Thursday, March 25, 2010


The following notices are from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).
Upcoming public meeting:
Organizing to Defend Poor Communities:‏
Organizing to Defend Poor Communities:
Public Meeting
Friday March 26, 2010 – 6pm
St. Luke's Church – 353 Sherbourne St. (at Carlton)
East Downtown Toronto has a long history of poor people organizing in their communities around poverty. During the depression the unemployed in East Downtown Toronto organized to stop evictions, demanded work or relief, struggled for better hostel conditions, and they fought major battles around free speech.
In the mid 1990’s poor people in East Downtown Toronto organized massive demonstrations against the Harris cuts to social services. During this period poor people in East Downtown Toronto organized to stop cuts to welfare, demanded affordable housing by taking over abandoned buildings, set up special diet clinics in the area so that people on social assistance could get more money to feed themselves and their families, and organized around the gentrification of their neighbourhood.
Today, more and more services are being removed from East Downtown Toronto and the poor are being driven out of the area. The economic crisis and the current national debt will put more pressure on services and on the poor living in East Downtown and other poor neighbourhoods in Toronto over the next few years.
How will people organize themselves today to fight against poverty and to defend neighbourhoods and services? What is the role of social agencies in this struggle? Can poor communities learn from past struggles?
On Friday March 26, community workers, anti-poverty activists, and poor people who live in East Downtown will gather to discuss the various ways in which they can begin to fight for basic needs and services and defend the community. People from other communities will also be invited to share their experiences and struggles in this fight.
Here, also from OCAP are notices of yet more planned meetings and actions in the wake of the provincial decision to axe the 'Special Diet'.
Province Slashes Special Diet‏
March 25th, 2010
Today, the Provincial Budget has killed the Special Diet and what was the only means that tens of thousands of people in Ontario had to survive has been taken from them. 20% of those on social assistance in Ontario had been getting this vital benefit and they will now be thrown into a crisis by a move that will rob them of the ability to feed themselves and pay the rent. This is the most devastating social cutback since Mike Harris slashed welfare rates in 1995.
The Liberal Government has dared to talk about ‘poverty reduction’. Not only has is cut the Special Diet but, while huge numbers of people face the impact of an economic crisis, it has announced that it will increase the rates by 1% at the end of the year. That’s less than inflation and an insulting extra $10 a month for a single parent with two children!
On April 15th we will be marching against the McGuinty Government. The question we face is ‘who will pay for the economic crisis’. If you’re a bank or big corporation, you get a bail out. If you’re poor, they send you the bill and make you even poorer.
It’s time to challenge this Government’s pretense of trying to deal with poverty and to build a movement to win the right to decent income. In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario, you work for poverty wages, you live in poverty on welfare or you fight back.
Public Meeting:
Friday, April 9th @ 6.00 PM
Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre, 1499 Queen Street West
Rally and March:
Thursday, April 15th 12Noon,
Allan Gardens Park (Sherbourne and Gerrard)
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
(416) 925-6939 /

1 comment:

Werner said...

As someone who actually knows something about poverty and insanity from experience I am surprised that welfare recipients are not killing themselves in large numbers though I suspect in the current atmosphere this will probably start happening. Humiliation is just as ugly a force as lack of money. There is such a thing as Enough.