Monday, May 17, 2010


This Thursday the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) will be holding a day of action to pressure the Ontario government to keep the 'Special Diet'. Here's the details from OCAP.

Thursday, May 20th: MPP Day of Action!‏

Day of Action at Local Members of Provincial Parliament Offices:
May 20th
*See below for a list of confirmed locations*
See below for sample letter to MPP’s
*Email for a copy of the May 20th Flyer (or soon to be uploaded to the website)

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) is challenging the decision to eliminate the Special Diet for people on welfare and disability. We are demanding this vital benefit be left alone and that the Government Raise the Rates now. Coming out of the momentum of April 15th, we are organizing a series of actions to build up resistance to the attack on the Special Diet.

To ensure that the fight is taken into as many communities as possible, we are calling for a day of action at local Liberal MPPs' offices on Thursday, May 20.

Want to participate on May 20th but don’t know how? Get involved in one of these locations OR organize your own in your area – get in contact with us. Locations that are confirmed so far: *Toronto Centre: 11am on Thursday, May 20th, Meeting @ Gerrard and Parliament (Pigeon Park) Liberal MPP Glen Murray
*Etobicoke North: 11am on Thursday, May 20th, Meeting @ Food Basics at Albion and Thistledown (near Islington) Liberal MPP Shafiq Qaadri’s
*Etobicoke South: 1pm on Thursday, May 20th, Meeting @ 701 Evans Ave (Just south of Sherway Gardens, Queensway and The West Mall ) Liberal Minister of Children and Youth Services and Women’s Issues, Laurel Broten
*Davenport: 4pm on Wednesday, May 19th @ Davenport and Dufferin Delivering messages from the community to Liberal MPP Tony Ruprecht’s Office
*York-West (Jane and Finch): TBA
*St. Pauls: Join Health Providers Against Poverty @ Liberal MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins Offfice TBA *Peel/Brampton: TBA
*St.Catherines: 11am on Thursday, May 20th @ 2 Secord Dr. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, James Bradley
*Ottawa: 1pm on Thursday, May 20th, Meeting @ Park at the corner of Montreal Rd and Begin St (Vanier) Liberal Minister of Community Social Services: Madeleine Meilleur
*Hamilton: Demonstration on Thursday, June 17th (TBA) +More to come soon!

We leave it up to people to decide the kind of event that is right for them. Some may choose to occupy an office. Some may think it better to rally outside. Others may want to bring a delegation and call for a meeting. Please let us know what ideas you have for ways to drive this issue home at Liberal offices so we can share them with people in other communities.

Whatever tactic you think is possible and works best for you, we are calling on people across this Province to make May 20 a day when the cut to Special Diet is put before the Liberals in a way they can't ignore. The loss of the Special Diet means people will not have a healthy diet. Some will be made homeless, many will suffer ill health and lives will be shortened. We don't just want to protest this attack but intend to defeat it. If you want to be part of this fight back and the May 20th Day of Action, email us at or call us at (416) 925-6939
*SAMPLE LETTER TO MPP’s May 20th, 2010
Dear Ontario Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament,
We, the members of your community, are disgusted by the decision of your Government on March 25th in the 2010 Provincial Budget to scrap the Special Diet Allowance. The Special Diet is money that people on Welfare (OW) and Disability (ODSP) rely on in order to buy healthy food and pay the rent.For years people have been forced to choose between two essential needs: housing and food, as a direct result of inadequate OW and ODSP rates.

On March 25th, 2010, this Government put forth the most anti-poor budget since Harris in 1995. In cutting the Special Diet you have chosen to be only the 3rd Government in Ontario’s history to CUT Social Assistance. This is a brutal move that will make hundreds of thousands of people hungry, sick, homeless or at risk of being evicted.

In 1995 the Tory Government cut Welfare by 22% and froze Disability rates.Today, that cut in income is equivalent to approximately 55% with inflation and cost of living increase for the last 15 years. The Liberal Government campaigned against the Tories on a platform of ‘Poverty Reduction’ and reversing the Harris cuts. But since 2003, little has been done to account for inflation let alone reverse the Harris cuts, and in fact people on Social Assistance today are worse off than they were in 1995.

This is shameful. Today we have visited your office to say loud and clear: how dare politicians like you knock on doors in this neighborhood, asking for our votes and then take away the money we need to eat and feed our families. It is a disgrace that you can force families to turn to food banks and send kids to bed hungry yet maintain a public office in the very community you are inflicting misery on.

We are here to demand that you give back the Special Diet Allowance immediately, and that you finally reverse the 1995 Harris cut by raising OW and ODSP rates to where people can live with health and dignity.
Your constituents.

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