A Glimmer of Hope ?

Ontario has a new Premier and a new Cabinet. The new Minister of Community and Social Services has a resume that actually suits the job.  It really seems like he cares.  Is this a glimmer of hope?  Milloy used to tell us he really cares, so perhaps this is a clever façade?

As far as the Premier goes: the new boss is invariably just like the old boss.  The role of government in satisfying corporate interest through the use of violence and misinformation against its own population has become overt, rather than covert over the passed decades.  It is difficult to imagine a benevolent force leading a mainstream political party at the best of times.  It is especially difficult to imagine at this desperate stage, as bully tactics prevail, during the breakdown of the capitalist machinery.

Maybe, just maybe, a Minister could still seek to serve the people?  It really does seem like the new Minister of Community and Social Services just might care about the plight of the poor.  Unfortunately, we must ask, what is it to care for the poor while tolerating a system that creates poverty and isolation?  Will the Minister favor his participation in the system over his duty to the people?

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On Monday February 11, when newly sworn Premier of Ontario, Liberal Kathleen Wynne named her new cabinet, Kithcner MPP John Milloy was stripped of not one – but two – ministry portfolios.  Milloy had been, both, Minister of Trainings, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Community and Social Services.  He remains House Leader.

Could it be that Milloy was stripped of his positions because he endorsed Pupatello for leadership?  Pupatello seethed that she would “come down like a lion on welfare cheats.” This appealed to the lying, poor-hating John Milloy (who only supports corporate welfare cheats).

Or could it be that Milloy begged to be relieved of his position as Minister of Community and Social Services, due to the very real resistance that was mobilized against him in Kitchener and across the Province?  Small groups were able to shut down his Kitchener constituency office 8+ times, while also employing a range of tactics to communicate a clear message of zero tolerance for attacks on the poor.  PMUS also organized tirelessly with a wide variety of systems folks, service providers and the Region.  The media was hugely supportive of the direct action response and exposed Milloy as a liar in numerous articles. Our local work continues, unaffected by change in cabinet. Read a small sampling of print media here.

It could also be that Milloy is completely unfit to serve as Minister of Community and Social Services.  Milloy’s resume boasts a master’s degree from London School of Economics and a doctorate in modern history from Oxford, but beyond that we don’t see much to indicate that he is prepared for the Ministry of Community and Social Services. His volunteer and employment history describe his limited engagement with community groups and highlight how little connection he has with the poor.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of his resume is the fact that Milloy has authored a book on NATO.  Clearly, he had his eyes set on Federal politics. The book is titled “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 1948-1957: Community or Alliance”.  There you have it, Johns vision of community – kicking the shit out of large groups of certain types of people. With out the ability to fight geo-political economic warfare as part of the Federal government, he has had to settle for fighting a war of economic injustice against the poor in Ontario.

Enter newly appointed Minister of Community and Social Services, Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale).  His biography boasts a healthy history of community service, experience and education that would prepare him for such a role.  He has a good reputation in an area of Ontario that has a decent track record of sometimes standing with the poor.   He has pledged to fight for poverty issues. Is this a glimmer of hope?

McMeekin has already begun media spin about the difficulties of the deficit, while also warming up to aspects of the SARC report.  Thankfully he doesn’t seem to be open to merging OW and ODSP.  Read more.

If McMeekin is a friend of the poor and dispossessed he will meet the Raise the Rates demands. Time will tell if he sets out to reverse the cuts and raise the rates.

We’re happy that his constituency office is just a short jaunt up the road from us. We look forward to meeting, to get him on track reversing the cuts and raising the rates.

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