Pictures from Today's Action
We are circulating the statement below for endorsement by agencies, anti-poverty groups, unions, and other allies. Please forward it widely.
To add your name to the list of endorsing organizations, please contact Parkdale Community Legal Services 416-531-2411 ext. 248 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are encouraging groups to take up this issue as part of the
Raise the Rates provincial Week of Action, Oct. 13-17
For more information:
like Raise the Rates on Facebook
Stepped Up ODSP Medical Reviews Will Mean Improper Denial and Needless Hardship
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
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.
The Raise the Rates Campaign is excited to announce an Ontario-wide speaking tour this coming May 2014 of Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) UK.
DATES & LOCATIONS *more details to be posted soon*
• May 6: Sudbury
Details: Tuesday, May 6th, 7pm, at Kinsmen Room A of the Parkside Older Adult Centre on Durham St
• May 7: Ottawa
Details: Wednesday, May 7th, 6:30pm, at Somerset West Community Health Centre (55 Eccles St)
• May 8: Montreal
Details: Thursday, May 8th, 6:30pm - Accessibility, Disability and Resisting Austerity at CÉDA, 2515 rue Delisle (Métro lionel groulx). Organized by: Comité d'action solidaire contre l'austerité - CASA. QPIRG concordia. Endorsed by: Movement Action Chomage. Comite Chomage Est
• May 12: Kingston Coalition Against Poverty
Details: Monday, May 12th, 6pm at Kingston Public Library Central Branch (130 Johnson St), Delahaye Room.
• May 13: Kitchener-Waterloo
Details:Tuesday, May 13th, 6:30pm at Queen Street Commons Cafe (43 Queen St South) https://www.facebook.com/events/225928060937800/?ref_newsfeed_story_type...
• May 14: Toronto
Details: Wednesday, May 14th, 6pm at St. Luke's Church, 353 Sherbourne Street (at Carlton). Accessible space. ASL available. Free meal provided.
Who is DPAC: The Cameron Government in the UK has implemented brutal cuts to programs for unemployed and disabled people. This includes a system called the Work Capability Assessment that has been used to deny benefits to thousands of people. Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is an organization in the UK that has been at the forefront of challenging this situation. It has mobilized disabled people to fight back and formed alliances with community organizations and unions in resisting the austerity measures of the Cameron Government. The hated private company, Atos, that was carrying out the assessments of sick and disabled people has been forced to quit as a result of the powerful resistance DPAC and others have taken up.