News & Events
First Nations in Ontario to be Impacted by Social Assistance cuts
Proposed changes to social assistance funding in the 2012 Ontario budget will cause First Nation communities to slide further into cycles of poverty and dependency, and First Nation Leadership in Ontario are demanding action before it's too late.
The change in funding will result in Ontario Works Health Related Discretionary Benefits and Non-Health Related Discretionary Benefits being combined into one with a cap of $10.00 per caseload as opposed to covering actual costs. Health related discretionary benefits cover such items as dental work, eye glasses, a proportionate cost of prosthetic appliances, and funeral and burial costs.
Due to the high costs and with discretionary items being capped, First Nations will be impacted by the cuts, and many First Nation communities will suffer as a result of these changes. For example, funding for funerals and burials will now be capped for costs exceeding $2,250 with only $10 per case load. In remote communities where basic funerals can cost between $12,000 and $17,000, there may be families who will not be able to bury their deceased loved ones.
"Once again, rather than consulting with individual First Nations to develop a viable solution, the province has decided to take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach that will negatively impact First Nations and their citizens," said Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. "While non-First Nation communities might be able to adjust due to the presence of other social service programs, many remote First Nation communities will not be able to meet the demands of their most vulnerable members."