Raise The Rates

Raise The Rates: The Campaign So Far

Every month in Ontario, hundreds of thousands of people receive welfare and ODSP cheques that are far too small for them to pay the rent and eat properly.

OCAP disrupts Liberal ‘Heritage Dinner’ – Stop the Liberal War on the Poor!

The Ontario Liberal party’s annual lavish fundraising dinner was disrupted
this evening in Toronto by members of the Ontario Coalition Against
Poverty. In the face of grinding poverty across the province as a result
of Liberal policies, a dinner that boasts of $1500 a plate is a slap in
the face to people struggling to pay the rent or put food on the table.
Disrupters unfurled a banner demanding a raise in social assistance rates
and littering the floor with macaroni.

This action is in the lead-up to a mass mobilization this coming Saturday,
March 22nd with people coming from across the province to protest the
‘Liberal War on the Poor’ at the OLP annual meeting. The Liberals have not
only solidified the 1995 Harris government cuts, but brought down their
own brutal form of austerity. Since 2005, this government has hacked away
at the Special Diet Benefit – a food benefit – making it almost impossible
to access.

Then in 2012 the Liberals announced the cut to Community Start-Up and
Maintenance Benefit – a benefit to get people housed, used often by those
who are homeless, in the shelter system, leaving an institution, or women
escaping domestic violence. This is on top of failing to raise the rates
of social assistance to any livable amount let alone keep up with
inflation. Today people are living on social assistance rates that are at
least 55% below where they should be. Wynne talks about social justice,
but few across the province have seen any evidence of that.

“We will not let the rich dine at our expense or at least not dine in
peace. The poor will not suffer in silence and we are fighting back!”

Join the March 22nd mobilization – no matter who is in power this spring –
Stop the War on the Poor, Raise the Rates NOW! http://ocap.ca/node/1137

Email Action! Tell the City not to cut the HSF!!!!

The City of Toronto wants to destroy the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) that enables people on Ontario Works or ODSP to obtain or retain housing. They have systematically restricted access to it and turned applicants away in droves, causing great hardship and increasing homelessness.
Email your thoughts, experiences with the HSF or Community Start-Up to Toronto Emplyment and Social Services cchowen@toronto.ca by March 24th

Raise the Rates Poster and Flyers

Available now! Click the "attachments" link to download and print the poster and flyer.

*Updated with Accessibility info!* March 22nd Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Convention

Download the Poster for March 22 HERE,
And Download the Flyer for March 22 HERE!

March 22nd Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Party Conference!

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Assemble at Metro Hall, King and John, 1.00 PM

Meal, rally and march

Our Pots and pans are empty, bring yours to bang!!!!!!!!!!

Accessibility Info:

· We have an accessible van with room for one chair and 4 passengers to follow the march for folks who aren't able to march

- ASL Interpretation available

· Closest wheelchair accessible subway station: St.Andrew Station
(approx 2mins away)

· Transportation from out of town: accessible transport available
(alternative to buses), contact each city for more info.

Stop the Liberal War on The Poor

Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Party Convention

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Assemble at Metro Hall, King and John, 1.00 PM

Meal, rally and march

Our Pots and pans are empty, bring yours to bang!!!!!!!!!!

*Buses coming in from Sudbury, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo and more -
Stay Tuned for More Info!

Kathleen Wynne is every inch a Liberal. She talks about poverty reduction while imposing deeper poverty on communities. She has been a leading member of the Government all along while social assistance (OW and ODSP) rates have lost even more of their spending power. She was a cabinet minister while the minimum wage was frozen, while the Special Diet was slashed and while the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit was being eliminated. There is no question that the Liberals added their own misery to the brutal cuts that the Harris Tories imposed in 1995. Today a single person on Ontario Works is expected to survive on just $626 a month, while rent and cost of living continues to rise beyond reach.

As we head into another round of provincial elections in the spring, we will not be swayed by fake gestures and empty rhetoric from any politicians.

