says the report entitled Not So Easy to Navigate.
The Toronto Star

Hazardous passage for at-risk youth
Foster children should be allowed to stay at home until they are 21
Virginia Rowden
May 21, 2010
This is a story told in numbers. There are nearly 4,700 young people — aged 16 to 20 — in the care of Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario. Fewer than 600 are enrolled in college, trade schools or university — less than 13 per cent compared with 60 per cent of young people who have grown up with their own families
[ Virginia Rowden is director, social policy, and mentor for the YouthCAN program, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. ]

A better idea for foster kids
May 23, 2010
(...) By [Ontario] provincial law, children in the care of the state must move out of their foster or group homes before their 18th birthday, whether they have finished high school or not. They are given financial assistance to live on their own, but that is cut off at 21, regardless of their circumstances. (...) Last week, a report by the Laidlaw Foundation urged Ottawa to establish registered education savings plans (RESPs) for children in foster care, similar to those that parents set up for their own children. The report rightly identifies the transforming effect that making college financially possible could have on Crown wards. (...) Children's aid agencies have long urged the province to let children stay in their foster or group homes until they are 21. The Laidlaw Foundation's report argues that financial assistance should be extended to 25. Both measures would provide a more supportive and gradual transition into adulthood – similar to what most children get from their parents.

The Toronto Star


The U.S. Perspective

Recent release from
Human Rights Watch:

California: From Foster Children to Homeless Adults
State Fails to Prepare Foster Youth for Adulthood
News Release
May 12, 2010
(LosAngeles) - California is creating homeless adults by failing to ensure that youth in foster care are given the support to live independently as adults and by ending state support abruptly, Human Rights Watch said in a new report. Human Rights Watch said that the state should provide financial support, connections with adults, shelter, and other safety nets for young people as they make the transition towards independence.

The 70-page report, My So-Called Emancipation: From Foster Care to Homelessness for California Youth (PDF - 1.3MB), documents the struggles of foster care youth who become homeless after turning 18, or "aging out" of the state's care, without sufficient preparation or support for adulthood. California's foster care system serves 65,000 children and youth, far more than any other single state. Of the 4,000 who age out of the system each year, research suggests, 20 per cent or more become homeless.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attent
ion where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.

Law Foundation of Ontario
Established in 1974, the Law Foundation of Otario is a grant-making organization that promotes and enhances justice for all Ontarians.

Multi-million dollar fund will open doors to justice wider across Canada
May 31, 2010
The Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) invites applications from across Canada to its just-launched, $14.6-million Access to Justice Fund. The Fund was established as part of a groundbreaking arrangement relating to the settlement of a major class action lawsuit. The Fund will be used to improve access to justice nationally, with a focus on five specific themes:
* linguistic minorities and people living in rural and remote areas
* Aboriginal people
* individuals without legal representation
* family violence
* consumer rights
The ATJ Fund will be open for applications for a one-year period, and non-profit organizations from across Canada are invited to apply

Law Times

Cuts to Ontario’s justice system necessary to stave off rising debt: Drummond report
February 20, 2012
By Kendyl Sebesta
Putting the federal government in charge of incarceration for sentences that are longer than six months, upgrading or replacing 117 deteriorating courthouses, and diverting less complex cases away from the province’s courts are just some of the changes cash-strapped Ontario will have to make if it hopes to avoid doubling its deficit by 2017-18, economist Don Drummond warned last week.

In his report [ ], Drummond warns if all 10 of his recommendations are not implemented, the province's justice system will suffer. He points to deteriorating courthouses and facilities that he says will cost the province more in the long run if they are not updated or replaced. He also adds more cases and more family court matters are adding to delays in the justice system that will waste time and resources and add to the province's growing deficit. Lastly, he points out the province will spend at least $22 million per year in additional funding for more jails because of the federal omnibus crime bill’s plans to jail more offenders. He adds that figure is likely to climb in the upcoming years.

Hearings for the crime bill are currently underway in the Senate and combine nine previous bills that were never passed by Parliament. They would boost police and prosecutorial powers targeting drug traffickers, child sex predators, and dangerous young offenders if passed.

