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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

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

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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.