Resolution for 2013 – A Poverty Free Ontario

Jan 19 2013

The Social Planning Council of Kitchener Waterloo and partners in the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group hosted a Community Forum on Ontario’s Social Assistance Reform on Saturday, January 19th, 2013.

First reactions after the forum: We need more of these and we need to keep the conversation ongoing! - Engage and promote to encourage wider participation. - Great number of actions to be taken. Don't lose the momentum!

The Social Planning Council of Kitchener Waterloo and partners in the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group have mobilized voices in the Poverty Free Ontario Campaign and during the consultations on the Social Assistance Review. We supported local and province wide initiatives to save funding for people on social assistance, such as Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit and Discretionary Benefits. We have witnessed the transformational power of Ontario communities working together, and the benefits of collaboration with the Regional Council and dedicated staff during 2013 Budget process.

The beginning of the New Year is a good time to reflect on these activities and the Province’s intentions for social assistance reform. It is as well a good time to reflect on our role in determining the direction and implementation of the reform.

1:30 Registration and InfoAction Networking
2:00 Panel presentation of various perspectives on the Social Assistance Review Commission’s (SARC) recommendations with:

Peter Clutterbuck, Social Planning Network of Ontario

Research and Community Planning Consultant,
Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO)
Peter Clutterbuck has worked in the voluntary human services sector at the community, provincial and national levels for more than forty years. In 2000, Peter completed almost ten years of leadership at the executive director level with the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto.

Since then, he has combined a program development role for the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) with independent consulting and research (PC Human Resources). The SPNO is a network of 20 local social planning and community development organizations across Ontario promoting inclusion and equity through research, policy development, community education and advocacy.

For the last 10 years he has coordinated the social justice and advocacy work of the Social Planning Network of Ontario, including its current cross-community mobilization program under the banner of a Poverty Free Ontario.

Kyle Vose, Co-chair ODSP Action Coalition

Kyle is an HIV/Poverty Activist who graduated from the Leadership Program, and Facilitator Training given through the OAN (Ontario Aids Network) and ABPRO (Aids Bereavement and Resiliance Project of Ontario). He first got to know of the ODSP Action Coalition through his first project that he worked on with The Toronto Daily Food Bank, which became the Poverty Reduction Bill. He shortly joined the coalition after attending their conference in Toronto. After a couple of years in the coalition, he was honored to be chosen Co-Chair bringing the leadership principles with him to the coalition. He is currently a facilitator and speaker for the Toronto People with AIDS foundation and for Fife House.

Naomi Ives Peak, Co-chair ODSP Action Coalition

Naomi is a Community Legal Worker at Parkdale Community Legal Services and co-chair of the ODSP Action Coalition, an advocacy group focused on improving the income and supports available to people with disabilities on social assistance. She is also a board member of the Parkdale Community Information Centre. Naomi has been working for more than 13 years in the areas of education, community development and organizing in the areas of harm reduction, income security, and poverty reduction. Naomi holds a Masters of Social Work in Community Development and Social Policy from Wilfrid Laurier University.

David Dirks, Director of Employment and Social Services, Region of Waterloo

Assistant Administrator, Wellington County Social Services (1998 to 2000)
Program Supervisor, Ministry of Community & Social Services (1987 to 1998)
Senior Planner, Waterloo Region Social Resources Council (1983 to 1987)
Director, Ontario March of Dimes, Central West Region (1979 to 1983)
I have an MSW from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Married with two daughters and two grandchildren.

Marc Xuereb, Waterloo Regional Labour Council

Mark works as a Public Health Planner for the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. He has been an active member of the union representing office workers at the Region – Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1883 – for over a decade, serving various positions on the Local’s Executive, including Treasurer, Secretary, and President, since starting at the Region in 2002. Before joining the Region, Xuereb worked at the now-defunct Global Community Centre, where he ran education programs and organized political action on global social justice issues. He also founded the People’s Car Co-operative in 1998 (now Grand River CarShare) and served on their Board for eight years.

Xuereb served as a Vice President of the Labour Council for the past two years, and has co-ordinated outreach campaigns for the Council in several recent elections, including the 2010 municipal election, where 20 of the 36 candidates endorsed by the Council were elected. Waterloo Regional Labour Council elected him as its new President at the start of 2013.

Eleanor Grant, United Steel Workers and Alliance Against Poverty

Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Trish Hennessy is the founding director of the new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Ontario office. She also founded and directed the CCPA's national project examining income inequality in Canada, which began in 2006. She is the head of her own strategic communications consulting firm. Her blog, examines how we talk about the challenges of our times. Her monthly index, Hennessy's Index (, takes a snapshot of key issues and breaks them down by the numbers. Trish is a former newspaper journalist. She has a B.A. Sociology from Queen's University, B.S.W. from Carleton University, and M.A. in Sociology from OISE/University of Toronto.

3-4:00 pm Table discussions about the local criteria for a successful Social Assistance Reform
How can we measure the success of the social assistance reform against what we would see and experience in our daily lives?

4-4:30 pm Stating our commitments to actions that can lead to a successful reform
What do we need to do locally, as a collective, to ensure the successful implementation of the reform?

Read Our Committment Statement created at the forum.

For more information contact or 519-579-1096, Ex. 3010

SARForum_January19_2013.pdf525.55 KB
InfoactionNetworking.doc29 KB