Raise The Rates
On March 16, OCAP and many allies took to the streets to challenge the
Provincial Government and the 2012 budget that we knew would intensify
the agenda of poverty (See OCAP's statement on the budget
here:http://www.ocap.ca/node/994). It was also our collective
grassroots contribution to the building of a common front against the
austerity that our communities are facing.
Five hundred people gathered outside the offices of the Ministry of
Housing at Bay and College to listen to a range of union and social
movement speakers and to enjoy a fine meal provided by the Ontario
Nurses Association. We began at a location operated by the Provincial
Government but we set our sights on the real architects of austerity
in the corporate towers on Bay Street. To drive this home, our March
set out in the direction of the TD Bank at Bay and King, the long time
home of economist Don Drummond whose regressive report shaped the
attacks that the Liberal Government followed through with in the 2012
Ontario Budget Declares War on Poor and Working People:
Liberals cut Community Start-Up allowance, drive down welfare/ODSP rates, impose wage freeze...
The 2012 Ontario Budget, delivered by the Liberal Government, but designed by Bay Street, goes under the title 'Strong Action for Ontario'. In reality, however, it is a blueprint for action to impose the burden of the crisis on everyone but the rich. Public Services will be under attack as the Government works to reduce spending by some $17.7 billion over the next three years. The workers who deliver those services will face a wage freeze and an unprecedented attack on their pensions.
As already announced by Dalton McGuinty, this Budget includes measures that will deepen the crisis of poverty in Ontario. A planned $100 increase in the Ontario Child Benefit will be put off until July of 2013 and social assistance rates will be 'frozen', which in real terms means a cut in income once again. People on Ontario Works are living on incomes that are a devastating 60% lower than they were in 1995 and over 20% lower than when the Harris Tories left office. Now, that wretched sub poverty income will continue to be driven down further by the 'poverty reduction' Liberals as the cost of food and other necessities increases significantly.
On March 16 FIGHT POVERTY AND DEMAND: A LIVING INCOME! HOUSING!
QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES FOR ALL!
-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
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!
OCAP, CUPE and OCHU will be hosting a video screening and panel discussion on poverty and allied networking between the labour movement and social justice groups on March 1st.
The event will be held at the Steelworkers Hall on 350 Kenilworth Ave, in Hamilton from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Suggested donation is $5-$10, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. There will be very light snacks and refreshments served as well.
Join other workers in discussing why trade unionists need to join the fight for increased social assistance rates and a decent income for all!
GET IN TOUCH: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Part of the PMUS Poverty & Health series
Join in a community discussion of why we must all fight for increased social assistance rates and a decent income for all!
Tuesday, February 28th
43 Queen Street South, Kitchener
Queen Street Commons Café
* Free event. All welcome.
* Free snacks & refreshments provided
* Child friendly space
* Wheelchair accessible
Featured Panel Speakers include:
Liisa Schofield & John Clarke - Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)
Representative of CUPE Ontario (Partner in the Raise the Rates Campaign)
Representative of KW Food Not Bombs
Facilitated by: Poverty Makes Us Sick
Film Screening of “Raise the Rates & the Special Diet”
A joint project between OCAP & Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE-Ontario) on ‘Raise the Rates and the Special Diet’. Through first-hand accounts with women on social assistance and health care providers, this video highlights the chronic inadequacy of welfare and disability rates in Ontario and the recent cut to the Special Diet Allowance under the McGuinty Government. It examines the many layers of poverty and the long-term effects on the health and well-being of those forced to live on inadequate incomes in Ontario. It is a powerful rallying call for real action on poverty!
McGuinty Ensures Poverty: One per cent for the poor from the one per cent in Ontario
December 1, 2011
Published on rabble.ca (http://rabble.ca)
There is generally little focus in mainstream media on social assistance rates. Last week, Carol Goar took on the issues in an editorial entitled "Queen's Park offers crumbs to Ontario's poor". The article brought attention to the issue of social assistance rates, but it misses some major points on the fight to raise welfare and disability rates in Ontario. As Marian Kramer of the National Welfare Rights Organization in the U.S would say, "the media covers the plight but not the fight of the poor." So let us fill in the blanks.
Assistance rates 55 per cent lower than in 1994
On Dec. 1 social assistance rates will increase by an insulting 1 %. This increase is well below the rate of inflation which is estimated at three per cent this year. With inflation factored in, what McGuinty calls a one per cent raise, is, in reality a two per cent cut. This cut is a loss of real income for the poor, which, when coupled with the major cut to the Special Diet Program, means a dramatic deepening of poverty in 2012 and beyond.
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.
Saturday, October 1st, 2011
Steelworkers Hall, 25 CECIL STREET (South-East of Spadina and College (wheelchair accessible)
Click here for a map
Hearing Before the College of Physicians and Surgeons
Show your support for Doctor Wong and the Special Diet
Monday, October 3, 8:00 AM
80 College Street
Calling all health care providers, health and public sector workers,
poor people, anti-poverty activists and allies!
The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, Canadian Union of Public
Employees – Ontario, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Ontario Nurses
Association and Health Providers Against Poverty invite you to join us
on September 8th and 9th for an important and timely public forum and
conference on poverty, health, austerity and how we can fight back