Sunday, November 23, 2008

Apparently, my blog is locked

This is just a test.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


In my email this morning:

Can you feel that? It's the immense, life-changing power of Saturn moving opposite Uranus. These two powers of our solar system haven't been opposite since the mid-60s, and you know what happened then ... revolution! These powerhouse planets are aligned again for radical changes and personal liberation. So ... what do you want to change in your life?This is no ordinary alignment of the planets; it's a major opportunity for transformation and self-expression. Saturn is about dealing with limitations and challenges. This may involve the preservation of tradition and the status quo (as, some would say are represented by John McCain's election platform). Uranus is the poster child for change, idealism and freedom (i.e. Barack Obama's platform). Together, the two planets are generating climactic energy that could produce big change in by our life -- and, if you make the right decisions, for the better!

It is time for a change. I am happy for the U.S.A. Obama will be good for them and the rest of the world. I pray he stays safe so he can lead them to great and wonderful things.

For myself, the old, established order must also be overcome by a pivotal change. There are things that have to change. One is living based on fear. Fear that I won't have enough, or that people won't like me, or of what people think. The only thing that matters is my own self respect. If I can't look me in the eye every morning because I let people take advantage of me or because I am not doing the right thing then how can I give myself the esteem necessary to go forward? What good is it to have "friends" if they do not respect you? What good is it to have a relationship that is based in fear of being alone? What good is it to have "success" if it is based in something you find reprehensible? What good is it to have values when you devalue yourself?

Good bye unempowered, fearful doormat.
Good bye self-interested, manipulative bullies.
Hello to the self-respecting, empowered nation.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Moon Tonight!

There is a New Moon in Scorpio tonight at 7:14 p.m. This is significant of beginnnings and possibilities.

"If we consider the combination of the New Moon’s sense of being pregnant with
possibilities and Scorpio’s capacity for regeneration, we begin to get an idea of what is ahead. Of course, since it is Scorpio in charge, it’s very likely something will have to be released or die before the new can emerge."

From: Real Astrologers

It is a time of quickening. Much like pulling the elastic band back before letting it go.

Time for diligence and letting the things that hold us back dissolve. Moving forward, take aim and...steady.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cheating on Myself

The only one I cheat is myself. Okay, so I read, but is reading global conspiracy trash on the internet actually reading? Oh, and I practice. But is staying in the view while I manage to deal with inept sentient morons at work, actually practice? Yes, I did do a workout for at least 20 minutes, albeit, not yoga. However, I am writing....this, anyway.

Someone once told me I was "exempt". I know what they meant, and it was profound and mystical. Now, whatever they meant by that it hardly matters when one is not satisfied with one's self. I have always stood at the edge of the cliff awed by the splendid scene before me. Yet, I indulge in my fears, too timid in my spirit to become one with that splendour. Oh what I have held myself back from. What have I denied to let myself become. And for what? For who?

Tonight, I feel a bit lost. A bit like I have lost. I wonder where my fight went? I wonder where my passion and fire went? As a Buddhist this is supposed to be good, right? No, not in this way.

When he cheated me, I started cheating myself. Yeah, I am him. I am just like him.

I take my fire back.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goals & Preparation.

The weekends are often spent preparing for the week ahead. Making sure everything is clean and in it's place. However, rarely does everything get done. Still, I need to persists while I have the energy to do so. Come November, there are going to be many changes in the world that will be a bit of a distraction. So, I am creating my goals and preparing to meet the challenges

Each day I will do something that contributes to my success in all areas. I will start small because I find most of my time recently has been spent catching up rather than moving forward. This is a conscious effort to move forward. These are things that I need to do for myself.

Daily Goals
  1. 20 minutes doing yoga every morning.
  2. 30 minutes doing spiritual practice in the morning.
  3. 30 minutes of reading.
  4. 30 minutes of writing.
  5. 30 minutes doing spiritual practice in the evening.
  6. Go to bed no later than 10 pm.
  7. Wake up at 5 am.
I need to insure that I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. It is better for the metabolism and concentration.

