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Welfare Reform in Ontario: Tough Times in Mothers' Lives

Julie Ann McMullin, Lorraine Davies and Gale Cassidy
Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques
Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 2002), pp. 297-314
DOI: 10.2307/3552330
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3552330
Page Count: 18
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Welfare Reform in Ontario: Tough Times in Mothers' Lives
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Abstract

Cet article examine la relation entre les politiques sur la sécurité du revenu et la pauvreté des mères. Nous évaluons qualitativement comment les changements dans le système d'assistance sociale de l'Ontario, qui résultent de la Loi de Réforme de l'Assistance Sociale de 1997, ont affecté la sécurité financière des mères. Nous constatons que les coupures affectant les allocations et les restrictions quant à l'égibilité peuvent fortement diminuer l'aptitude des mères à élever convenablement leurs enfants et nous estimons que ces coupures peuvent aussi leur donner plus de difficultés à trouver un emploi. En outre, les programmes sociaux ne prennent pas en compte les besoins spécifiques et la situation des mères, en particulier des mères qui sont seules. En conclusion, nous proposons des changements dans la politique sociale qui assureraient la sécurité économique des femmes. /// This paper investigates the relationship between income security policies and mothers' poverty. We evaluate qualitatively how changes to Ontario's social welfare system brought about by the 1997 Social Assistance Reform Act have affected mothers' financial security. We find that cuts to social assistance benefits and eligibility restrictions can undermine their ability to care adequately for their children and argue that these cuts can also make it more difficult for them to find employment. Moreover, social welfare programs do not take the specific needs and circumstances of mothers, particularly single mothers, into account. We conclude by suggesting social policy changes that would promote the economic security of women.

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