OPSEU Seeks Court Injunction to Stop SAMS

District Social Services Administration Board
District Social Services Administration Board
District Social Services Administration Board
District Social Services Administration Board

THUNDER BAY – The confusion and problems caused by the implementation of the new SAMS program in Ontario to issue social assistance payments caused delays in payments, and in some cases payments made that should not have been made. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, OPSEU, is seeking a court injunction to halt the use of the program.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has announced today that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union are seeking an injunction against the Ontario government to halt the flawed Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) computer system that is responsible for the management and payment delivery to tens of thousands on Ontarians relying on social assistance.

“Since the implementation of the new computer system on November 12, there have been hundreds of computer problems causing millions of dollars over- and underpayments or, in some cases, recipients receiving no money at al,” Thomas said.

The OPSEU President says that in the injunction he will also seek a declaration that the government violated the rights of social assistance recipients under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by implementing a system they knew was flawed.

“Despite our repeated warnings, the Ministry of Community and Social Services went ahead and implemented this system, which in turn disadvantaged the most vulnerable people in this province,” Thomas said. “From day one, OPSEU-represented caseworkers in both the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) reported serious concerns with SAMS. Many recipients failed to receive necessary program supports such as health benefits, drug and dental cards, medical transportation, special diet allowances and mandatory special necessities for their particular health conditions.”

Thomas said the bottom line is that SAMS has introduced chaos in to the ODSP and OW programs. “Recipients of social assistance are losing trust in a critical public service,” Thomas said. “Our members, working in both programs, are doing their absolute best to try and minimize the impacts, but in spite of their best efforts the number of program flaws grows by the day, and staff are beginning to feel helpless.”

Thomas said that the Ministry has the ability to fix the system without further harming those who rely on it. “The old system is still running, and could be used while they fix all the bugs in this new system. The government must act, and act quickly, before there is further damage.”

Previous articleThunder Bay Calendar Parking Rules in Effect
Next articleUnited States and Cuba To Normalize Diplomatic Relations
NetNewsledger.com or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: newsroom@netnewsledger.com Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862