Comment 90614

By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2013 at 08:11:24

Hamilton has a lot of organizations like the SPRC. I call them collectively the Poverty Industry. Funny thing is, not a single person has been raised out of poverty by any of their prognostications. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand the dynamic of enabling of poverty to continue and expand. This industry is self-perpetuating. I'm retired now, but worked and saved for three decades so I could retire at 55. The best way out of poverty is a full-time job. Presently we have over 10,000 individuals, couples and families with kids collecting Welfare (OW) and another 20,000 individuals collecting ODSP. This is why we have numerous food-banks throughout the city. Almost anyone can go there to get food. Even Binbrook has a food-bank. All of them rely on government funding to survive. Personally, I've never been to one. The average stay on Welfare is two and a half years. How is this possible when every person signs a participation agreement, and must show progress. These agreements are rarely audited to ensure compliance. If Welfare is like a job, perhaps able-bodied recipients could do some work for the money, like Graffiti removal or other tasks (picking up litter) that could help individuals escape the rut they are in. Real reforms are needed, as just throwing money at the problem won't work, as we have been doing it this way for years, yet nothing has changed. Hundreds of millions of dollars are given to the Poverty Industry every year, yet the OW and ODSP rolls continue to expand. Better to give this money directly to people who need it, than organizations that only talk about the problem endlessly. According to the Provincial government if you are making $10.25 per hour full time, you are above the (LICO) poverty line. Perhaps one day the government will start fixing the root-causes of the plight of those collecting government assistance. I can recall city-hall used to have a 50/50 program. People were subsidized to work long enough so they could collect Federal EI payments. This got a lot of people off the system. Unfortunately city-hall unions got rid of it, saying their members should be doing this menial work, shoveling snow at intersections and other tasks. Perhaps that program should be re-introduced. Anything would be better than what is happening now.

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