CRWDP researcher consultation with the Office of the Auditor General Ontario
January 17, 2019
CRWDP researcher consultation with the Office of the Auditor General Ontario (AGO)
The AGO is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly that conducts value-for-money and financial audits of the provincial government, its ministries and agencies. In preparation for their 2019 annual report, they reached out to CRWDP, requesting a meeting with CRWDP researchers to provide them with a better understanding of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), particularly, specific issues of concern, program improvements, and thoughts on the proposed social assistance reforms announced by Minister MacLeod on November 22, 2018. The following are five high level messages that were shared with the AGO office:
1) ODSP rates are inadequate (increase needed to basic rates and shelter).
2) ODSP was not designed to transition people to employment; rather it was to provide a higher level of income in recognition of the extra costs of living with a disability.
3) Changing the current ODSP definition of disability to align with the CPPD definition would be disastrous, having many negative impacts on the individuals who rely on last resort programs and also on system costs.
4) Changing the definition will decrease not increase the 10% employment rate among persons with disabilities (PWD).
5) People who can and want to work may not find an employer willing to hire them (the reality now). There needs to be more focus on demand side interventions (employer engagement) to ensure those who want to work are able to find quality employment of their choice.