Related link:

The Drummond Commission / Report
[ Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services ]
February 2012
NOTE : To avoid duplication of links on multiple pages, I've created a separate page for all links relating to the Special Diet Allowance. [

- Go to the Ontario Drummond Report (2012) links page:


The Lawyers Weekly

The shame of Legal Aid Ontario
By Clayton Ruby*
February 25, 2011 (date of the issue of The Lawyers Weekly)
Ontario is providing third rate legal services to the poor, and it is time it stopped. Chris Bentley is the Attorney General of Ontario. He should be ashamed. John McCamus is chair of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). He should be ashamed. They are not ashamed, of course. They have status, position and power. They don’t value access to justice. (...) The attorney general and the chair of LAO cannot invoke justice to justify the inadequate services we allow to the poorest of us. Indeed, many of the clients are mentally ill, disturbed, isolated, or so thoroughly beaten down that they cannot take on yet another fight. They cannot organize effectively. This province ignores their cries for justice?—? because it can.
Legal aid has become a scheme so tattered that it is held together by family, criminal and immigration lawyers who effectively donate their services. This is charity. As José Saramago, writer of Blindness, who won the Nobel Prize for literature, said: “Charity is what is left when there is neither kindness nor justice.”

[ * Clayton Ruby holds an honourary Doctor of Laws degree awarded by the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a bencher of the law society and a Member of the Order of Canada. ]

The Lawyers Weekly

Related link:

Legal Aid Ontario
The 1998 (Ontario) Legal Aid Services Act establishes Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable non-profit corporation, to administer the province's legal aid program.

Legal Aid Ontario
The Legal Aid Ontario Vision :
- To promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals by providing high quality legal aid services
- To encourage and facilitate flexibility and innovation in the provision of legal aid services
- To recognize the diverse legal needs of low-income individuals and disadvantaged communities
- To operate within a framework of accountability for the expenditure of public funds
Site Map
Includes links to : About Legal Aid Ontario - Business Plan - Historical Overview - Board and Committees - Provincial Directory - Job Opportunities - Newsroom - Fact Sheets - News Releases and Announcements - Speeches - Media Contacts - Getting Legal Help - Family Law Services - Criminal Law Services - Immigration & Refugee Law Services - Housing and Income Services - Getting Help in the Courtroom - Financial Eligibility - Other Services - FAQ - Publications & Resources - Newsletter - Reports - Resources - Information for Lawyers - Updates - Resources - Research Facility - Forms - Links - Community Legal Clinics - Government Resources - Lawyer Services - Other Links

Legal Aid Ontario: The first five years, 1999-2004 - Highlights of Legal Aid Ontario's Achievements
February 2004

Related Link:

Legal aid $10 million over budget - Ontario
By Helen Burnett & Gail J. Cohen
23 October 2006
Legal Aid Ontario has announced that its certificate program is $10 million over its targeted expenditures, after a mid-year review of its financial situation. (...) LAO says the problem is partially due to "the additional costs associated with megatrials and large criminal prosecutions and to the very quick account payment timelines that have evolved through the Legal Aid Online billing system." (...) William Trudell, chairman of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers, says he knows lawyers who are working on megatrials who are being forced to shut down their practices because they are not being paid for all the work they do. As a result, he says, many lawyers won't take legal aid cases anymore. (...) The Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada, of which Legal Aid Ontario is a member, (...) is calling on the federal government to commit long-term funding to legal aid "in order to avoid stripping away the legal rights of the poor," specifically through long-term funding for the Federal Investment Fund and by providing funding for civil legal aid, particularly for services that are federally mandated or legislated. It is also looking for an increase in funding to cover the additional demand for legal aid services and costs resulting from the federal government's proposed criminal justice system changes and from increases in federal prosecutions and policing resources.
But so far the Harper government is not coming forward with any cash.
"The problem is there's no commitment from the government to fund the system," says Trudell. "It's the erosion of a wonderful system because politicians won't embrace it."
Law Times (Canada)

LIFE*SPIN (Low-Income Family Empowerment * Sole-Support Parents Information Network)
"...a London grass-roots, non-profit, charitable organization started by sole-support mothers surviving on Family Benefits to share information and help low income people become self sufficient"

- includes links to :  who we are | what we do | our programs | contact us | spincycle | CED | freestore | food security | links | mediation/advocacy | publications | margaret's housing | peer lending circles | women's resource centre

Lifetime Networks Ottawa
LNO uses a unique future planning process(developed by PLAN,our Parent organization) for people with disabilities. It is a seven step process that families can follow to create a safe and secure future for their loved one. Each future plan is tailor- made to meet your family’s needs

New resource for Ontario parents
of children with physical or developmental disabilities

Ontario parents who are getting on in years and who are caring at home for a child with a developmental or physical disability have a new resource, just released by Reena, a Thornhill, Ontario social services agency established by parents of children with developmental disabilities, as a practical alternative to institutions. The new 34-page brochure, entitled What you can do to enhance the quality of life for a family member with a disability - Consider a Henson Trust, will help those parents who have some savings in setting up a trust fund to cover their child's special or emergency needs without affecting his/her eligibility for government financial assistance.

