Income Security

The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis that demands quick and effective public policy responses.

Maytree’s work focuses on providing resources and ideas to governments and organizations working on policy solutions that support people living in poverty during the crisis and in the long term.

Backgrounders and reports

How do the Canada Response Benefit (CRB) and the temporary EI changes impact social assistance benefits in provinces and territories?
Read the preliminary findings of research carried out by Anne Tweddle and John Stapleton. The information presented comes from public service contacts in each jurisdiction.

How does the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) impact eligibility of provincial benefits?
This policy backgrounder by John Stapleton and Anne Tweddle provides an overview of how provincial and territorial governments are treating receipt of the CERB for those receiving social assistance and/or living in subsidized housing. It also looks at provisions for youth aging out of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government is saving provinces and territories a lot of money—it’s now time for them to step up and support those left behind
The recovery package announced by the federal government on August 20 should be welcome news for provincial and territorial governments. They should now reinvest the savings from the federally-funded EI changes in social assistance recipients.

How is Rent-Geared-to-Income in Ontario changing in 2020?
This backgrounder explores how COVID-19 emergency benefits and pre-existing changes to RGI calculations will affect RGI tenants in Ontario.

Locked down, not locked out: An eviction prevention plan for Ontario
Ontario tenants who have fallen behind on their rent because of COVID-19 will need provincial help to stay housed when the current eviction ban is lifted. A new analysis calls for targeted rent relief, a gradual easing of the eviction ban, and a reintroduction of rent controls.

Engaging lived and living expertise in COVID-19 recovery planning
This submission to the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild Consultation is based on what we’ve heard from advocates with lived expertise to examine how the City should engage lived/living expertise in recovery and rebuild planning.

Rents keep going up, pandemic or not
Recent data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows that rents are going up, pandemic or not. In the absence of rent controls on vacant units, there is money to be made from evictions, and some landlords will cash that money, pandemic or not. 

Policy ideas and opinions

Five good ideas for income supports in a post-CERB Canada
We need to chart out our path, and think collectively about the ideas and principles that will be our north star as we work to strengthen our social safety net.

One string is not a safety net – it’s a tightrope
The pursuit of a dignified, simple, and adequate social safety net in response to COVID-19 requires building and strengthening public services, systems, and income supports at the same time. We may risk too much if we focus on a single solution at the expense of everything else.

Glass half full? The impact of CERB on people receiving social assistance in Ontario
COVID-19 has made the challenge of making ends meet much greater for those already in poverty. This includes the 75,000 workers in Ontario who receive social assistance.

First things first: Help people pay their rent
The COVID-19 crisis has changed many things, but some remain the same: Housing is a human right and a necessity for individual and public health.

We’re setting the precedent – let’s make it a good one
In time, we will look back on this – on the unprecedented events and how we responded. We need to make sure that we’ve created a precedent that keeps the protection of social and economic rights at the heart of everything that we do.

COVID-19 is a wake-up call for governments on household financial security
Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, Canadians were deeply concerned about their household finances.

Any post-pandemic recovery plan must include society’s most vulnerable
Investments that improve economic and social conditions will help us prepare for future crises — so let’s make sure public-health evidence drives our recovery.

Reconstructing care for seniors
While it may be too early to examine the lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, it is not too soon to contemplate what the care of seniors should look like.

Lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic could help shape the future of bail and remand
Ontario’s courts and corrections systems acted correctly in their rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis. But now we must ensure that these important lessons will be applied to the much needed reform of the bail and remand system – both here in Ontario and across the country.

Our recovery cannot rest on hope – it depends on investments in people and public services
Governments must must be guided by evidence, and willing to change course when needed. Decisions should be grounded in the principles of human rights. The responsibility to support our economic and social rights must be at the fore.