Warrior form needs nurturing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Young and Rich? Ohhh....Jung & Reich

Ninja in Kimono

I had a wonderful dream:

Someone passed a beautiful tunic to me made of gold and pink brocade. I put it on and of course I could fly. It wasn't a surprise to me. I knew it was a magickal robe. It was called a "Ninja Kimono", or perhaps, I just thought that is what it looked like. Unfortuntely, I felt undeserving of it. I struggled with keeping it.

I wonder why it is that I don't think I am good enough to have fine things. Part of me can not deal with the guilt I feel from owning such lavishness. Perhaps, it would help to remember that no matter how lovely or precious everything is still impermanent - even fine silk brocade kimonos, or our precious lives. Maybe, if I think like that I won't put too much importance on some things and not on others.

My dreams teach me that I am my own saboteur. Life hands me beauty and I feel it is too good for me. This is changing, now! I cannot continue to exist and feel this way. Too much is at stake, including my child's life.

After all, my friends see the potential in me, why can't I? One of dear friends from Montreal had a dream about me, too:
You were rich from writing a book and you looked beautiful and had beautiful children.

That is what she told me. Although, I have no idea why there is an implication of children, rather than child, I do know that I have been told by many, many people that I need to write.

So, it is time. I have to make these dreams reality. I had an image come to me last night of each negative thought I had being armour plating. Much the same as Reich had suggested of the protective layers we develop as we grow.

Reich decided the patients' body language could be more revealing than their words. He observed their tone of voice and the way they moved and concluded that people form a kind of ARMOUR to protect themselves, not only from the blows of the outside world, but also from their own desires and instincts. Most of us desire something, and immediately set out to find ways NOT to get it! Reich saw this process working in the body. Over the years a person builds up this character armour through bodily habits and patterns of physical behaviour.

Interesting man, that Reich.

That soft, vulnerable feeling is the key. Nothing to fear.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Positive Charge

Just surfing around the web and I came across this page Changing Your Lifestyle. This seems quite appropriate for what I am trying to do with my life.

Here is another site about The Law of Belief. Brian Tracey states on this site:
Positive thinking can sometimes be wishing or hoping. But positive knowing is when you absolutely know that no matter what, you will be successful
This is what makes the difference between my successes and simply my attempts at success.

I am going to try these two exercises that Tracey recommends:
First, continually repeat to yourself the words, pictures and thoughts consistent with your dreams and goals. Whatever you repeat often enough, over and over, becomes a new belief.

Second, set a goal for yourself to think and talk only about the things that you want for the next 24 hours. This will be one of the hardest things you ever do. But if you can keep your mind on what you want and off of what you don't want for 24 hours, you can begin to change your entire future.

Away we go...!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving and Wealth - Part II

This is my new gratitude blog. To spend five minutes a day just to think about what I am grateful for and remind myself how wonderful my life is. Despite all the stresses and things I don't have, my life is full of goodness and possibilities. Focusing on what I "lack" is only empowering lack. Misery certainly loves company, but so does happiness. It is all a matter of attracting what we are giving over our attention to. I am choosing to attract more blessings and keeping myself focused on that. The "law" of attraction states that "like will attract like"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thanksgiving and Wealth - Part I

So, here it is. I have decided to extend my publicized efforts for financial freedom to my magickal life. I am going to start with this coming weekend, as it is Thanksgiving. It is this concept of Gratitude that creates the room in our life for abundance. So, this is my intention for the coming festivities.

1. Invite my best friend and her kids over for a feast on Sunday.

2. On Saturday, I am going to do a thorough cleaning of my home and body with housework and a 24 hour fast.

3 Gather together all the food and offerings for Sunday.

4. Make a list of everything I am grateful for in my life.

5. Make a list of everything I am grateful for that is coming into my life.

I will post more on the actual details of the events for the weekend later. Right now, I just want to explain the significance of gratitude and how this works. Number five on my list is very crucial. It is important to be thankful for that which hasn't even manifested yet. Being specific is helpful too. "Universe, I am thankful for the raise/promotion/windfall/business deal/etc..." This of course, works with all aspects of your life too. Being thankful for an outcome that hasn't happened yet will make room in your life for that to happen. Your mind will be much more open to it because you can already see it and feel grateful for it. The Universe will bend to your will if you put this intention out there. Just believe it!

