Ontario premier rebukes churches

Published September 1, 1999

Ontario Premier Mike Harris has called on churches to support his controversial work-for-welfare program. He accused some church groups of wanting to keep welfare recipients dependent on government, singling out the United Church for criticism.

His comments came a day after the province revealed that fewer than five per cent of welfare recipients actually worked for their welfare cheque in 1998, the National Post reported. United Church spokesman John Asling told the Post the church doesn’t believe mandatory workfare helps recipients get meaningful work.

The Anglican Church has no official policy on work for welfare although it has raised concerns about it. The Roman Catholic Church has not taken a stand on the issue yet and will not offer work placements until it does, Suzanne Scorsoni told the Post.

Mr. Harris suggested clergy should urge their congregations to find placements for welfare recipients.


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