Ontario continues focus on job creation, tax cuts and welfare reform: Baird

Archived Release

Ontario continues focus on job creation, tax cuts and welfare reform: Baird

Ministry of Community and Social Services

QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - Despite the tremendous success of the Harris government's welfare reforms, Community and Social Services Minister John Baird re-emphasized today that moving people from welfare to work is an ongoing challenge and clearly more needs to be done. The welfare rolls edged up by 4,500 people last month, after nearly three consecutive years of monthly welfare decline.
"It's disappointing anytime we see the welfare rolls go up, but January is typically a difficult month as the economy settles after a hectic holiday season," said Baird. "Nevertheless, I think we must continue focussing on job creation, cutting taxes, and expanding our workfare program."
One of the main goals of the government's welfare reforms is to ensure that welfare doesn't become a permanent trap. In January, 17,328 people left the welfare system and 21,828 people came onto the system. Since the Harris government first took office in June 1995, nearly 570,000 have left the welfare rolls in Ontario, many moving into paid employment.
"I don't think anyone realistically believed the welfare caseload would decline each and every month," said Baird. "The caseload continues to fluctuate as people leave the welfare system and come on the welfare system, depending on their circumstances. However, I believe our welfare reforms and the solid Ontario economy will continue to provide people with the opportunities they need to realize the dignity of a job and the pride of independence."
Ontario Works, the government's mandatory welfare-to-work program, not only provides financial assistance when people need it most, but also links them to employment opportunities through a wide range of employment supports. Initiatives of Ontario Works to help people get jobs include training and work placements, remedial education, and LEAP, the Learning, Earning and Parenting program for teen parents.
"Although we have had great success with our welfare reforms, we cannot become complacent," said Baird. "Our caseload is becoming increasingly harder to serve and clearly we must redouble our efforts to create further opportunities."
To help those on welfare struggling with an addiction, the government will be introducing a Drug Treatment Policy. For those on welfare who can't read or write the government is committed to proceeding with a literacy and numeracy policy, along with increased caseworker training.

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Table 1

ONTARIO'S WELFARE CASELOAD, BENEFICIARIES, BY FAMILY STRUCTURE AND CHANGE
OVER THE PREVIOUS MONTH
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MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER
1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 132,900 128,300 124,400 121,700 118,300 113,900
Beneficiaries 132,900 128,300 124,400 121,700 118,300 113,900

Couple:
Cases 51,800 50,200 49,000 48,100 46,400 44,900
Beneficiaries 195,900 190,100 186,000 182,200 176,200 171,600

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 153,388 152,555 151,209 150,083 146,211 142,890
Beneficiaries 416,775 414,840 411,629 408,367 398,335 390,419

Total Welfare:
Cases 338,088 331,055 324,609 319,883 310,911 301,690
Beneficiaries 745,575 733,240 722,029 712,267 692,835 675,919
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NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL
1998 1998 1999 1999 1999 1999
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 110,700 111,200 113,000 113,300 115,400 113,800
Beneficiaries 110,700 111,200 113,000 113,300 115,400 113,800

Couple:
Cases 43,800 43,500 44,200 43,400 44,100 43,400
Beneficiaries 167,400 166,400 168,000 165,000 167,500 165,100

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 139,101 137,134 135,313 133,293 130,982 130,374
Beneficiaries 381,118 376,410 371,263 366,000 359,098 356,951

Total Welfare:
Cases 293,601 291,834 292,513 289,993 290,482 287,574
Beneficiaries 659,218 654,010 652,263 644,300 641,998 635,851
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MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER
1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 112,000 109,400 105,900 105,200 102,300 99,500
Beneficiaries 112,000 109,400 105,900 105,200 102,300 99,500

Couple:
Cases 42,600 41,400 39,900 38,900 37,900 36,700
Beneficiaries 161,600 156,800 151,400 147,000 142,800 139,400

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 129,628 129,150 126,967 125,043 121,754 119,310
Beneficiaries 354,883 353,121 346,383 339,375 334,140 326,260