Demand That Your MPP oppose Merger of ODSP with OW!

Below is an attachment of a letter & cover letter for MPPs asking for them to oppose any merger of ODSP and OW as proposed by the Lankin Sheikh Report. There is also a pledge for them to sign saying they would vote against any such a move if it were brought forward as a bill in the Ontario Legislature.

The Raise the Rates Campaign is building opposition to any attack on ODSP and the people in this Province that rely on it. We say the program should be improved not reduced or eliminated. If you would be interested in taking this letter to your local MPP, whichever party they belong to, please let us know so that we can add your initiative to the list of local events.

Go to this web site for contact info for all MPPs:

If you would like further information or to discuss this further you can call the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) at (416) 925-6939

Download the Declaration Here:

Download the Cover Letter Here:

Apply for the Housing Stabilization Fund ~ East End Application Clinic

November 11, 2013
From : 1-3pm

South Riverdale Community Health Centre
955 Queen Street East

The Housing Stabilization Fund was created in the city of Toronto to replace the loss of the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). The Housing Stabilization Fund is for people on social assistance, ODSP or OW. It can help with first and last month’s rent to get housing, rental arrears, furniture and household items, moving expenses, hydro arrears and more. We will be hosting an application clinic in the east end at South Riverdale Community Health Centre. People applying should bring (if they have), ID and worker information,
and any supporting documents like bills, eviction notice, promise to rent.

For more information call 416-461-1925 ext 247 or email zdodd@srchc.com

Raise the Rates! Restore CSUMB!

Report Back: Raise the Rates Week of Action and Provincial Assembly

Communities united in fighting attack on Disability Benefits!

*See the Resolution to fight the ODSP/OW merger, Adopted by the Raise the Rates assembly, here: http://ocap.ca/node/1107

*See the joint Statement with Mamaweswen here: http://ocap.ca/node/1108

OCAP was proud to participate in the Raise the Rates Week of Action with a range of community and union allies. Linking up with the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, we held actions in a range of Ontario cities and towns. People mobilized to demand living wages, decent income, a Raise in the Rates of Social Assistance, and the reversal of austerity based cuts like the elimination of the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). Through determined community mobilization last year, we forced $42 million out of the government in what was meant to be CSUMB funding. That funding runs out at the end of this year, and so the call to restore CSUMB is timely and vital.

Above all, we challenged impending measures to attack disabled people on ODSP through the government’s proposal to merge ODSP with Ontario Works (OW).

Joint Statement by Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council and the Raise the Rates Campaign

October 19, 2013

We are determined to prevent any attempt to merge OW and ODSP which we see as a move in the direction of austerity based, UK style ‘welfare reform’. This would lead to the imposition of ‘work-fare’ onto people on ODSP, forcing people living with disabilities into working for very low wages with no adequate accommodations for their disabilities and cutting them off benefits if they are unable to keep these jobs. However, this opposition to merger does not at all mean that we accept the status quo of a system that so glaringly fails to meet the needs of disabled people. Based on this, we advance the following demands of the Government of Ontario.

1.Provide a clear undertaking that no legislation will be tabled to merge Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

2. Revise the ODSP Act and regulations to:
i. Clearly differentiate support for disabled people living with disabilities that make it difficult if not impossible to be self-supporting, from support for unemployed people, and to provide decent and stable long-term financial support to people living with disabilities as a matter of social right.
ii. Restore the real income levels of people on ODSP and OW to at least where they stood before the Harris Tories froze them and Liberal Governments provided below inflation increases.
iii. Provide an accessible and fair application process for ODSP. At present, the system is so restrictive that appeals have become a de facto second stage in making an application.
iv. Recognize, under both a revised ODSP Act and the OW Act, that First Nations, given their inherent right to self-determination, have the right to design and deliver publicly funded programs, that they determine are best suited to their unique needs, of both long-term support to people living with disabilities and shorter-term support to unemployed people.

Download Statement Here:

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