Thank God the Spirit of Jack Kemp lives on! I was just reading Ontario PC leadership canidate Tim Hudak’s proposal for welfare reform. Unlike the usual social Darwinist tendencies some political conservatives do by punishing the economically disenfranchized and poor, Tim Hudak believes that these same people should be empowered and that they are an investment to be utilized in Ontario’s economy. Way to go Tim, you have solidified my support. Here are some his campaign proposal from his website:
- Change the earn-back rules for welfare recipients to allow them to keep more of what they earn so that working part-time or enrolling in job training is supported and not penalized;
- Improve training and apprenticeship programs and modernize apprenticeship ratios by addressing the problems identified in the 2008 Report of the Auditor General Report which showed that fewer than half of apprentices are completing their training programs;
- Move Ontario Works from the Ministry of Community and Social Services to the Ministry of Training. This move recognizes that welfare is a step toward full-time permanent employment and not a stigma of social dependence; and
- Strengthen welfare diversion provisions to prevent applicants from entering the system until all other alternatives have been exhausted by providing more extensive support for job searches and one-time job-hunting loans for transportation, tools or work clothing (Editor’s note, not sure about the loan bit, I think the poor need to GET OUT of debt, not into debt this is a subject to discuss another time but Tim’s heart is in the right place). Hudak also opposes the Liberal plan to loosen eligibility requirements for welfare.
For those who are not familiar with Tim Hudak’s site, you can go to www.timhudak.ca to check it out!