What you can do to enhance the quality of life
for a family member with a disability - Consider a Henson Trust
*(PDF - 972K, 34 pages)
By Harry Beatty, Mary Louise Dickson and John Stapleton
"Caring for a family member with a disability, and planning for their support for a whole lifetime, is a big responsibility. It poses special problems and challenges. A trust can be an ideal solution if you want to provide some money for a relative. With a trust, your loved one can continue to receive Ontario Disability Support (ODSP) benefits [Ontario's needs-tested social assistance program for people with disabilities]. The trust money can help with extra expenses such as items and services they need, and holidays. (...) This booklet is written specifically for families who want to help support a relative who receives ODSP benefits. It explains how you can help your family member without affecting their ODSP benefits."

[* A "Henson Trust" is a trust which gives the trustee or trustees absolute discretion to make decisions on behalf of the beneficiary, following the precedent established by the Henson case decided by the Ontario Courts in the 1980s [from the report's glossary]. Aging parents who are no longer able to care for their disabled child at home may apply on behalf of the child for benefits in his/her own right under the Ontario Disability Support Program. If those parents have some savings that they wish to pass along to cover some of the needs their disabled child, they have to be careful to avoid disqualifying their child from ODSP by exceeding the asset limit exemption levels.]

This brochure will also interest (1) organizations for groups of parents in similar situations in other Canadian jurisdictions, and (2) anyone who wants to learn more about needs-tested social assistance for people with disabilities in Ontario
- incl. links to related resources online

"...a non-profit social service agency dedicated to integrating individuals who have a developmental disability into the mainstream of society. Reena was established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities, as a practical alternative to institutions."

Related links:

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)
PLAN is a BC-based non-profit organization, established in 1989 by and for families committed to future planning and securing a good life for their relative with a disability./

Linda McQuaig

Selected site content:

Ontario Special Diet Allowance:
Restraint hits poor the hardest : Ontario's
austerity program literally takes food out of the mouths of the hungry

By Linda McQuaig
May 3, 2010
After inflation, welfare benefits today only have 55 percent of the buying power they had in 1993.
(...) The elimination of the special diet allowance in the recent provincial budget is really just the continuation of the assault on the incomes of the very poorest citizens that began with former premier Mike Harris's 22 percent cut in provincial welfare rates in 1995.

Other columns by Linda McQuaig - links to 100+ columns (from the Toronto Star) going back to 2005.
Recommended for your Summer reading list!!

Books by Linda McQuaig - simple list (incl. publisher details) of Linda McQuaig's nine books, from The Wealthy Banker's Wife (1993) and Shooting the Hippo (1995) to her latest, Holding the Bully's Coat (2007). No links except for short summaries of the three latest books.
[ online bookstore --- Books by Linda McQuaig ]

Links - 30+ links to progressive websites in Canada and the U.S.

Linda McQuaig - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

London Free Press

Closing food banks dumb idea
By Glen Pearson
July 30, 2011
The food bank world was suddenly hit with a broadside this week with the Elaine Power's Toronto Globe and Mail article headlined "It's time to close Canada's food banks." Nothing comes closer to irrelevance than her opening statement that food banks represent a serious obstacle in the fight against poverty in Canada. As the London Food Bank's co-director for the last 25 years, and a past chair of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, I have never encountered one food bank director who believed they were ending hunger or that they were the ultimate solution.
London Free Press

Low Income Energy Network (LIEN)
LIEN was formed in 2004 by anti-poverty, affordable housing and environmental groups in response to the impact of rising energy prices on low-income Ontarians.
Over 70 organizations from across Ontario are members of LIEN, representing a broad range of sectors including: energy, public health, legal, tenant / housing, education and social and community organizations.
LIEN is directed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives from:
* Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO),
* Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA),
* Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC),
* Share the Warmth (STW),
* Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) and
* Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC).

Ontario Tenants Rights
- incl. links to:
* Landlord and Tenant Law * Housing and Tenant Information * Current Renters News and Issues * Apartment Living * Government * Miscellaneous

Low Income Families Together (LIFT)
LIFT commits to strengthen the foundation of our community, to enable members to develop, share and increase resources, embrace diversity and create enduring, people centered initiatives.

Macleans Magazine

Fact Check:
Does anybody really know how many Torontonians rely on food banks?
October 17, 2007
The plight of the urban poor is one of the Toronto Star's most cherished issues—so much so, apparently, that of late they've taken to cloning them.


Martin Prosperity Institute
The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors—location, place and city-regions—in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the
importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.

