ISAC Forum on Social Assistance

Time for a Bold Review: Making Social Assistance Meet the Poverty Reduction Test

The current social assistance system in Ontario “stomps people into the ground,” says Premier McGuinty.

The question is: What is going to be done about it?

In December 2008, the Ontario government committed to review the province’s social assistance system. This commitment was part of Ontario’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy and was restated in the 2009 budget.

765,000 people rely on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program. And thousands of newly unemployed Ontarians will soon be forced to turn to these programs. We are all entitled to a system that gives real assistance when we need it. Social assistance must provide adequate income and meaningful supports to ensure recipients can live lives marked by dignity, decency and opportunity.

Our four insightful and powerful panellists will discuss why we need a bold Social Assistance Review, and how this kind of significant change can take place.

Crystal Chin is currently a recipient of ODSP and an active advocate on the Barrier Free Council at Ann Johnston Health Station. Crystal has recently become involved with the ODSP Action Coalition and is a long-time volunteer at Bloorview Kids Rehab.

Marion Overholt is Staff Lawyer at Legal Assistance of Windsor and a long time poverty law activist and social justice advocate. She is the Social Justice Representative on the Windsor and District Labour Council and chairs the Ford/CAW Local 200 Workplace Adjustment Committee.

Angela Robertson is the Executive Director of Sistering — A Woman’s Place, and a dedicated community advocate with a commitment to anti-racism, feminism, community-based research, and social justice. Angela is the 2009 YWCA award recipient for social change.

Judy Rebick is a well-known social justice activist, educator, writer and speaker, and holds the Sam Gindin chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University. She is also the founder of, Canada’s most popular independent online news and discussion site.

Join us to make a clear and compelling call for a bold and broad Social Assistance Review — one that leads to economic security for all Ontarians.

Date: June 23, 2009
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Multi-Faith Centre Auditorium, Koffler Institute Building
University of Toronto, 569 Spadina Avenue

For more information about this event email [email protected] or call 416-597-5820

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