May 10, 2010

A Living Wage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 1:29 pm

A small city in British Columbia has now passed their bylaw for a living wage as described in Carol Goar‘s article from The Star. To do so in the Toronto area would require the wage required would be between $17 to $17.50/hour. At the rate of OW in the province of Ontario, which works out to about $ 3.60/hour and ODSP at about $6.25/hour, both at their current rates to recipients, the idea of raising their rates to a “living rate” of $17/hour is highly unlikely. Bringing rates up to minimum wage would be a breath of fresh air, but it looks rather foggy for the foreseeable future. The provincial Liberals keep making the same stale statement that they’ve have been the only government to raise the rates, but what they don’t say is where they made cuts in the same programs to pay for it. Come July when the HST becomes effective, those rebates won’t last very long, in most cases folks will apply them to their outstanding debt because of the current rates. They won’t even have a chance to enjoy a bag of milk much less anything else nourishing and certainly nothing luxurious. To what cost does the so called “living wage” bring? Higher taxes to help pay for it is a sure bet to start off with, but we all know they would make further cutbacks to the program drug,dental and eye care to also help pay for the increase. Something they’ve already been doing since they took office. So once again, it would be a loss for recipients and with everyone paying higher taxes to supposedly pay for the increases that really would just go into the so called “General Revenue” and spent who knows where.

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April 19, 2010

Special Diet Allowance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 1:08 pm

Changes are now confirmed from the provincial government. They claim a new program is on the way to replace the current program that they claim is being abused. With only a 1% increase to rates, which is below the cost of living, not to mention still far behind where rates should be, this is a major concern for all who receive the SDA. The government claims the new program will reduce abuse, which we all know will be a program that will reduce the amount of people eligible and those who are currently receiving it. What fails to be seen is the real cost of this new program. It’s not just the paperwork, adjudication and appeals, but the cost to recipients who will suffer directly with their health, thereby causing further costs to the health care system. Just how does this government think this so called *new* program is going to save them millions? Easy answer, it won’t, not that they’ll believe it. Disability and social assistance recipients are in for a rough road ahead, especially with the arrival of July 1st and the HST. Once again, they’ll be even further behind with food, transportation, but also with any utility bills that don’t already include GST & PST. So how does all this work out for everyone? To just estimate the numbers for ODSP and OW recipients, 1% adds roughly five to ten dollars a month to their benefits. Now factor in the cost of the Special Diet Allowance removal/reduction, the addition of the HST to their lives, additional costs to groceries (keep in mind that fuel costs will jump overnight with the HST, so the cost of transporting/shipping grocery and all other products will be passed onto the cosnumer), and recipients of both these programs will lose more than 1%. Estimating the numbers will probably see recipients loosing roughly the last three years of increases they’ve received on their monthly benefits. Why governments insist on attacking the most vulnerable in our society still mystifies me. Isn’t it bad enough they’ve reduced the drug, dental and eye care coverage over the last several years, now they’re going to remove direct funding? Oh, but wait, there’s more. They’ll give recipients a one percent increase… don’t spend it all in one place folks.

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June 22, 2009

Ontario Child Benefit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 8:18 am

Queen’s Park breaks yet another promise, which is not surprising to anyone as it’s a consistent theme from this government.As the benefit is totally phased in this summer, many single parents on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support with a teenager will see a measly three dollar increase monthly. Not even enough to buy a four litre bag of milk!¬† Of course, the province defend their actions claiming how much money they’ve put into recipients hands. However, what most don’t know is how much the government has removed from other benefits to pay for it, so in reality, they haven’t helped at all, but reduced the funding. Minister Deb Matthews may call the amount of the Child Benefit an accomplishment, but it’s far from that. Try more in the lines of an insult Minister and place yourself in their position for a year or two, that way you can experience the reality of the system you claim is doing so much. Sure, many will say, get out there and get a job… an easy out statement from the Harris era. Look at Ontario’s economy. Many people are out of work and many companies are not hiring at all, so while many folks are unemployed, this also makes it extremely difficult for those on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability to obtain any kind of employment. Jobs are scarce folks. Our safety net isn’t really a safety net at all and there isn’t any human compassion in sight. Medical and other benefits reduced means recipients are using their cheques to cover it, thereby reducing the amount available to cover rent, utilities, food, clothing, transit and other basic needs many take for granted. How long till the next election???

