If you look at the webpage of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, you will read a statement that says “The program provides eligible people with disabilities with: financial help”. That means that they are here to help with those who have disabilities in need of financial help.
It is rather ironic that if you then look for the address of the local office (for the moment) you will see 427 Talbot St, 3rd Floor, St. Thomas….. 3rd floor? Disabilities? Surely the ground floor would have been a better place to have an office to help those with disabilities?
Also ironic that the office to offer financial help is actually trying to save money by abandoning St. Thomas and running back to the big city of London. So rather than it being the Ministry who is paying to provide face to face service, it will be those in FINANCIAL NEED with DISABILITIES who will need to find a way to get to London to have a face to face. In other words, those who need the financal help will need more financial help just to get the financial help from those who say they are providing it.
The reasoning for this illogical removal of services is financial as the ministry is looking to save over $140,000 in rent for the next financial year. Why didn’t anyone, be it from the ministry or the the city council, look into finding cheaper accomodation for a service that quite obviously that will now suffer by it’s removal from the city.
Stacking irony upon irony, the news of the financial retreat to the big city comes on the heels of yet another body blow to the already reeling city of St. Thomas with the announcement of the Timken Company planning to close their doors in St. Thomas, and Canada forever.
It can be hard to not take it personally when so many things are going wrong for a city that you love. There is no possible connection between Timken consolidating it’s operations back to the states and the ODSP abandoning St. Thomas, it is simply bad luck and time that both announcments happened so close to one another.
It is disapointing to read companies, services, probably families and people, all leaving St. Thomas but it is so important to remember that it isn’t personal. In some cases, it is just a decision made with poor insight into the effects it will have on the community.
Everyone is trying to save money, even the ministry but rather than cutting the availability of an important service, why don’t they cut the wages of one of the top managers or directors? The people who claim to be doing everything they can to help the public, the ones with 6 or 7 figure salaries, the ones with a business account to cover expensive lunches. It is too common for an organization, not just the ministry, to be top heavy, with those at the top being paid more to do less than those at the bottom who have to do more to get less.
As the lyrics to the Randy Van Warmer song goes,”You left me, just when I needed you most”.