Ontario Budget 2013 Meeting With NDP MPP Catherine Fife: Report Back

Friday May 10th; PMUS joined our friends in the Alliance Against Poverty (AAP) for a meeting with NDP MPP Catherine Fife.  The conversation was both frank and amicable.  Catherine Fife agreed to use her position to highlight the demands of the Raise the Rates campaign.

The Liberals have tabled another austerity budget and require NDP votes to pass the budget and maintain government. If the Liberal budget fails to pass it will trigger an election. The NDP is currently negotiating with the Liberals over the budget and are making demands for new budget items, to gain the NDP vote. The Raise the Rates campaign has committed to putting pressure on the NDP to use their leverage to ensure that the budget includes a full restoration of the CSUMB and the Special Diet Allowance, a raise in minimum wage to $14/hr and a 55% increase in social assistance rates.

Solidarity with the poor and working poor is a claim of the NDP, yet, during these budget negotiations, we have not witnessed any significant attention paid to these vital programs by NDP leader Andrea Horwath.  What we have seen instead are budget demands that pander to the middle class.  Though there are a few “asks” that have a promising long- term effect for all Ontarians, the demands of the poor require immediate response.

Catherine Fife expressed support for our stance, but declined to make moves to have our demands given serious consideration for the budget negotiation process. 

Fife received substantial support from labour to win her riding.  We reminded her that CUPE is a co-founder of the Raise the Rates campaign.  This was a useful reminder and we call on local labour to raise their voices and to stand with the poor during these budget negotiations. 

In the end Fife agreed to speak to our demands during her legislature floor-time on Monday.  We applaud her for this commitment and look forward to her follow-through.

She also committed to posting a video of it on Youtube.  

Catherine Fife then graciously invited us to her luncheon, which was an award ceremony for women in community leadership.  Fife even gave us a shout out from the pulpit saying “the anti-poverty activists just came to keep me accountable.”

We will continue to do so.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: