1. Income Security
Social Assistance Review Advisory Council Report
The Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC) was appointed by the Government of Ontario in 2009 and had a two-fold mandate:
- Advise the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding possible short-term changes to social assistance that would improve the program for beneficiaries without adding substantial costs.
- Submit recommendations to the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding the scope and terms of reference for a review of Ontario’s social assistance system.
The council was chaired by Daily Bread Executive Director Gail Nyberg, and included Daily Bread’s then-Public Affairs Director Michael Oliphant. The full report was released in June 2010 and made recommendations for conducting a review of Ontario’s income security system, focusing on six “strategies for reform”. The short-term changes were originally submitted in February 2010. Four of the thirteen recommendations were announced by Minister Meilluer alongside the provincial budget in March 2010.
Both reports can be downloaded below.
Daily Bread has a strong public policy track record that arose from its research fact base, and strong relationships with key stakeholders and policy experts.
After a decade of continued advocacy, this work created much of the solid foundation for the current proposed action plan on provincial income security reform proposed by the government-appointed Income Security Reform Working Group entitled “Income Security: A Roadmap for Change”
Our advocacy accomplishments include:
- Helping low-income seniors access the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- Working with the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation to exempt Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) from Ontario’s social assistance asset rules
- Achieving the new Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) for low-income families with children, working with other organizations such as MISWAA
- Pressing the Ontario government to commit to a Poverty Reduction Strategy
- Developing a Material Deprivation Index as a new measure of poverty in Ontario
- Working with the National Housing Collaborative to get the federal government to commit to a federal housing benefit