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Ford government scraps planned cuts to social assistance programs

Doug Ford’s PC government has cancelled their planned cuts to social assistance programming following public condemnation across Ontario.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Dylan Gibbons Montreal, QC

Doug Ford’s PC government has cancelled their planned cuts to social assistance programming following public condemnation across Ontario.

The proposed cuts included Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, and the Transition Child Benefit, which is designed to assist low-income families in need and was going to be discontinued on November first.

As CBC reports, “In the wake of that announcement, municipalities and social justice advocates said losing the benefit, which amounts to a maximum of $230 per child per month, would leave low-income families — in particular refugee claimants, who are not eligible for other child benefit payments — in a budget shortfall.”

“The money is designed to supplement Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).”

Christine Wood, a spokesperson for Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith, told CBC in an email that all proposed cuts will no longer take place and these programs will continue to function as they did before.

According to the Toronto Star, Toronto mayor John Tory had previously appealed “directly to Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith about the loss of the Transition Child Benefit,” and has since praised the Ford government’s decision not to make the planned cuts.

In a statement, Tory said, “I want to thank the government of Ontario for listening to the concerns raised about the cancellation of this funding and the impact it would have on families, their housing needs in particular, and the city’s emergency shelter system, which would have ended up as a destination of last resort for many families.”

“I hope that the review of this benefit now underway will both recognize the important contribution it makes to family stability and recognize that is should be funded on a permanent basis by the provincial and federal governments.”

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