It was a typical case of Blaming the Victim!
Bill's attitude towards people living in poverty is very similar to that of the previous Ontario government who came to power in 1995 with their "common sense revolution", waging war on the poor in Ontario!
Harris proceeded to slash welfare by 21.6% (progressives prefer to call it social assistance) and by establishing a divide between the so-called "deserving poor" (people with disabilities receiving the Ontario Disability Support Program) and the "undeserving poor" (people receiving general welfare who are not disabled and therefore deemed employable).
Harris implemented a lifetime welfare ban where anyone convicted of welfare fraud would be banned from ever collecting welfare in their lifetime.
It's interesting that income tax fraud and other white collar crime was not targeted for lifetime suspensions upon conviction! Harris new exactly who pick on to advance his neo-Conservative bullcrap - those whom he felt could least defend themselves!
His P.R. folks did an outstanding job of feeding bullcrap to Ontario residents painting all poor people on social assistance as leaches on society who sit around drinking beer all day at the park while Ontario taxpayers went to work and paid taxes from their hard earned money to support the lifestyle of the poor. Poppycock!
Harris swept to victory on the backs of the most vulnerable people in Ontario!
No mention of the lack of opportunities for poor people to access relevant training and education opportunities to climb out of poverty! In fact, the Harris government introduced legislation that prevented anyone on welfare from attending college or university while receiving welfare. What does that tell you? He'd rather keep poor people in poverty.
Instead this modern day Hitler implemented the Workfare program where anyone in receipt of general welfare (not those on disability) without pre-school age children, were legislated to work for their welfare benefits.
This ready made free labour, although of benefit to many in the private sector and also to some the kiss-assing not-for-profit groups who choose to participate in the program to access free staff, also affected the working poor, as many of the working poor found themselves "displaced" due to a shortage of available employment opportunities many of these people were qualified to perform, now taken up by those legislated to work for their benefits.
The Harris years were difficult ones. I live in former Premier Harris' home riding of North Bay. And I was so freaking appalled by his bad policies that I became an activist -- not something I ever envisioned myself doing.
What we have in Ontario is nothing short of legislated poverty!
There are many who think like Bill E. He speaks from his experience and therefore uses his experience to paint all poor people with the same brush. It's a big world out there. And very, very few people I know who live in poverty even remotely fit the portrayal of poor people that Bill E has shared here.
So while I strongly disagree with his point of view, I will work hard to continue posting material on poverty issues and hope that one day, his opinion may become more enlightened.
That's my two cents worth! Your mileage may vary!