Hands Off The School House Shelter!

UPDATE from August 23 Action to Stop The Closing of The School House Shelter!

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The City is determined to close down the 55 bed School House wet shelter on George Street. Already most of those staying there have been forced out and much needed shelter beds are sitting empty.

How can you fight back?

Rally, Free Meal And March To Save The School House: August 23rd (details below)

Community Meeting To Stop The Closing of The School House Shelter: August 16 (details below)

Local councillor, Kristyn Wong Tam, and fellow councillors on the Community and Recreation Committee, have led efforts to put a lock on the door of the School House shelter. They claim that this is not a cut and want us to believe that they will spend the money they save by closing School House on new ‘housing initiatives’. We know better. This is a huge cut to a vital service in the midst of a crisis - the waiting list for Toronto Housing is 10 years long, shelters are already overcrowded with tensions flaring up, and people's health and lives are on the line.

Closing School House is not about saving money or reallocating resources. The truth is that decisions like this are made to benefit rich developers who are moving in on the Downtown East neighborhood. First the shelters close and then the condos go up. This can’t be allowed to happen. We can’t lose this shelter and we have to fight for it to stay open. This is the place where we draw a line.

UPDATE!!! March 16th pre-budget Rally and March


-Solidarity Against Austerity-

Friday, March 16, 2012
Rally and March
Meet at College St and Bay St, Toronto (Outside the Ministry of Housing)

*Free Meal (provided by members of the Ontario Nurses Association)
*ASL-English at the Rally
*Closest accessible transit station is Queen’s Park

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Join the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and allies for a march and rally on Friday, March 16th, in the lead up to the 2012 Provincial Budget. The McGuinty government has hired former head of the TD bank, Don Drummond, to propose and provide the basis for massive social cutbacks in their 2012 budget. It is being drafted as the Provincial component of the austerity agenda that is gathering force across Canada and internationally. City Hall, Queen`s Park and Ottawa are delivering austerity, but clearly it is being cooked-up on Bay Street by bankers like Drummond to the benefit of their rich friends.

We have to stop the cuts and fight for what poor and working people need!

For poor people and workers in this province, it has been a constant state of crisis. McGuinty is now preparing to make this situation much worse.

On March 16, we will be rallying at an Ontario Government location but taking our march to Toronto`s financial centre where the real decisions are being made by and for the '1%'. We will be marching to oppose austerity measures but also to demand the reversing of previous cutbacks, the right to a living income, the right to affordable and accessible housing, and for good quality public services for all! We will be marching against the kind of society Drummond and the rich are creating, and for one that meets the needs and improves the lives of all of us!


Final Budget Showdown- Toronto vs Ford!

THANKS TO ALL WHO CAME OUT! Read the report back on the 'Stop the Cuts' Website:

Meeting @ 4:30pm at Moss Park (Queen and Sherbourne)
-Tokens provided if needed
-Marching together to City Hall

On January 17th-19th, City Council will vote on the 2012 budget. Ford
and his buddies want to cut nearly $90 million in services, even though the city has a surplus of at least $140 million. They plan to slash services, hike fares and user fees, and lockout or layoff workers when there is actually enough money to improve life in this city.

“Send Your Grocery Bill To Dalton McGuinty!”

On August 20, dozens of OCAP members and supporters entered an upscale
Loblaws grocery store. We loaded each of our carts with roughly $250
worth of groceries and took them to check outs. After they were rung
through, we produced Dalton McGuinty I.O.U coupons that, we insisted, were
worth the $250 people were losing as a result of his Governments massive
cut to the Special Diet program. We suggested to the managers that they
should give us the food and send the bill to the Liberal Government.

As you can see from this video, the operators of the store did not see
things our way but, in front of hundreds of shoppers, OCAP put its demands
forward and a major business profiting from McGunity’s tax breaks to
corporations had its operations disrupted by our action.

UPDATED: Ford’s cuts deferred, but not defeated. Change of Plans for September 26th! |||

Ford’s cuts deferred, but not defeated. Change in their timelines = change in our plans!

With Ford’s popularity plummeting, it seems that his allies got cold feet about openly plotting to destroy city services. In a surprise move, on Sept 19th, the Executive Committee deferred most of the cuts to be voted on at a later date. Thanks to massive public mobilization, most major cuts will not be voted on at the Sept 26-27 meeting. The important votes now come later this fall, starting in November. This changes our September plans slightly, but does mean the fight is over! More info about what happened at City Hall last week:

Harper Dégage! Beat Back the Tory Attack!

June 10th March to oppose the Conservative Party National Convention- OCAP goes to Ottawa...

This past Friday June 10th, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Conservative Party of Canada’s (CPC) National Convention in downtown Ottawa. Taking place during the 3 day CPC National Convention at the Ottawa Convention Centre, Harper’s address to the gathered Conservative Party members was his first major address after winning a majority government in the last election.

June 10th was just the first day of action in what we can be sure will be four years spent in the streets. OCAP went to Ottawa to join allies of all & varied stripes to let the Harper regime know that his austerity program & racist, anti-immigrant policies will be met with growing opposition during his term in office.

Listen below to an excerpt speech from OCAP organizer Liisa Schofield
at the entrance to the convention centre in Ottawa...

Thanks to Bill Clennett for video taping!

Commie Pinkos Go Viral Video Submissions

In December, OCAP made a call-out for video submissions around Rob Ford's planned austerity agenda for the City of Toronto. Response was not exactly overwhelming, but we did receive several great videos, which are posted here for your viewing convenience. We'll be contacting submitters in the next little while to pass along some neat OCAP prizes. Many thanks to everyone who submitted content and please continue to support OCAP's work with your creative efforts!

Stop the Special Diet Cut

Public Testimony From April 9th, 2010

On March 25th the Ontario Provincial Government cut the vital 'Special Diet' program for people on Welfare and Disability. The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) held a public meeting on April 9th to talk about the impact that this cut will have on people's lives, and to organize towards a raise in Welfare and Disability rates in Ontario.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Poor People Crash Lavish Liberal Dinner Party

Video: Watch OCAP crashing Liberal heritage dinner OCAP Organizes to Raise Welfare/Disability Rates.

On Thursday, February 25th, 2010, diners at a lavish Ontario Party Liberal fundraising event, which cost attendees $950 per plate and $9,500 a table, did not finish their meals in comfort.

Members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) organized to crash the fundraiser, at which Premier Dalton McGuinty was scheduled to speak, in an act of outrage at the fact that rich Liberal Party supporters could spend more on a meal than people on welfare and disability have to live on for a month. While the Liberals feast, literally thousands of people in this city go without food or shelter.

At about 7:00 p.m. at the Metro Convention Centre, 50 low income people
and OCAP supporters managed to disrupt the fine dining and cocktails, walking past police and security and proceeding right to the front of the banquet hall. Just as hundreds of dinner attendees gathered in the reception area sipping on champagne, OCAP occupied the centre area chanting Raise the Rates and We are hungry, we’re angry, we won’t go away!. The group was loud, energetic and determined despite physical attacks by Toronto Police and Liberal Party members.

Photos and Video From Friday's Welfare Actions

For the Youtube video, click here

For photos, click here

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