Social Assistance Review says to force disabled to work in Ontario!

York Region Food Network was asked to move out

Y.R. Food Networkers ousted from building - Did they lobby on behalf of other tenants' clients' rights too much?
   The recent release of preliminary initial findings from the social services review Commission confirmed the feeling we had from when we met with Commissioners Frances Lankin and Munir Sheihk earlier this year when they seemed mired in relating everything to the labour force - as if the only barriers people had were work related - and they seemed fixated that if you fix that, that would be the end of the "problem". Gee, if that were the case it'd have been "fixed" long ago. These guys still don't get it and seemed already fixated and predisposed (re:directed) on this relationship as well as the fact people apparently, in their conclusions, need 'incentives" to work, to get off welfare. Never mind the lack of adequate daycare, jobs, transportation, health supports or pay. But what about while people are on social assistance (usually a temporary measure for the majority) can they not be given enough to pay rent and eat? And what about those in need NOW! They were big on quoting only select input from people they chose to, but nothing of the points from our hundreds, if not thousands, of Ontario-wide connected parties that have studied and researched the 'problem" for years, not months, and have some great realistic and DIGNIFIED solutions that don't involve charity. And I don't mean political parties I mean people.

  And how about jobs with a future instead of pigeon-holing people into quick fix " skills' training programs that often have no local bearing, but sound good on paper. The report cites these  but leaves out specifically mentioning a raise is needed in the meantime, and that people are actually worse off now under their government than Harris' after taking inflation into account as they have never adequately brought rates up to where they were before the infamous Harris conservative slash, burn and blame programs of the mid 90's. The prelim just goes on and on and on about the "labour" market and in doing so deliberately creates a divide by pitting poor against working poor in its set-up as well.
   Like this is a choice for most? Who would choose to live a life of misery and hunger? It's just more of the blame game and it even points fingers at the disabled as the "review" encompasses suggesting forcing them to 'work" for their income by making it mandatory. Whose brainstorm was that?

   People on disabilities have a hard time often just getting out their doors in winter here being as our system doesn't provide free(or any) driveway snow shoveling services, but makes them rely on charities which are inconsistent at best.
Tom and Ashley volunteer community organizers. Recently Ashley was told to buy a walker and change her medication after years of being told she had a certain illness and made to take mal seizure causing pills. She went for her 1st walk unassisted . she still has not had her daughter returned now 6 mos seizure free. Meet her Sat Mar 17 volunteering at the Friendly Neighbourhood youth road hockey Challenge.

  One such couple spent the last two weekends stranded inside their house when the charity service didn't show up and their calls for help to them went unanswered. Do you know how depressing that is in winter to be stranded? And what about food and errands, doctors? During this period they also were expected to attend at the Children's Aid office to visit their daughter since she was taken off them for no other reason other than they were disabled and poor. They couldn't make the visit. This gets held against them on their "file' as well. Frankly I don't see why their daughter isn't brought to them since its not their fault of being DISABLED, even though as one half of the couple in question discovered, after 6 years of being ordered to take seizure causing medication when a new doctor stopped it, that she has now not a SINGLE SEIZURE in 6 mos but they still don't have their daughter??!....They are losing their energy to fight and certainly don't have the money for a fancy state-like attourney. So now they're to be forced to do labour too? Good luck with that hair brained idea! Might as well call them the Liberal Conservative Party at this rate.

  The York Region Food Network having been "evicted" last month by the controlling powers that be at the Inn From The Cold building, moved out of 510 Penrose in Newmarket to an obscure location in Aurora that is a tough access for people without vehicles. Too bad, they did some o.k. work there and often stood up for the rights of those on low income, instead of only using them like some do as 'clients' and "guests", but I guess they were sticking up for peoples' rights too much and not playing nice quiet accept the lousy treatment of people tenant that they wanted there. Some "hub".

Fred Joly one of the performers for Opening Face-off party to raise youth award funds for FNY Road hockey challenge
   If you want to get away from it all for a night and feed a good cause that isn't a corporate charity connected to the money people like Y.R.'s seem to be, then come to the Opening Faceoff Party in Newmarket on Fri Mar 16 at 7:30pm PM for a ripping great lineup, free entry/snacks and donations go to $1000 youth friendship award.


