Welfare: the right to well-being, security and safety, including fulfilling basic needs to ensure survival. This is the general idea behind the term but welfare carries with it a negative connotation: those lucky enough not to need it imagine lazy folk who simply won’t work for a living, or who aren’t trying hard enough to find jobs. Poppycock. This may be true for a small percentage of Canadians and landed immigrants, but guaranteed this is not the norm: most people want to work; are skilled and educated enough to work; and do not want to live with the stigma of receiving welfare.
Racism being what it is in Canada, many Caucasians believe it is landed immigrants and minorities who are bleeding the welfare system dry through a lack of initiative and illegal manouevers. Not so. There are more Caucasian multi-generational Canadians receiving welfare (including those who are not in need of it) than there are minorities and LI’s. As subjective as my own experience is, the only people I know who rip the system are Caucasian Canadians whose family have lived in Canada for generations. In fact, many Canadians receiving welfare once belonged to the “middle class”, evicted from their homes after job loss during the start of the recession. Others do not receive welfare for more than one or two months to keep them afloat until (presumably) they find another job. watch judy graves on why welfare matters to everyone
Many people who receive welfare are known as the “working poor“. They have jobs but through no fault of their own, are employed part-time, or they work for the paltry minimum wage of $10.25 an hour: hardly a financial means for raising a family. In fact since Harper’s House of Horrors came to be, social assistance is nearly non-existent. Why, you ask? Duh. You voted for him and then you wonder why so many hard-working Canadians ... oh never mind. I’ll just get all in a tizzy. What was I saying? Oh yes. Harper’s agenda is not for individual citizens, such as you (who voted for him) and me (who did not). It is for large, multi-national corporations, the recipients of his glorious tax breaks and other financial incentives to keep them afloat during the recent recession. Well there’s always May 2012 for you to get it right (although you probably won’t). Enough blasting my faithful blog followers of precisely one (hi Damien). Watch income inequality and child poverty in Canada
To receive welfare in Ontario you must earn or live on $800.00 a month or less. The website doesn’t tell you that of course but if you want to test my theory give your local welfare office a call and inform the clerk that you currently receive $850.00 or $900.00 per month to live on. She will interrupt you to tell you that if you live on more than $800.00 a month you are ineligible to receive financial assistance. If you live on $810.00 or more you are out of luck. In the event you do live on $800.00 a month or less you are entitled to … not much. You might get $200.00 or slightly more a month but you won’t be laughing all the way to the bank. Poor no more – there is a way out
Along with receiving absolute minimal financial assistance for the working poor, anything these people have in the way of financial assets has to be depleted before qualifying for welfare: RRSPs, homes, cars. It may seem as though this is reasonable: if you can afford a house, you can afford to live without assistance. But is it reasonable to tell people to spend their RRSPs in order to receive social assistance? What happens when it is time to retire? They must continue to ask for more assistance and never get off the treadmill. How about a car? If a person needs a car to get to work where they make that $10.25 an hour, how will they be able to hold a job after selling their cars? Ditto houses. Rentals are not cheaper than ownership depending on where a person lives. Like it or not, everyone needs shelter. watch homeless middle class
The Canadian welfare system is not designed with dignity in mind. Nor is it designed to truly assist anyone. If assistance comes with the price tag of losing one’s retirement security, transportation and shelter in a safe, secure part of town, I’m betting many people would hedge their bets on going hungry and losing sleep at night over their bills, if they’re lucky to avoid eviction. In Canada, it’s a better guarantee for one’s well-being.
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