My Job

I know I simply state "Corporate Slave" on my profile, and in a way I am. However, it is just tongue-in-cheek as I really love my job. I am a receptionist at the corporate head office for a company that has about 250 long-term care facilities and retirement homes. Not exactly glamorous, but it is kind of fun and it pays the bills.

My job also gives me a feeling of accomplishment everyday. I have many varied tasks and a lot of people depend on me to do my job right. I really get a good feeling when people are satisfied with the work I do. I have to order everything in the office, from stationary to coffee. I code invoices and make the schedule up every week. The best thing is a mobile phone with a headset that I have so, I am never stuck at my desk. I can go all over the office, (and it is a big office!), and do whatever needs to be done...or just chit-chat with friends. :)

Someone just asked me to work on a PowerPoint presentation. I hoping that one day they ask me to be her executive assistant, but in the meantime, I am making myself useful.


Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Not a Secret Anymore!

With all the hype about book titles (and claims) such as: "Think and Grow Rich, "The Science of Getting Rich" and "The Secret", which was based on the latter two, one would suspect that the general public is beginning to grasp something so very dear to financial infrastructure - It is pure thought.

Now as a Buddhist I tend to believe that everything is, at it's most basic level, a thoughtform. In our present day, regarding the financial state of affairs in North America, and the global economy as well, it is a crucial point in the hypnotic wordsmithing of politics in the media.

If what you believe is truly what you create then the daily crushing words of financial experts and "Wall Street gurus", (not to mention President Bush who has never done anything but deny, deny, deny), will be self-actualizing drivel.

I am not a financial expert, but why save a system that clearly is not working?

Since I believe in "As above, so below" and the reflection of Macro-economics in micro-economics, (and vice-versa), something doesn't add up here. The one thing that the Macro has is much grander resource. Where does all that money just disappear to?

Regardless, I think that the hype is poisoning people an d making them fearful, thus creating the very situation we wish to avoid. You see, you can't think and grow rich, if all you are thinking about is how poor you are! That is the the "secret", right? So, despite what experts, gurus and outgoing, has-been Presidents have to say stay focused my dear reader. You will not perish.

It is precisely this kind of negative self-talk that we do to ourselves that defeats us from moving forward and drives our emotions to make ridiculous choices for ourselves.We are the doomsayers of our own mind, our own lives. It is easy to fall prey to this with most of the media that we absorb emitting this type of toxic programming. The program can be changed and reacting to the fear isn't going to help.

No, I am not surprised at all that single mothers get depressed, or that parents who lose their life savings and feel the poison of that loss in their bellies decide to commit suicide. No, it doesn't surprise me. However, if they could just remember that money is just based on thought and try to turn their thoughts away from the poverty mind. It may or may not make one rich, but at least they won't be so down.

Wealth is out there and I will be dammed if I let the news or talk show hosts determine my mind set. I won't let the oppressive beauracracy of social programming - ouvertly meant to help citizens - determine my mind set. I won't let the status quo, stereotyping and gender bias tell me who I have to be. I will live as an exception to "their" rules.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Finally I have a job. Why don't I feel better?

I have been very busy since I started my job in June. I moved to a bigger apartment because with the little money from OW, all I could afford was a tiny one bedroom for my son and myself. Even that place exceeded the limit allotted by OW for rent.

I finally have a decent home and a reasonably well paying job. Yet, with rent taking up over half of my earning after tax, I am still having trouble making ends meet. This is not a new phenomenon. Getting off of OW was hard enough, now I fear I won't be able to maintain that which I have worked so hard to acquire. It's not like I go on shopping sprees or hang out at bars drinking. Still, I find myself needing to borrow money and take out payday loans to survive. What I have to do is get another job. It is like the society we live in expect there to be two incomes per household, and that is that. It is no wonder that even the goal I reached by getting employment still hasn't eased my anxieties about the survival of my family - my son and myself.

