Item - 2017.CD19.3

Tracking Status

  • City Council considered this item on April 26, 2017 and referred this item to an official or another committee or body. Consult the text of the decision for further information on the referral.
  • This item was considered by Community Development and Recreation Committee on April 13, 2017 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on April 26, 2017.

CD19.3 - The City's Position on Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Referred
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on April 26, 27 and 28, 2017, referred Item CD19.3 to the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services and requested the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services to report back to the Community Development and Recreation Committee once the pilot has been completed.

Background Information (Committee)

(March 23, 2017) Report from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services on The City's Position on Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102437.pdf
Attachment 1 - City of Toronto Principles and Positions Related to Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102438.pdf
Attachment 2 - Recent Social Assistance Reform Initiatives in Ontario
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102439.pdf
Attachment 3 - Basic Income: Key Issues and Considerations
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102460.pdf
Attachment 4 - Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario - Recommendations
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102461.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(April 13, 2017) Submission from Katrina Miller, Strategic Communications and Campaigns, Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE Local 79 (CD.New.CD19.3.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/comm/communicationfile-68755.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Redundant)

That City Council amend Community Development Recommendation 4b. by deleting the words "not withdraw other benefits from people who currently receive them" and replacing them with "enable people to retain essential health benefits they currently receive (such as a drug card or dental benefits) and enable people with disabilities to retain existing benefits and services that support their health, employment and disability related needs" so that it now reads:

 

4b.   Any model of Basic Income enable people to retain essential health benefits they currently receive (such as a drug card or dental benefits) and enable people with disabilities to retain existing benefits and services that support their health, employment and disability related needs.

Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata ruled motion 1 by Councillor Mihevc redundant due to Council's adoption of motion 2 by Councillor Mammoliti.


2 - Motion to Refer Item moved by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Carried)

That City Council refer the Item to the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services and request the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services to report back to the Community Development and Recreation Committee once the pilot has been completed.

Vote (Refer Item) Apr-28-2017 2:45 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - CD19.3 - Mammoliti - motion 2 - Refer the item
Total members that voted Yes: 30 Members that voted Yes are Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Neethan Shan, David Shiner, Michael Thompson
Total members that voted No: 7 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, John Filion, Norman Kelly, Pam McConnell, Anthony Perruzza
Total members that were Absent: 7 Members that were absent are Josh Colle, Mary Fragedakis, Mark Grimes, Joe Mihevc, James Pasternak, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam

CD19.3 - The City's Position on Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Community Development and Recreation Committee recommends that:

 

1.  City Council adopt the principles and positions set out in Attachment 1 to the report (March 23, 2017) from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services with regard to provincial efforts to reform income security and pilot a basic income, as follows:

 

"Principles

 

It is recommended that City Council adopt the following principles to guide current reform efforts underway with regard to basic income, social assistance and other human services. Overall, benefits, programs and services for residents living in poverty should:

 

-  Identify, meet and respond to the changing and different needs of service users;

 

-  Be simple to understand, easy to access and, wherever possible, involve service users as active participants in ongoing design and delivery;

 

-  Provide benefit levels that significantly reduce poverty and are inflation adjusted;

 

-  Be provided outside of social assistance, where appropriate, so that low income residents can access them through much less onerous eligibility processes;

 

-  Minimize administrative costs and modernize service provision by capitalizing on new technologies and new service delivery channels;

 

-  Significantly reduce or eliminate conditionality, while expanding the use of evidence and risk-based approaches to maintaining program financial integrity; and 

 

-  Provide the right incentives and the right supports for clients, working with staff, to address immediate needs and build pathways to a better life.   

 

Positions

 

Basic Income

 

It is recommended that City Council support the provincial decision to pilot a basic income and adopt the following specific positions with regard to the pilot:

 

-  The pilot should consist of people on social assistance, as well as other low income people, and there should be clear information about what participation means;

 

-  The pilot should provide benefit amounts that are at least equivalent to those described in Segal's report (namely, at 75 percent and 100 percent of the Low Income Measure) and ensure that payments are sensitive to the real cost of living in different communities;

 

-  No one should be worse off as a result of participating. This will mean that there is clarity about the relationships between the pilot and existing social assistance and related systems, with close attention paid to the treatment of other subsidies that people receive, such as childcare and housing;

 

-  The pilot should be structured as a Randomized Controlled Trial to enhance the reliability and value of findings. It is not possible to standardize conditions in saturation sites, limiting the value of findings;

 

-  Related to this there should be a robust research and evaluation strategy, conducted by an independent third party, that focuses not only on impacts with regard to labour market attachment but also to issues of access to and connections between a broad range of health, social and educational services; and  

 

-  The City supports the adoption of Toronto as a pilot site in terms of having Toronto residents be selected to participate in a Randomized Control Trial (as opposed to Toronto, or any specific neighbourhood therein in, be identified as a saturation site), while recognising the complexity associated with this, compared, for example, to a smaller municipality. Regardless of the choice of location, the City is committed to working with the Province to support the effective design, implementation and evaluation of the pilot.

