Jennefer Laidley

photo: Jennefer Laidley

Jennefer Laidley has focused on poverty- and income security-related advocacy and research for more than 20 years, whether supporting and learning from people living in poverty, speaking to government officials and legislative committees, or writing and publishing policy papers, advocacy resources, and public education materials.

As the researcher and lead author of Maytree’s annual Welfare in Canada report since 2020, Jennefer has contributed her deep knowledge of social assistance systems and expertise in research, data analysis, and policy advocacy to this unique and important publication. Prior to joining Maytree, she was Policy Analyst at the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) in Toronto, where for twelve years she led policy analysis and development, strategic communications, and government, network, and media relations, focused on improving social assistance and reducing poverty in Ontario. She has also served as political staff to members of the House of Commons, the BC Legislature, and Toronto City Council, worked with non-profit service providers and networks to develop their governance and strategic planning capacity, and served on numerous non-profit boards.

As a Maytree fellow, Jennefer will focus on helping Maytree develop a strategy and materials to disseminate learning about the Welfare in Canada data set and its implications for people living in poverty, assist Maytree in its advocacy efforts with the public, government, and media, and provide advice and support to advance Maytree’s income security advocacy priorities.

Jennefer’s academic work in urban planning and development culminated in the publication of two edited collections on the development of the Toronto waterfront and urban waterfronts around the world. She currently serves on the Board of the Gabriola Housing Society, which aims to build that Gulf Island’s first multi-family affordable housing project, leads data collection and analysis on the social determinants of health in the Gabriola Health Data Report series, and volunteers with local organizations in various capacities.