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MEDIA RELEASE: Building a Movement to Drive Back the Austerity Agenda with John Clarke of OCAP

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Building a Movement to Drive Back the Austerity Agenda with John Clarke of OCAP

Sudbury, February 27, 2016.  The Sudbury Raise the Rates Campaign is organising a two-day anti-austerity event March 23-24.  John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty will be speaking at two venues at Laurentian University and will take part in a community event downtown offering a free meal.

The Liberal budget released yesterday clearly shows that the Ontario government is completely ignoring the reality of exploding food prices for people living on sub-poverty social assistance. The implications for those in poverty are stark. For decades poor people have been struggling to survive on inadequate income and supports that have been under attack since the Harris cuts. Now soaring food prices are pushing a crisis that has been steadily deepening and shows no sign of easing.

Poor people cannot buy food and pay their lodging .  The Liberals cannot continue to ignore the needs of people living in poverty. We need meaningful increases in social assistance rates.  The gutted special dietary supplement is inadequate to respond to the growing needs of people who cannot afford the basic foods they need to survive. The lack of affordable housing and shelters just worsens this situation while low minimum wage pushes more and more people into poverty.  The cuts need to be reversed, minimum wage and social assistance rates need to be raised.

The demands of  Raise the Rates  include the full restoration of and higher amounts for the Special Diet for people on OW and ODSP, adequate shelter and housing funding with the restoration of the Community Start-Up  (CSUMB) so people in poverty remain housed, and the automatic indexation of these amounts and social assistance rates to the cost of living.

The Sudbury Raise the Rates Campaign is part of the provincial Raise the Rates Campaign which represents a broad consensus amongst community groups, unions and anti-poverty activists about social assistance in Ontario. It rejects the strategy of lobbying and getting caught up in poverty reduction consultations initiated by the provincial government and it fights divisions between waged and unwaged workers and between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ people in poverty. We are united in this fight and building alliances with all those living in poverty, people working low-wage precarious jobs, and unionized workers.  The campaign works in partnership with local groups across the province, including anti-poverty groups, women’s groups and First Nations organizations.

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About the Sudbury Working Group

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.

The Sudbury working-group site is no longer being updated and has been archived.