Canadian Welfare System Is Hopeless

A family friend in Montreal donned her noticeable diamonds and went to get her welfare check.

“Lady, have you got no shame?” the employees of the welfare office asked her.

So she went home, called all her friends to complain about the mean government officials, took off the diamonds, and returned to the welfare office. There she got her check and went back to her home to be reunited with her diamonds.

Of course, when years ago in that same city of Montreal I attempted to prove to the welfare officials that my employment was interrupted every summer because I was a teacher and summer holidays got in the way of me working through no fault of my own, they couldn’t care less. I guess it would have helped if I had diamonds.

In the meanwhile, I see businesses of really great, hard-working, dedicated Canadian entrepreneurs being razed to the ground by the same government officials because their assets are needed to hand out welfare checks to my diamond-donning acquaintance and her huge group of moocher friends.

20 thoughts on “Canadian Welfare System Is Hopeless”

  1. The same thing is happening in the United States. Only problem here is that welfare keeps getting cut because this idea of generational welfare is so pervasive. In reality, less than 1% of welfare recipients are what you would call “generational.”

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  2. That’s silly, and reminds me of Arizona’s policies too. I am a full time student (32 hours/week), so holding down a job isn’t really feasible. However, because I am a student I have been denied from getting food stamps, yet they’re handing them out to people who are not trying to further their education to get a career. Doesn’t really make sense…

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    1. Why isn’t it feasible to hold down a job while going to school?? Many people do both successfully. I personally think that welfare should be reserved for people that find themselves in emergency situations, or those with health problems.

      If, however, you can walk and talk and are nor going through unexpected hurdles, you can certainly work.

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      1. When I was in school, my schoolwork took up much more time than that (I was a double major, honors student, extracurriculars, etc), but I maintained a job. I never worked less than 15 hours a week, and frequently more. And I still had plenty of time to waste.

        Another thing is that if you have grants and loans to cover your tuition, they’re also allowed to be used for living expenses. Compared to the cost of higher ed, loans for food are hardly outrageously expensive.

        On the other hand, every student does have individual circumstances that should fairly be considered (which is why I’m really not speaking against you in particular, adamsdaughter). But, like Sister, I’m a little skeptical about students on food stamps, generally speaking.

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  3. I’m not trying to be saucy here, but I’m wondering – do you think a person should be required (or at least expected) to sell all valuable assets, however sentimental or useful they may be, before receiving help? That feels a bit too harsh for me, but of course I’ve previously outed myself as being much more comfortable with (some types of) socialism than you are.

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    1. Elizabeth, I know these people. This is really not about keeping a ring one inherited from one’s Grandma. These folks have a condo + a vacation home in the country-side. They keep traveling to Europe all the time. They have a much more lavish lifestyle than I do.

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  4. Elizabeth :
    On the other hand, every student does have individual circumstances that should fairly be considered (which is why I’m really not speaking against you in particular, adamsdaughter). But, like Sister, I’m a little skeptical about students on food stamps, generally speaking.

    I was a student on EBT (food stamps) once. I got it as a student because I’m also a legally-defined “person with a disability”, so I qualified. Before that, I’d been living off of the local food bank, because the cost of living and the tuition went up, but the amount of financial aid I’d been receiving remained the same. I can attest firsthand that there’s a noticeable difference in the performance of a student when the student is hungry and living off of mouldy bread and cold canned soup, and when the student has an EBT card and can buy fresh, healthy food, the difference between Cs and As. As long as it’s understood that it’s a transitional thing meant to help someone get through a hard time, rather than a permanent, lifetime solution, I don’t see why students who aren’t disabled shouldn’t get EBT.

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    1. Yeah, and that’s the individual circumstances thing. I don’t think there should be a blanket prohibition against all students…but rather, I think that being a student shouldn’t in itself qualify you.

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  5. Of course, someone with that lifestyle should not be receiving welfare. However, welfare in Quebec is only about $570/month, I believe. She is not living solely from her welfare cheques. So she is probably committing fraud. How do you make sure people do not defraud the government? That’s the hard question. In Ontario, under the reviled Mike Harris, there were government workers who did home checks. (Of course, they had to hire more workers, thus increasing the administrative cost of the program.) Snitch lines were set up. If a friend gave you a bag of groceries, you had to report it as income. The government would charge you with a criminal offence for the smallest infraction (further increasing administrative costs). They wanted to set up mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but backed off. If you wanted to get welfare, you had to give up all rights to privacy. Most people were not comfortable with this solution.
    And by the way, there is no “Canadian” welfare. It falls under provincial jurisdiction, so there is Quebec welfare, and Ontario welfare and Newfoundland welfare, etc., which are all different. Sorry, I’m Canadian and I can’t let that pass.

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    1. Once again: in this post, I have shared the story of people who are friends of the family. We know a lot about their life journey. Judging each other – and in very harsh terms, too – is completely acceptable in the Russian-speaking community. So yes, I know what these very well-off folks “have been through” and yes, I feel completely entitled to judge them.

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  6. Why didn’t you tell the welfare office that your family friend had unreported assets (not qualifying as “tools of the trade”)**? It seems to me that if the woman was turned away by the welfare office before her complete demographic information was obtained and an ID check made, the welfare office would not have been able to immediately catch a subsequent fraud by the lying family friend.

    It seems to me that you bear significant blame, Clarissa. Detection of fraud is greatly aided by citizen whistle-blowers.

    ** “tools of the trade”, such as an electrician’s or plumber’s basic toolbox, are occasionally exempt from spend-down provisions

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    1. She arrived at the office wearing the diamonds. What could I have told them that they didn’t see with their own eyes? And did they care enough to do anything? No, they didn’t. If what they see in front of them spurs no action, what makes you think that any information from a third party would?

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