Who needs help more: me, or someone who is homeless who has just been released from custody at the Ottawa courthouse? Obviously I shouldn't be first in line for help. And odd as it is for politicians to say this to taxpayers, there's a good chance you shouldn't be first in line either.
The Elizabeth Fry Society runs a program to give people bus tickets and basic, basic help getting back on their feet after a run in with the law. This makes sense - not only because it's compasionate - but because anything that reduces recidivism saves money in the long run.
Unfortunately the provincial grant the society depended on has dried up. This means someone who is homeless (and very likely suffering from a mental health issue) will have no help after a night in custody. Or someone who is nearly-homeless won't get a few dollars of bus fare to make it back home - where perhaps they have some support.
What does this have to do with me? Well, every hydro bill the Liberal Government thinks it's appropriate to give me the equivalent of three or four OC Transpo bus fares. Thanks Premier! Of course, that money ends up at Bridgehead in my case.
Perhaps the "Clean Energy Benefit" should be cancelled and redirected to improved services for Ontario's most vulnerable. Anything other than giving it to me is a fantastic idea. School food programs. The afformentioned Elizabeth Fry program. Fully funding the Ontario Child Benefit increases people have been waiting for for years.
Or if that's too progressive for this Liberal government - just cancel it and stop going $1 billion more into debt every year. That won't help children growing up in proverty today - but at least those impoverished kids won't have to pay back the debt, with interest, so I could get a few coffees today.
My June 2013 Hydro bill included a $8.75 "rebate". I can't send it back to the Liberal Government, but I can put it to better use. So I've donated it to the Elizabeth Fry society (with a bit more) and trust them to put it to good use.
The CEB adds up to a lot of money, province wide, year-over-year. What a waste. Since I've started this little project I'm $57.02 ahead.
|Elizabeth Fry Society||$8.75||Jun, 2013|
|The Men's Project||$11.61||Apr, 2013|
|Ottawa Food Bank||$10.80||Feb, 2013|
|Daybreak Housing||$7.31||Dec, 2012|
|Christie Lake Kids||$6.96||Oct, 2012|
|Causeway Work Centre||$11.49||Aug, 2012|