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Program Information
Poverty and the Special Diet in Ontario
Joseph St. George
 Maggie Hughes  Contact Contributor
March 19, 2006, 10:32 a.m.
Ontario's poor finding it more difficult to eat.
Social Services in Ontario.

March 14 2006,

Joseph St. George's story illustrates what can happen to those no longer able to work, and do not qualify for CPP.
There can be a number of similar weeding out policies for a Federal Pension as the ones we see in the Provincial Social Services.

For one thing, if the client was unable to work steadily for the previous six years, and therefore was not able to pay into the CPP plan, then they are ineligible to claim Federal Disability. Many of those currently waiting for the sub poverty income that ODSP will supply are those that have experienced years of interrupted work ability due to long periods of illness.

It has long been written in many reports, that those in need of basic welfare help in Ontario no matter what the reason - must go through a tedious insulting and confusing process, just to get a little bit over $560.00 a month in supports.

Most of the over 50 aged clients to the welfare office are finding it far too hard to keep jobs in todays Global market economy, and in most circumstances are too ill to keep any job.

These people are gathered up under the umbrella term the disable; but this category is still too general and misleading to help people that are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and still be able to eat.

These clients by and large are ill, rather than handicapped, a term that was used to explain those that had physical limitations rather than chronic illness.
By putting all ill and handicapped clients under the one term, disability, the Ontario Government is able to promote that their intentions are admirable as they are trying to help the disabled get back to work, even if only part-time.

When the client is unable to work due to chronic illness, it does not matter what tweaks are made, how much limited earnings can be kept, or how a work space can be modified, if the person is too sick to spend much their time off the bed. They should be treated the same as if they were terminally ill. The daily fears, pain and limitations are in some cases very similar, the future ability to work ruled out.

Making these ill clients jump through bureaucratic hoops, set up to thin out the numbers of those needing government assistance, by sending them out on repeated job searches or putting them through the medical rat maze only serves to wear down the clients health, and frustrate, insult and harass the medical practitioners that must verify the clients inability to work.

What cost savings can there be in harassing the sick?

Those struggling on the boarder of being able to actually participate in society on a daily basis, for a limited amount of time, may actually find themselves being useful as a volunteer a couple of hours per week, rather than being consistently stressed with worry, hunger and fear, that forces them back to their beds incapacitated. This is not a very efficient way to slim down the numbers of people in our society that fall into need. The medical profession ends up with the damaged results of these abused poor.

Taking away the Special Diet from those that have relied upon this income to help with their dietary struggles - like just being able to eat for the entire month, is a great disservice to the community at large whose taxes must now stretch to cover additional medical care.

Struggling for food Download Program Podcast
00:30:00 1 March 14, 2006
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