The 2003 Summit highlighted the dramatically increased costs to cities as a result of the 1998 provincial downloading of social programs to municipalities. It warned that an economic downturn would rapidly escalate these costs for city governments and social service agencies with the fewest means to respond.
In 2004, the Toronto City Summit Alliance and St. Christopher House launched the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults (MISWAA) to address this looming crisis by charting reforms to income security policies and programs that would better support low-income adults in gaining economic independence and in forming stable attachments to the labour market. The MISWAA Task Force and Working Group included experts and leaders from the non-profit, academic, business, labour and government sectors of civil society, and people with first-hand experience of income security programs.
The Task Force’s 2006 Time for a Fair Deal recommendations paved the way for a new federal Working Income Tax Benefit and for Ontario’s Child Benefit and dental plan. In March 2007, over 60 senior business, not-for-profit and labour leaders signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario highlighting the need to implement the MISWAA recommendations, which and was published on full pages by both The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.
Read the report here: Time For a Fair Deal