Posts Tagged ‘ OW/ODSP merger ’

Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) Speaking Tour coming to Kitchener and Ottawa this May!

 

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From May 4-15th, Ellen Clifford from DPAC will be on a provincial speaking tour, visiting Toronto, Kitchener, Sudbury, Kingston and Ottawa. Ellen has been campaigning with the disabled people’s movement for 15 years and, since 2011, has sat on the National Steering Committee of DPAC. She is also a member of Unite the Union and works to build solidarity between workers in unions and those forced to live on social benefits.

The Cameron Government in the UK has implemented brutal cuts to programs for unemployed and disabled people. This includes a system called the Work Capability Assessment that has been used to deny benefits to thousands of people.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is an organization in the UK that has been at the forefront of challenging this situation.  It has mobilized disabled people to fight back and formed alliances with community organizations and unions in resisting the austerity measures of the Cameron Government. The hated private company, Atos, that was carrying out the assessments of sick and disabled people has been forced to quit as a result of the powerful resistance DPAC and others have take up.

Here in Ontario, we also face major attacks. Ontario Works and ODSP rates are too low to enable people to pay their rent and eat properly. The Special Diet and Community Start Up have been slashed. There is a very real threat that the Government here will merge OW and ODSP and bring in a UK style assessment system. We need to understand what is happening in that country and how people are fighting back against the attacks.

Poverty Makes Us Sick is very excited to host stops in both Kitchener and Ottawa as a part of the provincial tour.

The Ottawa stop of the tour will be on Wednesday, May 7th, at 6:30pm. This event, with local speakers, Raise the Rates Campaign founders from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and Ellen Clifford of DPAC, will also serve as the public re-launch of the Raise the Rates Campaign in Ottawa.  Space has been provided by the Somerset West Community Health Centre (55 Eccles St) and is fully accessible. A meal will be included and bus tickets will be available. Childcare, ASL and French whisper interpretation will be provided as needed (please confirm by May 1st).

The Kitchener stop of the tour will be on Tuesday, May 13th, at 7pm.  It will be held at the Queen Street Commons (43 Queen St S).  A light meal will be provided.  The Commons is wheelchair accessible and has one single-occupancy washroom.  It is a kid-friendly space. Vegan and gluten-free foods will be available.

For more information call Poverty Makes Us Sick, (613) 220-0554 or email forspecialdiet@gmail.com.
Facebook events –
Kitchener: http://www.facebook.com/events/225928060937800
Ottawa: http://www.facebook.com/events/685486958164060

Raise the Rates March on Liberal Convention – GET ON THE BUS!!

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Poverty Makes Us Sick is organizing free buses from both Kitchener AND Ottawa!

STOP THE LIBERAL WAR ON THE POOR
Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Party Convention

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Metro Hall, Toronto
Meal, rally and march (beginning at 1pm)

Free bus leaving from Kitchener City Hall (Duke & College) at 11am sharp, returning by 7pm*

Free bus leaving Ottawa from Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Ave.) at 8am sharp, returning by 9pm*

Kathleen Wynne is every inch a Liberal. She talks about poverty reduction while imposing deeper poverty on communities. She has been a leading member of the Government all along while social assistance (OW and ODSP) rates have lost even more of their spending power. She was a cabinet minister while the minimum wage was frozen, while the Special Diet was slashed and while the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit was being eliminated. There is no question that the Liberals added their own misery to the brutal cuts that the Harris Tories imposed in 1995. Today a single person on Ontario Works is expected to survive on just $626 a month, while rent and cost of living continues to rise beyond reach.

As we head into another round of provincial elections in the spring, we will not be swayed by fake gestures and empty rhetoric from any politicians.

We’re going to march on the Convention to demand from all parties:
– Raise OW and ODSP 55% to restore the spending power lost since 1995!
– Provide a $14 an hour minimum wage fully indexed to inflation!
– Fully restore the Special Diet and Community Start Up Benefits!
– No merger of OW and ODSP, stop the attack on Disability benefits!

*Bagged lunches provided on the bus.  Ensuring this event is accessible to all is a priority – contact us to discuss details.

For more Information or to get on the bus, email forspecialdiet@gmail.com or find us at www.facebook.com/groups/PovertyMakesUsSick/.

 

Organized and Endorsed by: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty, Kingston Coalition Against Poverty, Poverty Makes Us Sick Waterloo Region, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, Parkdale Against Poverty, CUPE – Ontario, OPSEU, and more!

 

Kitchener Raise the Rates, October 15 – report back

Kitchener’s main event in the Raise the Rates Province-Wide Week of Action followed on the heels of a confrontation with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and a very successful Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage event.  Our demands were taken to the heart of commerce, consumerism and social cleansing in the Region – Uptown Waterloo.  Beginning at the Regional Health and Social Services Building with a community-positive event, hundreds of leaflets exposing the threatened OW/ODSP merger were distributed while a meal was shared.  PMUS met with OW Case Workers at the staff exit as they left for the day.  The fact that the Union representing ODSP workers, OPSEU, just signed on to the Raise the Rates Campaign served to increase the interest of the CUPE local OW workers.

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A march at rush hour ensured that the elite patrons of Uptown Waterloo would hear the voices of the poor.A militant, in cases masked, faction took a major intersection at 5:10.  Banners, speeches and rap verses announced a new level of struggle opposing a OW/ODSP merger, standing in support of social assistance autonomy for First Nations, demanding the full restoration of CSUMB and Special Diet Allowance, a raise in minimum wage and a 55% increase in Social Assistance rates.  Angry Uptown consumers in vehicles expressed rage, but it could not match the rage of the poor.  Bystanders had a decidedly open minded approach and took flyers and listened to speeches.  One car drove at speed into the crowd but was stopped by a variety of well applied tactics.  The local paper captured a photo of the driver slowly driving into one protester, about to drive over another.

In this day of action we reached out to OW workers –  a natural ally in our struggle.  We have been oppressed by these very people. We are honest in our willingness to partner in the struggle against an OW/ODSP merger.  All of the conflicting feelings we were experiencing were released in a healthy setting later in our event.  If any of the disconnected elite of Waterloo Region hadnt previously known, they know it now: the poor are on the attack.

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