Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's hard for the average person to even imagine a $950 a plate dinner. That was, however, the cover charge for the recent fund raiser for the Liberal Party last February 25. Like Christ in disguise, however, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) managed to skip past security and remind the assembled top of the pyramid about how the lower parts live. Here's the story from OCAP.
Low Income People Crash Lavish Liberal Dinner Party‏
Low Income People Crash Lavish Liberal Dinner Party:OCAP Organizes to Raise Welfare/Disability Rates
On Thursday, February 25th, 2010, diners at a lavish Ontario Party Liberal fundraising event, which cost attendees $950 per plate and $9,500 a table,did not finish their meals in comfort.
Members of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) organized to crash the fundraiser, at which Premier Dalton McGuinty was scheduled to speak,in an act of outrage at the fact that rich Liberal Party supporters could spend more on a meal than people on welfare and disability have to live on for a month. While the Liberals feast, literally thousands of people in this city go without food or shelter.
At about 7:00 p.m. at the Metro Convention Centre, 50 low income people and OCAP supporters managed to disrupt the fine dining and cocktails, walking past police and security and proceeding right to the front of the banquet hall. Just as hundreds of dinner attendees gathered in the reception area sipping on champagne, OCAP occupied the centre area chanting Raise the Rates and We are hungry, we’re angry, we won’t go away!. The group was loud, energetic and determined despite physical attacks by Toronto Police and Liberal Party members.
While they promise ‘poverty reduction strategies', the Liberals are doing all they can to eliminate Special Diet access, a benefit people can access to limit their poverty, if a medical provider considers it necessary. They have sent memos to welfare and ODSP offices giving untrained staff the right to evaluate and reject the diagnoses of health providers. This is leading to a huge reduction in access to this vital benefit. The loss of Special Diet income for the poor in Ontario will be a major cut in people's income. The reality is that people on social assistance live on incomes that have lost at least 40% of their spending power since 1995.
People are even poorer today than they were under Mike Harris. On Thursday OCAP organized to stop the attack on welfare and disability recipients, and to expose the hypocrisy of the Provincial government and their 'poverty reduction' veneer. Poverty is not comfortable - nor should rich supporters of McGuinty's Liberals be. In the midst of this economic crisis attacks on poor people have increased, and the potential of social cuts in the upcoming Provincial budget is very real and will mean an explosion of Poverty in Ontario.
That's why, On Apr 15, 2010 OCAP will hold a large mobilization against the Provincial Government.
We won’t pay for their crisis or their deficit.
We demand the right to decent income and a future free of poverty.
Raise the Rates by 40% Now!
Join us on April 15 and fight for the right to decent income!
Get Involved:
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Fight to Win.

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