WINDSOR — NDP critic for Social Services, Lisa Gretzky, released the following statement regarding social assistance clawbacks:
“It’s just plain wrong for Ontario to make money off the backs of OW and ODSP recipients during a pandemic. It’s one thing to refuse to provide extra supports, as this government has done. It’s another entirely to implement a scheme where the government takes in extra income during a pandemic by taking money away from the province’s most vulnerable people.
Quietly, online, Minister Todd Smith has confirmed that for any $1 a household receives from the federal CERB benefit — because a member of the household has lost their job due to COVID-19 — the Ford government will take away either 50-cents or $1 from the household, if someone in that household is receiving social assistance benefits.
The federal government specifically asked all provinces to exempt CERB benefits from any clawbacks because people need more support during this difficult time, not less. The British Columbia government is not punishing low-income households by clawing back the federal CERB benefit. The Ontario government has put recipients and caseworkers through two weeks of uncertainty and confusion, only to decide to enact these cruel clawbacks. Taking money from the lowest income Ontarians is wrong, and it has to stop.”