Author: Marie

The government is not a “hired gun”

The government is not a "hired gun"

It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go. But inside, it was horrifying.

The place was so cold and dark, at least one resident, in her mid-60s, said she began to hear voices. Those voices urged her to leave the residence.

“I don’t want to leave my home,” she said. “I’m scared.”

When she tried to call her family in Toronto, to say she couldn’t live there any longer, they hung up on her, she said.

“They’re just not understanding what this does to you, what you want,” she said. “I don’t understand why they’re doing this.”

And they certainly don’t want to hear the residents’ stories.

A government investigation into the alleged misuse of housing benefit money could have lasting consequences for the Toronto Region board — and taxpayers — that has been dealing with the fallout since the housing market crash of 2008.

At first the government claimed all the problems were isolated to one case. It even sent a team to investigate.

But last year, it quietly took over all the cases being investigated by the regional organization and appointed another special investigation board, the Ontario Housing and Renewal Minister, Chris Ballard, told CBC Toronto last December.

He said the investigation board is not a “hired gun” that came in and took over the region’s housing projects.

Instead, he said it was set up because “there would be a problem and there would have to be a process for identifying it and investigating it.”

It is staffed by outside experts who will be reporting back to the government, and he said the investigation could lead to changes in practice at the region in how it deals with housing.

“It will involve the government in terms of the way we’re working on issues and the way we’re getting things done,” he said.

This was to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go… it was terrifying. – resident

‘I’m worried’

On the morning of July 30, the resident was awakened in

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