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(en) Canada, RAISE THE RATES OF WELFARE AND ODSP! Public Meetings in Toronto

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 9 Sep 2004 15:45:20 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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Restore the Tory 21.6% Cut to Welfare. Full Compensation for Ten Long
Years with no Cost of Living Increase. A 40% Increase NOW.
Past public Meetings in Toronto:
Wednesday May 19: 220 Oak St. Community Room (south of Gerrard off River)- 6pm
Wednesday May 26: All Saints Church (corner of Dundas and Sherbourne)- 6pm
Tuesday June 1: Masaryk Cowan Park (on Cowan south of Queen)- 6pm in the event
of rain this event will be at the Parkdale Library - 1303 Queen W.
Tuesday June 1: Agincourt Library (155 Bonis Av.- north of Sheppard, near Birchmount)- 7pm
Future Raise the Rates Community Meeting: FREE FOOD AT 6:00PM, MEETING AT 6:30PM
Thursday September 9th, 2004 Room 101, Jack Purcell Community Centre
320 Jack Purcell Lane (near Elgin and Gilmour)

Proposed Agenda

1) Free meal at 6PM

2) Speakers

Topics include:
- update on the Raise The Rates campaign
- reportback from last meeting (results)
- reportback from regional meeting
- report on activities around the province
- Panhandling
- Criminalization of anti-poverty militancy

3) Breakout groups on possible actions
- Building on actions discussed at previous community meeting

Raise The Rates Background

Reverse the Tory welfare cuts! A 40% increase NOW!
End 10 long years with no cost of living increase.
Justice for Welfare and ODSP recipients!

Under the Ontario Tories, general welfare rates were cut by 21.6%. Since
then, inflation has also risen by a cumulative 18.2%, boosting the real
impact of the Tory war on the poor to an astonishing 39.8%. The Liberals’3%
increase is not enough! Welfare and disability rates are currently at such
dismal levels that they are not enough to live on. The 3% raise recently
given by the Liberal Government is not much help. For a single person on
welfare it amounts to a measly $15.60/month on top of the current
$520/month. This is not acceptable! People are sick of making choices
between rent and food, clothing and transportation. People have had enough.
We deserve better.

Join Anti-capitalist Community Action and other members of your community in
organizing for an immediate increase of 40% to social assistance rates. We
are building a local Raise the Rates organization as part of a
province-wide campaign to raise the pressure on the McGuinty government to
do the right thing and Raise the Rates! Whether you receive money from
Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, or are an ally of
those who do, we encourage you to join us in fighting to win.

For more information, contact aca@mutulaid.org or 786-1015

From the website:

Over the coming weeks and months OCAP and our allies across the
province will be acting to force the new Liberal government to issue a
40% increase to Welfare and Disability Rates in Ontario. Already we
have taken the fight to the home of the Minister of Social Services in
Toronto and across the province actions are targeting government
officials and those who profit off our poverty. In order to make this
fight successful we will need to organize welfare office by welfare
office, neighbourhood by neighbourhood across Toronto to make it
impossible for the Liberals to continue ruling on the backs of social
assistance recipients. On June 11 we will take it to welfare offices
across Toronto and across the province. To prepare for these
community actions we will be hosting a series of meetings across the
city over the next month. If you are interested in getting involved in
the campaign come out to the meeting in your neighbourhood or
contact us to help set up a meeting in your area at 416 925 6939.

On Friday, June 11th, 2004 Take it to the welfare/ODSP offices

The Liberals ran in the elections promising a cost of living increase
for poor people on assistance. Now they tell us they have no money to
honour this pledge. This is not acceptable. People are sick of making
choices between rent and food, clothing and transportation. People
are sick of jumping through the hoops of welfare and disability policy
and procedure. People have had enough.

Now we have come to the luxury home of Pupatello, the Minister in
charge of Welfare and ODSP. This is only the beginning. In order to
win, we must organize community by community, food bank by food
bank, welfare office by welfare office. Next we will take it to the
places where workers and bureaucrats make and act out the system
that screws people every day.

In May, we are asking people to come out to public meetings in
Toronto neighbourhoods to plan this fight. And in June, we will take
the next step.

Get involved. Call OCAP at 416.925.6939 / ocap@tao.ca

More on the Campaign...

A single parent on assistance gets $950 a month while the average
rent on a two bedroom apartment is $1,050. A single person gets
$520 a month and the rent he or she would be asked to pay on a one
bedroom is $800. Social assistance rates are now at levels that deny
the basic necessities of life to hundreds of thousands in Ontario. A
social emergency exists - yet the McGuinty Liberals are not
interested in responding to it or dealing with the poverty and misery
for which they are now complicit in dragging on.

OCAP is taking up a fight to win back all that has been taken from
those on welfare and ODSP since 1995 when Harris came to power.
No one should have to choose between eating properly and paying the
rent or lie awake at night and wonder how to tell their kids they can't
have the things other families take for granted. The right to decent
income will have to be forced from the McGunity Government and
we are calling on people all across Ontario to join us in making this a

Over the months ahead, we will take up a major struggle against the
Liberals. Organizing must take place community by community, food
bank by food bank, welfare office by welfare office. What they won't
provide, we will mobilize to take. TTC stations will be opened up to
provide free transportation for the poor. If people are denied enough
income to feed themselves decently, the big supermarket chains will
be helped to meet our needs whether they want to or not. It's time to
take the kind of action that the poverty crisis in Ontario calls for. It's
time to make them understand that ignoring our right to a living
income is simply not an option.

The Liberals never said they would restore welfare and ODSP rates to
1995 levels but they did campaign for election with a promise of a
cost of living increase for poor people on assistance. Now they tell us
they have no money to honour this pledge. They did, however, make
every effort to increase their own fat paycheques by 2.7%! A planned
salary hike for MPPs and Cabinet Ministers.set for April 1, was only
cancelled after its annoncememt sparked public outrage. Still, even
with this 'austerity measure' it's hard to feel too sorry for the plight of
Social Services Minister, Sandra Pupatello, who presides over the the
lives of poor people on assistance. She rakes in a base salary of
$121,297 and this is bolstered by, among other things, a special
housing allowance of $17,500. Let's put before the Liberals our
demand for a 40% increase and show them we plan to fight them for
it! If you live outside Toronto and want to commit to spreading the
demand to raise the rates across the province, if you want to work to
help mobilize in your community - contact OCAP.
Raise the Rates Resources

# Download the OCAP pamphlet, "How to get Everything you can
from Ontario Works and Ontario Disability". It can be downloaded as
a Microsoft Word file or as an Adobe PDF File.

Microsoft Word: Whole Document
Adobe PDF: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

# Download a generic Raise the Rates Campaign Poster (pictured
below at left).

Adobe PDF: About 2.7 MB
[Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]

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