Insight: Working Poor
November 29, 2012
PDF of this Insight (small file, same content as the link above):
Of the numerous issues facing the City of Toronto, transit accessibility and growing income inequality are of primary importance. In previous Martin Prosperity Institute Insights, we looked at the relationship between transit, geography, and income in Toronto. Although lower income city residents are often the most transit dependent, this relationship is traditionally understudied. This Insight will further the analysis regarding transit and income in Toronto, by looking at the relationship between transit accessibility and the working poor population within the different neighbourhoods of the city.
As wage inequality continues to grow in the city of Toronto, it is necessary to not only examine the relationship between transit and unemployment, but also the relationship of transit with low income employed citizens.

Maytree Foundation
Principal funder of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, the Maytree Foundation is a Canadian charitable foundation established in 1982. Maytree believes that there are three fundamental sets of issues which threaten political and social stability: wealth disparities between and within nations; mass migration of people because of war, oppression and environmental disasters; and the degradation of the environment.

Selected site content from Maytree:
(formerly known as the Maytree Foundation)

Charting Prosperity: Practical Ideas for a Stronger Canada - Policy Insights 2011
April 2011

HTML version
PDF version (1.1MB, 96 pages)
This new Maytree publication lists more than 50 actionable policy ideas intended to contribute to Canada’s prosperity while protecting the country's most vulnerable. Policy Insights 2011 breaks down the recommendations into the following categories:
- Income support and social security* (see excerpt below)
- Inclusion and protection**(see excerpt below)
- Democracy and participation
- Immigrant and refugee selection
- Diversity and integration


* Excerpt from the Income support and social security section:

Improve Income Security for Working-age Adults (PDF - 34K, 3 pages)
- Reform EI by raising benefits to 70 percent of insurable earnings, creating uniform requirements across the country and setting premiums counter-cyclically.
- Create a new temporary income program for unemployed Canadians who do not qualify for EI.
- Make improvements to the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) over time so that it extends higher up the income ladder and becomes a major income support for Canadians who work at minimum and low wages.


** Excerpt from the Inclusion and protection section:

Fight Poverty from the Ground Up (PDF - 34K, 2 pages)
By Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement
- Create a Community Fund of $25 million run by an arm’s-length body to help communities operate local decision-making tables.
- Designate and fund a nonprofit organization to provide coaching and other technical assistance to local communities fighting poverty.
- Create a $2 million learning fund (over five years) to promote cross community exchange for poverty reduction

Maytree works with many partners to fight poverty. We listen to the voices of community to understand their needs and issues. We work with government, the central player in creating equity and prosperity. We work with civil society organizations, with employers, and with institutions to make them more effective in building strong and prosperous communities.

Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for transformative change.
Our mission is to promote mental health in Canada, and work with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems, and to improve services and support.

Selected site content:

At Home/Chez Soi
[ Version française du site ]
The At Home/Chez Soi research demonstration project is investigating mental health and homelessness in five Canadian cities: Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. A total of 2285 homeless people living with a mental illness will participate. 1,325 people from that group will be given a place to live, and will be offered services to assist them over the course of the initiative. The remaining participants will receive the regular services that are currently available in their cities. As of February, 2011 - over 1,600 people have become project participants, and over 700 now have homes. The overall goal is to provide evidence about what services and systems could best help people who are living with a mental illness and are homeless. At the same time, the project will provide meaningful and practical support for hundreds of vulnerable people.

What's happening in each of the five participating cities?

Moncton: one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, with a shortage of services for Anglophones and Francophones.

Montreal: different mental health services provided to homeless people in Quebec.

Toronto: ethno-cultural diversity including new immigrants who are non-English speaking.

Winnipeg: urban Aboriginal population.

Vancouver: people who struggle with substance abuse and addictions.

Mental Health Commission of Canada


Related links:

What? Another study?
Study on homeless unlikely to tell us anything we don't know

By Kelly Egan
March 11, 2011
(...) OK. See if we get this straight. One group of homeless will be given permanent homes, help with social and health problems, support with daily living. The other group will not be given homes and will have to navigate the patchwork of services available, which are obviously inadequate or they wouldn't be sleeping in shelters or cardboard hotels.
For $110 million, we want to know "which approach works best." Well, call me Einstein, but I'm going with Door No. 1...
Ottawa Citizen

Metcalf Foundation
The Metcalf Foundation helps Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy, and creative society by supporting dynamic leaders who are strengthening their communities, nurturing innovative approaches to persistent problems, and
encouraging dialogue and learning to inform action.