Total Welfare:
Cases 284,228 279,950 272,767 269,143 261,954 255,510
Beneficiaries 628,483 619,321 603,683 591,575 579,240 565,160
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NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL
1999 1999 2000 2000 2000 2000
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 98,300 98,000 99,300 99,500 99,600 96,400
Beneficiaries 98,300 98,000 99,300 99,500 99,600 96,400

Couple:
Cases 35,900 35,700 35,800 35,400 35,000 34,000
Beneficiaries 136,100 135,400 135,000 133,000 131,600 128,000

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 116,852 114,566 113,516 110,757 109,910 107,842
Beneficiaries 319,286 314,152 310,086 302,905 300,250 294,342

Total Welfare:
Cases 251,052 248,266 248,616 245,657 244,510 238,042
Beneficiaries 553,686 547,552 544,386 535,405 531,450 518,742
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MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER
2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 94,700 92,400 88,600 88,500 86,000 86,079
Beneficiaries 94,700 92,400 88,600 88,500 86,000 86,079

Couple:
Cases 32,800 32,100 30,600 30,200 29,200 27,890
Beneficiaries 123,400 120,900 115,600 113,000 109,100 105,499

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 106,529 105,815 103,504 102,494 99,984 92,117
Beneficiaries 291,199 289,261 283,224 279,289 271,859 259,208

Total Welfare:
Cases 234,029 230,315 222,704 221,194 215,184 206,086
Beneficiaries 509,299 502,561 487,424 480,789 466,959 450,786
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NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY CHANGE
2000 2000 2001 No. %
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases 86,688 85,704 86,837 1,133 1.3%
Beneficiaries 86,688 85,704 86,837 1,133 1.3%

Couple:
Cases 27,788 27,272 27,542 270 1.0%
Beneficiaries 105,097 103,836 105,478 1,642 1.6%

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases 90,916 89,899 90,618 719 0.8%
Beneficiaries 255,949 253,081 254,806 1,725 0.7%

Total Welfare:
Cases 205,392 202,875 204,997 2,122 1.0%
Beneficiaries 447,734 442,621 447,121 4,500 1.0%
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Notes:
- Cases refer to single individuals and family heads on social
assistance (e.g. a family of five is counted as one case).
- Beneficiaries refer to the number of single individuals and family
heads on social assistance, as well as their dependents (i.e. spouses
and children).
- Ontario Works (OW) was proclaimed on May 1, 1998 and replaces the
General Welfare Act (GWA).
- OW data are estimates and may be subject to revision.
- Data for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), the new income
and employment support program for people with disabilities, are
available upon request.
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Table 2

CUMULATIVE DECLINE IN ONTARIO'S WELFARE CASELOAD AND BENEFICIARIES
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JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER
1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (4,600) (8,500) (11,200) (14,600) (19,000) (22,200)
Beneficiaries (4,600) (8,500) (11,200) (14,600) (19,000) (22,200)

Couple:
Cases (1,600) (2,800) (3,700) (5,400) (6,900) (8,000)
Beneficiaries (5,800) (9,900) (13,700) (19,700) (24,300) (28,500)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (833) (2,179) (3,305) (7,177) (10,498) (14,287)
Beneficiaries (1,935) (5,146) (8,408) (18,440) (26,356) (35,657)

Total Welfare:
Cases (7,033) (13,479) (18,205) (27,177) (36,398) (44,487)
Beneficiaries (12,335) (23,546) (33,308) (52,740) (69,656) (86,357)
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DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY
1998 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (21,700) (19,900) (19,600) (17,500) (19,100) (20,900)
Beneficiaries (21,700) (19,900) (19,600) (17,500) (19,100) (20,900)

Couple:
Cases (8,300) (7,600) (8,400) (7,700) (8,400) (9,200)
Beneficiaries (29,500) (27,900) (30,900) (28,400) (30,800) (34,300)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (16,254) (18,075) (20,095) (22,406) (23,014) (23,760)
Beneficiaries (40,365) (45,512) (50,775) (57,677) (59,824) (61,892)

