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Are you receiving an income or disability assistance cheque from the provincial government? If so, you're in for a big surprise. It turns out the Campbell administration will soon require those payments to be deposited directly into your bank account. And just to make sure you go along with the plan, the Liberals are offering big incentives to those who sign-up - such as tube socks. According to a leaked email, "when clients sign-up for Direct Deposit between February 22 and March 29, 2006, they will be able to pick two from a choice of three benefits, which include: 5 pairs of Cotton Socks (or) 2 T-Shirts (or) 1 Portable Mug." The email, which was distributed by employment and income assistant deputy minister Cairine MacDonald on Monday, goes onto note "The selected items will be placed in a canvas bag. This offer is available ONLY while supplies last." The following is a complete copy of that email.

-----Original Message-----
From: MacDonald, Cairine EIA:EX
Sent: Mon 13/02/2006 10:54 AM
Cc: Chandler, Penelope E EIA:EX
Subject: Direct Deposit - Sign-up Benefit for Clients up to March 29, 2006

Effective today, the ministry is introducing policy and system changes to support the mandatory direct deposit of income and disability assistance payments. Client uptake for Direct Deposit has historically been quite high (almost 70% for eligible cases). As a result of this success and in order to further streamline the cheque payment and dispersal process, the ministry has initiated a shift to Direct Deposit as the standard or required method of payment.

As you are aware, direct deposit provides clients with a number of benefits by reducing the visibility of cheque issue day and taking cash off the streets. It is a safe, convenient and dependable way for clients to access their funds. Direct deposit also benefits ministry clients and staff by reducing lost and stolen cheques and reducing traffic in EIA offices on cheque-issue day. Another benefit is simplicity and business continuity - of value to clients and the ministry if there were to be a natural disaster such as happened in New Orleans or a pandemic.

In order to accelerate the move to direct deposit, the ministry is introducing a time-limited sign-up benefit for clients. When clients sign-up for Direct Deposit between February 22 and March 29, 2006, they will be able to pick two from a choice of three benefits, which include:

* 5 pairs of Cotton Socks
* 2 T-Shirts
* 1 Portable Mug

The selected items will be placed in a canvas bag.

This offer is available ONLY while supplies last.

These materials will be shipped directly to ministry offices, Service BC offices (government agents) and trusted 3rd parties in early March.

Staff will be provided with further details regarding the distribution of these benefit packages from their regional management team shortly. The process is simple and straightforward - the client is eligible to receive the benefit when they return their completed Direct Deposit Request Form and void cheque. There will be an information mail-out to those not yet on direct deposit as well as materials to hand out at offices on cheque issue day. The target is to have clients receive information in February and return their forms no later than the end of March.

Supports and services now available include:

* an updated brochure and poster;
* an updated Direct Deposit Request Form (EIA2648);
* updated ISD scripts;
* a new Direct Deposit Benefits for Clients information sheet (this is EXCELLENT);
* a Systems Memo that introduces new MIS processes;
* links to banking information for clients; and,
* Online Resource information (Payment of Assistance category).

I would like to thank all those who worked so diligently on the Direct Deposit project, which will both benefit ministry clients and streamline ministry service.


How about offering rolling papers?

There you go bashing the poor again, Dagmar. It just goes to show that you have learned nothing from being banned from Rabble!


Sounds like Ms. MacDonald and the Campbell Gov't have decided they're playing the part of Mary Astor in the Maltese Falcon.

Which means it might just be time for British Columbians to make like Bogart and tell them, loud and clear:

"You may love us and we may love you, but we won't play the chump for you, honey."

Tube socks?

While supplies last?

Sheesh. We can get a better deal from the pawn shop down the street.

Awsome, tube socks. The ones I bought last week with my income assistance cheque already have holes in them.

Also, I can't think of better mug on my mug than Gordo's.

Why canvas bags? Is that so its obvious to everyone walking down the street that you're on welfare?

Why not just paint a big Scarlet W on their chest so we can ALL tell they are on welfare.

I wonder if they have a choice of color in tube socks.....

"Also, I can't think of better mug on my mug than Gordo's."

As long it's the mug shot...

What about the folks who don't have a bank account to direct deposit stuff to? Vancouver used to have a bank for the lower waged, unemployed people, but snce that awful fellow Jim Green was connected to it, it got bad mouthed a lot. It was set up to help folks living in small rooms to have a place to put their little bits of money to help them from getting rolled on welfare wednesday

Hey Dagmar,

the stereotype of poor people all doing things that involve rolling papers is likely as accurate as the assumption that all BC Liberal party members do things that involve mirrors, razors, martinis and driving.

Trust our government to make sure their buddies in the Big Banks get a piece of the poors money even if they don`t want them to have it. Do another line Gordie.

Hey Ronnie. It's Dagmar.

I don't think that you used the most effective argument to make your point.

To add to that point, I don't think it is bad to expect people to have a bank account. If you don't have a bank account, that might be part of the problem.

And if you don't like big banks, go to a credit union.

Only a Liberal would think of a program to give out tube socks and backpacks as prizes for having a bank account. Only a Liberal.

The people get very little money a month as it is. Will they be expected to pay bank service charges for gettin the pittance shipped to a bank? of course it's cheaper for the government to do it that way, less staff hours, the costs of cutting cheques and postal costs. One hopes if they jam this through at least the cheque recipient should get the banking service for free. God knows the amount is so little to cover so much. Old Claude looked so serious when he was up on is feet in the legislature yesterday talking about the shake downs on wlefare day.

being disabled and having to live in a rural area to afford the rent. means i have to pay for a mailbox $130yr so welfare can still send me my check and make sure i got an address

then they can direct deposit and that costs me a further $6 to $10 per month out of my monies to pay for the bank charges...


just great just f'in great man
i went to direct deposit last year
just great what do i get?
what i really would like is to be able to make an appointment with my worker by talking to the lovely and helpful receptionist at the farewell
seems i added up all the quarters i spent on telephone calls and bus fare to the nearest pay phone last year when the receptionist said i have to phone for an appointment even with my worker standing right there. and then they wouldn't even let me borrow there phone...
anyhow if i added up all these quaters i'd be able to but a shoe phone to go with the tubbies.
ten toes up and ten toes down Gordy!

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