$2M social assistance surplus questioned by MLA
Olive Crane argues social assistance surplus should have gone to heating bills
The government faced questions Tuesday over $2 million left over from its social assistance budget last year.
Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty said everyone who was eligible received payments.
Independent Progressive Conservative MLA Olive Crane questioned why the money was not used to help those in need with their heating bills.
”I think by the time we got into it, and knew about our surplus, we were passed the point where the Salvation Army was continuing with the program,” Docherty said in the House. “We have probably an acceptable reason for why we didn't use some of that surplus.”
Crane urged the minister to take another look at using that unspent money.
“I can't help it on this, I'm outraged that we have $2 million on the floor, your third-quarter forecast would have projected $2 million,” said Crane. “It was the coldest winter on record, how many people do we know did not have heat in their homes?”
Docherty said Crane made a valid point, and she would look into it.
"There are people struggling and I recognize that,” said Docherty. “We didn't spend the money simply because the need was not there for those who are eligible for our program.”