Coalition Meets Commission Reviewing Social Assistance

On July 6 representatives of the ODSP Action Coalition met with Francis Lankin and Munir Sheikh, the commissioners who are currently reviewing Ontario Works and ODSP.  We gave them highlights from our submission, Dignity, Adequacy, Inclusion: Rethinking the Ontario Disability Support Program.  We were impressed that they had taken the time to read our substantial brief (which we had sent in advance).   Key recommendations which we highlighted included:  


The Coalition had an opportunity to meet with members of the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC) in late January, and to present them with a list of quick changes that could be made to some of the "stupid rules" in ODSP.  This Council was recently appointed by the government to give advice on two things:  some "quick fix" changes to counterproductive rules, and the mandate and scope of a more conprehensive social assistance review to be carried out later this year.


The ODSP Action Coalition is requesting individuals and groups to endorse our Disability Declaration.  The Declaration sets out some of the rights that people with disabilities have according to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and then states what changes the Ontario government needs to make to ODSP to fulfill those rights.  Although Canada has not yet ratified the Convention, the Coalition beleives it is important for people with disabilities and organizations that work with them to use it in articulating how and why their needs must be met.