Ontario government reverses cut to benefit program which helps low-income families, refugees

Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes his way to a press scrum.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes his way to a press scrum. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Ontario is reversing funding cuts to a child benefit program that helps low-income families and refugee claimants.

A spokeswoman for the province’s social services minister confirms the Progressive Conservative government will not go ahead with scrapping the Transition Child Benefit.

READ MORE: Ford government’s child benefit cut ‘doesn’t make any sense’: Hamilton anti-poverty advocate

The benefit – which provided up to $230 a month for low-income families not receiving other child benefits – had been scheduled to end Nov. 1.

But the Tories say it will now continue as the government conducts a broader review of the province’s system of social assistance programs.

READ MORE: Feds aim to make it easier to apply for Canada Child Benefit

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The government announced in its spring budget it was cutting the child benefit, prompting an outcry from municipal mayors.

Toronto Mayor John Tory – who had been among those asking for the cut to be reversed – lauded the province for changing course, saying the benefit should be permanently funded.