By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday May 17, 2012
City decries provincial benefit cuts
Councillors are declaring war on Queen’s Park after provincial cuts to social services benefits left Hamilton with a $1.8-million hole in its budget.
The emergency and community services committee voted unanimously Monday to shoulder the cost of discretionary benefits for Ontario Works recipients.
The move was in response to the province’s decision to put a cap on the amount of money it provides to cities to fund things such as funerals, glasses, dental care, prosthetics, cribs and baby supplies for people receiving social assistance.
If the city hadn’t agreed to pay the extra $1.8 million, it would have been forced to scale back the services it provides to people on social assistance.
Councillors on the emergency and community services committee railed against the provincial government for downloading the cost onto city taxpayers.
Meanwhile, Organizations that represents Canada’s doctors say Dalton McGuinty should resume negotiations with Ontario’s MDs rather than imposing fee cuts and urging his fellow premiers to do the same.
In a letter to the Premier dated Wednesday, the Canadian Medical Association and medical associations in 12 provinces and territories take aim at Mr. McGuinty’s decision to roll back medical fees – a move that has sparked some interest on the part of other provincial governments. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)