This week at Queen's Park:
- Social Assistance Management: Over the last few weeks, problems with the electronic Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) affected about 17,000 households. Both opposition parties want to know why software problems weren’t addressed by the government when complaints about the system were reported earlier this year. The Liberals say, despite the malfunction, the system will be better in the long-term.
- The Ontario Children's Advocate: Last month, Irwin Elman, the Ontario Children’s Advocate said the government is blocking the access he needs to do his job. The NDP says Liberals are preventing the protection of children’s rights. Meanwhile, Liberals claim the requests go beyond the advocate’s mandate. They also say the authority of the children’s advocate will be expanded under Bill 8, The Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act
- Taxation: The PCs don’t want the government to use tax hikes as a method to balance the budget. They want to hear a commitment from the Premier that no new taxes will be introduced over the next three years. Liberals claim they’ve over-achieved their targets, and their plan to balance the budget by 2017-18 was clearly laid out in their election platform and annual budget.
- Home Care: Based on a round table event it hosted in Windsor, the NDP suggests it has proof of cuts to home care, and wants to know what the government plans to do to restore cuts. Liberals say they’re working very closely with community care access centres.
- Aboriginal Land Claims: The PCs want an update on Aboriginal land claims. They demand better transparency and claim some members of the public feel left out of the process. Liberals say the decades-long process is a comprehensive one and is still under way.
Queen's Park This Week highlights the topics debated in Question Period and provides context and background on the issues. It is part of TVO's Civics 101 suite of tools that teach how Ontario's government works.
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