Social assistance has been delivered at the County level in both Lennox & Addington and Prince Edward Counties since the mid 1960’s. In 1997, the Province of Ontario determined to realign the funding relationship with municipalities. The initiative, originally termed “Who Does What?” was later named “Local Services Realignment”. The Province determined that the management of the realigned services (particularly social assistance, child care and housing) would need to be accompanied by consolidation of service delivery.
The Province directed that by mid-1998 all delivery of social services would be based on upper tier jurisdictions (Regions, Counties, Northern Districts). These delivery agents were to be named Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSM’s).The Province directed that all CMSM’s would have a minimum population of 50,000. Since both Lennox & Addington County and Prince Edward County had populations below the threshold some realignment was necessary. This led to a proposed consolidation endorsed by both County Councils in April, 1998 and approved by the Minister of Community & Social Services in June, 1998.
To fulfil this obligation, the Counties of Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington entered into an agreement which created a joint services committee known as the Prince Edward-Lennox - Addington Social Services Committee.
The PELASS Committee is made up of the Head of Council of each of Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington and two Councillors from each of Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington. The Chair of the Committee is elected each calendar year from among the members by the members.
The Committee is responsible for the Consolidated Municipal Service Management of Ontario Works (social assistance), Child Care and Social Housing. Costs are shared between Lennox & Addington and Prince Edward using a formula which takes into consideration weighted assistance and social assistance caseload in each county. Lennox & Addington is responsible to provide administrative support to the Committee, including Human Resources.
The 2017 Prince Edward Lennox & Addington Social Services Committee members are:
- Lennox & Addington:
- Warden Bill Lowry, Councillor Marg Isbester, Councillor John Wise
- Prince Edward:
- Mayor Robert Quaiff; Councillor Lenny Epstein; Councillor Gordon Fox