We need to talk about social assistance

Social assistance rates in Ontario are not just inadequate. They’re unlivable.

With rates stuck at less than half the Canadian poverty line for most recipients, our most vulnerable neighbours – people with disabilities, families with kids and individuals in crisis – can’t afford food, rent and other necessities.

United Way Elgin Middlesex is launching a public conversation, beginning with a town hall talk with local and national experts, that asks the province to Make it Livable.

Everyone is invited to register for this free event and lend their voices to this critical advocacy campaign.

WHAT: Make it Livable town hall
WHEN: Monday, January 15, 2024 , 6 – 8 p.m.
WHERE: Wolf Performance Hall, 251 Dundas St., London
WHO: Hosts: United Way Elgin Middlesex President & CEO Kelly Ziegner and Maly Bun-Lebert, United Way board chair; moderator Craig Needles, Blackburn Radio.

Panelists: Western University professor Cheryl Forchuk, King’s University College professor Jeff Preston, and Circles London coach Ashley Harp.

Keynote speaker: Elizabeth McIsaac, President of Maytree Foundation, a Canadian think-tank centred on evidence-based solutions to poverty.

Participants will help shape an answer to the question: What would it look like if people receiving Ontario Disability and Ontario Works supports were to receive a livable, dignified level of income?

During the event, we will announce key next steps in the push to Make it Livable.