PMUS and allies bring demands to MCSS Minister McMeekin

Friday June 21st, 2013; Poverty Makes Us Sick hosted the Alliance Against Poverty and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty to visit the Minister of Community and Social Services Ted McMeekin in his constituency office in Waterdown.  Together we took a strong message to McMeekin: We’re angry.  We’re not going to accept endless consultation and studies.  People are dying on the streets and we demand the full restoration of the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit and the Special Diet Allowance, an immediate 60% increase in social assistance rates and an increase in the minimum wage to $14/hr.

Even as the legal system attempts to intimidate PMUS member Ian Stumpf with a fantastically over the top response to a simple trespassing ticket, the group picked up right where things left off with MPP John Milloy (former Minister of Community and Social Services).  Banners filled the office as McMeekin was held accountable for his participation in the assault on the lives of the poor.

McMeekin revealed himself to be condescending, detached, and unabashedly sexist during our rather brief encounter.  Shamefully he interrupted our ally as they shared the story of their friend’s death. McMeekin claimed to share in our concerns, while also defending every last cut.  He completely embarrassed himself by repeatedly stating the ‘the government made these cuts, I can’t do anything.’  He was reminded that he was a Minister.  He was reminded that we will resist.  We demand justice, life and dignity.

There are many important fronts in this struggle.  Today we rattled McMeekin.  We removed from him the comfort of seclusion. We communicated our demands to him.

The government can expect continued resistance.  We will not sit by and watch our friends die.  They cannot expect to live comfortably while attacking us.

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