Ontario to Launch Welfare Review

Former StatsCan head and ex-United Way chief to take charge

CBC news, Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ontario is launching what it has billed to be the biggest review of social assistance programs in more than 20 years, with the goal of getting more people jobs and financial stability.

Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced the review at a media conference on Tuesday, saying it would benefit clients and taxpayers.


Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced Tuesday the first comprehensive review of Ontario’s social assistance programs in 20 years. (Tobin Grimshaw/Canadian Press)

“Our ultimate goal is to empower low-income Ontarians, including social assistance recipients, to break out of the cycle of poverty,” she said in a
release.

Canada’s former chief statistician Munir Sheikh and the former United Way Toronto’s past president Frances Lankin will head the assessment.

The review, which has been touted by the McGuinty government as the first step toward providing social assistance and better training and education,
will start in January and finish in June 2012.

Gail Nyberg, executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank, said the current state of social assistance was inadequate.

“The broad scope of this review will get us where we need to go to really extend opportunity to everyone,” said Nyberg, who formerly chaired the
Social Assistance Review Advisory Council.

Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten said the move demonstrates the province’s “continued commitment to reducing barriers and increasing
opportunities for low-income individuals.”

Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program currently provide social assistance benefits for more than 830,000 people in the province.

Reproduced from http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/11/30/ontario-social-assistance-review454.html#ixzz16p4jHp8O