2003 and again in 2005 onwards – more trouble – with so-called Overpayment of Social Assistance problem
As already related, from about December 1994 I was in immediate trouble on account of being denied U.I. benefits -- based on so-called lack of insurable weeks.
On top of this, my wife was only working 2 1/2 days per week and could not get any other work at the time. We also had a small rental property in Montreal (7 units of varying sizes). This had been bought partly with a small inheritance from my mother who died in 1986 and was giving constant trouble. We could not sell it without losing some or all our equity because of the state of the market. We bought it in April1988; as things turned out, this was the worst possible time because the market started going down rapidly since then.
From our standpoint, the choice was to sell it with the certainty of a large loss, or keep concentrating on other things such as trying to get work and hope for better times. Therefore, we elected to hang on to it hoping for better times ahead.
At the same time I was forced to apply for social assistance, or face not being to pay the rent where we were then living. The situation was clearly impossible. When I applied for social assistance (in about December 1994 or January 1995), I said nothing about the property because this did not seem relevant. In any case, our financial situation was actually much worse than indicated in my social assistance application.
Remember that I had left an employer, Dean s Professional Painting, because they were not paying my wages and appeared to be headed for bankruptcy. In addition, they informed me that were checking with Dean s Professional Painting regularly, concerning any payment to me of money owed - with the object of deducting this from my social assistance payments!!!
Then in about August 1995 I had to show my tax return to the welfare people, shortly before we left for North Bay where my wife was about to start a 1 year B.Ed course at Nipissing University. Then the welfare people cut of my benefits based on what they considered fraud, because of course that tax return showed details of losses on our property.
A big part of the trouble IN THIS CONTEXT was the Ontario government rules for calculating the expenses on a rental property, WHICH DID NOT ALLOW THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE EXPENSES. IN OUR CASE, THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS WERE THE MAJOR EXPENSE- - SO ACCORDING TO THEIR RULES, WE WERE MAKING A PROFIT WHEN IN REALITY THE OPPOSITE WAS TRUE.
Now what would YOU have done in such a situation?
SO WHAT HAPPENED ON SEPTEMBER 23 2003 - ALMOST 9 YEARS LATER - TO STIR UP TROUBLE ALL OVER AGAIN, WHEN I STILL DONT HAVE SATISFACTORY WORK DUE TO LIES ABOUT SO-CALLED OPPORTUNITIES AND OTHER FACTORS?
I got a letter from the City of Ottawa demanding about $5,000 on account of Overpayment of Social Assistance or be taken to court.
Sept 18 2003, from the City of Ottawa - CLICK HERE
It is not the Ontario government this time, because since 1994 - when all the trouble started - the Ontario government has dumped all the responsibility for enforcing its dysfunctional rules on to the municipalities, including Ottawa. But the Ontario government is the culprit in this case.
After receiving this letter - to cut a long story short - I informed City of Ottawa Councillor Rick Chiarelli about it; he, in turn, was aware of my voluntary work on hehalf of the City.
(This voluntary work is detailed elsewhere , and involved advising the City about how to get out of difficulty with the Ontario government, concerning alleged failure to place enough people in the Workfare program. The end result of this was a $4.1 million bonus to the City of Ottawa because the Ontario government changed the rules concerning counting of the people placed in the program).
I then received another latter, dated October 27th 2003, reiterating the demand, along with some supporting documents.
Oct 27 2003, from the City of Ottawa – letter - CLICK HERE
As before, I informed Councillor Rick Chiarelli and then met with him on Monday, November 24th 2003. He understood right away and told me he would contact the City Solicitor s office, with a view to having the claim against me cancelled.
NEXT : AUGUST 30, 2005 onwards - CLICK HERE