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VIDEO: Wilson to Wynne: More Government Mismanagement Over SAMS

(December 1, 2014) The government needs to recall the Estimates Committee so we can hear directly from witnesses, frontline workers, and anyone who wants to have their voices heard, Ontario PC Interim Leader Jim Wilson said today.

Wilson made the comments during Question Period, concerning the government's failed Social Assistance Management System (SAMS). The system was supposed to improve the delivery of social assistance for recipients of Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

"Premier, your government continues to demonstrate an inability to manage Ontarians best interests," Wilson said. "Your Minister signed-off on a $250 million system that was flawed from the beginning.

"We do not need another eHealth," Wilson added.

Wilson raised that OPSEU President, Warren 'Smokey' Thomas, flagged serious concerns with the SAMS system but his concerns were disregarded.

Wilson noted that during a November 4, 2014, meeting of the Legislature's Estimates Committee, the Minister of Community and Social Services said she felt "fairly confident that the new system will have a pretty seamless rollout".

According to media reports, Niagara, Brant, Peel and Waterloo are all having serious problems with the government's new SAMS program. The City of Hamilton is having incorrect and delayed payments to its 12,000 OW recipients.

Wilson said "Ontario's most vulnerable rely on these payments."

"What is the government going to do to help those Ontarians who will be left behind – during this Christmas season – because of more Liberal mismanagement?" Wilson added.

Wilson said "Local governments are racking up overtime pay coping with the new software, losing important family time during the busy Christmas and Holiday season."

"Premier, how much will taxpayers' have to pay in order to fix another Liberal scandal?" Wilson concluded.

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