Local Press Releases

“Just fix it!” -Social assistance recipients need solutions – not delay – for broken system: Harris

February 12, 2015

Kitchener – The announcement of an independent review for the Wynne Liberal problem-plagued, $242 million Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) only further prolongs the impacts being endured by some of this province’s most vulnerable.

That according to Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris who says there’s no one calling his office to request a review – people just want the problem fixed.

Harris says since taxpayers shelled out $242 million for the SAMS computer software system – touted to improve social assistance program delivery – in November, there have been a long list of significant problems causing overpayments, underpayments, and delays.

“The Liberal government’s implementation of the new SAMS programming has been a complete mess from day one,” Harris said. “Despite warnings from all corners – and complaints from workers across the province – Wynne rolled ahead with an obviously broken program and ignored the impacts and delays to recipients.

“And instead of fixes, we get more Wynne apologies, the Minister’s admission that she feels ‘badly’, and now another review that won’t even report back until the end of next month!”

The review announcement follows more than two months of glitches and problems with SAMS that have led to millions in unanticipated costs, and left both workers and recipients caught in the middle.

“At my office we hear the impact of cases where recipients face NSF fees and charges due to delays and ongoing problems in receiving their cheque,” reported Harris. “Recipients and workers alike need answers and action now – we can’t wait another couple of months while government has another conversation.”

The review will look at ways to improve the troubled system, and provide Minister Jaczek with an interim report by March 31.


For further information contact:

Rob Willett | 519.404.4052 | rob.willett@pc.ola.org