Jared Denison and Terrie Meehan live in Ottawa and get payments through ODSP.

They told CBC Radio’s All In A Day host Stu Mills that while the current system wasn’t working, what they’ve heard from the PCs won’t make it better.

Here are some of their thoughts on what it’s like to live on ODSP and what meaningful change may look like.

Three recent Ford political maneuvers have put the poor at risk for an even deeper cut. While not in the Mike Harris range of cuts, Ford does seem to be channeling Harris’ spirit of kicking people when they are already down.

While people were relatively happy with the three per cent increase in social assistance promised by the Liberal government — happy in the way that desperate people get happy when table scraps are thrown their way — with Wynne’s defeat in the Ontario elections, that three per cent was never enshrined in gold, so Ford has cut the increase by half. Reducing social assistance to a mere 1.5 per cent meant ripping approximately $150 million out of the hands of the most vulnerable in Ontario.

Ford’s government is also winding down the basic income pilot project, which was supposed to last for three years.

Other changes include: the cancellation of a change to the definition of “spouse” from three months of co-habitation to three years; the cancellation of full basic benefits to people who receive housing and food from the same provider, including many people living with disabilities; and the cancellation of increased support to people living in Northern Ontario, where daily living costs are higher.

Clearly, in order to give Ontario residents their promised “buck-a-beer”, the government thinks it needs to trim spending in areas of social assistance where the most vulnerable people hang by a thread of decency.

Promise made. Promise broken. In honour of Premier Doug Ford’s mantra on the campaign pledges he has kept, it’s worth examining a vow that was so easily dismissed.

Ontario is almost halfway into an innovative three-year experiment, created by the previous Liberal government, to see if providing more money to impoverished people will improve their job prospects, health and quality of life.

It seemed worthwhile to the Progressive Conservatives just a few months ago because the party supported the basic income pilot project on the campaign trail.

“We are looking forward to seeing the results,” a PC party spokesperson told the Star’s Laurie Monsebraaten.

When pressed in an email exchange on concerns that the Tories would cancel it, Melissa Lantsman doubled down: “Nope, as mentioned we look forward to seeing the results.” Promise made.

Those opposed to social service cuts gathered in Cobourg Friday.

Holding signs and waving at honking cars, about 40 people attended the information picket outside Northumberland Peterborough South MPP David Piccini’s office on Division Street on Aug. 10 at 4 p.m.

Piccini was not in his office due to a prior appointment, but had set up a meeting with the picket organizers for the following Friday, said Deborah O’Connor of the Northumberland Coalition Against Poverty.

Shortly after Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government announced the planned three per cent increase to social assistance rates would be cut in half and other progressive changes to regulations would be stopped, O’Connor started to gather a team to organize the picket.

“I can’t sit by on another attack on the poor,” she said.

The director of an emergency shelter for women says the lack of affordable housing in Charlottetown is a roadblock that is keeping women from healing.

Danya O’Malley, the executive director of P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services, which runs Anderson House, said she has seen the length of stay for women seeking shelter increase in recent years from an average of 11 days to 16. She said the longer stays are likely due to the steady loss of other affordable rental options.

“We’re meant to be a place of healing and recovery from trauma and things that sort of shatter the self,” O’Malley said.

“We never really get to do that work as much as we would like in the shelter because we’re so focused on getting people’s basic needs met.”

Mayor Tory called TO Prosperity “one of the most important commitments” of council.

Toronto has the highest child poverty rate among large Canadian cities. It also has the widest gap between rich and poor, with stark economic inequities dividing our city along lines of race, gender, immigration status, ability, age and other equity dimensions.

Dozens of cities across Canada have poverty reductions strategies. Municipalities can reduce poverty levels and mitigate the impacts of poverty by leveraging good jobs through infrastructure and service spending, ensuring that taxes and fees are fair and equitable, and improving access to affordable services.

Mayor and council have taken several significant actions …

However, only half of TO Prosperity actions for 2017 were completed, and new operating funding for TO Prosperity fell from $93 million in 2016 to $14 million in 2018 (a tiny fraction of the city’s $11 billion budget).

Ontario’s decision to cut the basic income pilot study should trouble all Canadians

Canada has a problem with money — specifically, who has it and who doesn’t — and our current methods of making sure our fellow Canadians who don’t have it are OK are not working. The experiment might have helped us to understand new ways to support those among us who end up living on low incomes, and that would be good for us all.

Basic income is an idea that enjoys support across the political spectrum. It is an idea whose time may have come as we face more economic shocks that make more among us vulnerable, and as the gap between those of us with the most money and those with the least continues to grow.

But now, Ontario’s new government has announced that it will cut the pilot study. Not only is this inhumane to those who agreed to participate in this important research, but it will deprive us all, in Ontario and beyond, of the opportunity to learn how to do better.