Yvonne Spicer meets with government representatives

Yvonne Spicer, the Council-appointed Director at Large of the Community Living Ontario Board of Directors and a passionate self-advocate, has been doing advocacy work in her community. She reached out to two MPPs and set up meetings to discuss the needs of people who have an intellectual disability.

Her first meeting was with MPP Parm Gill, who went over the reforms being introduced by their government. The upcoming changes would include redesigning both the Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and introduce a tax cut for low-income workers that will provide $850 in tax relief to almost 1.1 million people in Ontario. Those receiving support through OW and ODSP will receive a 1.5% increase for their cost of living, OW recipients will soon be able to earn up to $300 per month without impacting their assistance and ODSP recipients will have a $6,000 annual exemption plus a 25 percent exemption for anything beyond $6,000. These changes are not yet implemented.

Yvonne’s second meeting, with MPP Mike Schreiner, was regarding universal basic income and discussing how to lift individuals who have an intellectual disability out of poverty. The MPP was keen to learn about Yvonne’s advocacy work and her experience building a career. After their discussion, Mike offered to speak at an event for the ODSP coalition that she is a part of and was invited to the Community Living Ontario conference.

We are happy to see our Board members seeking out these relationships with MPPs and advocating for themselves and others.