Ont. Tories propose food-only debit card for welfare recipients

Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak. (QMI Agency file photo)

Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak. (QMI Agency file photo)

Antonella Artuso and Jonathan Jenkins, Queen's Park Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:32 PM ET

TORONTO — Welfare recipients should be paid a portion of their support with a smart debit card that can't be used for anything but food, a new Progressive Conservative policy paper recommends.

The paper also says welfare payments should be decreased over time for able-bodied recipients who refuse to work.

"People are staying longer and longer on welfare and they are able to work, then we see a staged reduction in benefits to give them incentive to work," Hudak said.

The paper, the latest in a series of policy documents from the Progressive Conservatives, calls for a revamp of the social assistance system.

Recipients would need to follow individual plans for employment — such as undergoing job training — as a condition of remaining on welfare.

"Compassion is part of this province's defining character," Hudak says in the preamble to Welfare to Work. "But compassion means helping people capture their full potential, not condemning them to a life of dependency."


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