News

Syndicate content
The Knowledge Hub for the Settlement Sector in Ontario
Updated: 46 weeks 4 hours ago

TRANSforming JUSTICE: Trans* Legal Needs Assessment Ontario Project

Mon, 2016-04-25 16:41

HALCO is leading the TRANSforming JUSTICE (Trans* Legal Needs Assessment Ontario) project. The project website is www.transformingjustice.ca.

The project is using “trans*” as an umbrella term to refer to a diverse array of experiences and identities, including two-spirit, non-binary, agender, genderqueer, cross dressers, transgender, transsexual, as well as those who identify as men or women but have a history that involves a gender transition.

The project is gathering data from members of trans* communities as well as legal service providers. The project includes:

  • an anonymous survey for trans* community members in Ontario.
  • one-on-one interviews for trans* people living with or affected by HIV.
  • focus groups and legal education workshops for trans* community members, including specific focus groups and workshops.
  • focus groups and legal education workshops for legal service providers.

Access the survey and focus group/workshop information.

If you are a legal service provider, please consider registering for a focus group and/or workshop. The legal service provider workshops, which are being given by lawyer N. Nicole Nussbaum, would qualify for substantive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours and professionalism accreditation is being sought from the Law Society of Upper Canada.

HALCO is requesting for your help in these areas:

  • Circulate this message to anyone who might be interested, including legal service providers in your community.
  • Post the project flyers (available in English and French on the project website www.transformingjustice.ca).
  • Promote the focus groups, workshops and one-on-one interviews.
  • Consider participating in a legal service provider workshop and/or focus group.
  • Assist people with access to the survey by:
    • providing on-line access to the survey for those without computer access.
    • assisting people who prefer a print copy to access, print and return a paper copy of the survey (please visit www.transformingjustice.ca to access a paper copy of the survey in English and French).
    • assisting with postage to return completed print surveys to the project at the address indicated on the print survey.

Access more information, including flyers in English and French, the survey for trans* people, focus group/workshop schedules and sign-up information.

Access general information about the project is available on HALCO’s website.

Educational and Labour Market Outcomes of Childhood Immigrants by Admission Class

Mon, 2016-04-25 16:28

It has been well documented that the children of immigrants in Canada outperform their peers with Canadian-born parents in educational attainment, and that the two groups have similar labour market outcomes. However, large variations by ethnicity or source country exist among the children of immigrants. This study examines the extent to which admission class (e.g., skilled workers, business immigrants, live-in caregivers, the family class and refugees) also matters in the socioeconomic outcomes of childhood immigrants who arrived in Canada before the age of 18. Using the 2011 National Household Survey, linked with the Immigrant Landing File, this study finds large differences by admission class in university completion rates and earnings for childhood immigrants aged 25 to 44. Children of skilled workers and business immigrants had the highest university completion rates and earnings. Children of live-in caregivers and in the family class had the lowest university completion rates, and children of live-in caregivers and refugees landed in Canada had the lowest earnings. The analysis shows that the admission class of immigrant parents matters to their children’s outcomes partly through group differences in the education and official language ability of parents and partly through the unique pre- and post-migration circumstances experienced by each admission class.

Access the executive summary of the research paper.

New Resource for Planning Accessible Events

Mon, 2016-04-25 10:01

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, which is part of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, (MEDEI) has produced a new booklet: “Planning Accessible Events: So Everyone Feels Welcome” in English and French.

The booklet is intended for people who plan events such as bazaars, festivals, community meals and meetings. It includes information on no-cost or low-cost actions that can help reduce barriers for people with disabilities and make events more inclusive.

Attached are accessible PDF versions of the booklet in English and French. Copies of the booklet are currently being printed. Free copies will soon be available from Service Ontario Publications or 1-800-668-9938.

Community-based Projects to Support Etobicoke Seniors

Mon, 2016-04-25 09:32

Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, investments in Canadian communities will allow initiatives, such as the Gardening Brightens Seniors Lives initiative, build stronger communities, create good jobs and encourage clean economic growth. Partnerships with local governments, institutions and organizations are vital to deliver change and improve the lives of seniors in the Etobicoke region and right across the nation.

