• Hot!

    Ontario’s soaring poverty gap ‘starkest’ for single adults as welfare rates stagnate

    … it doesn’t make sense to make large increases to welfare rates without fixing the system’s hundreds of complicated rules that work to trap recipients in poverty. “It could work… as long as it… can look at the interaction with social housing, the minimum wage and other supports low-income people rely on.” Also in the mix are provincial plans… to pilot a Basic Income, a form of guaranteed annual income, and a housing benefit outside social assistance that promise to offer opportunities to help all low-income people, including those on welfare.

  • Hot!

    Guaranteed income the answer

    … administration of Ontario Works and ODSP… costs are just the tip of the iceberg to administer a system that keeps people in abject poverty, is punitive and provides little incentive for people to improve their economic circumstances… a GAI system similar to the federal Old Age Security… would reduce administration costs drastically, would restore dignity to low-income individuals and families and would provide more incentive to improve economic circumstances.

  • Fumbling at the top

    Community and Social Services Minister Helena Jaczek, was warned directly that there were “significant” problems with the system before it was launched back in November, 2014. Nonetheless, the government went ahead anyway – a move that eventually cost $52 million in fixes on top of the system’s $240 million price tag… This is the kind of thing that voters remember.

  • Hot!

    Canada Social Report – Social Assistance Summaries, 2015 edition

    With the help of provincial and territorial government contacts from across the country, we have updated the Social Assistance Summaries with 2015 data. Individual reports from the provinces and territories are now ready for download… Improving access to capital for Canada’s First Nation communities… Provincial/Territorial and Federal Policy Monitors

  • Fix for Ontario’s disability program is long overdue

    … doctors won’t have to fill out 21-page application forms again every time a recipient’s case comes up for a simple review. Nor will they have to re-do everything from psychological assessments to x-rays to back it up. That should provide savings in both medical tests and doctors’ time. It should also provide savings in legal aid, since so many applicants currently need help on the complicated review documents and appeals.

  • Hot!

    The ugly truth: Many Canadians didn’t have enough food this year

    Over 4 million Canadians, including 1.15 million children experience some level of food insecurity… adults in more severely food-insecure households are more likely to report chronic health conditions as well as receive diagnoses of multiple health conditions… total healthcare costs – including inpatient hospital care, emergency department visits, physician services, same-day surgeries and home care services – increase significantly with the level of household food insecurity.

  • Hot!

    Welfare in Canada, 2014

    In 2014, welfare incomes for single employable households ranged from 38.2 percent of the after-tax poverty line in Manitoba to a ‘high’ of 64.7 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador. Most of the other jurisdictions cluster around the lower rate. Welfare incomes for single persons with disabilities, while low, were slightly higher, ranging from 49.6 percent of the poverty line in Alberta to 69.9 percent in Ontario.

  • Hot!

    The Canada Social Report… So Far

    The Canada Social Report provides information that includes, but goes well beyond, Census-based data. The Welfare Incomes, Social Assistance Summaries, Social Policy Record and Minimum Wage sections are prime examples. This paper describes the current content of the Canada Social Report… It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

  • Hot!

    Ontario government botches rollout of welfare technology

    … a pricetag that has already swelled by 20 per cent; the fact that department has fumbled the implementation of programs by two different suppliers; reports from local caseworkers that the system still has serious deficiencies – suggest the changeover was poorly planned and executed… The 566,800 Ontarians who depend on social assistance are the province’s most vulnerable residents. More than half have disabilities. It is bad enough that the government doesn’t provide enough financial support to meet their basic needs; to subject them to needless bureaucratic misery is just heartless.

  • Hot!

    Ontario’s disastrous computer roll-out will trouble welfare rolls for months to come

    The consultants reported at the end of April that the government needed a major, but major, recovery plan, practically a do-over. They identified 57 high-priority fixes, just to get started with… They called it an “integrated transition plan”… The plan is still not done… The people who use SAMS are now at least familiar with its failings… But it’s still inefficient at basic tasks like changing the address on a welfare recipient’s file, which drives workers nuts.