Selected site content:

Working Poverty Increases in Toronto Region:
New Metcalf Foundation Report: Full-time job earnings often not enough to escape poverty.
February 11, 2012
The number of working poor in the Toronto Region increased by 42% between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study from the Metcalf Foundation. This group accounted for more than 70,000 adults in the city of Toronto and more then 113,000 in the region overall. Toronto’s working poor live in a region with the highest cost of living in Canada, and the second most expensive housing market in the country. While past reports have looked at working poverty on a national level, this report, The “Working Poor” in the Toronto Region: Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing, is the first to look at working poverty in the Toronto Region.

The “Working Poor” in the Toronto Region:
Who they are, where they live, and how trends are changing
(PDF - 9.4MB, 54 pages)
By John Stapleton, Brian Murphy and Yue Xing
February 2012
(...) Here are some key features of the working poor in the Toronto Region:
• They most commonly work in sales and service occupations.
• They work a comparable number of hours and weeks as the rest of the working-age population.
• They are more likely to be living without an adult partner than the rest of the working-age population.
• Working-age immigrants to Canada are over-represented among the working poor.
• They are only slightly less educated on average than the rest of the working-age population.
• Fewer own their own homes.
• They tend to be younger as a group than the working-age population as a whole.
Research on working poverty in Toronto would help to shed more light on the lives of members of this hidden group and help shape appropriate policies and
resources. The following areas of study would help in understanding the situation and needs of this group:
• The income security system and working poverty
• The structure of the job market and working poverty
• Education and working poverty
• Identity and working poverty
We invite researchers to use this paper as a starting point to uncover more on this increasingly important issue for the Toronto Region.

Summary Report (PDF - 2.6MB, 28 pages)

Related link:

From the
Globe and Mail:

The poor in Toronto: They’re working but not getting any richer
By Anna Mehler Paperny
February 11, 2012
(...) Across Canada, a job is no longer a ticket out of poverty, or a safeguard against it. And the number of people working but unable to make ends meet is growing in the country’s most populous urban hub – far faster than in Ontario or Canada as a whole. A study by Toronto researchers provided exclusively to The Globe and Mail provides a granular glimpse of working poverty at the census-tract level. The Metcalf Foundation study, the first of its kind in Canada, documents the changing face of the Toronto area’s workforce.

Interactive Map: Explore the data behind Toronto's working poor

Globe and Mail


Metcalf Releases 'Working Better' by Tom Zizys
Ontario labour market works for no one
New report says: “It’s ours to fix”

News Release
May 10, 2011
TORONTO– A new report released today presents a fresh accounting of the state of Ontario’s labour market and calls for a strategic overhaul. “Working Better: Creating a High-Performing Labour Market in Ontario” was written by Tom Zizys, a Fellow at the Metcalf Foundation, a private family foundation invested in building a just, healthy and creative society. The report takes a look back over the past thirty years, describing a profound alteration in our labour market system. A thorough historical review and present day analysis underline a significant change in the thinking and practices that define how work is organized and managed. Zizys’ research indicates that the current system is not serving anyone.

Working Better: Creating a
High-Performing Labour Market in Ontario
(PDF - 468K, 76 pages)
By Tom Zizys
May 2011

Metcalf Foundation
The  Metcalf  Foundation  helps  Canadians  imagine  and  build  a  just,  healthy, and  creative  society  by  supporting  dynamic  leaders  who  are  strengthening  their communities,  nurturing  innovative  approaches  to  persistent  problems,  and encouraging  dialogue  and  learning  to  inform action.

Related link, also by Tom Zizys:

An Economy Out of Shape: Changing the Hourglass (PDF - 731K, 53 pages)
By Tom Zizys
April 1, 2010
This Toronto Workforce Innovation Group report examines changes in the occupational structure of the labour force in the City of Toronto and the rest of Ontario using Statistics Canada census data. The purpose of this report is to highlight trends, isolate the impact of these trends on different population groups, and offer recommendations that can contribute to economic growth and productivity as well as promote equitable outcomes for all workers
Toronto Workforce Innovation Group


Zero Dollar Linda and Million Dollar Murray
Metcalf Innovation Fellow John Stapleton releases a new report that explores the weaknesses in the design of North American social welfare institutions through the stories of two individuals.

Complete report:

“Zero Dollar Linda“ : A Meditation on Malcolm Gladwell’s “Million Dollar Murray,“
the Linda Chamberlain Rule, and the Auditor General of Ontario
(PDF - 225K, 28 pages)
By John Stapleton
November 2010
(...) I believe we need to create a space in the public conversation to talk about building social assistance policies based on trust in the majority, not suspicion of a minority of outliers. We need intelligent rules, administered with positive discretion, by public servants who are educated and supported in this approach.

