Ontario’s income security system is failing to meet the needs of many Ontarians with low incomes, contributing to increased poverty and lost opportunities. The incoming government faces decisions on the recommendations made by expert working groups in the Income Security Roadmap.[1]

This briefing note outlines the core challenges with the current system that merit attention from the incoming government and highlights near-term and longer-term responses.

– The need for reform

– The current system is designed around policing people’s lives instead of improving them

– By a range of measures, current levels of assistance provided to people in poverty in Ontario fall well short of adequacy.

– The design of the income security system is not sensitive to significant differences in the cost of living throughout the province.