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October 21, 2009

No welfare if you have outstanding warrants...but we trust you to tell us!

This kind of thing would be unbelievable if it didn't happen so often in Canadian politics.  According to the National Post (h/t Mark Steyn), the BC government is considering a law that will make it impossible for those people who have outstanding criminal warrants to obtain welfare in the province.  A good idea!

Unfortunately, there's a couple of catches.

First, it sounds like they're moving very slowly on it (it was just introduced the other day and wouldn't take effect until next year).

Secondly, and even stranger, is this sentence:

"But Mr. Coleman said the government will not run criminal background checks on welfare applicants to enforce the policy. Instead, it will rely on criminals to disclose their outstanding legal issues when they make an application."

Excuse me???  We're going to run this on the honour system for wanted criminals????  You do realize that criminals are known for, oh what's the word....I can't think of it right'll come to me soon.....oh yes, LYING as a matter of course?  With all of the money that's wasted every year, you would think they could spend some of that money on BACKGROUND CHECKS!!!

I can just see it now.  A man walks in to the local welfare office with lots of gang tattoos covering his face and body, wearing an open shirt that shows even more gang tattoos on his chest.  He sits down to talk to the clerk who is processing his application.

Clerk:  "Are you, or have you ever been, involved in gang activity, including murder, drug trafficking or gun-running?"

Man:  "No"

Clerk:  "Ok, you're approved!!!!"

It makes me shake my head.  Maybe they're under the assumption that if somebody is a criminal, they're probably rich enough that they won't need welfare, so will never apply.  But I would think it would be good to check, don't you?  Just in case?


  1. They check everything else looking for excuses to deny welfare to people who need it. Why wouldn't they do background checks as well? I realize I'm in a different country but the system can't be that hugely different. Maybe I'm wrong though.

  2. According to the news report, they won't be doing background checks, or at least not criminal ones. Maybe they do the usual financial ones, to make sure you qualify (I don't know much about the system, but I assume those are automatically done).

    Assuming that is so, that just begs the question even more. If they can do those checks, why can't they add on a criminal check as well?



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