On March 18th We Crashed Your Office, Tomorrow We Will Crash Your Phone Lines
Mass phone/email to save the Special Diet: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
The Ontario Government is looking to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest people in the province. They are intending to slash the Special Diet funding, a crucial source of income to 162,000 people in Ontario.This benefit provides up to $250 a month to those on assistance who are suffering health problems. One in five people on assistance rely on this money to be able to eat at all properly. Cutting this money will lead to a massive increase in hunger in the province, evictions, and long term health consequences for people on social assistance.
Since 2005, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty organized clinics staffed by doctors and nurses who believed that the allowance could provide essential support for people unable to live healthily on current welfare and disability rates. The largest clinic, held on the lawn of Queen’s Park in 2005, signed up 1000 people.
Welfare and disability payments need to be brought back to the levels that they were at before Harris cut welfare in 1995. This requires a 40% increase. Without a raise of that level, the Special Diet funds are the difference between housing and the street. Between sickness and health.
What does losing the Special Diet mean to people's lives?
“There would be no food in the house...there would be a lot of difficulties.” -Ahmed
“I might have to move. My stomach problems will increase because I won't be able to eat as well.” - Marque
“I don't know what I will do if I lose the Special Diet. I might lose my housing. I will definitely have to decide between paying my rent and my health. My condition is greatly affected by diet, if I can't eat healthy food, I get quite a lot sicker. My entire life will be negatively affected if I lose the Special Diet.” -A.J.
“I live on the street and I use the special diet money to buy food because the Salvation Army food is disgusting. I need fresh fruit and vegetables and you'll never see anything like that in the shelter.” -Brian
“They give me $2200. Our rent is $1460. I have 5 kids. Do you think that is enough? We are not saying we need access to luxuries...but at least basic things like food and clothing.” - Khadija
It looks like the provincial government is planning to cancel the special diet. This will mean that thousands of poor people in this province will be pushed into hunger, illness, homelessness and desperation. This is unacceptable – and now is the time to tell your provincial politicians and the City politicians that helped to make this happen.
On Tuesday March 23rdth, call and email the politicians below.
· Demand that they maintain the Special Diet funding.
· Tell them that they can’t cut costs by attacking those on social assistance and disability support payments.
· Let them know that what is needed is a 40% raise in social assistance
rates back to the levels in the mid 1990s.
You can even start now!
Premier Dalton McGuinty
(416) 325-1941 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (416) 325-1941 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (416) 325-1941 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (416) 325-1941 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
fax at (416) 325-3745.
Minister of Community and Social Services
Chair of the Council Committee Responsible for Social Services
City of Toronto
After you have demanded that they stop the attack on the special diet, contact the ocap office and let us know what happened. Just Cc your e-mail to us or contact the ocap office and let us know what was said.
Ocap e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocap phone number: 416-925-6939
Demand Raise in OW/ODSP Rates and Hands off the Special Diet!
On Thursday, March 18th members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, OCAP Ottawa, and Ottawa's Under Pressure Collective teamed up to descend upon the office of Madeleine Meilleur, Liberal Minister of Community and Social Services.
As the Liberals are putting the finishing touches on the budget at Queen's Park, we made clear that we will not sit by quietly while the provincial government continues to attack the basic needs of poor communities. Filling the office and surrounding street front with angry chants we demanded an immediate 40% raise to social assistance rates and an end to the attack on the Special Diet supplement. While Meilleur's assistants responded to our demands by calling in the cops, people passing by greeted the banner dropped from the minister's rooftop, flyers, speeches and chants with words of encouragement and honking car horns.
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.
A letter from Doctor Roland Wong to Dalton McGuinty about someone unjustly being denied the special diet.
A Call to Action Against the Cuts to Come: Submission on the Ontario Provincial Pre-Budget 'consultations'Submitted by ocap on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 19:53.
The Ontario Government’s pre-budget consultations are currently underway at Queen’s Park. The Federal budget is set to be released at the beginning of March (that is unless Harper decides for another spontaneous vacation), with the Ontario Budget, and most Provincial budgets, then set to be released by the end of March or beginning of April.
It will, no doubt, be the same tired old routine. Agencies,services,and organizations will line up to sing for their supper in front of the all-party Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The committee will be sent the same message that the government has gotten and ignored time and time again – that people in this province are suffering,that the people of Ontario cannot handle further cuts to programs or cuts to jobs,that their poverty reduction strategy is failing and that this province desperately needs to see a raise in funding for social assistance,childcare, and education.