QUEEN’S PARK- On Wednesday, Hamilton East- Stoney Creek MPP and NDP Poverty Reduction critic Paul Miller re-introduced legislation at the Ontario Legislature that would ensure those on social assistance receive adequate rates after the Wynne Liberals, twice, let old versions of the bill disappear as a result of prorogation.
“The bill would go a long way to ensuring those on social assistance receive the support they need. I am extremely disappointed with the government’s decision to throw out the legislation twice. With so little time left, the Liberals have tried to let this bill wither and die. I believe it needs to be reintroduced to show those living in poverty that we haven’t forgotten about them.” said Miller. “I’m nicknaming it version 3.0. This is the third time I’ve had to introduce this same bill because the Liberals keep stalling.”
Miller’s bill would create a social assistance research commission that would advise the government on what social assistance rates need to be, year to year, in each region of the province. It provides a non-partisan, evidence-based framework to determine them.
“This legislation is what Ontario’s social welfare recipients have needed for too long. Social assistance programs have been drastically underfunded under the Wynne Liberals and weren’t any better under the previous Conservative government, meaning those on Ontario Works and ODSP fall hundreds of dollars behind when trying to pay for housing, food, hygiene products, clothing or other essentials,” said Miller. “It forces them to live off a pittance and this legislation would change that.”
Tom Cooper, Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, also expressed urgency for the need to turn MPP Paul Miller’s Bill into law:
“In Ontario, 940,000 social assistance recipients experience deep poverty. This legislation brings a sensible, non-partisan approach to determining adequate social assistance rates based on the real costs of living in communities. Let's work together to provide dignity and opportunity to those who have been left behind for too long.”