Rod Sutherland, the City of Kawartha Lakes director of human services, which oversees social assistance programs in the municipality, also commented.
Regarding the time it took to get participants, he said in an email, “There was very limited information available in the early days of the signup process in Lindsay and there was a lot of hesitation from people as it wasn’t clear what the impacts would be on social assistance, other income sources, health benefits, etc. As the project was implemented quite quickly, it took time to get answers to some of these questions. There were a few participants signed up in October and November last year in Lindsay but the full campaign to get going in Lindsay (with regular sessions etc.) didn’t start in earnest until early 2018.”
The director continued, “I have also seen no evidence that the pilot was failing. Every indication I have anecdotally is that there were very positive personal, health and employability outcomes being achieved. I am assuming that by cancelling it, they will not continue with or formally receive any actual reports from the evaluators who were hired to conduct the evaluation (St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University).”