St. Thomas– MPP Toby Barrett, PC Critic for Community and Social Services, joined MPP Jeff Yurek inSt. Thomastoday to discuss the state of social services inOntario. The meeting, held at the Elgin-Business Resource Centre, brought together providers of socials services from acrossElginCountyandLondon.
Mr. Barrett has been conducting a number of similar meetings across the province to gather insight from front line social services providers. These meetings constitute an effort on part of the PC Party to develop viable, accountable, and effective policy for the provision of social services inOntario.
The meeting utilized the recently released recommendations from the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontarioto structure and drive discussion. The Commission, chaired by Frances Lankin released their final report this fall. The Commission’s report recommended ways to remove barriers and increase opportunities to for people to work. Recommendations include consolidating Ontario Works and ODSP under the same program and orient benefits based on individual cases.
MPP Yurek had recently fought to keep St. Thomas’ ODSP office open. A petition was distributed, meetings with the Ministry were arranged, and alternative, cost-saving solutions were proposed. Despite these efforts, the Ministry made a unilateral decision to close the St. Thomas office and move it to London. The office’s new location raises serious accessibility concerns.
Both Yurek and Barrett were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss how social services could be better delivered in Ontario. Through consultation, the PC Party is committed to formulate policy to better deliver social services to those Ontarians most in need.
“It was great to be here with my colleague Jeff Yurek to discuss how we can improve the delivery of social services in the province. It’s important that we figure out the best model to deliver services in an accountable manner to those most vulnerable.” – Toby Barrett MPP, Critic for Community and Social Services
“I was pleased to have Mr. Barrett here today. He’s been working hard to consult with stakeholders all overOntarioto figure out how to improve our social services. Particularly with the loss of our ODSP office here, it is time to fundamentally rethink our social service policy inOntario.” – Jeff Yurek MPP, Elgin-Middlesex-London
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