Overpaid!?!? What about the Underpaid?

December 7, 2009

Millions wasted on welfare: Ontario auditor general

The recession hasn’t stopped Ontario government bureaucrats from playing fast and loose with taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars — particularly on social assistance to the poor, the provincial auditor general says in a new report released Monday.

Jim McCarter, Ontario's auditor general

Jim McCarter, Ontario's auditor general, says lack of oversight and due diligence means millions of dollars in overpayments are being made to welfare and disability recipients. He tabled his annual report Dec. 7, 2009.

Despite lessons learned from the eHealth and Ontario Lottery Corporation expense scandals earlier this year, examples abound of public money being carelessly spent on welfare overpayments, disability support and assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Read the Full Article from the Toronto Star

I guess the main issue that really stuck up to me was the mention about overpaying as far as the Ontario Disability Support Program and other social assistance related issues.

The basic income granted for someone on with a physical disability is about $796.00 a month (give or take a few cents).  That is all a person has to live on every month for a year.  With that $796.00, the person is presumably supposed to:

1. Pay rent, Hyrdo, and other household expenses (like: Phone/Cable/Internet)

2. Pay for Food for the month

3. Pay for transportation for the month.

When all is said and done, the person is lucky if they have $50-$100 for other things such as recreation.  Now, I know what you may be thinking, “Well, if they can cover the essentials, isn’t that good enough?”  Ordinarily, I’d say yes.  But imagine living on your own and not being able to do anything!  MAYBE you can save $200.00, but that’s only after two or three months of doing NOTHING, spending NOTHING.  You stay in your home, because you can’t really afford to do anything else.

You can work and be eligible for ODSP benefits.

Here’s how it works:

Say you have a job where you make $1000 a month (lets forget taxes for now).  What they do is take half of that $1000 and give you the rest plus $100.00.  So instead of working, assuming you can, and making $1000.00, you can work and make $600.00 versus not working and making under $800.00.  One doesn’t really look much better, but I bet you’d take the $800.00, right?  The current system doesn’t allow much room for growth.

The questions I want answered are:

  • When the very basic payout for ODSP is just over $9,000 over one year, what is the excuse for over 1 BILIION DOLLARS being OVERPAID to ODSP recipients?
  • Where is the money going?
  • Where is the oversight?
  • How many people receiving ODSP actually should be?
  • Is everyone on ODSP actually disabled?
  • Is everyone on ODSP a Canadian?
  • With all these restrictions on people receiving ODSP, why the overpaying?

The people who are just getting by, they aren’t being overpaid, that’s for sure.  I know this because I am one of them.  I also know that thousands of people cheat the system, because they aren’t called on it.  Maybe if they were, we in Ontario would see better numbers, and have people on ODSP actually living their lives instead of just making it through.

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Yet another journey into the Liberal mindset!

September 19, 2009

So Michael Ignatieff was at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo today talking to some Young Liberals and other supporters. 

Karen Redman, former Liberal Whip and MP for Kitchener Centre was there too, as was Andrew Telegdi, formally MP for Kitchener-Waterloo.  Joining the two veteran Liberals with their Leader was Teresa Huegle.  Teresa is the recently chosen Liberal Candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga.

The Liberal mindset…  I gotta say that I am amazed by it actually.  And not because it is anything great and wonderful but because it just seems so simplistic!

Talking to a Young Liberal outside from where Iggy was, I happened to ask them why they would support Michael Ignatieff, just based on his policy.  I specifically asked this because he [Ignatieff] has yet to really say anything concrete other than, “We will not be like Stephen Harper!”  When I pointed this out to the person they looked at me and said something like Ignatieff “recognizes that we (Canada) need to do things differently”  So I asked what actually needs changing, and how would Michael change things, you know a pretty basic question…  The Young Liberal couldn’t answer me, and while I didn’t really expect an answer, I would have actually welcomed something more than: “Well, he knows there has to be change.” 

I guess my point is that is nothing new!  Political parties in opposition everywhere run on doing things differently and making changes, right? – It’s just that most say HOW they plan to do it!  Most will try and differentiate themselves from another party by giving valid reasons on what makes them different!  “We can do better.” – That is just a slogan, the Liberals and their leader still haven’t backed it up! 

I can understand being partisan, and I can’t really object, because I still have my moments.  But the Conservatives, the NDP, and even the Bloc and Greens all have platforms and stances.  So the supporters have something to actually get behind, and at least they have a cause to trumpet!  What is the Liberal cause?

On a related note:

I was in St. Paul’s the other day for the by election.  PC candidate Sue-Ann Levy came in second to now Liberal MPP Eric Hoskins.  The vote came down to Levy winning 28% of the vote to Hoskins’ 47%.  There was a clear winner – there is no doubt about it!  But I still ask why!  Hoskins didn’t really seem to campaign, he missed the debates, he wasn’t active in the riding really at all, and he doesn’t even live there!  Yet, he still won by 19% of the vote.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it would be nice to see people vote for a person before a party.  I understand the predisposition for some to vote Liberal, NDP or Conservative.  However, I wish that people would look at the real issues as well as the person whom they are voting for or who they choose to rally behind. 

Maybe that’s too much to ask?


So it’s back to school after the “Summer of Scandal” for the Ontario Liberals

September 16, 2009

CTV Toronto:  Opposition teeing off on the McGuinty government

The Tories and NDP were demanding answers from the McGuinty government for what they term the ‘summer of scandal.’ Paul Bliss reports.

Watch the report Here

Go get ’em Mr. Hudak!