Actually, according to E. L. Lipman, D. R. Offord and M. H. Boyle, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal single mothers are:
...more likely to be poor, to have an affective disorder and to use mental health services than mothers in 2-parent families. The risk of mental health problems is especially pronounced among poor single mothers. Further studies are needed to determine which aspects of single motherhood, apart from economic status, affect mental health outcomes.

From: Single mothers in Ontario:
sociodemographic, physical
and mental health characteristics

None of this really surprises me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just spoke to my OW worker...

I detailed in my voicemail to her what it is that I needed. She asks me what I want like she hasn't even bothered to listen to the message I left her. Fine. I explain that I need a buspass like she gave me for the month of February, for the month of March. Sh asks me what I have planned. I tell her "Job searching...", in a bit of a stunned manner because I would guess that by now this is evident. Apparently, it is not.

Then Nadine says, "Oh you met with a worker from Families First How did that go?" (Hmm, so she did listen to my message). I tell her I did and that Ellen from FF is going to help me with sports for my son, employment strategies, and childcare. "Okay. You will need to let me know when the employment strategies comes through." I tell her that Ellen will be in contact with her. Nadine gets defensive and starts to talk to me like I am being uncooperative and hostile.

"Look, I am trying to help you, but you are not co-operating. You need to call me..." Nadine says to me.

"But I am Nadine. I am calling you now." I interject.

"You need to call me about the Employment Strategies and when you are starting that." She tells me

"Ellen was just here and she said that she is going to contact you with all this information." I explain to Nadine

"No. You need to call me when these things happen. Those workers don't contact us. You need to do that." Nadine insists

I am a little confused. Nadine is in a sense saying that Ellen is lying to me. What is going on here?

"I still need transportation in the meantime." I explain

"Yes, I am issuing the transportation cost" She finally confirms.

"Okay. I will call you then...." I tell her to be interrupted with:

"Okay, Bye Ms.____"


The truth is, I don't like calling her. I feel she is non-supportive and misleading. I do not trust her. Yet, I have to trust her with my life and the life of my child. How can I trust someone that blatantly has the ability to recommend services to me, but just didn't bother? Or someone who doesn't provide me with adequate information?

At this particular moment, I am feeling a bit helpless because my family's is in the hands of either a fool, an incompetent, or petty, power-tripper.

The Childcare Puzzle and the Transportation Hurdle

Today, a worker from Families First (FF) came to see me in my home. This organization works in partnership from what I can tell, with Ontario Works. My OW worker/administrator had asked me if I wanted to hook up with FF in January. However, she asked me in such a way that I might have easily have passed it up not realizing what the program truly offers. Nadine (my worker) said that I qualified to have my son enrolled in a sports program. Had I decided that my son wouldn't want this, or I for one reason or another couldn't manage to incorporate this in our lives, then I would have missed an opportunity that is crucial to creating the support system that I need to gain employment.

See, Families First is that link to the childcare that I need. Nadine didn't present it in that manner at all.

From the link above:


Support is provided through a focused and coordinated approach to helping sole support parents become independent. This is achieved through the collaboration of Ontario Works in Peel, Peel Children's Services, and Peel Health, and community agencies.


Studies show that sole support parents on social assistance experience permanent benefits when they receive additional health, employment, and childcare services and recreational opportunities for their children.

Short Term Goals

* To improve the financial position of sole support parents
* To improve the mental and physical health of sole support families in Peel
* To promote healthy lifestyle activities, physical fitness, cognitive functioning, and self-esteem for children and youth of sole support families
* To reduce sole support parents' reliance on fragmented health care and social assistance services

Long Term Goals

* To reduce child poverty
* To help sole support parents reduce dependency on social assistance in the Region of Peel

It is plain to see that this is the program I need. However, if I had decided not to bother with it, (by a decision based on the limited information and poor presentation of the program from my worker), I would have missed out...WE would have missed out.