The Rexdale Community Hub is one of 11 organizations located in the Etobicoke area that are receiving more than $200,000 for projects funded through the New Horizons Seniors Program. The funds will help hundreds of senior Canadians in Etobicoke participate in activities that promote healthy living and vitality and inspire a sense of community among a variety of groups.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing approximately $35 million in New Horizons for Seniors Program funding for close to 1,850 community-based projects approved through the program’s 2015–2016 Call for Proposals.
  • Eligible organizations can receive up to $25,000 in funding for community-based projects that are led or inspired by seniors.
  • Since 2004, the program has funded close to 17,800 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, with a total Government of Canada investment of more than $360 million.

Access more background information.

A New Study Finds 1 in 2 Workers in the Toronto, Hamilton Area has Mental Health Issues

Fri, 2016-04-22 17:07

Palvetzian said CivicAction’s estimate represents one in two workers in the area, “meaning everyone is one degree [of] separation from someone who has suffered or is suffering.”

Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, substance use, and bipolar disorder could cost the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas nearly $17 billion in lost productivity over the coming decade, according to CivicAction.

Certain aspects of life in the Toronto and Hamilton areas could be contributing to the problem, said Palvetzian. Stresses like high transportation times, costly child care, expensive housing, and precarious work may all play a role.

Employees can make a difference

​CivicAction is calling for more support for workers’ mental health needs, but Palvetzian believes individual employees can make a difference on their own by paying attention to their colleagues.

Access the research summary paper.

How Income Affects Health in Ontario

Fri, 2016-04-22 17:00

A new report on the quality of health care by the provincial adviser identified that the poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests, and to suffer from multiple chronic conditions.

Health equity is one of the six dimensions of health quality and is defined as the ability of all individuals to reach their full health potential and receive high quality care, no matter where they live or who they are.

Health equity has also been identified as a provincial priority in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Care in Ontario, a discussion paper that outlines ways the province can reduce gaps and strengthen patient-centred care.

The Health Quality Ontario health equity report, entitled Income and Health: Opportunities for health equity in Ontario, provides the public with a comprehensive review of how the income of people in Ontario is associated with their health, the health care they receive, and their health outcomes.

Access the full report.

Access the infographic.

The Gender Pay Gap Grows with Each Step Women Take Up the Income Ladder

Fri, 2016-04-22 16:53

This study makes a new contribution to the understanding of Ontario’s gender pay gap by drawing upon a decile analysis to understand the distribution of men’s and women’s earnings. The analysis reveals that the average pay gap between men and women stands at 29.4 per cent in Ontario — a gap that shadows women every step of the way up the income ladder. It also finds that each step in that ladder is lower for women than men except the first one, where they earn an average of $190 per year more than men. The study concludes that Ontario’s labour market system must be transformed in order to produce economic equality for women.

Access the study.

Notice – Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program

Fri, 2016-04-22 16:44

Health-Care Coverage Changed Automatically

  • As of April 1, 2016, all individuals eligible for coverage under the IFHP will now receive full health-care coverage, which includes:
    • basic health-care services (i.e. standard physician and hospital care),
    • supplemental services, including limited vision and urgent dental care, and
    • prescription drug coverage.
  • The change in coverage is not retroactive. Services or products provided to you by health-care providers prior to April 1 will be paid based on the level of coverage you had at the time.
  • If you had coverage on April 1, your coverage has been updated automatically in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Medavie Blue Cross systems. Health-care providers have been advised of the change in coverage (PDF, 554 KB) and will be able to provide services to you.
  • You do not need to apply for a new certificate. You will still be able to present your current IFHP eligibility document to health-care providers when you are seeking their services.
  • Starting April 10, when new IFHP certificates are issued, they will not have a coverage type listed on them.
  • If you are a resettled refugee, you will continue to receive coverage for supplemental services and prescription drug coverage for the time you are receiving government assistance or private support. In most cases, this assistance ends one year after arrival. There is no change to your basic coverage under the IFHP. It ends as soon as you are covered under the health plan of your province or territory where you live.
Expiration Dates Eliminated for Refugee Claimants
  • As of April 10, 2016, the 12-month expiry date on coverage for refugee claimants will be eliminated. This means that if you have been found eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) as a refugee claimant and or if your claim has been found ineligible to be referred to the IRB but you are eligible to apply for a pre-removal risk assessment, you will no longer need to apply to extend your coverage every 12 months.
  • If you had IFHP coverage on April 1, it will be extended automatically in the IRCC and Medavie Blue Cross systems. You do not need to apply for a new certificate – You will still be able to present your IFHP eligibility document to health-care professionals when you are seeking services, even after the expiry date shown on the document has passed.
  • IFHP coverage for refugee claimants will continue until you become eligible for provincial/territorial health insurance or you leave Canada. Your coverage will also be cancelled immediately:
    • if you withdraw your refugee claim, or
    • if the IRB has determined that you have abandoned your refugee claim, or
    • your refugee claim has been re-determined as ineligible to be referred to the IRB and you are not eligible to apply for a PRRA.
  • Registered IFHP providers have been advised to use the information box at the bottom of your eligibility document when they validate your eligibility with Medavie Blue Cross.
  • If your coverage expired before April 1 but you are still eligible for coverage, you must submit a renewal application to your local IRCC office and a new IFHP certificate will be sent to you.
  • Starting April 10, when new IFHP certificates are issued, they will not have an expiration date listed on them.

