Ford Government Steamrolling ODSP Recipients

Ford Government Steamrolling ODSP Recipients
Posted on November 29, 2020 | John Redins | Written on November 29, 2020
Letter type:

Imagine getting into a car accident or waking up to find out you can’t move your legs. You might even have invisible disabilities, like mental health challenges. Your whole life changes overnight. Yes a disability can happen to anyone at any giving time. What do you do?

The federal government has benefits that are limited within the first year and most provinces have a system like Ontario Disability Support Program, in Ontario, that supports you along the way. To qualify you must pass 300 requirements. Yes, 300 requirements! Some said when Mike Harris created it, a system that fails you, and it still does! It shows the inequity of life because the system hasn’t kept up with inflation and is 60 percent below the poverty line in Ontario. The system awards you if you work but punishes you if any of your family members work. Yes it sounds silly but that’s what it does. You can’t find happiness or love on the system. This is how it works. If you or a family member works you are awarded 100 dollars per person and allowed to earn up to 200 dollars per family then your income is clawed back 50 cents for every dollar. Some say why bother if you're going to get punished for working? In the previous parliament a private members bill was introduced by Pierre Polliviere to get rid of all clawbacks but the Liberal government defeated it. 

An ODSP recipient receives between 800 to 1169 a month. Where can you find rent in Ottawa on that? Recently the Ford government hired 17 analysts at 1600 dollars a week to find fraud in the system. I've been told 3 have been hired here in Ottawa. So far a couple in their 70s looking after their adult son on ODSP here received a phone call then a follow up letter requiring 3 months of bank statements and other documents or their son will be taken off ODSP! The couple have their own physical challenges to deal with now and stress is not what they need. It gets worse! I received an email from a gentleman from Kingston. His family member is 60 years old, extremely ill and living in an area where the lockdown is happening. These analysts want the man to produce 3 months of bank records and 20 documents during a lockdown! He has less than 9 days to produce them. They are also targeting people on ODSP for their travel money for doctor appointments. Fare is fare. Would the same politicians give up their travel expenses, since we are in a pandemic? They can certainly work from there home since we have the technology to do that? 

Ontario offered a pandemic fund for people on ODSP but kept it quiet so people that qualified didn’t know about it! Then the government abruptly ended at the end of August. It was to help to buy PPE and other supplies to help us survive. It is getting so frustrating, there are people who I know are looking at Medical Assistance in Dying!. That’s right, assisted dying because it shows how much the Ford government believes in mental health at the same time accepts ableist behaviour

About The Author

John Redins's picture
  • Former Volunteer Fire Fighter 

  • Former Chair of the Schreiber Economic Development Committee

  • Former OPP Community Policing Committee Member

  • Former Co-... More