QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Poverty Reduction critic Paul Miller says Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has been trying to block efforts to pass legislation he introduced over a year ago that would create a Social Assistance Research Commission.
“This bill is going to create an evidence based research commission that would make recommendations to our government on what Ontario’s social assistance rates should be year to year and in each region. This is an effective way to deal with poverty,” said Miller.
The commission, once established, would look at how regional differences impact the cost of living and social assistance needs, as well as looking at other aspects of social assistance programs and delivery. The commission would include members knowledgeable about the economic and financial challenges faced by individuals living with disabilities, and by indigenous individuals.
“The Liberals have had plenty of opportunity to pass [Bill 6]. They are letting the bill sit, preventing it from going before committee, hoping that it is going to wither and die,” said Miller.
The bill was referred to committee on September 29, 2016, after passing second reading with support from all parties. Since then, the Liberals have used their majority position in committee to prevent the bill from moving forwards.
Miller urged Premier Wynne to stop blocking the bill.
“I stand in the House today not with a question, but a request of the Government,” said Miller. “Don’t let impoverished Ontarians continue to suffer. Do the right thing and bring Bill 6 forward!”