Raise The Rates

Raise the Rates Week of Action: Rally at Glen Murray's Office! Thursday, May 21, 12:30PM, 120 Carlton St.


Image description: OCAP members gather outside Glen Murray's former office in November 2013. In the window are pink "Raise the Rates" signs

Stop Liberal Austerity and the War on the Poor!

Rally at office of Glenn Murray, MPP
120 Carlton (at Jarvis)
Thursday, May 21
12.30 PM

Free meal served!

The Fight for the Special Diet Made a Difference that Hasn't Been Wiped Out!


Image description: a man with a small child on his back holding a sign reading "Hands off my Special Diet!" with a red hand print in the middle

In 2005, OCAP took up the fight to access the Special Diet for People on Ontario Works and ODSP. Our hunger clinics and actions to demand access to the benefit spread and huge numbers of people in poverty won additional income to protect their health and feed themselves and their families.

Despite all the efforts to limit the Special Diet, which have caused a great deal of hardship to many in Ontario, we suspected that access to the benefit had not been driven back to the point it was at in 2004. Now, figures we have obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, more than confirm this.

Raise the Rates Week of Action: May 18-25!


Image description: Two shopping carts against a red background. Both contain yellow arrows pointing upward, saying "Fight poverty now" and "Raise Welfare and Disability Rates 55%". Between them, text reads "Raise the Rates! People deserve a basic income"

Raise the Rates Week of Action Against the Liberal Government’s ‘Invisible Austerity’ War on the Poor

The Raise the Rates Campaign is calling on local communities to challenge MPPs during the week of May 18. During that week, they will be in their constituency offices and this is an ideal time to challenge the austerity and growing poverty that is being imposed in this Province.

Click here to download the poster

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.

Official Raise the Rates Campaign Statement on ODSP Medical Reviews


Image description: OCAP members march behind a white banner saying RAISE WELFARE AND DISABILITY RATES 55% NOW!

OFFICIAL RAISE THE RATES CAMPAIGN STATEMENT ON ODSP MEDICAL REVIEWS

The Medical Reviews for those on ODSP must be suspended!

The Raise the Rates campaign of community groups and unions calls on the Wynne Government to immediately suspend the implementation of medical reviews for people on ODSP. The accelerated review process is occurring at the worst possible time for people living in poverty and under conditions that have not been properly prepared.

UPDATED WITH SCHEDULE! ~ Raise the Rates 2014 Week of Action October 13-17

Wynne Government Talks About Justice, But Delivers Poverty!

Liberal MPPs will be going back to Queen’s Park on October 20 but, during the week before, they will be in their local communities and in their constituency offices. Doubtless they will be feeling quite smug after their election win and telling people about how committed to ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ they are.

Communities living in poverty know from bitter experience that the reality they face is very different:

  • The minimum wage has been set at a level that leaves people in poverty
  • Those on Ontario Works (OW) and ODSP are living on incomes that leave them unable to feed themselves and pay the rent
  • The real value of social assistance payments has fallen by some 55% since 1994 and people have continued to get poorer during the years the Liberals have been in office
  • The vital Community Start Up benefit that kept people housed has been taken away
  • The Special Diet benefit that put food on the table for thousands has been slashed
  • Many people on ODSP are now facing medical reviews that threaten to take away their income

Ontario Liberal Budget Maps Out the Way to ‘Social Justice’ Austerity

During the recent Provincial Election, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals distanced themselves from the crude right wing ideas of the Hudak Tories by pointing to their ‘progressive’ Provincial Budget over which the election was fought. In fact, this document is not quite the road map to ‘social justice’ it claims to be.

What the Liberals actually set out in their Budget plan is a multi-year blueprint to cut the spending for government programs in Ontario. If you take into account inflation and population increases, the Budget actually represents a commitment to shrink services and reduce deficits on the backs of those least able to afford the cost. Those on Ontario Works (OW) and ODSP will receive a 1% increase below the rate of inflation that will see them fall deeper into poverty. The vital Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit, that people used to obtain or retain housing, will not be restored. Low wage workers will see the minimum wage indexed to inflation but kept at a level that condemns them to working poverty. While the poor fall further behind, landlords are allowed to increase their rents at or above the rate of inflation and billions of dollars that the ‘cash strapped’ Government could use to reduce its deficit are handed to wealthy corporations in the form of tax breaks.

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

*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.

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