Transit? What transit? York Region horror stories

York Region Heaquarters
  So the transit strike is over in York Region is it? The local papers declared it so, so it must be true! To hear the banter thrown around by our elected officials as well as the media and some wannabe citizens cum politicians, no one rides them anyway except a few students and they run empty all the time. I wonder when the last time these armchair experts even rode transit? Where were the stories about those affected?

  Last I checked there were lots of people using transit here. Tell it to the 63 year old who told me he hadn't missed a day in 12 years until he met the Y.R.T.. First they changed his route so it no longer went directly to his workplace in the industrial area of town clear across from where he lives just W of Bathurst, and of course they changed it so he would now have to travel in the opposite direction to catch a connecting bus which he would just miss, unless as he found out, he left for work 2 1/2 hours early - this to travel about 10 minutes in a motorized vehicle folks. Then they went on strike now for almost 4 months ending his job completely - and the transit service still has not returned to his route today as it's one of the routes deemed not important enough to resume yet. Pity that guy. Doesn't matter that he makes barely enough to survive on even working full time, that's his problem, and now that he's not working and applying for assistance  because he's out of work? He's a bum. A burden. They all are. Feed them cans and shelter them in controlled environments instead of personal homes I say, so we can all share in their misery. You do know sarcasm when you read it I hope. This is what we do already however to 'help" people.

   He's not the only one, another Mom I met with a teenager has been unable to get him to the various appointments and councilors and now he uses no buses as a reason to stay away at 'friends" overnight. She fears he's treading down some wrong paths and feels powerless because she's's $20 two ways from her place for groceries and on a limited income it doesn't take long for panic and stress to take over a household under such times..isolation kills..and that is where they place our most vulnerable - on the outskirts and then take away their connection to amenities and doctors and jobs because they are least important on the scale. They don't pay enough you see. It's all about the mighty dollar. Let them eat cake.

  And what of that 60 year old woman who lost her job due to the strike whom I mentioned in an earlier blog?.All 3 are from the same one neighbourhood where transit is still out and no she cannot walk the 50 minute trek to the nearest bus to her at this stage in life. She'll never be hired back again. Businesses look for excuses to get rid of people like her at this stage in life and we as a society accept and nourish it through our actions of ignorance to anything not us. What's 2 months free service going to do for her get her to the welfare office and back now that she's out of a job?

  Lastly - the youth- the ones who supposedly are the only ones to use transit here. Many do. It's to get to school for that one same neighbourhood mentioned, as that's how many kids get to school since the school board deemed them out of range. How many of the kids from that neighbourhood dropped out because they couldn't hack or wouldn't hack the hour walk with backpacks during the strike? Likely the same ones who couldn't work jobs over the winter for bus pass money since they had no way there or back. Their crime? Poor families, so who cares?!

    One 18 year old teen again from the same neighbourhood has the best story of all to sum up Y.R.T. those responsible for it - namely our Regional Council and its anointed er ah I mean appointed Chairman Bill Fisch. This girl, who has a disability that flares up in severe weather,  ventured out over a year ago on a day when the weather turned nasty and as her foot swelled and ached from her condition, she decided to take the bus two stops along Yonge St to someone's house she knew to rest for a spell before trying to make it home when the weather mellowed. She fully intended to repay the fare she explained to me, but was in severe pain and her mom doesn't drive and "it was only two stops".

  This is why I don't like the "step-on service' of VIVA which traps young people and the homeless or low income people out of fare change, into owing fines for these 'stepons of a few stops" or in the case of homeless people to get warm. Then they USE that money as the victims of crimes fund. Talk about a sham set up to take from the vulnerable. And it's for this they hired all the security when VIVA started, as before there was none!

    Back to the she was caught by the transit police and explained her dilemma to them but they fined her anyway. Thinking the "court" would understand she tried to have it dismissed but couldn't..meantime her fine went past the due date and as her part time job had only enabled her to pay back $100 of the now $300 plus dollar fine - late fees you see -  she'll be starting out life with poor credit as the collections company now says. She was to start a job before xmas across town but without transit (STILL)she's been unable and with a tumour one can hardly expect her to walk...but we mercy. She had planned on College. 

  That, my friends, in a nutshell is everything that is wrong with Y.R. and its handling of our low income earners and transit users. I can take it a step further - why are there not more transit users? Because York Region has the least amount per capita of rental properties / to owned  in the entire country and which runs also at between 2 and 3% for availability, so there are thusly and logically less riders to service, but that doesn't mean you can destroy them Chairman Fisch, Regional Councillors and Mayors. Actually read the social audit we gave you and you approved, it's a map for your use to make some inroads, not a place-mat.

