The Ford government has directed municipalities to “destroy” more than 240,000 inserts to October welfare cheques outlining previously announced cuts to social assistance this fall.

The move has raised hopes among anti-poverty activists and municipal officials that the province may be reconsidering the changes, widely believed to be harmful to vulnerable children and people on social assistance with part-time jobs.

A spokeswoman for Todd Smith, minister of children, community and social services, refused to comment on the ministry directive or say why it was issued.