AODSP members are handing out postcards calling on MPPs to support a humane system of income and vocational supports for people with disabilities.
Toronto (19 Dec. 2012) — The Ontario Liberal government is making signficant changes to the benefits of people with disabilities throughout the province, with devastating effects.
The Liberals are merging the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and the Ontario Works program. It has also emliminated the Community Start Up and Maintenance Allowance benefit which will take critical funding from some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has launched a campaign, urging Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to reverse these decisions. Already, about 1,000 letters have been sent to Community and Social Services Minister John Milloy, calling on his government to not combine the Ontario Disability Support Program with Ontario Works and download the new program to municipalities.
There are major concerns regarding the accountability of this new downloaded program. Having already laid off the program review officers who monitored Ontario Works and First Nations delivery sites, there is concern that there will not be a consistent level of service from the municipalities. This is on top of the lack of transparency with the new program as to with whom clients would address issues. The limited accountability framework as suggested by the Social Assistance Review Commission would only discover issues that are self reported in annual reports. Clearly, not a way to treat the most vulnerable in our communities.
OPSEU/NUPGE is asking MPPs to show their support for a humane system of income and vocational supports for people with disabilities by saying no to mandatory work requirements, no to combining the ODSP with Ontario Works. MPPs need to say yes to long-term seamless support for people with disabilities, delivered by provincial staff.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE