KICK 'EM WHEN THEY'RE DOWN
It looks like Doug Ford’s government is fixing to cut half a billion from the province’s two main income support programs. That includes the minimal supports offered by Ontario Works and the more supportive Ontario Disability Support Program.
Ontario Works, the old social service or welfare, gives people $733 a month. If you are disabled ODSP provides an additional $400, to bring total support to $1,169 monthly. It’s hard to see how anyone, disabled or not, actually lives on either of these amounts. As skimpy as it is, Ford thinks the ODSP payment is too generous.
His goal is to make it harder to qualify for a disability payment. He wants to force the disabled back onto general social services. That is: to make it harder for them to live.
Ford’s claim is that this will make the system fairer, but it will directly target people with addictions and “episodic” disabilities such as mental illness, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and some cancers, according to disability activists.
The impact of these changes will be to push people who are physically, mentally or emotionally sick further into poverty.
Dr. Jonathon Herriot, co-chair of Health Providers Against Poverty, says Ford’s targeting of low-income workers and people with disabilities for steep cuts is “dangerous” and “cruel.” He went on to say that it would leave people on assistance with no hope of dignity or health.
Their path after they lose that would likely lead to homelessness, hospital, jail and for the most desperate suicide. But maybe that’s the real intention of these cuts. To kick people while they’re down. It looks like people who are hurting are not part of Ford’s “people” either.
Stand Up. Fight Back. Don’t Give Up.