Please visit Health care – Refugees for more information on the program.

New Report Calls for Greater Collaboration Among Legal Information Providers

Fri, 2016-04-22 16:19

The report, titled Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario: Learning from a Snapshot, takes a look at the public legal education and information (PLEI) resources available in Ontario. Hundreds of ministries and offices at all levels of government, and a large number of smaller community-based organizations working at the front lines, are providing legal information of one sort or another.

Julie Mathews, CLEO’s Executive Director, notes that the research raises a key question. “With so much legal information available”, Mathews says, “how can legal information providers help users put their hands on information that they can understand and rely on?”

The report offers several recommendations to address these challenges, and calls for greater collaboration among major legal information providers as a key step.

CLEO wants to acknowledge the help of a range of justice sector organizations that shared their time and expertise by acting as strategic research advisors for this project and through participation in the PLEI Cluster of the Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG).

To view the report Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario: Learning from a Snapshot:

To view the PLEI in Ontario infographic:

 

Ontario to Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Retirement Security

Fri, 2016-04-22 16:02

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 would expand coverage to more than 4 million Ontario workers–including 75 per cent of younger workers–who do not have access to an adequate workplace pension plan.

The ORPP Act, if passed, would:

  • Provide workers with a predictable stream of income in retirement, paid for life
  • Begin enrolment for employers starting on January 1, 2017, with contributions beginning in waves on January 1, 2018,
  • Ensure employers and employees have the information and the time they need to prepare for implementation
  • Enshrine in legislation the plan design details, including participation, contributions, benefit types, and plan sustainability
  • Hold contributions in trust for plan members that will not form part of government revenues
Quick Facts

  • Two-thirds of Ontario’s workers do not participate in a workplace pension plan.
  • Coverage is even lower for young workers – only about one quarter of Ontario workers aged 25 to 34 participated in a workplace pension plan in 2012, compared to nearly half of workers aged 45 to 54.
  • The ORPP would offer a predictable, reliable and inflation-indexed stream of income in retirement, paid for life, by providing a pension of up to 15 per cent of an individual’s earnings, up to $90,000 (in 2017 dollars).
  • A recent cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Conference Board of Canada finds that over the long-term, the ORPP would add billions to the Ontario economy.
  • Ontario is also committed in working collaboratively with the federal government to make progress on a national solution that addresses the needs of future retirees. By moving forward with legislation, Ontario is ensuring that, if no national consensus on CPP enhancement is reached, retirement security can be strengthened in Ontario through the ORPP.
Additional Resources

Ontario Launches Rate Drop Rebate in Hamilton

Fri, 2016-04-22 16:00

Through the new Rate Drop Rebate program, small- and medium-sized businesses that hire eligible people can receive discounted rates on financial products, such as loans. The rebate is made possible through funding from Ontario’s two-year, $4-million Community Loans Fund.

The rebate will be delivered by financial institutions including Alterna Savings, CIBC, First Ontario Credit Union, Libro Credit Union and Meridian, at specific branch locations in London, Ottawa and Hamilton. It is expected to:

  • Help up to 1,100 people find careers
  • Support up to 500 businesses
  • Help people with disabilities, long-term unemployed, older unemployed, newcomers to Canada, and others facing barriers to employment

Ontario is working to help better connect people with disabilities to the labour market and engaging and supporting employers. As part of a Budget 2016 commitment, Ontario will develop a provincial employment strategy for people with disabilities. This strategy will build on the Province’s significant progress towards its objective of an accessible Ontario by 2025. The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan will ensure we remain on track to creating an accessible province.

