For Immediate Release: Anti-Poverty Protest at Loblaws (August 20, 2011)
Toronto, ON, August 20, 2011 – On Saturday afternoon, in a protest organized by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), dozens of people, many directly affected the Province’s cut of the Special Diet program, converged on the Loblaws grocery store, at Jarvis and Queen’s Quay, to send a message that poverty and hunger are growing and will be challenged.
After entering the store and splitting up into small groups, the OCAP members and supporters began filling up their carts with $250 of groceries each. Upon ringing in these groceries, cashiers were presented with vouchers for 250 “Dalton Dollars” -- featuring a prominent picture of McGuinty, alongside the words “to be used in place of the Special Diet Allowance”.
The loss of the full Special Diet on July 31st, inevitably means
more hunger, more evictions, more ill health and more misery
for huge numbers of people who are already forced to live on hugely inadequate welfare/ODSP rates. The groceries in the carts that were brought to the Loblaws checkouts are only a tiny fraction of the food that McGuinty and his Government have taken from poor people
Amina Ali, an OCAP Organizer in Etobicoke stated: “The Special Diet
Allowance was a way that people could manage to pay their rent and still afford to feed their families – but even that has been taken. What are people supposed to do? Poor people are no better under Dalton McGuinty than they were under Harris! Welfare and disability rates in this province are shameful and we demand a raise once and