Telling it like it is

Year Published:  1983  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2822

Abstract:  TELLING IT LIKE IT IS is an 18 page brief that describes the poverty faced by unemployed women and their children in Ontario, the province which ranks near the bottom in the amount of benefits paid to welfare recipients. it was written by Mothers Action Group, a welfare advocacy organization representing 1,500 Ontario sole support mothers who receive social assistance.

The brief examines the current provincial Ministry's plans to transfer single parents from provincial Family Benefit's to municpal General Welfare Assistance, and to reclassify them as "employable." Although the Ministry of Community and Social Services (ComSoc) has stated that participation in any employment scheme will be voluntary, the brief includes exerpts from ComSoc documents which clearly indicate that mandatory employemnt searches and financial penaltis for non-compliance are being considered. Welfare recipients, especially those who are single and considered employable are increasingly being subjected to "sweeping discretionay powers and punitive legislation." For example, after the Director of Social Services of Elgin County received a complaint from a local worm salesman who was unable to find workers, he announced on April ;6, 1983 that welfare recipients who refust to pick worms would risk losing their benefits.

The authors of TELLING IT LIKE IT IS concluded that "what this province needs is more low cost housing, more day care at rates parents can afford, and more jobs. It does not need the added social problems that are sure to result" if the proposed policy changes are implemented.

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