Re: Tom Fletcher’s column, “Choosing work instead of welfare” published in the Times on June 19.
At the end of his column, Fletcher takes a swing at Jagrup Brar, who spent one month living off the welfare rate of $610/month.
As someone who took the time to read Brar’s blog of his experience, and who had the opportunity to hear Brar speak when he visited Trail a few months ago, I disagree with Fletcher that Brar’s experiment with poverty was a publicity stunt.
Brar brought to the attention of many British Columbians some of the systemic problems with the welfare program.
The claw backs on casual employment that Fletcher mentions is one example.
Although we will never know for sure because of partisan politics, there might just be a connection between Brar’s campaign for improvements in this area and the recent policy change that will allow welfare recipients to retain, without penalty, earnings of up to $200 a month.
Fletcher seems to be suggesting that most people on welfare want to be on welfare.
I sincerely doubt that most people want to rely on “the burgeoning urban handout industry” for food and shelter. Instead of passing judgment on welfare recipients, we should be looking for ways to put the “handout industry” out of business.