Policy and Research Committee--2016 Report

The mandate of the Policy/Research Committee (PRC) is to research current issues related to ODSP law, policy and reform proposals, to recommend positions on key issues to the Steering Committee and general membership, and to produce letters, submissions or information papers that the Coalition can use in its advocacy work. 

We have spent the past year preparing to provide analysis on whatever social assistance restructuring and broader income security reform the government undertakes. We started in fall of 2015 with a look at how government policymakers look at social assistance structures and rates, to help us understand what types of improvements might have the best chance of being adopted by government. We then looked more closely into current social assistance rates and other income, including the way income support for families has already been restructured with the replacement of most social assistance income for children with the child benefits. We spent a meeting on employment income, and another looking at the benefit unit issues that we feel need to be changed. Early this year we took our first look at "Basic Income" or "Guaranteed Income" and the variety of ideas different people have about that. We also had a discussion of different ways that a new Housing Benefit separate from social assistance could be delivered.

Our committee always keeps the adequacy of income for people with disabilities as the number one concern. Therefore, any changes to benefits or new programs must be judged by whether they lift people out of poverty or not. This fall, we are preparing for the release of the recommendations by Hugh Segal on how the pilot project on Basic Income will be set up. We plan to get our analysis and response out to our members and allies as soon as we can in order to contribute to this important debate.

Policy Committee meetings are held by phone and in person on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. 

To be added to the PRC committee email list, please contact the current recipient co-chair, Patricia Smiley (smileypatricia76@gmail.com).