When it comes to social assistance policy in Ontario, it’s sometimes hard to know the difference between helping and hurting.
That’s the problem many activists are having in the wake of the release late last month of the long-awaited report Brighter Prospects: Transforming Social Assistance In Ontario.
In the weeks since then, many on poverty’s front lines have been busy sorting through the hundred-odd proposals in the 200-page report, trying to separate out the supportable items amid widespread concern that equality issues could get buried in the Liberal leadership transition.
Not all those attuned to the issues have the same take on the document, though the general feeling is that in the current social assistance mess, any change is better than none.
According to the Income Security Advocacy Centre’s policy analyst Jennifer Laidley, who generally welcomes the report, groups have already had initial meetings with Minister John Milloy and opposition parties to push what they see as the more acceptable parts of the agenda forward.