The recently released Final Report of the Income Security Working Group provides a promising roadmap to a better way. The work that this group has done is excellent. This is an essential companion piece to other efforts of the government to reduce poverty, such as The Fair Workplaces Act and the proposed $15 minimum wage.
Ontario’s two social assistance programs, Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) do not provide anything near an adequate income for health. For example, in 2014, the benefit rate for a single adult qualifying for OW was an appalling 59 percent of the poverty line, as measured by the Low-Income Measure After Tax. For those in receipt of ODSP, that figure was 35 percent.