Related links:

Million-Dollar Murray:
Why problems like homelessness may be easier to solve than to manage
February 13, 2006
"(...) Murray Barr used more health-care dollars than almost anyone in the state of Nevada. It would probably have been cheaper to give him a full-time nurse and his own apartment."
The cost of chronic homelessness in America, and Philip Mangano's solution.

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website
TIP: Check out John's Publications - Media Commentaries - Presentations

Lies, damn lies and...
Poverty statistics?

If your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of poverty lines and/or unemployment statistics, I think you'll appreciate this short discussion/reflexion paper by Canadian social policy experts Richard Shillington and John Stapleton. It's an overview of, and observations about, Canada's poverty measurement tools; it includes discussion (or reflexion) points for further study or group discussions. Did YOU know that there are four different ways to measure Employment Insurance coverage of the Canadian workforce? And what the heck is a B/U ratio, anyway? Click below to find out.

Cutting Through the Fog:
Why is it so hard to make sense of poverty measures?
(PDF - 186K, 22 pages)

Richard Shillington and John Stapleton
May 2010
(...) This paper is intended to open up some room for thoughtful discussion about poverty issues among interested Canadians. The goal is not to tell anyone what to think, but to encourage all of us to question.
(...) Data can be presented in many different ways, depending on the goals of the person or group providing the data. It is important to question what is being measured, how it is measured, and when it was measured.
(...) Being critical of the statistics used as “evidence” for a point of view involves finding out what assumptions underlie the numbers.
For example, you might hear that:
• the percentage of Canadians living in poverty is around 15%...or only 5%, or
• Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program covers approximately 85% of the unemployed…or only 45%.
(...) The gap between these statistics is so large because they measure different things.

Metcalf Foundation
The goal of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy, and creative society.

Related links:

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website
Tristat Resources - Richard Shillington's website

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Organizations Links page:

More links to John Stapleton's recent published work
- this link takes you further down on the page you're now reading


Report: Why don't we want the poor to own anything?
News Release
October 21, 2009
Overly strict welfare eligibility rules are forcing Ontario’s newly unemployed to divest themselves of all their assets, crippling their chances for an economic recovery. Why Don’t We Want the Poor to Own Anything?, by John Stapleton, Metcalf Foundation Fellow and a leading social policy expert, reveals weaknesses in Ontario’s asset limits for those seeking social assistance, disability support, subsidized housing and legal aid.
Metcalf Foundation

Complete report:
Why don't we want the poor to own anything?
Our relentless social policy journey toward destitution for the 900,000 poorest people in Ontario
(PDF - 983K, 30 pages)
By John Stapleton
(...) 475,000 families receive social assistance in Ontario. They have stripped themselves of their liquid assets. They must wait until they no longer require legal aid, and leave public housing, before they can resume saving for anything, let alone save for retirement. In a society that promotes saving and cherishes self-reliance, there is no good rationale for public policy that almost guarantees people will grow old in poverty.

Related links:

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website


The welfare asset trap
October 21 2009
It is well known that when the Conservatives came to power in 1995 Mike Harris gutted welfare rates – leaving needy Ontarians living far below the poverty line. Less well known is that changes were also made to force Ontarians to divest themselves of almost every cent of savings, including cashable RRSPs, before they could qualify for a welfare cheque. In a report to be released Oct. 21, Metcalf Foundation fellow John Stapleton presents a compelling case for allowing welfare recipients to keep some savings. (...) Asset-stripping is just one of the failings of our outdated and mean-spirited social assistance system. The government's promised social assistance review – still waiting to be launched – will find many other hurdles in the path of those in need of a helping hand.
The Toronto Star

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page:


Public Policy 201: A Primer for Non-Profit Organizations
The Role of Legislation in Reducing Poverty in Ontario
March 23, 2009 (Toronto)
"(...) This workshop is designed to strengthen the understanding of people working in the non-profit sector of public policy, and how non-profits can work with government to influence change. It is part of an ongoing series for those in organizations who want to understand the policy process and would benefit from a forum for candid exchange of ideas. This session will use as a case study the poverty reduction bill that was introduced into Ontario’s legislature on February 25, 2009."