As far as childcare goes, FF has a mandate that allows them to give me funds for childcare BEFORE I am employed. OW will only provide funds afterwards, or at least, not count the money paid out to childcare providers when making adjustments to their assistance payouts (the "check" a recipient gets)

Still, don't be fooled, dear readers! The benefits of this FF program are still subject to approval by my OW worker - Nadine. She has the power to disapprove childcare for me. However, she has little reason to do so, since I comply with every rule and I am active in my search. I am even, at the suggestion of my FF worker, set up with an Employment Strategies worker,(something Nadine has the power to do also, but didn't bother), to show good faith on my part.

Ellen, my FF worker, said to me that there are some people who try to get childcare and then don't bother looking for work. Sad as that may be, there are better ways of going about deciding who needs childcare and who is not putting the service to good use for their family. There are better ways to evaluate that in my estimation. One of the ways is through better communication. Another way would be through more transparency of the system which is supposedly meant to help. Why obfuscate matters and covertly manipulate clients into making decisions which may be inappropriate for them because information about what is available is not disclosed to them?

You know, if I was this half-baked and clueless with clients in any other capacity, I would have been fired, pronto!

I am still trying to figure out what the role of an "Ontario Works Worker" or administrator is in actuality. When I figure out more on that, I will post as comprehensive a piece I can on it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Family, Friends and Many Blessings

I am certainly blessed. Many people have stepped up to help out my family when the chips were down. A few generous souls from all over the world have sent food and other offerings to boost our spirits and make certain that we do not starve during the next months. This time of year is a terrible time. It is cold and bills are coming in from the holidays. People are generally in a bad mood. However, I can thank the caring people over at Barbelith for responding.

Barbelith is a community I have been involved with for about 7 years. It has it's good times and bad, as it is a very close-knit community. The members are mostly known to one another, compared to many other forums, and they deal intimately with each other's opinions and life situations. Really, it is unlike any other internet message board.

Through the support I receive, online and off, in the various forms: food, kind words, prayers, gifts, etc...I am not getting rich because of this help, I am just getting help with some very basic needs. In other words, I am not defrauding my government by accepting help.

I should mention that when I asked my worker for help with transportation getting to job interviews, she offered to put the maximum amount in my bank account for a bus pass. There were absolutely no issues. The only issue I would bring up in regards to this would be that it was not an automatic cost. Getting around Mississauga on foot is not even an option! So, I am not certain how that gets swept aside and less-informed, or more timid clients end up suffering for it because their worker is not focused on how to help them, rather than the bottom line.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Cost of Living

On Welfare in Ontario, a single mother with one child can receive a maximum total payment of $1056, (of which I only receive $1018, for reasons unknown to me). Out of that money the provincial subsidy portion of the National Child Tax Benefit is removed so the Province is not paying out twice, (I think that is the logic.)

Thus, in my case: $1018-112 = $906+270(Child Tax Benefit)= $1176

Now, that is it, that is far as cash goes. There is help one can get, as I have just been able to acquire money for transportation - $96.00 for a bus pass.

Let's look at expenses, though. Out of that meager possible $1018-$1056 that a single mother with one child can get, the Ontario Works program will only allow one to allocate $538.00 towards rent. FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS? It doesn't matter what part of the province one lives in, this is the cap. This is damn near impossible if one lives near any of the more populated city centres. That money will barely get one room in a boarding house. Of course, this is not feasible for a mother and child. I currently live in a one-bedroom apartment with my son, and this is not adequate for us. He is seven and he needs a proper bedroom and so do I. However, the apartments in the entire Greater Toronto Area and surrounding municipalities have very high rental rates, even in the "bad" areas, which I am not crazy about bringing my child up in anyway. So, I had to ask them for permission to rent my apartment because, like most places, was above the enforced limit by OW. I pay a little less than the going rate for a one-bedroom apartment, $700. This is because she is the mother of my best friend. So..

