Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ontario welfare numbers jump

63,200 people joined the welfare rolls in Ontario last year. The increase corresponds with the unemployment rate in the province as Ontario was not immune to the global recession.

From CNews Canada, writer Antonella Artuso breaks down the numbers.

The social assistance caseload increased by about 20% between November 2008 and November 2009, according to the latest government figures available.

The Ontario government took a number of steps since 2005 to help people find work through measures such as increasing the maximum deduction for child care for working parents and extending drug, dental and vision care benefits to people leaving social assistance for work, she said.

The total number of beneficiaries -- 365,319 -- still falls dramatically short of the 1.3 million Ontarians on the dole during the last recession of the early 1990s.

John Clarke, of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), said social assistance rules -- by design or application -- deny many people their rightful benefits.

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