Quick Facts

  • The Community Loans Fund is a component of Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan.
  • Social Capital Partners will administer and deliver the fund through the financial institution partners.
  • Rate Drop Rebate scales up an existing loan program currently run by Social Capital Partners, which has helped more than 480 people facing barriers to employment get jobs.
  • In 2010, the Martin Prosperity Institute outlined that building a more inclusive Ontario could lead to an estimated $7.9 billion increase to GDP.
  • 75 per cent of small businesses who have employees with a disability report that they meet or exceed their expectations.
Additional Resources

Ontario Launches Second Round of Local Poverty Reduction Fund

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:57

The fund, announced in April 2015 and now in its second year, provides $50 million over six years to support innovative, local, community-driven solutions that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. Through the fund, Ontario is investing in local programs that will help break the cycle of poverty for children and youth, increase employment and income security and end homelessness in Ontario.

This year, Ontario is introducing two special streams of funding:

  • Up to $10 million will be targeted for projects related to homelessness over the 2016 and 2017 rounds of funding to help deliver on the commitment to end chronic homelessness in 10 years.
  • A minimum of $2 million will be dedicated to support projects in Indigenous communities and by Indigenous-led organizations.

By identifying effective local, community-driven solutions to tackle poverty, our aim is to find out what makes a difference for those living in poverty, share knowledge and use the evidence gathered from these projects to expand successful solutions across the province.

Organizations can now register and begin developing their proposals. More information about the application process, timelines and resources is available at Ontario Trillium Foundation. Registered organizations will be able to submit project proposals starting in May 2016.

Quick Facts

  • The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is focused on innovative programs that encourage communities to collaborate on solutions that target groups disproportionately affected by poverty including women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Indigenous Peoples.
  • Ontario has partnered with the Ontario Trillium Foundation to administer the Local Poverty Reduction Fund. The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s primary role is to issue, execute and oversee funding agreements with community organizations that are selected to receive funding, and to provide outreach, marketing and proposal support to applicants.
  • Communities and organizations interested in applying for funding can access a range of supports including webinars, workshops and one-on-one sessions. These enhanced supports will help promote local partnerships, encourage knowledge-sharing and assist applicants in preparing strong project proposals.
  • This is the second of three calls for proposals. Last year Ontario supported 41 projects in 20 communities with a total investment of over $12.6 million. Organizations will also have another opportunity to apply in 2017.
Background Information

Additional Resources

189 Training Projects Receive Funding to Help Under-represented Groups to Build Their Skills and Prepare for the Workforce

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:49

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, has announced 198 new training projects aimed at helping thousands of Canadians get the skills needed to overcome barriers to employment and join the middle class.

The funding, which totals $65 million, will be provided to organizations across the country for projects to help under-represented groups, such as Indigenous people, youth, and people with disabilities, build their skills and prepare for the workforce of the future.

Many of the projects will provide instruction in to develop or enhance skills, such as workplace safety, as well as offer hands‑on experience in a job category of interest, such as a skilled trade, retail, hospitality, the food industry or business services. Examples of projects include:

  • Up to 50 Indigenous youth in Calgary will improve their financial literacy and workplace skills. They will attend workshops to develop their computer skills, take courses on life management and receive certificates in first aid. This will be followed by months of work experience in the not-for-profit sector, retail, food industry or trades.
  • Eight youth in Plum Point, Newfoundland and Labrador will participate in employment skills workshops on topics such as teamwork and First Aid/CPR. Participants will also gain work experience in industries such as fishing, forestry and tourism.
  • In Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, up to 48 youth will participate in workshops to upgrade employment skills, such as teamwork and workplace communication. They will also have the opportunity to gain work experience in industries common to the region, including agriculture and retail.

More lists of approved grants and contributions projects will be publicly released periodically.

