(Artwork courtesy of longtime OCAP member Anne Abbott, http://www.annekabbott.com/)
Wednesday November 20th, 2013
Town Hall 6:30 pm
St Luke's Church, corner of Sherbourne and Carlton, in the Gymnasium
* Wheelchair Accessible
* ASL Interpretation
* Tokens Available
The Ontario Liberal Government is sitting on a proposal to merge
Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
into one program. The government reports claim the merger of ODSP and OW will make the system ‘easier’ to access and carry out. The reality is that it’s about cutting benefits.
Join OCAP at St. Lukes Church for dinner and to talk about this proposed merger of ODSP and Ontario Works and how we can fight back to stop this from happening. Listen to other people’s stories and talk about your worries on how the joining of the programs will affect you.
-Anne K Abbott
November 11, 2013
From : 1-3pm
South Riverdale Community Health Centre
955 Queen Street East
The Housing Stabilization Fund was created in the city of Toronto to replace the loss of the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). The Housing Stabilization Fund is for people on social assistance, ODSP or OW. It can help with first and last month’s rent to get housing, rental arrears, furniture and household items, moving expenses, hydro arrears and more. We will be hosting an application clinic in the east end at South Riverdale Community Health Centre. People applying should bring (if they have), ID and worker information,
and any supporting documents like bills, eviction notice, promise to rent.
For more information call 416-461-1925 ext 247 or email email@example.com
Raise the Rates! Restore CSUMB!
Communities united in fighting attack on Disability Benefits!
*See the Resolution to fight the ODSP/OW merger, Adopted by the Raise the Rates assembly, here: http://ocap.ca/node/1107
*See the joint Statement with Mamaweswen here: http://ocap.ca/node/1108
OCAP was proud to participate in the Raise the Rates Week of Action with a range of community and union allies. Linking up with the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, we held actions in a range of Ontario cities and towns. People mobilized to demand living wages, decent income, a Raise in the Rates of Social Assistance, and the reversal of austerity based cuts like the elimination of the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB). Through determined community mobilization last year, we forced $42 million out of the government in what was meant to be CSUMB funding. That funding runs out at the end of this year, and so the call to restore CSUMB is timely and vital.
Above all, we challenged impending measures to attack disabled people on ODSP through the government’s proposal to merge ODSP with Ontario Works (OW).
October 19, 2013
We are determined to prevent any attempt to merge OW and ODSP which we see as a move in the direction of austerity based, UK style ‘welfare reform’. This would lead to the imposition of ‘work-fare’ onto people on ODSP, forcing people living with disabilities into working for very low wages with no adequate accommodations for their disabilities and cutting them off benefits if they are unable to keep these jobs. However, this opposition to merger does not at all mean that we accept the status quo of a system that so glaringly fails to meet the needs of disabled people. Based on this, we advance the following demands of the Government of Ontario.
1.Provide a clear undertaking that no legislation will be tabled to merge Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
2. Revise the ODSP Act and regulations to:
i. Clearly differentiate support for disabled people living with disabilities that make it difficult if not impossible to be self-supporting, from support for unemployed people, and to provide decent and stable long-term financial support to people living with disabilities as a matter of social right.
ii. Restore the real income levels of people on ODSP and OW to at least where they stood before the Harris Tories froze them and Liberal Governments provided below inflation increases.
iii. Provide an accessible and fair application process for ODSP. At present, the system is so restrictive that appeals have become a de facto second stage in making an application.
iv. Recognize, under both a revised ODSP Act and the OW Act, that First Nations, given their inherent right to self-determination, have the right to design and deliver publicly funded programs, that they determine are best suited to their unique needs, of both long-term support to people living with disabilities and shorter-term support to unemployed people.
Download Statement Here:
This assembly of the Raise the Rates Campaign, gathered together in Sudbury on October 19, 2013, recognizes that the Liberal Government of Ontario is pressing ahead with an austerity driven social ass