Province Reverses Plan to Scrap Child Benefit Program


The provincial government is reversing funding cuts to a child benefit program that helps low-income families and refugee claimants.
A spokeswoman for the province's social services minister confirms the Progressive Conservative government will not go ahead with scrapping the Transition Child Benefit.
The benefit, which provided up to $230 a month for low-income families not receiving other child benefits, had been scheduled to end November 1.

The Tories say the benefits will now continue, as the government conducts a broader review of the province's system of social assistance programs.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky is the NDP critic for Community and Social Services and says the move is probably the result of pressure from the affected groups and individuals.

"I have to give credit to those who have stood up and tried to push this government to move in the right direction and it appears that's what happened is because of the pressure this government is taking a step back but the minister's office has said they're going to study it further," says Gretzky.

She says the timing is suspect.

"People are rightly concerned that this provincial government, the Ford government is simply taking a step back in order not have any negative news or any bad publicity that would adversely affect their federal counterparts going into an election," says Gretzky.  

Although relieved with the 'change of heart' she believes it is more of a reprieve, and not a reversal.

"They should never have thought about making the cuts that they were planning to and so the fact that they're taking a step back and saying we're going to study it, is still concerning because again there is no commitment to never go forward with these hurtful cuts," says Gretzky. 
The government announced in its spring budget it was cutting the child benefit, prompting an outcry from municipal mayors.