$700 rent
$120 bills (heat,internet connection, phone - which is not considered a necessity by OW)
$50 transport (because up to now, I have had to pay that myself until they had proof I was seeking employment and getting job interviews)

Totaling - $870

Thus, $1176-$870= $306 left for groceries for the month. Now, that is if I do absolutely nothing for my son such as give him money for pizza day at school and pay the fees for skating trips and the like, that can be about $40-50 in a month. (For pete's sake, he doesn't need to feel excluded at school on top of everything else!)

So now, grocery is down to about $256 - $266, for the month.

Heaven forbid there should be any unforeseen events or accidents...or a bloody special occasion.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Obstacles to Overcome

Childcare is not so much of an issue right now, but transportation is. As far as childcare goes, my landlady, (who also happens to be my best friend's mom) is an angel. She, having also been a single mom at much more difficult point in history than today, is very understanding about my needing a leg up in order to get on my feet. She is more helpful than even my parents have been, but then again I don't wish to impose. Her offer is not a permanent solution. I have to find adequate childcare still, but at least I can start a job and have proof of employment that I need for such subsidy. I wonder, what happens to other single parents in similar situations? I am indeed lucky, but until she discussed this with me, I had to turn down at least 4 different jobs.

The other issue with childcare, other than cost and subsidies, is the times the facilities are open from and till. If most jobs are from 8:30am or 9am till about 4:30pm or 5pm, then why aren't these childcare facilities staying open in order to accommodate that? If I get off work at 5pm and then get out of the building, wait for a bus and walk over from the stop to the facility, that is going to go way over 1/2 hour. It is not reasonable. I don't even think that it is reasonable to think that a person who drives could do that. So, the places I have checked so far that are open till 6pm only start at 7:30am, and the places opening at 7am close at 5:30pm. So, parents get screwed either way. I will get back to the unrealistic structures of childcare in Ontario in another post. I will look more thoroughly into this issue.

However, there is the problem of transportation. Should I feed my child this month or save my money for buying bus tickets to take me to job interviews? There is a possibility that Ontario Works will provide funds for transportation, but it may have the same catch22 issue as the childcare. At least, I think that is the case, but I will have to check this with my worker. Is it me, or do others see how the system is set up to keep people in it?

I want the *bleep* out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Phonecall with my Worker re: Childcare

I phone up my worker because I am concerned about how I am going to get from point a to point b - being on welfare to getting childcare so I can GET A JOB. I read to Nadine about the Policy Directives regarding Childcare Deductions in Ontario Works.

Part VI, Section 49 (1) of Regulation 134/98 states:

49. (1) The following rules apply with respect to the treatment of earnings:
1. The sum of the total amount of gross monthly income from employment, the amounts paid
under a training program and net monthly income as determined by the administrator from
an interest in or operation of a business shall be reduced by, …
iv. child care expenses actually incurred for each dependent child and not
otherwise reimbursed or subject to reimbursement up to the maximum
amounts provided in paragraph 2 if,

A. the child care expenses are necessary to permit a
recipient, spouse or same-sex partner included in the
benefit unit or a dependent adult to be employed or to
participate in an employment assistance activity...

After reading this to my worker since she wasn't familiar with the clause she said, "So, what's your question?" I went on to explain to her yet again, that I need childcare assistance. She then replied to me with "You need to be in a employment program or going to school for Ontario Works to cover your childcare." I explained to her that I want to get a job and I cannot get a job because I do not have childcare. I am registered with a temporary staffing agency and they can't send me out to about 98% of the jobs they have because I cannot work full-time hours due to lack of childcare. My worker replies with "If you are employed, we won't help with childcare. Ontario Works will only help with childcare if you are going to school, in an employment program or doing community work. If I put in a request now you will be denied. Do you want to? Do you want me to put in a request? It'll come back denied." I tell her I want to put in a request.