 

Income Security Reform

 

It is recommended that City Council adopt the following key positions for improving social assistance as part of a broader reform of income security programs. Provincial social assistance reform should:

 

- Increase income adequacy and align incentives to remove barriers to work;

 

- Simplify social assistance so that it provides a standard basic rate for adults, with supplements, for example, for disability, children and lone parents, while increasing access to a range of health supports (e.g. dental, eyeglasses, mobility aids), and housing benefit/allowance, outside social assistance;

 

- Modernise service delivery to ensure clients can access multiple, modern and user-friendly service channels and eliminate policies that create unnecessary barriers for clients and unproductive work for staff;

 

- Ensure more and better support to clients by investing more resources in the provision of effective service planning; and

 

- Coordinate and integrate processes and procedures across various programs, especially around eligibility criteria and program policies."

 

2.  City Council support the launch, implementation and rigorous evaluation of a basic income pilot in Ontario as a way of testing new approaches to the provision of financial benefits which will inform future decisions with regard to social assistance and income security reform.

 

3.  City Council support both Toronto's participation in the design and evaluation of the provincial basic income pilot and the city as an appropriate location for residents selected to participate in a Randomized Control Trial.

 

4.  City Council advocate to the Province of Ontario that:

 

a.  the Basic Income be set as a Living Income, independently established and increased appropriately, taking into account inflation increases.

 

b.   Any model of Basic Income not withdraw other benefits from people who currently receive them.

 

5.  City Council direct the City Manager to forward the report (March 23, 2017) from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services to the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

 

6.  City Council forward the report (March 23, 2017) from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services to the Board of Health.

Origin

(March 23, 2017) Report from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services

Summary

Over the past year, the Province has moved forward with two important initiatives to advance income security reform and reduce poverty. First, it established the Income Security Reform Working Group to undertake comprehensive social assistance reform. Second, it committed to implementing a basic income pilot. Together, these initiatives provide an important opportunity to advance system level changes that better meet the needs of low income residents in Toronto, including the need for an integrated response to the provision of income supports and key services to low income residents.

 

This report begins by highlighting significant changes to Toronto's labour market and social assistance caseload and situating the Province's efforts within the pressing need to rethink and modernize the broader income security architecture to address growing and emerging social risks and opportunities. Next, it provides an update on the work undertaken by the Province to date on income security reform and basic income. Third, reflecting the approaches and principles embedded in the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy, this report recommends City positions on income security reform and basic income to inform Ontario's future work and directions in these areas. Finally, the report identifies potential implications of these reforms for the City and for city residents, while noting the steps Toronto is undertaking to modernize service delivery, enhance service planning and better connect residents to a range of critical human services.

Background Information

(March 23, 2017) Report from the General Manager, Toronto Employment and Social Services on The City's Position on Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102437.pdf
Attachment 1 - City of Toronto Principles and Positions Related to Provincial Income Security Reform and Basic Income
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102438.pdf
Attachment 2 - Recent Social Assistance Reform Initiatives in Ontario
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102439.pdf
Attachment 3 - Basic Income: Key Issues and Considerations
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102460.pdf
Attachment 4 - Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario - Recommendations
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-102461.pdf

Communications

(April 13, 2017) Submission from Katrina Miller, Strategic Communications and Campaigns, Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE Local 79 (CD.New.CD19.3.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cd/comm/communicationfile-68755.pdf

Speakers

Tim Maguire, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 79
David Senater
Derek Moran

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Carried)

That:

 

1.  City Council advocate to the Province of Ontario that:

 

a.  the Basic Income be set as a Living Income, independently established and increased appropriately, taking into account inflation increases.

 

b.   Any model of Basic Income not withdraw other benefits from people who currently receive them.

 

2.  City Council forward the report (March 28, 2017) from the General Manager, Employment and Social Services to the Board of Health.


2 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council