THIS JUST IN from our allies UNDER PRESSURE in Ottawa:
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 19th
Members of the anti-poverty organization Under Pressure have infiltrated and disrupted a fundraiser organized by Ontario Liberal MPP Madeleine Meilleur. The protesters were there to denounce the poverty in which those living on social assistance must live in.
“People living on social assistance are forced to choose between paying
the rent and putting food on the table” said one protester.
THURSDAY MAY 19th, 2011
6 – 8pm
@ St.Luke's Church, 353 Sherbourne St. (Carlton and Sherbourne)
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty has been spearheading the ‘Raise the Rates Campaign’ since 2005, demanding a real raise in welfare (OW) and disability (ODSP) rates to where people can live with health and dignity.
A central part of this has been access to the Special Diet Allowance – a vital benefit that has allowed for some small amount of relief from the miserable amounts that people are forced to try to survive on every month.
What is the history of welfare and disability, what is the history of this campaign, what is actually happening with the Special Diet Allowance as of April 2011, and how do we win a raise in social assistance rates TODAY?
Learn the facts and history, know the arguments, join the campaign!
We are getting lots of calls in the office about the changes to the special diet. So, we broke it down for you. To find out the changes, including what diets are eliminated, reduced, increased or added, and when it is best for you to send in new forms, click here.
Liberals announce Social Assistance Review and slashing of the Special Diet
After announcing in the 2010 provincial budget last March that the Special Diet Allowance would be completely eliminated
(and therefore cutting overall Social Assistance rates by 3%), the McGuinty Government has now revealed plans to instead massively reduce access to the vital benefit for people on social assistance. But let us not be fooled– while the Liberals have partially backed off no doubt due to the overwhelming community outrage and huge mobilization against the cut, we have unfortunately not won a great victory.
On Monday November 8th, an OCAP delegation, mainly comprised of women
from Etobicoke's Somali community, crashed a fundraising event held by
'their' MPP, Shafiq Qaadri. They were confronting him over his Government's attack on the Special Diet for people on Social Assistance. Qaadri offered to meet with a delegation Friday November 12th at his constituency office, an offer which a large number of people accepted.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH
Immediately above is a link to a video of MPP Shafiq Qaadri reading the letter delivered that day in its entirety at the Ontario legislature. It remains to be seen whether this provincial government will finally address the fact that it has yet to undo the damage inflicted on
Ontario's poorest communities during the Harris years, not to mention policy failings of this very government which has in fact led to even greater suffering of people on social assistance; Regardless, its cause for some amazement to listen to a Liberal MPP document the guilt of his own party in causing widespread misery to the very people they had promised to help when they were first elected after the Tory defeat...