Justice With Dignity - Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers

Kimberly Rogers Inquest Alerts

NDP MPP Tony Martin's Statement in the Ontario Legislature
October 15, 2002

 

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): Today begins the five-week inquest into the death of Kimberly Rogers, a woman who was banned from welfare and sentenced to house arrest for collecting student loans while on social assistance. Kimberly died while under house arrest. She was eight months’ pregnant and had only $18 for an entire month of food.

Ms Rogers had great potential. She proved this by graduating from college with top honours in social work. All she ever wanted was to get a good job as a social worker and to help people.

A person on social assistance used to be able to go back to school and get student loans to cover their school expenses. People who took advantage of this were applauded for trying to better themselves. But this government changed all that and brought in its sweeping welfare reforms that make it impossible for people to better themselves and break out of the cycle of poverty. Instead, this government has changed the laws to make people who try to better themselves criminals.

It is time this government admits that its welfare policies are wrong. It is time for this government to take responsibility for the effects of its policies and change them so people can better their lives and no one else ends up dead.

Stop the ban on student loans for people on social assistance. Stop the lifetime ban for people found in contravention of the welfare laws. Stop the clawback of the national child tax benefit.

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