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ODSP talking points for MPP visits

ODSP talking points for MPP visits

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This form is part of the ODSP Lobbying Kit.

Click here to download as a PDF.

This worksheet has a summary of talking points, plus space for you to prepare your own notes ahead of your meeting with your MPP. It’s your cheat sheet for the meeting!

Please create your talking points in the spaces below ahead of time. These talking points and questions will help guide your discussion with your MPP. Have a pad of paper and pen handy to take notes at the meeting.

MPP Name:

Riding:

Name of OPSEU member visiting MPP:

Name of person coordinating lobbying efforts:

Three key talking points on ODSP:

Digitizing and dehumanizing the application process:

  • The Ministry plans to automate the application process for ODSP, OW and special benefits, reducing the role of caseworkers as much as possible.
  • Removing human beings from reviewing applications will lead to mistaken rejections which will force our clients into unnecessary appeals. Or it could lead to overpayments that our clients will be forced to pay back.
  • Decisions that affect financially vulnerable clients should be made by human beings – not a computer algorithm.

Forcing ODSP clients back to OW offices:

  • The Ministry is downloading ODSP casework to municipal OW offices.
  • ODSP is a long-term program that recognizes that most clients cannot work in the short term and many can’t in the long term either. OW is focused on getting all of their clients into a job and off social assistance as soon as possible.
  • ODSP clients aren’t well-served by a service delivery model based on forcing them to look for work when they can’t. They shouldn’t have to justify why they are unable to work. ODSP workers understand this well and are best suited to work with our clients.

Downloading ODSP to cash-strapped municipalities

  • It makes no sense to have dozens of municipal governments running a provincial social assistance program. Municipal governments vary widely in size and capacity to run social programs. We don’t need another social program downloaded to municipalities.
  • We should be centralizing and standardizing social assistance services so all clients across the province have the same supports.
  • ODSP is an Ontario government program. It should be funded, directly run and staffed by the Ontario Public Service.

Introduce yourself and the work you do.

My name is:

I live in your riding. I’m here as an OPSEU/SEFPO member, and I’m here to talk to you about the government’s plans for ODSP. I’m very concerned about the government’s plan to download ODSP casework to municipalities and to automate the application process.

This is how it will affect my clients, and me as a worker:

(Fill out ahead of time. Talk here about your own experiences and how the changes will adversely affect your clients – do not disclose any names or identifying information about your clients.)

Can we count on your support?

Ask MPP: What is your position on this issue? (Write down MPP’s response here.)

Ask MPP: These are the actions I am asking you to take on this issue. Will you commit to taking these specific actions on this issue?

(Fill out ahead of time. List the actions you want them to take here, and record their responses.)

Ask MPP: What action are you going to take on this issue?

(Write down MPP’s response here. List specific commitments made by MPP if different than above.)

Tell MPP: Thank-you for taking time to discuss this issue with me.

After the meeting:

Debrief with your group. Then visit https://sefpo.org/cold/lobby-report-back/ and fill out the survey to let OPSEU/SEFPO know how your meeting went!