Quick Facts

  • Funding for these projects will be provided through the following programs: Skills Link; Career Focus; Summer Work Experience; Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities; Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program; and Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training. For example:
    • A total of 164 projects will support programs and services that provide youth with job skills workshops, hands‑on experience and career development.
    • Twenty-eight projects will help people with disabilities prepare for the workforce or self-employment through job skills workshops and hands-on experience.
  • Budget 2016 includes new investments in job creation and workforce development, including:
    • $165 Million in new funding for the Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills, abilities and experience they need to find and maintain good employment
    • Doubling funding in the Canada Summer Job program to hire up to 70,000 youth this summer

Creating Jobs and Investment for Canadian Youth

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:42

The Government of Canada is investing over $165 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) starting this year through Budget 2016. The new investment will help create thousands of new green jobs, more summer employment, participation in the Skills Link program and employment in the heritage sector.  The investments will help support young Canadians, including vulnerable youth, such as Indigenous Canadians, immigrants, youth with disabilities, single parents, those who have not completed high school and others. Investing in youth jobs and opportunities is part of the government’s plan to help the middle class and those seeking to join it.

Minister Mihychuk made the announcement at The Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre in Winnipeg. The Centre recently received over $170,000 in Skills Link funding to help break down barriers to youth employment and provide needed training and job support. Under this project, local youth will participate in a 10-week work placement to gain hands-on experience. Skills Link is part of the Youth Employment Strategy.

Each year, the government invests more than $330 million in YES. Today’s announcement is on top of the previously announced $339 million investment over three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program. The government will nearly double the number of job opportunities supported by the program to 70,000.

Additionally, Budget 2016 announced the creation of the Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Council to provide advice on key issues such as employment and education, building stronger communities as well as climate change and clean growth. Budget 2016 also announced $105 million over five years, starting in 2016 – 17, and $25 million per year thereafter in support youth service. Finally, a new Expert Panel on Youth Employment will advise the government on innovative ways to strengthen labour market outcomes and create employment opportunities for vulnerable youth.

Quick Facts
  • As announced in Budget 2016, total funding for the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is increasing by some $278 million in 2016-2017 representing the largest investment in the YES since its launch in 1997.
  • Since 2005, YES has helped over 772,000 young Canadians get the training and work experience they need to enter the labour market.
  • Skills Link has helped over 230,000 youth since 2005.
  • Canada Summer Jobs will create up to 70,000 jobs across Canada this summer, twice as many jobs as 2015. Applications from employers are up by over 30 percent this year.
  • Canada’s current youth unemployment rate is 13.4 % (Statistics Canada, March 2016).

More Employers Applying to Hire Students Under the 2016 Canada Summer Jobs Program

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:38

The Minister has announced that the number of employers interested in hiring students this year has soared by almost 30 percent. In all, 36,833 applications have been received from employers, up from 28,352 last year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last February that the Government would be providing support to hire up to 70,000 students across the country this summer through the expanded Canada Summer Jobs, doubling the 34,000 positions funded in 2015. The annual budget for Canada Summer Jobs was increased by $113 million for each of the next three years, beginning in 2016–17.

Employers across the country heard the call. This year, through Canada Summer Jobs, the Government of Canada will be able to help more students get summer employment. These students will learn new skills and save money for their education when they return to school in September.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create one or more summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

Employers will be notified in May regarding the status of their application.

Quick Facts

  • The annual budget for      Canada Summer Jobs will increase by $113 million for each of the next three years, beginning in 2016–17.
  • This is the first increase to the Canada Summer Jobs annual budget of $107.5 million since 2009.
  • Since its inception in 2007, Canada Summer Jobs has helped over 330,000 students.
  • In 2015, 300,000 students were unable to find jobs during the summer in Canada.

Age of Eligibility for the Old Age Security Pension Restored from 67 to 65

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:34

Budget 2016 makes the goal of a comfortable and dignified retirement more attainable for seniors and working Canadians through various measures, such as restoring the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65.

Restoring the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS from 67 to 65 is only one of the many enhancements announced that will help improve the quality of life for seniors. Additional measures include:

  • increasing the GIS top-up by $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors;
  • providing higher benefits to senior couples receiving GIS and Allowance benefits and who are living apart for reasons beyond their control;
  • enhancing the Canada Pension Plan based on consultations with provinces, territories and Canadians, with the goal of being able to make a collective decision before the end of 2016;
  • looking at how a new Seniors Price Index that reflects the cost of living faced by seniors could be developed; and
  • providing for the construction, repair and adaption of affordable housing to help the many seniors who face challenges in accessing affordable housing.

New Community Projects to Help Seniors and Families

Fri, 2016-04-22 15:29

As part of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, and funded through the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP), the Fédération des aînées et aînés francophones du Canada (FAAFC) will receive $3.4 million to pool expertise and resources to fund innovative projects in OLMCs that address community priorities.

