"For people on welfare our goal should be straightforward: to help them rebuild their lives, develop employable skills and advance from the welfare system to new opportunities and stable work. But few people will say Ontario’s current social assistance programs are succeeding in that goal."
- Ontario PC Party's Welfare to Work White Paper
What a simple, common sense, straightforward idea!
Over 475,000 Ontarians, or just under 4 percent, are on welfare. That number is unacceptable. It's not quite the 1.3 million Ontarians who were on welfare under Bob Rae's socialist experiment, but it's unacceptable none the less.
We spend $10 billion per year on welfare, or about $21,100 per person receiving welfare.
Who would be against such a noble, essential platform statement, except of course the Toronto Star and CBC, and their allies in the NDP and Liberal Party?
Clearly, the only response to such a necessary and practical policy change is misdirection and deliberate misrepresentation of what the Ontario PC's and Tim Hudak are actually saying.
Welfare is Ontario Works. The purpose of OW, or "welfare" is "temporary financial assistance to those most in need." Keyword, obviously, being temporary. (And that's entrenched in law.)
Welfare is NOT the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). The purpose of that program is providing "persons with disabilities" with "income and employment supports." That definition, too, is entrenched in law, and it rightly responds differently to the different challenges faced by those with disabilities.
Nor is welfare employment insurance (EI), the federal government program which provides "temporary financial assistance to unemployed Canadians who have lost their job through no fault of their own, while they look for work or upgrade their skills."
Three separate programs, but two of them are intended to be temporary relief measures while disability is a separate, sensitive case. That's why ODSP is largely unchanged in Hudak's Welfare platform, other than to change the back-logged bureaucracy behind it. Welfare is welfare; disability is disability.
So the next time you hear someone flabbergasted about why Hudak is suggesting that a temporary relief program be - wait for it - temporary - you'll know the answer to give them.