Defining disability for social assistance in Ontario: Options for moving forward

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

A stable and well-functioning social support system for people with disabilities in financial need will be crucial during and after the crisis. This report explores the role of ODSP, the risks of narrowing the definition of disability, models of disability assessment from other jurisdictions, and alternative ways that the government could reform the program… A simplified assessment system would save time and money for applicants, medical professionals, legal clinics, adjudicators, and the Social Benefits Tribunal.

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Submission to the Government of Ontario regarding a provincial poverty reduction strategy

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Maytree outlines the principles that should make up the foundation of the province’s five-year poverty reduction strategy and illustrates how these principles translate into action. This strategy will be implemented amid and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis will have ripple effects across the province for years to come… It is crucial that Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy strengthens or builds systems to protect people from the worst impacts and facilitates an economic recovery that benefits all.

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What poverty reduction advocates should know about the updated poverty measure

Friday, February 28th, 2020

… the basket now includes the cost of cell phone services… actual rents… updated in line with inflation… Under the new measure poverty has fallen from 14.5% in 2015 to 11.0% in 2018… it’s designed to show the overall level of poverty across a population rather than determine if a particular household is in poverty… to track how poverty is changing in different regions and for different groups. It’s best used to inform poverty reduction efforts… the data shows that single working-age adults have one of the highest poverty rates.

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The tax cuts you might vote for, but might not notice

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Would someone earning over $60,000 notice that they got another $420 a year by 2023 through the Conservative Party’s Universal Tax Cut? … if someone handed you $420 in 2023, you’d notice. But that’s not how this tax cut is going to be delivered. It’ll be incremental… Surely there must be a better way to spend over $5.5 billion a year. Couldn’t this money be better spent on healthcare, housing, infrastructure, and/or paying down the deficit?

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How to make community housing work better for Ontarians

Friday, June 28th, 2019

The proposed regulations to simplify the RGI rent amounts aim to reduce barriers to work and decrease administrative complexity. However, as currently outlined they would create a two-tier system that would make it harder for social assistance recipients to enter employment. To avoid this, our submission on the RGI calculation recommends the government consider disregarding social assistance payments from income for the purposes of calculating RGI rent amounts.

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Maytree’s roundup of the federal government’s 2019 budget

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

The highlights of the budget included support for first-time home buyers, retraining during working-age, retirement security, and funding for a national drugs agency to start initial work on important parts of a (potential) pharmacare program… also a significant investment in Indigenous communities and reconciliation.

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