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Transitional Funding from Province

December 28, 2012 Poverty Reduction

Four days before the deadline the Province has came through.

Responding to what John Milloy, the Minister of Community and Social Services, characterized as “a lot of concern” the government announced one-time assistance in 2013-14 for municipalities as they develop and implement their Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) plans. Funds will be allocated to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Ontarians - including social assistance recipients - to ensure their stability through this period of transition as plans are developed.

So we’re with Tom Cooper of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction who yesterday tweeted:

“Thanks to provincial government for listening to communities!”

However, as we noted in an earlier blog posting it shouldn’t have had to come to this.

The government appointed the Social Assistance Review Commission two years ago and that Commission recently came back with a blueprint for action on restructuring and reforming the whole social assistance system. They provided detail recommendations regarding special benefits. The government hasn’t responded to the report but was prepared to go ahead with this very significant cut to the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). It is important to note that the commission said that these special benefits should be left alone.

Last week (before this announcement) we had encouraged readers to contact provincial leaders and MPP’s to ask them to save this program Social services are a provincial responsibility and downloading it as part of a laughable affordable housing strategy is just bogus.

We’re glad about this announcement but in the New Year we need to work harder to challenge this idea of an austerity agenda that dominates our public dialogue and is used as an excuse to attack our less well off citizens.

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