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June 3, 2009

When you turn 65

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 11:35 am

If you’re receiving ODSP when you reach 65 some will be transfered over to Old Age Security,GIS and CPP. However, if you have’t paid into the CPP for many years, or maybe not at all, you’ll find that you won’t receive much if any at all. This becomes a serious issue as you will revert back to Social Assistance(OW) for income and as many already know, the amount is extremely low (about 50% lower for single adults) making survival almost impossible. If you’re lucky enough to be in RGI (rent-geared-to-income) housing, you might stand a chance, but for many, it just isn’t enough. Both levels of government need to change this and yes, they keep holding reviews of the issue, but they never actually do anything about it. Once you reach 65, you’re still disabled and even though the ODSP rate still isn’t enough for many to survive on,having your limited income reduced by almost 50% is just plain inhumane. If the government has an ounce of humanity and compassion, this issue should be resolved immediately without further consultations that simply defer the issue for months and even years as we’ve seen already. Voice your concern with your local MP and MPP and keep the pressure on, making sure you’re not going anywhere till this issue is resolved.

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April 8, 2009

Bill 152 – Poverty Reduction Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 1:48 pm

Once again the Provincial Government is holding so called “Public” meetings in regards to the Bill. Just like last time to attend the meeting one must apply and wait to be accepted. It certainly looks like a “Closed” meeting for only those select few they wish to hear from. This demonstrates the lack of democracy this government is known for. What is Mr.McGunity hiding this time? The public has the right to an open and fair meeting for all to attend, to be able to voice their opinion on this Bill and to have the opportunity to offer possible solutions and plans. Apparently he isn’t interested in our input at all with only two short days with limited time frames within each. Yes, he has slated another two percent increase in benefits for those receiving Ontario Works and Ontario Disability, but to what cost? More cuts to their benefits such as vision and health care? A vast majority of recipients are either ill or will become so due to this and the fact the benefit amount is much too low. This in turn has people entering the health care system, which will actually cost the province more if the government bean counters would actually utilize basic math that any grade school student uses. Simply put, Mr.McGuinty doesn’t want to hear from the public, not only on this Bill, but anything for that matter and that certainly proves once again that he and his government don’t have our best interests in the forefront. What will happen if and when the HST becomes effective? Mr.McGuinty claims that his government will be sending out cheques to everyone (which is basically an attempt to buy your vote again for the next election) and will it affect the benefits of those on OW/ODSP? I’m sure only his office knows this as I haven’t seen anything made public yet. Or maybe he’ll hold another¬† so called “Public” meeting about this too. Let’s face it, this government has shown time and time again their lack of democracy to the public and for the balance of their term it isn’t likely to change. It’s time people spoke up and let their voices be heard.

According to the bill, the Minister must regularly consult with stakeholders, other levels of government,members of the private,public and non-profit sectors and individuals,including those living in poverty. The so called “Public” meeting, just as the time before doesn’t allow this. It’s that simple.

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April 4, 2008

Hard Times Ahead

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 5:04 pm

After reading this article in today’s Star, I was appalled by the Premier’s comments. Yes I suppose it’s possible that the economic outlook for Ontario could improve in the near future, although I’m not holding my breath, however to make the comment that he’ll have less money for supports for our most vulnerable is downright ridiculous. Sure those on OW/ODSP received a 2% increase but it certainly doesn’t add up to much at all. For a single person on ODSP, they will receive at the end of November $8.90 more per month for rent and utilities. Basic Needs (for food and clothing) is a measly $11.08 per month. When one really looks at the numbers such as the average rent increase is 3 to 4%, the rising cost of transit, hydro, natural gas, food and just about everything else, the increase doesn’t even come close to helping anyone. Therefore his comments simply don’t have any legitimacy to them whatsoever. Less money for health care? I hope he isn’t going to try and tell us the system has improved because I haven’t seen squat in that department since the Liberals took power in 2003. Telling the media and the Legislature about all the jobs created in Ontario is simply not factual. The jobs created are mostly in the public sector while our manufacturing sector is being obliterated. Sorry Mr.Premier, but I’m simply not buying the script you are presenting. Until I see some real concrete numbers and substantial increases in benefits for those on OW/ODSP, not to mention care for our seniors, you certainly won’t see support from this voter any time soon.

The Star

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March 26, 2008

Ontario Budget 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — ODSCF_ADMIN @ 9:27 am

So the budget came down and certainly wasn’t impressive by any means. I did appreciate the fact that PSA tests are now going to be covered. My prediction for the increase of OW/ODSP was correct, a measly 2% which doesn’t even come close to the cost of living. Another $19.98 total per month for a single person (just over $8 for Shelter increase). This government just doesn’t seem to get it. With rent increases that average 2 to 4 percent, the Shelter increase doesn’t help at all and the Basic Needs certainly won’t cover it. Both programs are still far behind of where they should be and why they make the increase effective at the end of November is just plain ridiculous. A 10 percent increase per year over their mandate would be much more promising. With under 700,000 people utilizing the system, there is absolutely no reason for these measly and insulting increases.

There’s my thoughts on that aspect of the budget. Remember, you can view the budget through the Forum.

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