Statement by Minister MacLeod on Social Assistance Plan

Lisa MacLeod,

When I was sworn into Cabinet 138 days ago, Premier Ford made two things clear. Not only does Ontario’s social assistance system need to be fixed, it must be both responsive and accountable to the people it’s meant to serve.

For 100 of those days, we have worked toward the goal of fixing our social assistance system and its disjointed patchwork of programs. The previous government’s solution aimlessly threw money at the problem without any plan to help people get out of poverty. The only measurable outcome has been trapping the very people the system is there to assist, in a deeper cycle of financial insecurity.

One in seven Ontarians live in poverty.

Half the people who leave Ontario Works return, four out of five within a year.

That is unacceptable.

Ontarians deserve a system where those with disabilities are treated with dignity and where hard work and commitment by recipients is met by empowerment and trust from their government.

The best social safety net is a compassionate and caring society where everyone, not just government, is part of the solution. The best social circumstances are when those who are able, actively participate in the workforce. And the best social program is a job.

I look forward to sharing our plan for social assistance reform on November 22

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