People’s Open House at John Milloy’s office FRIDAY DEC 7th

Friday December 7th    12:30pm
1770 King Street East, Kitchener

TOMORROW, Friday, December 7th, people from across the province will be joining local organizers for a “People’s Open House” at the office of Minister of Misery and Homelessness John Milloy to condemn the cuts to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit and to demand that full funding for the program be restored.  This event, scheduled to coincide with Milloy’s annual ‘holiday open house’, launches a provincial week of action to save the CSUMB, with communities across the province hosting local acts of resistance to the cuts (www.ocap.ca for more details).

Since the announcement of the community’s decision to take the Minister up on his offer of hospitality and join him for snacks and carols, his event has been mysteriously cancelled.  Clearly he is afraid to meet with members of the community who are not willing to pretend that this holiday season is one of joy and cheer, rather than one of fear and uncertainty for those who rely on the CSUMB to access or maintain safe housing.

Milloy clearly understands that we will not provide him with the pretty photo op that he is looking for, having learned that while he offers smiles, handshakes and a sympathetic ear to the poor and their allies (he certainly does ‘feel your pain’ if only in the most superficial way), his government is stealing from us – first the food off our tables through the cuts to the Special Diet Allowance, and now the roofs from over our heads by eliminating the CSUMB.

So, while tomorrow’s action was originally scheduled to coincide with John Milloy’s ‘holiday open house’, it has now evolved into a people’s celebration of resistance to the cuts and an opportunity to strengthen relationships within and across communities, between labour organizers, grassroots activists, and other affected community members (along with great food and music from amazing local musicians).

What all of these folks know is that this attack on those struggling to survive on social assistance is one part of a much larger agenda of this government – undermining unions and their collective bargaining rights, increasing the precarious and exploitative low-wage job market, and pushing more Ontarians further into desperate poverty.

Join us tomorrow as we demonstrate our strength and our resolve in the face of their hypocrisy  and their cowardice – they have prorogued the legislature, Milloy has even prorogued his holiday party.  And yet, here we are – and we will continue to be here, to demand accountability, to disrupt ‘business as usual’, and to make life increasingly uncomfortable.  We are here to make John Milloy understand that we are only getting louder and angrier and more committed to this fight.  This is our line in the sand.

So, here are the details:
Buses from Toronto carrying folks from CUPE, the OFL, OCAP, SCAP and other allies will be arriving around 12:30pm at 1770 King St E, the constituency office of John Milloy.  They will be greeted there by a gaggle of us local folks from KW for free food, amazing music, passionate speeches, and toasts with mugs of hot apple cider or eggnog (given the season).

Following the event, people will be travelling back to their communities to continue with a series of actions throughout the next week – rallies, marches, camp outs, public sign-ups, and all sorts of other great stuff.

Here in Kitchener, there will be rallies at Regional Council and Grand Valley Institution for Women, another call-in day to John Milloy, Dwight Duncan (Finance) and Laurel Broten (Education and ‘Women’s Issues’), continuing weekly sign-up clinics, and other actions to be announced.  Details will be announced at tomorrow’s event, and will be posted here shortly.

We encourage folks to share their ideas for actions, invite us all to events being planned, and find creative ways to step up this campaign.

Contact info:
Poverty Makes Us Sick
email: forspecialdiet@gmail.com
Facebook group: Poverty Makes Us Sick!
Twitter: @kwpmus

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Website: www.ocap.ca
Email: ocap@tao.ca
Facebook group: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Twitter: @OCAPtoronto

CUPE Ontario Raise the Rates Campaign
http://www.cupe.on.ca/s287/raise-rates-fight-poverty

Twitter (province-wide): #RaisetheRates  #SaveCSUMB

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