Income Security for Working-Age Adults in Canada:
Let’s consider the model under our nose
(PDF - 220K, 18 pages)
John Stapleton
November 2008
- incl.: * A Short History of Income Security Programs in Canada * The Evolution of Income Security for Seniors * The Evolution of Child Benefits * What Do Seniors' and Children's Programs Have in Common * Do We Have Similar Programs for Working-Age Adults? * A Note About CPP and EI * A New Model for Income Security for Working-Age Adults * Building a Strategy to Reduce Poverty Among Working-Age Adults * How Would the Account-Based Model Work? * Making the New System Transparent for Canadians * What If We Took Poor Working-Age Adults Off Welfare?

"The paper builds upon the recommendations outlined in John’s 2007 Metcalf report, Why is it so tough to get ahead? How our tangled social programs pathologize the transition to self-reliance [PDF file - 1MB, 62 pages]. It also expands upon a framework for income security reform put forward to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Subcommittee on Cities investigating urban poverty (see June 2008 Senate report entitled Poverty, Housing and Homelessness: Issues and Options [PDF - 696K, 96 pages])."

Obama puts poor back on agenda
Social policy expert John Stapleton believes new federal tax programs for working-age adults may one day be as important as today's pensions and child tax benefits.
New U.S. leader has vowed to cut poverty. Now it's time to see what Canada can do.
November 8, 2008
Laurie Monsebraaten
As part of his compelling "Yes We Can" campaign to make meaningful change in the lives of average Americans, President-elect Barack Obama promised to cut poverty in half within a decade. Canada has no plan to fight poverty. And Stephen Harper's Conservatives didn't offer one during our recent federal election. But with Obama's historic win this week, many anti-poverty activists here believe new pressure is on Ottawa to address social and economic inequality. However, social policy expert John Stapleton argues in a new report that the foundation of a Canadian plan is already in place.
The Toronto Star

Metro Network for Social Justice - non-profit network of 230 organizations committed to promoting social and economic justice for everyone in the City of Toronto (formerly Metro Toronto)

Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults ("MISWAA")
- this link will take you further down on the page you're now reading to "TASK FORCE on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults"

Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation
The Mowat Centre is an independent, non-partisan think tank. Our research focuses on the federal policy frameworks and strategies that will most strongly affect Ontario's prosperity and quality of life in the next century. Our research is comparative, our recommendations are evidence-based and our proposals are grounded in an understanding of how government works and what makes Canada special.

Selected site content:

Filling the Gap: Measuring Ontario's Balance with the Federation (PDF - 3.1MB, 14 pages)
By Noah Zon
March 28, 2013
This Mowat Note examines the balance between what Ontarians pay to the federal government and the amount returned in services and transfers to Ontario and Ontarians. We find that based on the latest available figures, Ontarians transfer approximately $11B on net to the rest of Canada. This transfer is equivalent to 1.9% of the province’s GDP.


Young men the face of poverty in post-recession Canada: study
By Heather Scoffield
November 23, 2010
OTTAWA - The recession has left a lingering bruise on an increasingly vulnerable sector of Canadian society: young, single men.(...) John Stapleton, a social policy researcher [who] has just completed an exhaustive study of social assistance during the recession, for the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation. Stapleton has sifted through welfare data from five provinces representing 79 per cent of the country's population, and found that the recession has revealed two key trends. The good news, he writes in his draft paper, is that federal and provincial programs for families have helped single mothers deal with poverty. (...) The opposite is true for young, single men. In Ontario, the number in this group on welfare has risen 61 per cent in nine years, to 148,000 from 92,000.Similar increases were found in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, Stapleton writes. "Single, young men are the new face of poverty in Canadian cities," he says.
(...) For Stapleton, the solution lies partly in the success governments have had in helping single moms.
If provincial, federal and municipal governments can target young single people with a variety of supports — the way they've done with lone parents — then impoverished young men will find it easier to make ends meet, he says.
Winnipeg Free Press

Related links:

Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation
Applied public policy research informed by Ontario's reality

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website

From the
National Council of Welfare (NCW):

NOTE : The National Council of Welfare closed its doors and shut down its website at the end of September 2012.
For more information, see

The links to the three reports below are functional because the files are copied to my web server.

Over the years, the Council has produced many reports on poverty and welfare, but there are three that stand out in my mind as milestone reports on the history of welfare in Canada, at least since the 1980s.

1. 1987
Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net
(PDF - 2.7MB, 131 pages)
November 1987
Tangled Safety Net examines the following issues in Canadian social assistance network of programs:
* Complex rules * Needs-testing * Rates of assistance * Enforcement * Appeals * Recommendations
This report is the first comprehensive national analysis of social assistance programs operated by the provincial, territorial and municipal governments. These programs function as the safety net for Canadians and are better known by their everyday name ‘welfare’.