  Update on Dan and Ashley who are being put through the ringer because they are disabled and dared want children...turns out the medication that Ashley was made to take FOR 6 YEARS caused her the seizures
she got all these years and  they kept upping her dosage! She's now not had a single seizure in 4 months since stopping and the new doctor has even told her to buy a walker that she could walk again! Whaaaat! Meantime Children's Aid has ordered them to take anger management and follow what they say to do.  Yea! Trust us! We know best! That's why 6 out of 10 in our foster care become criminals or homeless.
  Hubby Dan says to them "The only people who get me angry are you people..I raised two kids already, am a grown man, and don't need your advice". But they say do it or lose rights to their kid and are making them start all over again in their 'program" because they dared want the (grand)mom out of the scene so they can have their baby to raise as parents like anyone else - without interference. Sorry, big brother says our way or the highway and has now ordered them to visit at the Children's Aid office for visits with their daughter instead of their home and told to bring hot food. Oh, and by the way, they too live in the same neighbourhood without transit so if they don't get on a ride with wheel-trans, as they often can't come at the times or days you want them to, they are s.o.l. and so is their kid. And they don't get the child tax credit money so this extra transit and hot food meals come out of pocket of someone unable to work, but most willing if only they could.
Dan receives award for outstanding volunteer service
Dan's awarded by MP Lois Brown for outstanding character, yet Children's aid refuses Ashley and himself custody whilst as Dan put's it, " Even people who are drug addicts even get their children but not us. What's up with that Tom?"
    What a system we have here folks..Do you really think if they had an income that a lawsuit against that doctor wouldn't be huge!!?? Or that children's aid would be that entrenched in their lives? It' led them directly to lose control of their lives and baby for gods sakes!Severe seizures was why they got involved saying it was unsafe but what;s the excuse now that she doesn't have them? No, Children's Aid still want to stay in and control their lives and frankly they've had it with how they have been treated. But no money, no justice, my friends and unless a lot more of you start caring beyond lip service, our most vulnerable will continue to be exploited, mistreated and taken advantage of. Speaking of which they are slated to 'go out" Sat Feb 25 to a dance but with our wheel-trans system, they have go separately (from same address) and leave an hour apart coming back while staying only to 11PM and 10PM at an event scheduled until 1am. I guess he won't be DJ ing. They also spent last weekend snowed in as no-one showed from the charity - our usual solution to assist people's needs - to let them out!

  Here's a great strategy using electronic media to change an election issue! 
  Ideas welcome about how to adapt this strategy to our purposes on income adequacy for social assistance recipients.

  The social assistance review has been a major let down and appears to try to once again blame people like dan and ashley for being"poor". It pitts 'working people' versus those who 'need incentives to work" etc rehashing the tired mantra that people choose to live in squalor. they still don't get it. Perhaps people want to view and make comments on the social assistance review.  There is a form on the Commissioners’ web site at where people can write comments of up to 150 words. A More detailed comment can be e-mailed the Commissioners at
Or Finally, submissions can be mailed to:
Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario
2 Bloor Street West
4th Floor, Suite 400
Toronto, ON
M4W 3E2
FAX 416-212-0413

Now is not the time to cut programs to help people work their way out of poverty. Yes, our government has a deficit, but we must not solve it on the backs of vulnerable people in Canada or in other countries.  They need Canada’s support now more than ever.

Canada can afford to give more life-saving aid and to ensure a decent standard of living for all Canadians without cutting other programs. Here’s how: a small tax on trading in stocks, currency and derivatives by commercial banks, brokerages and hedge funds could raise hundreds of millions annually.

Please join me in sending a message to the Minister of Finance that now is the time to protect aid and social spending.

Watch for our youth road hockey challenge promo on Rogers TV
   Don't forget about P.A.C.C.'s now longest running in Ontario Road hockey tourney! We need players and volunteers still! Meeting next Wed at 1220 Stellar Dr. Newmarket unit 205 Deli House Catering hall 6:30 PM - 8PM.
2012 Youth Road Hockey Challenge Newmarket

Youths can sign up here for the annual youth road hockey event!

Tom out!