In the 2013 Budget, the government announced a number of changes to social assistance. These were introduced as first steps in a plan to reform Ontario’s social assistance programs – removing barriers and increasing opportunities for everyone to participate in the workforce.
Those first steps came out of recommendations proposed by the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario on how to improve benefits and the way they are delivered. The government recognizes that changing programs this large will take time and require input from a wide variety of perspectives.
The Commission conducted broad consultations to inform their recommendations, talking with people and groups across the province and reviewing hundreds of submissions.
To develop a plan for next steps, the ministry is setting up discussions with representatives from municipalities, delivery partners, past and current recipients, employers, academics, community organizations and others. Input will be used to help the ministry set priorities and work through the choices needed to improve our programs.
The ministry will also engage in separate and substantive discussions with First Nation communities to ensure their needs are properly understood and appropriately addressed.
The initial changes announced in the Budget were aimed at helping people find jobs, improving incomes and increasing fairness. The plan for further changes will continue to focus on these areas and seek advice on how to best achieve them, as well as how to improve our program delivery.
Our engagement builds on what the Commission heard through their consultation, but does not try to repeat it. Your input is welcome and more information will be shared as we move ahead. You can write to us through our Contact us page. Just select “Social Assistance Reform” from the list of feedback topics.
Read our Questions and Answers about the budget.
Read the 2013 Ontario Budget