This initiative aims to create stronger partnerships at the national, regional and local level to help both French- and English-speaking minority communities create opportunities to keep youth in their communities, help meet the needs of seniors, and assist our most vulnerable populations.

The Government of Canada is working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to promote the well-being of people in communities across the country, particularly through economic and social security. Budget 2016 aims to deliver on the Government’s agenda to empower all Canadians to build better lives for themselves and to enable them to contribute to, and share in, the prosperity of the country.

Budget 2016 also makes the goal of a comfortable and dignified retirement more attainable for seniors and working Canadians, through measures such as restoring the age of eligibility for Old Age Security benefits from 67 to 65. This change will put up to $17,000 into the pockets of the lowest income Canadians each year, as they become seniors. In addition, Budget 2016 proposes to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up by $947 annually for the most vulnerable single seniors.

Ontario Launches Rate Drop Rebate in Ottawa

Mon, 2016-04-18 16:00

Through the new Rate Drop Rebate program, small- and medium-sized businesses that hire eligible people can receive discounted rates on financial products, such as loans. The rebate is made possible through funding from Ontario’s two-year, $4-million Community Loans Fund.

The rebate will be delivered by financial institutions including Alterna Savings, CIBC, First Ontario Credit Union, Libro Credit Union and Meridian, at specific branch locations in London, Ottawa and Hamilton. It is expected to:

  • Help up to 1,100 people find careers
  • Support up to 500 businesses
  • Help people with disabilities, long-term unemployed, older unemployed, newcomers to Canada, and others facing barriers to employment

Ontario is working to help better connect people with disabilities to the labour market and engaging and supporting employers. As part of a Budget 2016 commitment, Ontario will develop a provincial employment strategy for people with disabilities. This strategy will build on the Province’s significant progress towards its objective of an accessible Ontario by 2025. The Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan will ensure we remain on track to creating an accessible province.

Quick Facts

  • The Community Loans Fund is a component of Path to 2025: Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan.
  • Social Capital Partners will administer and deliver the fund through the financial institution partners.
  • Rate Drop Rebate scales up an existing loan program currently run by Social Capital Partners, which has helped more than 480 people facing barriers to employment get jobs
  • In 2010, the Martin Prosperity Institute outlined that building a more inclusive Ontario could lead to an estimated $7.9 billion increase to GDP.
  • 75 per cent of small businesses who have employees with a disability report that they meet or exceed their expectations.
Additional Resources

Outstanding Volunteers Receive June Callwood Awards

Mon, 2016-04-18 10:02

This year’s recipients include:

  • Rick Campanelli of North York, who has raised awareness and funds for international development projects as a World Vision ambassador for almost 20 years.
  • Sheila McMahon of Fort Frances, who has helped shape the Friendship Centre movement in Ontario for more than 20 years.
  • Hospice Toronto’s Complementary Therapy Volunteer Team, a group of professionals who provide free complementary therapies such as massage, reiki and reflexology to individuals coping with a life-threatening illness.
Quick Facts

  • Late journalist, author and Order of Ontario recipient June Callwood was one of Canada’s most well-known social activists, founding or co-founding more than 50 Canadian social action organizations.
  • The award is being presented during National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 10 to 16, 2016.
  • Since 2009, 150 individuals and groups have received the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism.
  • Other Ontario recognition programs for volunteering include the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers and the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards.
Background Information

Ontario Helping Employers Meet Health and Safety Requirements

Wed, 2016-04-13 16:39

The checklist includes questions that will help employers evaluate how well they are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

The checklist is organized into four parts:

  1. Roles and responsibilities – to help employers and workers understand their responsibilities in the workplace
  2. Reporting and records management — to help employers understand reporting requirements when there is a workplace incident such as an injury
  3. Hazards in the workplace — ensuring procedures are in place to control hazards
  4. Training — ensuring all workers complete mandatory health and safety awareness training, including specific training on hazards found in the workplace

The ministry has also created a webpage for small businesses that bundles resources in one place to help employers understand and comply with OHSA and the Employment Standards Act in Ontario.

Access the checklist.

Quick Facts

  • Small businesses (fewer than 50 workers) comprise 95% of all business in Ontario.
  • Small businesses employ more than 1.6 million Ontarians — almost a third of the workforce.
  • Small businesses’ lost time injury rate is higher than the Ontario average.
Additional Resources