Ford government billed its changes as ‘compassionate’
As Doug Ford’s government gets ready to overhaul social assistance programs, Ontario service providers are warning Ford’s changes, billed as “compassionate,” could force many recipients into homelessness.
Ford’s plan to cancel the Transition Child Benefit and raise assistance clawbacks has already drawn the ire of many service providers.
Earlier this year, Toronto City Manager Chris Murray wrote in a note to city council that Ford’s cuts will increase the strain on municipal services, including its family shelter system. Similar concerns were raised by social service managers in Waterloo, London and Windsor.
The HIV & AIDS Legal Network Ontario — which provides legal support to many Ontarians with disabilities — has noted average recipients of both Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support program will be poorer once eligibility is recalculated.
Under the new rules, Ontario Works recipients will only be able to keep up to $300 of net earned income each month, while ODSP recipients will only be able to keep up to $6,000 per year — every dollar recipients earn beyond those targets will reduce assistance by 75%.
HALCO community legal worker Jill McNall said “the new rules will mean that many people on OW/ODSP who work will be poorer than they were before.”
“Many will be below any credible poverty line,” McNall told PressProgress. “They will be at risk of homelessness.” MORE