Update: Consultations on the Review are now complete. Final recommendations of the Commission are expected sometime in September 2012.
Ontario's social assistance delivery is under review! By June of 2012,the Commission on the Review of Social Assistance will suggest changes to the system. Those changes will have long-term impacts on women and children in Ontario who struggle with poverty. But it is up to the Ontario government whether or not the changes are good for women and children.
Now is the time to join with other women and anti-poverty activists to organize against poverty and violence against women and to tell government it must focus specifically on gender and equity in its response to poverty in Ontario. It must change the system so that it helps, not hurts, women and mothers from all communities in Ontario.
There are groups working to end poverty and violence against women in Ontario that have information you can use to tell both the Commission and your MPP what you want.
Here are some ways to get involved right now!
- Read materials on the website of the Commission at: http://www.socialassistancereview.ca/home Check out the latest proposals for change by the Commission in Approaches to Reform to see what it is suggesting for ways to change social assistance. Read what others have suggested to the Commission. The Commission website lists a number of ways you can contact them directly at: http://www.socialassistancereview.ca/wed-like-to-hear-from-you.
- Get information from women who work with low-income women to evaluate Commission suggestions for changing social assistance at http://sareview.ca/ a website created by the Income Security Advocacy Centre. There you can also get a summary and analysis of Commission suggestions entitled: The Options Paper--What does it say and what does it mean? Click on the title to read it now.
- Organize in your area or organization to respond together. The Income Security Advocacy Centre can help you share your ideas and concerns with others in your community so you can organize together for a stronger voice. Visit the site at http://sareview.ca/ for resources, recorded webinars on the review issues and an MPP Lobby Kit. There are also very helpful resources about the current social assistance system on the ISAC main site at http://www.incomesecurity.org/.
- Visit our Resources pages for more information and materials. Our Systemic Issues and Responses section has resources on violence against women, poverty, housing, and more. Find information on the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Social Assistance Review in our Related Government Documents section. Read the Province of Ontario Poverty Reduction Act in our Related Legislation and Regulation section.
- Click HEREto read and download the OAITH response to the latest Approaches to Reform: Discussion Paper 2.