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‘Humans are suffering’: Axing of basic income pilot project leaves trail of broken dreams

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The Star and other media organizations have documented how participants have been able to eat healthier food, buy warm clothing, move into stable housing and enrol in college… In addition to the court challenge, mayors of the pilot communities, international researchers, the Hamilton and Thunder Bay Chambers of Commerce, 900 medical professionals and the CEOs of 120 Canadian companies have called on both Queen’s Park and Ottawa to continue the research project the remaining two years.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »


Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Parents unable to manage or co-ordinate their adult son or daughter’s daily life believe the only options are day programs, which cost as much as $35,000 a year, or residential care, that typically runs at $140,000 annually, McGill says. Independent facilitators, however, work with individuals to discover their dreams, interests and goals and connect them with much less costly community resources.

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Autistic teen Miles Kirsh: Province steps in to provide housing

Friday, September 28th, 2012

September 24, 2012
The provincial ombudsman’s office has assured Donna Kirsh that Ontario’s social services ministry is working to find a way to keep her 19-year-old autistic son in respite care until funding for permanent group home care is available… In the meantime, the Barrie-area respite home where Miles has been staying since Sept. 5 has reduced its $400-a-day cost by $80.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | 1 Comment »


Frantic parents search for housing for severely autistic son

Monday, September 24th, 2012

September 22, 2012
[Despite] an additional $25 million for residential services for people in urgent need… the need has likely far exceeded the funds… “This is a provincial, system-wide problem and it is bad in all regions”… waiting lists for residential care are growing daily and many people are falling through the cracks. “Some end up in hospital, long-term care and prisons”…

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Ontario dead last in terms of inequality, poverty and funding for public services

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

August 29, 2012
… according to Ontario’s finance ministry and 2012 budget, the province spends less than any other province on public programs and services. Provincial budget advisor Don Drummond said this is a sign of fiscal prudence and good management. But… Ontarians are paying for this through reduced services and the highest user fees in the country. Last spring’s cuts to social assistance, school closures, cancelled hospital projects, delayed child benefits, eroded social housing budgets and public sector restructuring that will result in “thousands” of lost jobs, will only make matters worse…

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | 8 Comments »


Ontario’s Trillium Benefit: A new way to help the poor

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

July 12, 2012
About 3.5 million low- and moderate-income Ontarians this week are receiving their first Trillium Benefit, a provincial initiative that combines three quarterly tax credits into a new monthly payment… Designed to help households better manage their monthly expenses by providing the money earlier and more frequently than before, the benefit, worth about $2.4 billion annually, is the first outside Quebec to be paid monthly through the tax system to all low- and moderate-income people. Quebec’s monthly “Solidarity Tax Credit” was also introduced this month.

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Tackling the income gap in Canadian cities

Monday, July 9th, 2012

July 08, 2012
Toronto’s middle-class suburbs of the 1970s have turned into “urban deserts” of growing poverty while the city centre has become an enclave for the ultra rich… the middle class is shrinking… This type of large-scale data analysis combined with local, participatory research has never been done on a national scale… The goal is to create “a more inclusive society in which youth have hope for the future, newcomers are welcomed, the elderly have support in their communities…

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »


… Destitution Day

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Jun 06 2012
The D is for destitution, and it is the date a single person on welfare would run out of money if he or she were living at the poverty line, according to Social Planning Toronto… Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off, after taxes, for a single person living in a large city like Toronto is about $19,800. “We have dubbed June 7 Destitution Day to highlight the severity of poverty in Toronto and the inadequacy of government benefits in light of the upcoming provincial social assistance review”… “What is striking is that even in the most affluent wards of the city there are still substantial numbers of people living in poverty,” he said. “In every ward there is a good-sized small town living in poverty.”

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Ontario’s Youth Leaving Care hearings call for fundamental change to child welfare system

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

May 14 2012
The goal is to make Ontario a better parent to roughly 8,300 children and youth in its care and make their transition to adulthood more secure. The report being released Monday at Queen’s Park, says the government should act immediately to raise the age of financial and emotional support from 21 to 25; allow youth to stay in foster care beyond age 18; and declare a “Youth in Care Day” to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


Welfare rate freeze really a cut, activists say

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Mar 27 2012
“What was the point of all of those meetings and consultations on a poverty reduction strategy anyway?” she said Tuesday, referring to the province’s 2008 plan to cut child poverty by 25 per cent in five years… With the latest Consumer Price Index pegged at 2.9 per cent over last year, the freeze is, in fact, a cut, anti-poverty activists say… (especially given) the budget’s plan next January to eliminate two benefits that help people on welfare with urgent housing-related expenses once every 24 months… In addition, the budget is also capping health-related discretionary benefits for adults on Ontario Works, which pays for things like funerals, glasses and emergency dental care.

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