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For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2011

Peel Hosts Community Forum for Social Assistance Review

BRAMPTON, ON. (July 15, 2011) – Peel’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee will host a Community Forum on Monday, July 25th on behalf of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario. The Commission is seeking the community's input regarding the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support programs. Participants will be asked to identify key challenges and opportunities of the social assistance system to help inform the provincial review. 
In attendance will be the two Commissioners of the review – Frances Lankin, Past President and CEO of United Way Toronto and Dr. Munir Sheikh, former Chief Statistician for the Government of Canada. Other participants will include local human service agencies and organizations, business leaders, politicians and social assistance clients.

"We have a number of committed partners in the community who have been waiting years to provide input into a review like this,” said Shelley White, Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee Co-Chair and CEO of United Way of Peel Region. “Our advocacy efforts call for an accessible and adequate social assistance system that will help alleviate the rising poverty rate in Peel."

"The Region of Peel serves on average 15,000 Ontario Works cases each month. People receiving Ontario Works have to satisfy numerous rules and procedures just to get the basic nececessities of life - food, shelter, or support to find a job," said Janet Menard, Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee Co-Chair and Commissioner of Human Services at the Region of Peel. "We appreciate this opportunity to lend our local experience and expertise to the Commission and look forward to improvements that will benefit clients and the larger community."

Social assistance is a complex system with as many as 800 rules. In the 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Ontario government committed to reviewing social assistance with a focus on removing barriers and increasing opportunities for people to work. The Commission’s report of recommendations will be released in June 2012.

The Community Forum on Monday, July 25th will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at St. Leonard’s Place Peel, 1105 Queen St. E., Brampton. To confirm a spot, please RSVP by July 20 to 905-791-7800, ext. 4457 or at lisa.crowell@peelregion.ca. Visit peelregion.ca/social-services/spec-inits.htm for more information.

For more about the Social Assistance Review, visit www.socialassistancereview.ca

The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon. For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit peelregion.ca.



Lisa DiMenna
Public Affairs Associate, Region of Peel
905-791-7800, ext. 4519

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595, e-mail



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