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MEDIA RELEASE: Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty Protests Premier Kathleen Wynne's Visit

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For Immediate release – Dec. 19, 2014

Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP) Protests Premier Wynne’s visit to Sudbury to deal with the political crisis in her Liberal Party. Instead as Premier she must address the problems facing people living in poverty that her government has created.   

Members of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP) learned yesterday that Premier Kathleen Wynne is here today in Sudbury. We will be joining in the protest outside Alexandria’s Restaurant -211 Shaughnessy Street at 12 noon today. It appears that Wynne is largely here to address the political crisis within the Sudbury Provincial Liberal party that her deals and arrangements have created. But she is also here in the midst of a crisis her Liberal government has created in the lives of poor and homeless people in this city. This includes the abolishing of the vital Community Start Up and Maintenance benefit (CSUMB), the slashing of the Special Diet supplement, and the current crisis with the new computer system (SAMS) that has been imposed by the Liberal government onto Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) which has led to people on social assistance not receiving their cheques (which has produced evictions in Hamilton), or the proper forms for accessing dental and health services, or the wrong amounts on cheques. This is hurting many people living in poverty and is making the work of OW and ODSP workers far more difficult. This is not simply a minor glitch which is what the Wynne government claims.

People on social assistance continue to lose buying power and slip deeper into poverty. For people on Ontario Works to get back the buying power they had in 1995 before the current war on the poor started they need an immediate 55% increase. Currently many people on the Ontario Disability Support (ODSP) program are facing unfair medical reviews that seems designed to push them off benefits.  And the Wynne government has ignored calls from anti-poverty advocates and the union movement for raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour. Both people on social assistance and low-income workers continue to face worsening conditions of poverty. To add to this insult in September when Wynne and her cabinet ministers were here rather than talking to people living in poverty they attended a $1,750 a plate fund-raising dinner with their wealthy friends entirely excluding people living in poverty.

S-CAP and the Province-wide Raise the Rates campaign continue to call for real social justice and anti-poverty action.

·         Immediate action to address the SAMS computer crisis by ensuring that OW and ODSP recipients get everything they are entitled to and that the detrimental working conditions and stress this is imposing on OW and ODSP workers be ended.   

·         Re-instatement of the CSUMB and the ending of the cuts to the Special Diet program.

·         Raising the basic social assistance rates by 55% to bring them back to 1995 levels.

·         Ending the unfair medical reviews for people on ODSP.

·         Raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour, indexed to the cost of living.

 


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The Sudbury working-group of The Media Co-op was formed to create independent media in the North, to speak to our issues and outlooks on our communities as well as the world around us. Independent media provides an avenue for people who are wishing to gain critical perspective on the issues that matter most to us, and to give a voice to those people and stories that you won't find in the mainstream media.

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