I ask her about those employment programs, what they are and if she can refer me to one. Nadine tells me to come into the office there are postings on the boards there. I ask her again if OW have any employment programs she can refer me to and she says, "Come into the office and see one of the people at the front" She repeats to me as she has many times before, "You are to look for employment on your own.". I have been wondering what exactly she means by this. That no support or service is provided to me even though, I might add, I am new to this community? I suppose I will check out those services at the office, but until then, I suppose I am confounded as to why clients are not referred to such services.

Truth is, I don't really need employment services, but I am willing to go if it gets me some childcare. "I really just want to get a job..." I tell Nadine. "You won't be eligible for childcare assistance if you are employed. You need to contact Children's Services" She repeats herself while interrupting me as she has done already in our conversation. I ask her to listen to me, and let me finish what I am saying so I can explain my predicament. "I don't understand how I am expected to accept a full-time job if I don't have childcare already in place."

Now, I am certain that anyone with a child will understand what I am putting across here. One cannot start a job and then afterwards acquire the necessary childcare. What is one to tell a prospective employer for a start date or hours available? Childcare first, then acquisition of employment, is the logical sequence. Securing childcare is hard enough, it is not as if it can be done within hours of accepting a new position. The Childcare Services subsidy is definitely only effective if one has proof of employment and reliant on an actual subsidy approved facility having an opening. She knows this, as she pointed that out to me the first time I asked about childcare on December 7th, when we first met.

However, what's my worker's response to this? "I have many clients who work and they manage to figure it out" I am a bit taken aback by this comment as it in no way helps me. In fact, I had to hold myself back from responding with "No thanks to you, I am sure." Instead I responded with "So, can you explain to me how to do that? I want to start working. How can I get help with childcare in the interim so I can start working? I am registering with temp staffing agencies for contract work and they would love to give me work but I can't accept it... " I think this finally hits home with her because she explains to me then, "Yes, Ontario Works will pay for childcare until the subsidy comes through." Finally, a breakthrough. She explains to me that I need to give her the name of the childcare provider and the cost.

I am relieved. This is all I wanted to hear. I say, "Thank you! Why didn't you explain this to me before?" Nadine says "I did. The first day I explained this to you."


"No you didn't, you said..." I stop myself. I know that I wouldn't be worried about childcare, or having this discussion if she had mentioned this was available to me. I decide I am not going to have a back and forth yes i did-no you didn't with her.

I then tell her that the PLASP program at my child's school does not have an opening for after-school and I ask her if she they have a list or database or know of an agency that can help me find a provider. She states quite flatly, "N o." She adds that Ontario Works doesn't have a list and that, "You will have to do the research on your own." Thus, I am.

This experience make me wonder though, with all this obfuscation and reluctance to actually socially assist people, how does one make that leap effectively from welfare to self-care?

Next time on Mother Lode: What exactly is the role of the Ontario Works Case Administrator (worker)?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Childcare Limbo

My son's first day back and in a new school and I am caught in between a rock and a hard place. To get off of Welfare I have to get a job. In order to get a job I need childcare, BUT I cannot get child care subsidy unless I have a job. Yes, you read that right. My worker, Nadine, says that Ontario Works does not pay for childcare, not ever. The Region of Peel Children's Services needs 2 pay stubs to prove I am working in order to qualify for the subsidy.

So, I can't really afford to work. There is little in the way of incentive to get a job, even though I am required to look for one. Even if I was hired I wouldn't be able to accept because I have no childcare for before and after school. Not only do I not have childcare, but I have no way of paying for it. What kind of a welfare system provides no clear way out for those who wish to get a job and contribute to their community? How exactly am I supposed to become self-sufficient if the system hands me a fish instead of teaching me how to bait the hook?

This is what I am going to find out.

So far, not one service I have contacted about this has been able to help me bridge the gap between getting a childcare, a childcare subsidy, and my chances of acquiring a full-time, gainful employment. As it stands today, I have had to turn down two excellent opportunities because I have no child care, nor the ability to pay for it.