Total Welfare:
Cases (46,254) (45,575) (48,095) (47,606) (50,514) (53,860)
Beneficiaries (91,565) (93,312) (101,275) (103,577) (109,724)(117,092)
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JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER
1999 1999 1999 1999 1999 1999
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (23,500) (27,000) (27,700) (30,600) (33,400) (34,600)
Beneficiaries (23,500) (27,000) (27,700) (30,600) (33,400) (34,600)

Couple:
Cases (10,400) (11,900) (12,900) (13,900) (15,100) (15,900)
Beneficiaries (39,100) (44,500) (48,900) (53,100) (56,500) (59,800)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (24,238) (26,421) (28,345) (31,634) (34,078) (36,536)
Beneficiaries (63,654) (70,392) (77,400) (82,635) (90,515) (97,489)

Total Welfare:
Cases (58,138) (65,321) (68,945) (76,134) (82,578) (87,036)
Beneficiaries (126,254) (141,892) (154,000) (166,335) (180,415)(191,889)
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DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY
1999 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (34,900) (33,600) (33,400) (33,300) (36,500) (38,200)
Beneficiaries (34,900) (33,600) (33,400) (33,300) (36,500) (38,200)

Couple:
Cases (16,100) (16,000) (16,400) (16,800) (17,800) (19,000)
Beneficiaries (60,500) (60,900) (62,900) (64,300) (67,900) (72,500)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (38,822) (39,872) (42,631) (43,478) (45,746) (46,859)
Beneficiaries (102,623) (106,689) (113,870) (116,525) (122,433) (125,576)

Total Welfare:
Cases (89,822) (89,472) (92,431) (93,578) (100,046) (104,059)
Beneficiaries (198,023) (201,189) (210,170) (214,125) (226,833) (236,276)
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JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER
2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (40,500) (44,300) (44,400) (46,900) (46,821) (46,212)
Beneficiaries (40,500) (44,300) (44,400) (46,900) (46,821) (46,212)

Couple:
Cases (19,700) (21,200) (21,600) (22,600) (23,910) (24,012)
Beneficiaries (75,000) (80,300) (82,900) (86,800) (90,401) (90,803)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (47,573) (49,884) (50,894) (53,404) (61,271) (62,472)
Beneficiaries (127,514)(133,551) (137,486) (144,916) (157,567)(160,826)

Total Welfare:
Cases (107,773)(115,384) (116,894) (122,904) (132,002)(132,696)
Beneficiaries (243,014)(258,151) (264,786) (278,616) (294,789)(297,841)
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DECEMBER JANUARY
2000 2001
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Family Structure

Single:
Cases (47,196) (46,063)
Beneficiaries (47,196) (46,063)

Couple:
Cases (24,528) (24,258)
Beneficiaries (92,064) (90,422)

Sole Support
Parent:
Cases (63,489) (62,770)
Beneficiaries (163,694) (161,969)

Total Welfare:
Cases (135,213) (133,091)
Beneficiaries (302,954) (298,454)
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Notes:
- From June 1995 to May 1998, 270,901 people stopped relying on welfare.
Between May 1998 and January 2001, another 298,454 left welfare,
resulting in a cumulative decline of 569,355 people since June 1995.
- Cases refer to single individuals and family heads on social
assistance (e.g. a family of five is counted as one case).
- Beneficiaries refer to the number of single individuals and family
heads on social assistance, as well as their dependents (i.e. spouses
and children).
- Ontario Works (OW) was proclaimed on May 1, 1998 and replaces the
General Welfare Act (GWA).
- OW data are estimates and may be subject to revision.
- Data for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), the new income
and employment support program for people with disabilities, are
available upon request.
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MCSS - Statistics and Analysis Unit
>>

For further information: Dan Miles, Minister's Office (416) 325-5215; Dianne Lone, Communications and Marketing Branch (416) 325-5156; For more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS.