Community Start-Up

Confront the Liberals: Stop the Cut to Community Start-Up, Raise the Rates Now!

PICKET: Toronto Liberal Leadership Debate
Wednesday, January 9, 7:00pm
Old Mill Inn - 21 Old Mill Road, Toronto *Meet-Up: 6pm @ Sherbourne Subway Station (outside)

MASS PROTEST and ACTIONS: Liberal Party Leadership Convention
January 25 – 27th
Maple Leaf Gardens

Starting January 1st, 2013 – Ontario’s Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) will disappear – thanks to the Liberal led Ontario government. 16,000 Ontarians a month rely on this social assistance benefit when they need to get a place to live, pay first and last months’ rent, stave off eviction, get furniture, pay their utilities, flee domestic violence, or relocate when they must.

WEEK OF ACTION ON COMMUNITY START UP TAKES THE FIGHT TO A NEW LEVEL

North Shore Tribal Council/SCAP CSUMB Week of Action

Between December 7 – 14, 2012, actions were taken to defend the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit in local communities from Windsor to Ottawa to Sault Ste Marie. People demonstrated at or occupied the offices of Liberal MPPS, marched through the streets of their communities, held clinics to enable people to obtain the start up benefit and more For the most part, the Liberal MPPs hid from sight as this challenge to their brutal cutback unfolded in community after community.

The Week of Action, which was called by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), would not have been possible without the efforts of dozens of organizations and hundreds of people working together to make it possible.

GROWING SOLIDARITY WITH UNIONS: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario) has worked with OCAP for three years now on the Raise the Rates Campaign that created the basis for this challenge to the CSUMB cut. CUPE continued to provide organizational and communications support as the week unfolded. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Ontario Region provided material assistance and encouraged its local activists to be part of the week. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) supported the organizing in key ways and helped mobilize for the local actions.

UPDATED DEC 12: Provincial Week of Action to Save Community Start Up (Plus, Model Letter for Communities to Use)

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) is calling for a week of action from December 7th - December 14th to put pressure on Liberal MPPs throughout the Province to reverse the decision to eliminate the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB).

UPDATED LIST OF ACTIONS (December 12) BELOW!

Provincial Week of Action to Stop the Cut to Community Start-Up
December 7th - 14th: Take Action in Your Community to Stop the Cut!

32 Community Events and Counting!

The movement is growing and the momentum is building to stop the cut
to Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit; let's keep up the
fight! The Government has felt a lot of pressure on this issue and
they are about to feel a great deal more as we launch the Provincial
Week of Action to Stop the Cut.

**Below is updated information about some of the provincial actions
that are planned.

We are calling on all Provincial allies to plan and organize actions
in your communities to stop the cut!
-----
What can you do in your community?

-Organize a delegation, rally or protest to 'your' MPP's office

-Deliver a letter (use our model MPP letter if you want:
http://ocap.ca/files/ModelCSUMBLettertoMPPs.pdf)

-Occupy your MPP's office and show them such a despicable attack as
the cutting of the CSUMB will mean it will not be business as usual

-Set up an emergency shelter in that MPP's office or other provincial
government office

-Hold a clinic and deliver the applications on-mass

-Anything creative you can think up!

ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Use #SaveCSUMB and #RaisetheRates

This fight is not lost. This benefit can and must be saved and we are
calling on people affected, and all those who support them, to
challenge the Liberals in the way they deserve to be. The momentum and
the fightback against this cut must escalate towards the January
cut-off. And even if they proceed with this cut, the fight will not
end there. People will still face homelessness or situations where
their housing is at risk and they will be organized to go the Liberal
Government and its MPPs to demand what they need to survive.

On January 25 and 26, the Liberals will select a new leader to replace
Dalton McGuinty and we'll start there. We'll go to that convention
with many of the people this cutback has affected and call for answers
from those competing for McGuinty's spot.

Call us right away and let us know how you and your community can act
to save the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit and challenge
those who want to destroy it: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty,
www.ocap.ca / 416-925-6939 / ocap@tao.ca

------------------------------
Provincial Week of Action Schedule of Events:

DECEMBER 7

•KITCHENER The kick off rally at Minister, John Milloy's office was a
resounding success but not for poor old John. He prorogued his own
holiday open house and hid away somewhere while Poverty Makes Us Sick
and its allies mobilized on his door step.

------
DECEMBER 8
• TORONTO Workshop at the Ontario Common Front General Assembly
------
DECEMBER 10
• OSHAWA With the assistance of PSAC activists and students, a
delegation will go to the local offices of the Ministry of Community
and Social Services to deliver a letter of protest against the cut
-----
DECEMBER 11

• SARNIA. Poverty Reduction Network will meet with local MPPs on the CSUMB
• KITCHENER/WATERLOO: Noon, Rally & flyering re: CSUMB in Waterloo
Town Square, followed by visit to Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife
• KITCHENER/WATERLOO: 4pm-5pm, Regional Council building
'Cheerleading rally' for Council to do the right thing and fight to
save the CSUMB
http://www.facebook.com/events/488705004484071/
• KITCHENER/WATERLOO: 6pm Weekly CSUMB sign-up clinic at Queen Street Commons
• HALTON Voices of Change in Halton Region are visiting MPPs
• TORONTO Special action in support of those applying for CSUMB
• SUDBURY The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP) is going to
the City Council meeting on December 11 to press for a resolution
against the cut to CSUMB. S-CAP members charged following the
occupation of 'their' MPP's office are back in court on December 11
and will use it to rally again against the cut
-----
DECEMBER 12
• TORONTO Action by Front-Line Workers Against the Cut
• TORONTO Jane Finch Action Against Poverty action at MPP's office
• KITCHENER/WATERLOO: 4:30pm rally at Grand Valley Institution
Making the links: criminalization, violence against women,
marginalization and poverty; impact of cuts to CSUMB on women
transitioning out of GVI; with the 'We Remember Ashley Smith' campaign
-----
DECEMBER 13
• OTTAWA: Delegation going to a Ministry of Community and Social
Services office and a local MPP
• TORONTO: Delegation to Scarborough MPP
• TORONTO: Teachers will hold a ‘Bake Sale on Bay Street’ for their
students affected by the cut to CSUMB outside $500 a ticket cocktail
party for Kathleen Wynne: 4:30 - 6:00pm, Location: 199 Bay St (Bay
and King). Join Teachers in Putting Students First!
• TORONTO: Health Providers Against Poverty will go the office of Dr.
Eric Hoskins MPP
• TORONTO: Etobicoke Clinic to sign people up for CSUMB
• TORONTO: OCAP Sleep out at office of Toronto Centre MPP, and Liberal
Party leadership hopeful, Glen Murray. Allies from the OFL will be
joining us for the night including President Sid Ryan and along with
other allies and people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless
as a result of this cut: http://ocap.ca/node/1033
• KINGSTON: KCAP action at MPP John Gerretson's office:
http://www.facebook.com/events/381015461988191/?ref=ts&fref=ts
• PEEL: Peel Poverty Action Group action at MPP's offices
• SAULT STE MARIE: Local organizations, North Shore Tribal Council and
Sudbury CAP to march on MPP's office
• CAMBRIDGE: Presentation by Poverty Makes Us Sick from KW on CSUMB at
Argus Youth Shelter
-------
DECEMBER 14
• TORONTO Sleep out at Glen Murray’s office concludes with community
breakfast at 8am
• HAMILTON Round table meeting on defending the CSUMB and mobilization
at City Hall
• KITCHENER/WATERLOO: TD Bank action: Cut the Banks, Not Social Programs!
http://www.facebook.com/events/310209979085605/
• PEEL CUPE 966 action at MPP's office
-------
DECEMBER 17
•ST.CATHARINES: event and action
-------
Details to be announced of actions that are being organized in:
• WINDSOR
• LONDON
• GUELPH
• HALTON REGION
• OTTAWA

MORE TO FOLLOW!!!

WHO WE ARE: The campaign to Raise the Rates is jointly organized by
the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and the Canadian Union of
Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario and other labour and community groups.
We work in partnership with local groups across the province,
including anti-poverty groups, women's groups and Aboriginal
organizations.
-----------------
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
www.ocap.ca
Phone: 416-925-6939
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/OntarioCoalitionAgainstPoverty
@OCAPtoronto
#SaveCSUMB
#RaisetheRates

CUPE Ontario Raise the Rates Campaign: www.cupe.on.ca/raisetherates
@CUPEOntario

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Below, we include a model letter to these MPPs that people can use in their own community. The form of activity that is taken up in any community depends on local conditions and capacities. In Kitchener and Sudbury, people have already organized occupations of their MPP's offices. We know there will be rallies and pickets held. OCAP in Toronto is planning an all night sleep out on the sidewalk outside the office of Glen Murray, MPP.

However, we stress that all local actions to raise this issue in the community are welcome. Even something as basic as a letter delivery to an MPP's office will be a valuable and welcome part of the week. Those who do not have a local Liberal MPP can still participate in some other way. For example, they can address a letter of protest to Minister, John, Milloy, and deliver it to the local offices of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Download the model letter here.
Download the poster here.

Need help organizing a direct action? Get in touch, and we are happy to share skills.

Week of Action to Save the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit!

December 7th - 14th: Take Action in Your Community to Stop the Cut!

An Appeal for United Action from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

The movement is growing and the momentum is building; let's keep up the fight! The Government has felt a lot of pressure on this issueand they are about to feel a great deal more. December 7th at Milloy's office will launch a week of actions across the Province at MPP's office. We are calling on all Provincial allies to plan and organize actions in your communities between December 7th - 14th.

What can you do in your community?
-Organize a delegation, rally or protest to 'your' MPP's office
-Occupy your MPP's office and show them such a despicable attack as the cutting of the CSUMB will mean it will not be business as usual
-Set up an emergency shelter in that MPP's office or other provincial government office
-Hold a clinic and deliver the applications on-mass
-Anything creative you can think up!

If you don't have an organization in place yet, but still want to help this campaign, call us (collect if you need to) and discuss with us how you and your neighbours could take action, even if it is something as basic as delivering a letter of protest to the MPP.

KITCHENER: Stop the CUT to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB)!

Get on the bus from Toronto to Kitchener - Confront Milloy!
Inviting ourselves to Minister Milloy’s Holiday Open House

STOP THE CUT TO THE COMMUNITY START-UP AND MAINTENANCE BENEFIT (CSUMB)!

Friday, December 7th

BUSES FROM TORONTO:

*Please Reserve a Seat to make sure you get a spot, Call: 416-925-6939

EAST-END: 10am, Allan Gardens Park (Carlton/Sherbourne side)
WEST-END: 9:30am: Sistering, 962 Bloor St. West AND 10am: PARC, 1499
Queen St. West

IN KITCHENER:
Rally @ 12:30 pm
Address: 1770 King St. E, Unit 6C

Minister of Community and Social Services (a.k.a Misery), John Milloy,is planning to host a ‘holiday open house’ on Friday, December 7th at his constituency office in Kitchener. But this is the same Minister that is cutting the only benefit for people on social assistance (OW or ODSP), that lets them get housing or stay housed. As of January 1st, 2013, the CSUMB is slated to be cut by the Provincial Liberal Government. Minister Milloy thinks that he can host a holiday open house while thousands in this province are homeless or at risk of being homeless as a result of this vicious cut.

Join Poverty Makes Us Sick and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty as we invite ourselves along to Minister Milloy’s holiday shindig, and make sure the message is heard loud and clear: STOP THE CUT TO THE CSUMB, RAISE THE RATES NOW!

**This event is launching a Week of Action across Ontario to Save CSUMB**

SUDBURY: Stop the CUT to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB)!

Thursday, Nov. 22nd @11:30 a.m.

Starting in front of the Sudbury Arena

16,000 people a month turn to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB).

It is one of the only ways that people on OW or ODSP can get housing, cover the costs of moving, stave off eviction and obtain the basic items to maintain a home. It is a defense against homelessness and a means by which many women and children are able to leave situations of domestic violence.

Cutting CSUMB is designed to hurt people as much as possible when they are at the most vulnerable point in their lives. It will increase homelessness and hardship.

Speakers include John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).

Bag Lunches will be available.

Organized by:

Mamaweswen, the North-Shore Tribal Council
Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty

For more Information contact S-CAP at 249-878-7227 or sudburyCAP@gmail.com

McGuinty resigns, anti-poor policies continue: JOIN US ON THE STREETS TOMORROW (October 17)!

Dear OCAP members, supporters and allies,

Yesterday we heard the news that the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Dalton McGuinty, has resigned and prorogued government.

McGuinty has resigned, but make no mistake, the Liberal anti-poor policies continue. This recent turn of events does not mean that the cut to Community Start-Up will be stopped - we have to continue our campaign under the assumption that the CSUMB cut will come in to effect this coming January. Which is why we need to keep up the pressure to stop this cut and to raise the rates!

Queen's park is closed down, but the Ministry of Community and Social Services remains open - which is where we are headed tomorrow to deliver our applications for CSUMB, and our demands. Join us tomorrow on the streets, and help spread the message!

Solidarity,

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

------------------------

Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Toronto Events
Wednesday October 17

Join Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and Jane-Finch Action
Against Poverty (JFAAP) at events throughout the day...

Open Letter from Social Service and Front-line Community Workers on the Provincial Cut to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance

**To sign on to this letter as a union local or as a community service agency or organization, please email: raisetheratescampaign@gmail.com

October, 2012

Open Letter from Social Service and Front-line Community Workers on the Provincial Cut to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB)

In January 2013, as part of its austerity budget, the Ontario provincial government will cut 50% of funding to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). The other half of CSUMB money will go to municipal housing and homelessness programs that serve an even larger pool of low-income people, and CSUMB as we know it will effectively be eliminated. As social service and frontline community workers, we are opposed to this mean-spirited cost-cutting measure and the adverse impact that it will have on the health and well-being of the individuals and communities that we work with.

The CSUMB has been available to Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients who are facing difficult crisis situations. This benefit has been used to: secure housing by people leaving shelters or hospitals; to pay rent arrears in order to avoid eviction; to pay utility arrears in order to avoid having your water or heat cut off during the freezing winter months; and purchasing basic household items such as a bed or mattress. Currently, some 16,000 people a month across Ontario rely on this vital benefit.

For frontline workers in the Violence Against Women (VAW) sector, the CSUMB has proved decisive in enabling women and their children to flee domestic violence situations and secure safe housing. Without access to this benefit, countless immigrants and refugees—many fleeing war, trauma and economically precarious conditions—would not be able to afford housing in Ontario upon arrival. For those individuals accessing drop-ins and shelters and struggling with extreme poverty, substandard housing and homelessness, mental and physical health disabilities, and addictions, the slashing of the CSUMB will certainly result in increased marginalization, homelessness, misery and hardship.

The provincial government’s slashing of the CSUMB, along with other recent measures like the cut to the Special Diet Allowance, is contributing to increased poverty and inequality in our communities, especially for social assistance recipients.

Cross-Ontario Events- Fighting the Cut to Community Start Up

Stop the Cut to Community Start-Up, Raise the Rates Now!*
Schedule of Provincial Events Across Ontario (STARTING THIS THURSDAY IN KINGSTON!)

*The RAISE the RATES CAMPAIGN is endorsed provincially by a wide range of unions and organizations. To join and participate, please see here:
http://www.ocap.ca/node/947

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario, and allies across the province, are organizing a series of events this fall to demand that the McGuinty Liberals stop the cut to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit, and Raise the Rates of Social Assistance.

Cuts by the governments of Mike Harris and Dalton McGuinty have reduced welfare rates by 60% since 1995! This year`s Provincial Budget continued the rapid decline with rates that don`t even keep up with inflation. Following the previous gutting of the vital Special Diet benefit by the Liberals, this year`s Budget also brought a series of cutbacks for people on social assistance including the elimination of a benefit known as `Community Start-Up and Maintenance` (CSUMB). The government has announced it will eliminate this benefit in January 2013.

Save the Community Start Up Benefit !

To download the poster for October 17th, click here!

Download the flyer here!

Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Wednesday October 17

Join Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and Jane-Finch Action
Against Poverty (JFAAP) at events throughout the day...

DOWNTOWN:

Save the Community Start-Up, Raise the Rates Now!

10:00 AM: Walk-in Clinic:
Find out about or apply for Community Start Up and Maintenance
Benefit, join us at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square
(west of the Eaton Centre, south of Dundas)

12.00 Noon: Meal and Rally @ Toronto City Hall Square (Bay/Queen):
March on the Provincial Government to Deliver all Applications
Collected that Day

A Province wide campaign is being built to save the CSUMB and, in
Toronto, OCAP is looking to contribute to this on October 17 with a
mass application for the benefit that will also demand the cutback be
reversed. We will hold a mass clinic to make people aware of how they
can apply for CSUMB and we will fill in application forms for all
those who wish to obtain it. Then, we will rally together and march on
the Government to put in these applications and many more from across
Ontario.

If you want to help build this event or learn how you and others in
your community can receive the CSUMB, give us a call today. More than
anything, come out on October 17 and help us stop McGuinty from
getting away with his plans to put people on the streets. Save the
Community Start Up Benefit, Raise the Rates NOW!

**Parkdale Meet-Up: 9:30am @PARC drop-in (1499 Queen St. West), tokens provided

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