Sherri Torjman


“In 1981, I worked for the Parliamentary Committee on the Disabled during the International Year of Persons with Disabilities.  It was the first time that an inventory of disability supports and services had been put together in the country.  I learned that substantial work would be required to formulate good public policy on disability-related issues.  The complex interface between work and disability remains problematic to this day. I hope that the newly-established Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy can help tackle some of the tough challenges that continue to present barriers to active participation.”

Key Appointments

  • Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy
  • Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her policy work on caregivers
  • Received the Champion of Human Services Award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association in 2011
  • Received the Top 25 Canadians Award from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in 2010
  • Sherri taught a course in social policy at McGill University
  • Former Board Member of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.


  • McGill

Areas of expertise

Educated at McGill University, she has written in the areas of welfare reform, disability income and supports, caregivers, long-term care, employment policy and community-based poverty reduction. Sherri is the author of the book Shared Space: The Communities Agenda.  She has also written numerous Caledon reports including Reclaiming our Humanity; Financing Long-Term Care: More Money in the Mix; Caring for the Caregivers; Student Aid Meets Social Assistance; Proposal for a National Personal Supports Fund; Survival-of-the-Fittest Employment Policy; The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit; Five-Point Plan for Reforming Disability Supports; The Disability Income System in Canada: Options for Reform; Social Return on Investment: Strengths and Challenges; Reintegrating the Unemployed through Customized Training; Workfare: A Poor Law; Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being; What is Policy?; From Trade-Off to Trade-Up; and Are Outcomes the Best Outcome?

Sherri is co-author of Caledon’s A Proposal to Strengthen the Canada Pension Plan: The 1.5 Option; Enhancing the Working Income Tax Benefit; Inequality Is Not Inevitable; The Welfare Wall: Reforming the Welfare and Tax Systems; A Basic Income Plan for Canadians with Severe Disabilities; How Finance Re-formed Social Policy; Opening the Books on Social Spending; Federal Social Programs: Setting the Record Straight; Lest We Forget: Why Canada Needs Strong Social Programs; Caregivers and Dementia; and The Social Role of Local Government.

Sherri wrote the vision paper In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services.  She has authored four books on disability policy: Income Insecurity, Poor Places, Nothing Personal and Direct Dollars.  Sherri wrote the welfare series of reports for the National Council of Welfare, including Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net; Welfare Reform; and Welfare Incomes 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Research Activities

 Sherri was co-Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities that reported to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue in December 2004.  The Committee produced the report Disability Tax Fairness.  She worked for the House of Commons Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped, the House of Commons Special Committee on Child Care and the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies.

Contact Information

Sherri Torjman