Tag Archive

A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario

Published on February 26, 2016 By johnastapleton

“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men Feared by the bad, loved by the good Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.” In the Budget lockup yesterday, I started to silently sing the Robin Hood song that I learned back in the 1950’s as a kid. […]

Social Assistance in Ontario: Periods of Tumult and Calm

Published on January 3, 2016 By johnastapleton

For the first time in over a year and without much fanfare, the Ontario Government has begun to publish monthly social assistance caseload numbers. One guesses that the reason for the hiatus was the much-reported troubles with their new social assistance computer system called SAMS. The newest figures are for November 2015 and the new […]

Time to look at income security for low income older adults with disabilities

Published on December 27, 2015 By johnastapleton

One of the long term goals I have for Open Policy is to cover all aspects of income security for all age groups for low income people with and without disabilities. This year, Open Policy managed to add a critical piece with the publication of Every Ninth Child in Ontario: A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Investing […]

Much of my life I have been a struggling low income person: Guest blog by Pamela Chynn

Published on March 1, 2015 By johnastapleton

I am talking today as  a struggling  university  and  journalism  student, as  a  person  who has  on and off  been on  social  assistance,  as a person who  has  been  on  unemployment insurance a  few times, as  a  person who  has  a  couple  of times  been technically homeless  and  has  been through the surreal  roller  coaster […]

No piece of cake! Linda Chamberlain applies for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

Published on May 16, 2014 By johnastapleton

I am supposed to know about retiring on a low income.  That includes obtaining the Guaranteed Income Supplement for people who turn age 65.I am supporting the Old Age Security application of a woman named Linda Chamberlain. She turns 65 on July 3, 2014. This will be in some ways a dress rehearsal for my […]

Social assistance numbers in Ontario: Classic convergence or something else?

Published on July 30, 2013 By johnastapleton

Currently social assistance beneficiaries (men, women and children over population) hover between 6.5% and 6.6% of Ontario’s population. We have remained at this percentage since May 2011 which means that caseloads are at an equilibrium point, a point of relative calm. Since the late 1980’s, Ontario’s unemployment rate has tended to converge with the percentage of beneficiaries […]

“Minister Jeffrey: Tear down this wall”

Published on May 31, 2013 By johnastapleton

In July 2012, I visited Berlin for the first time since 1972 when the Berlin wall was still standing. It was interesting to see how parts of the wall had been retained as an outdoor museum. No matter where I went, memorabilia celebrating the famous call by Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 were available. […]

More thoughts on Ontario social assistance caseloads

Published on April 16, 2013 By johnastapleton

Ontario unemployment and SA rates 1981 to 2008, 2009 monthly to February 2013 (Excel file) All appears placid when looking at social assistance beneficiary totals (i.e. men, women and children) in Ontario in early 2013. Since March to May 2012 when several categories in Ontario Works reached post recession highs, the Ontario Works totals have receded […]

An unsustainable program (by Guest blogger Pat Capponi)

Published on January 28, 2013 By johnastapleton

It seems simple, and I can understand the frustration as the numbers continue to rise and few people labelled mentally ill appear willing to take the steps necessary to leave the ODSP rolls.  Without knowing this community, their history and their struggles, that frustration will continue. My experience is with those who are labelled seriously […]

Obscured by self… (by Guest blogger Pat Capponi)

Published on April 4, 2012 By johnastapleton

We are the intractable poor, those who’ve been years- sometimes decades on OW or ODSP, whose world is limited to agencies, drop-ins, food banks, Money Marts, and some of the worst housing Toronto has on offer. Men and women with no future, no hope, broken by the struggle to simply survive, whose lives and deaths […]

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