Ontario has received a new report from the Income Security Reform Working Groups, with recommendations for helping people living on low incomes get ahead.
The report, Income Security: A Roadmap for Change, includes specific advice to government to help guide decisions on a multi-year path for reforming the income security system.
The government is now reviewing the report and will use it as a guide as it considers changes to the income security system in 2018.
While Ontario's economy is strong, not everyone is experiencing the same opportunities. More people are facing job insecurity and essential needs are out of reach for many. Ontario has made improvements to the social assistance system, including:
While improvements are ongoing, the government agrees with the need to fundamentally reform the income security system, including the transformation of social assistance, to ensure all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and are inspired to reach their full potential, with particular attention to the needs and experience of Indigenous peoples.
The province is also taking actions that support people living on low incomes including the expansion of the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), the introduction of OHIP+ -which will provide free prescription medications to children and youth up to 24 years old starting January 1, 2018 - and proposing the largest increase to the minimum wage in the province's history, raising it to $15 per hour by 2019.
Creating a fair, modern, accountable and effective income security system is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
“I want to thank the members of the Working Groups for their hard work and the thoughtful advice and recommendations they have provided us. Our government agrees with the need to reform the income security system to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect. We understand the importance of this work and the fundamental need for reform to social assistance programs. We need to get this right through careful planning to reform the system into one that is fair and supportive, and puts the person at the centre.”
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