Version française :
Le bien-être social au Canada : Un filet de sécurité troué (PDF - 3Mo., 138 pages)
Novembre 1987
[ NOTA : Si vous trouvez un lien vers ce fichier en français, veuillez communiquer avec moi pour le partager.
Merci! ]


2. 1992
Welfare Reform
(PDF - 2.8MB, 61 pages)
Summer 1992
This report is an update of the 1987 Tangled Safety Net, but it presents information by jurisdiction rather than by issue - covers all provinces and territories.

Version française:
Réforme du bien-être social (PDF - 3,5Mo., 63 pages)


3. 1997
Another Look at Welfare Reform
(PDF - 6.75MB, 134 pages)
Autumn 1997
- an in-depth analysis of changes in Canadian welfare programs in the 1990s. The report focuses on the provincial and territorial reforms that preceded the repeal of the Canada Assistance Plan and those that followed the implementation of the Canada Health and Social Transfer in April 1996.
[Proactive disclosure : I did the research for, and wrote the provincial-territorial section of, this report while I was on a one-year secondment to the Council. Gilles ]

Version française:
Un autre regard sur la réforme du bien-être social (PDF - 8Mo., 148 pages)


Companion document to
Another Look:

Overview of Provincial (and Territorial)
Welfare Reforms in the 1990s

October 1998
Fifteen pages of research notes used in the production of Another Look at Welfare Reform.
HINT: There's a WEALTH of information on provincial-territorial welfare reforms in these pages that didn't make it to the final report!


National Council of Welfare
Established in 1969, the Council is an advisory group to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (originally the Minister of Health and Welfare Canada). The mandate of the Council is to advise the Minister regarding any matter relating to social development that the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration or that the Council considers appropriate.

October 6 (2012)
The National Council of Welfare closed its doors and shut down its website at the end of September 2012.
For more information, see


National Post

Corporate ‘welfare’ costs Ontario $3-billion a year: report
Dec 8, 2011
By Tristin Hopper

Toronto welfare caseload stabilizing
December 14, 2009
By Rebecca Ryall
Toronto's welfare caseload is stabilizing as unemployment dips, but there are warnings the city's struggling economy isn't out of the woods yet.

"Nellie's is a non-profit women's organization (in Toronto) helping women and children in crisis locate safe affordable housing, support services and a bridge to a better future. We operate a 36 bed emergency shelter for women and children who are homeless and women and children leaving violence. The Community Support Program provides aftercare and follow-up support and service to women and children who have left the shelter and are now living in the community."
- excellent collection of online resources --- incl. links to : Women's Shelters (Toronto and surrounding area | Ontario | Canada) - Issues (Poverty | Housing/Homelessness | Violence against women | Health | First Nations women | Consumer/Survivor) - Projects | Feminist | Children | Immigrant women | Lesbians | Women and the law |Transgendered women
Research (Reports | Statistics) - Action (Useful e-mail addresses | Marches and vigils)

New York Times

The View From Inside a Depression
By Joe Nocera
October 16, 2009
- review of a new book dealing with the 1930s Depression, and a cautionary note about assuming that the worst of the current financial crisis in the U.S. is over...

No Excuse - The poverty blog
"No Excuse is a blog managed and mostly written by Hamilton Spectator poverty beat reporter, Bill Dunphy, and is part of the paper's larger Poverty Project. Look here daily for news items, events, resources, and a chance to engage in discussions with the paper, Dunphy and each other."

Related Link:
Hamilton Spectator

NOW Magazine (Toronto)

Anti-poverty flame-out
Movement will get burned if it doesn't start hooking up with other social causes
August 2, 2007
By Wayne Roberts
The broken promise seems long ago, but Campaign 2000 is on the case, calling two weeks ago for all parties in the October Ontario election to update the commitment they made in the 80s to end child poverty by the new millennium the last one, that is. The Campaign's proposal has merit, ethics and logic on its side. But something in the strategy feels stale-dated. It's easy to imagine the project will be stuck on the remainder self with other single-interest group campaigns that made headway during the 20th century but are sputtering and stalling today.

NOTE: In the July 15/07 issue of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, you'll find links to two Toronto Star articles about the Campaign 2000 initiative calling for all three provincial political parties to commit to developing a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy: the first article offers contextual information about the initiative, and the second contains reactions of each of the provincial parties. In the same section of the July 15 newsletter, you'll find links to the July 2007 Campaign 2000 Poverty Reduction Strategy Discussion Paper, along with links to 50+ Toronto Star articles in their recent War on Poverty series...

Links to Canadian municipalities' websites
(organized by province/territory)
-from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario


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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