Thursday, June 12, 2008

How would you define a Canadian "liberal". Answer: a conservative who isn't presently in power. The converse is true as well. A Canadian "conservative" is a liberal in power. This has been proven true over and over, and nowhere near as much as in the province of Ontario where the present Liberal government is holding sham "consultations", by carefully selected invitation, to give an illusion of caring about poverty while doing its best to reduce the incomes of poor people. A recent mistake, however, on the part of the minister of Child and Youth services in which she claimed that the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) had taken part in this PR exercise has raised the ire of OCAP. Here is their statement.

For Immediate Release:
OCAP Not Participating in Sham Consultations:
Minister Matthews lies to legitimize secret 'poverty meetings'‏
As you likely know, the Provincial Liberals are currently touring the province with a consultation scam to make it seem like they care about poor people while they do nothing for us. We are going to go to the Toronto closed-door consultations and tell Minister Matthews and the government that we don't need more talk, we need action!
June 18th
3:30 pm
meet at PARC - 1499 Queen Street West
We have been unable to get a bus so if you have one (or a car or van)please let us know at the OCAP office as we are scrambling to make sure we have enough space for people to get there.
Accessibility - call or e-mail to make arrangements.
OCAP Not Participating in Sham Consultations: Minister Matthews lies to legitimize secret 'poverty meetings'
(June 11, 2008) Yesterday, during an interview with CBC's Metro Morning,the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Deb Mathews, claimed the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) was invited to and attended a secret poverty consultation.
In reality, these meetings have been designed expressly to avoid interacting with anti-poverty groups like OCAP and with poor people in general. OCAP has never received an invitation to attend these private consultations. These meetings make no attempt to address systemic poverty in this province, rather they seek to allay the public's concerns"within existing resources."
"We don't need to waste our time in secret consultations. We need a government that is actually going to do something about poverty," says A.J. Withers, an OCAP Organizer. "We know what the problems are. Welfare and disability rates are too low, we need a livable minimum wage now, we need more affordable housing and we need the housing we do have to be in decent repair."
The Liberal government would like the public to believe it will make real and substantial changes in people's lives. Instead, this government continues to quietly chip away at crucial money and services. "While they talk about reducing poverty, the Liberals continue to let welfare and disability rates lose ground to inflation. They slashed the Special Diet supplement that let thousands of people eat healthier food, and they introduced the confusing Ontario Child Benefit that means parents probably won't be able to buy coats for heir kids this winter," says John Clarke of OCAP. "This is not a government that actually cares about poor people, it is a government trying to get political capital by talking a lot about us, but doing nothing for us," Clarke says.
While Matthews is a liar, she was right about one thing: there have been protesters outside of her sham consultations, in cities all across Ontario. This month, in Toronto, we plan to be among them.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6

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