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MEDIA RELEASE: Building a Movement to Drive Back the Austerity Agenda March 23-24

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Sudbury, March 16.  Unsurprisingly, even in the face of soaring food prices the provincial Liberals have committed in their 2016 budget to sustaining massively inadequate social assistance rates.

According to John Clarke, long-time anti-poverty activist and organiser with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty “the decline in real income for people on social assistance in Ontario has been made dramatically worse by the sudden explosion in food prices. The last Liberal Budget provided a 1.5% increase, which is below inflation but food costs are rising at 4% and vegetables at 18.2%. Without an immediate and substantial increase in social assistance rates, the Wynne Government is creating the conditions for a major crisis of hunger in Ontario”.

Here in Sudbury we have experienced the doubling of our homeless population in just a few years and there’s been a massive increase in Food Bank use. Just last week it was reported in the media that "The numbers are quite exceptional compared to what they were for this time last year."

The abandonment of people living in poverty, the unemployed, the homeless is intensifying but so too our possibilities for resistance are growing. Communities are coming together to organise for meaningful increases in social assistance rates; the restoration of the gutted special dietary supplement; more affordable housing and shelters and a minimum wage that is a living wage. These are some of the demands of the Raise the Rates Campaign so that everyone can put a roof over their head and food on the table.

As part of province-wide community resistance to the Liberals’ austerity-driven attacks on poor people the Sudbury Raise the Rates Campaign is organising a two-day anti-austerity pushback with John Clarke.  He will be speaking at two venues at Laurentian University and at a community meal and meeting downtown.

Wednesday, March 23, room C203:  Why the struggle against poverty must be anti-colonialist and anti-capitalist, from 4:00 to 5:20 pm.
Thursday, March 24, Upper Fraser Auditorium: Challenging poverty and austerity in Ontario, starting at 10:00 am.

The Community Meal and Meeting is Thursday, March 24, from 5:00-8:00pm, at the ParkSide on Durham St. A Free Community Meal begins at 5:00 with an Indigenous Opening & Closing sponsored by the NSTC. Nicole Beaulieu of SWEAC will speak on the minimum wage struggle. John Clarke will speak on how the attack on social assistance adequacy has been furthered by the Liberals and focus on the present crisis being pushed by rising food prices and how poor people can resist.

Please join us!

Organised by The Sudbury Raise the Rates Campaign.

Our sponsors for March 23-24 include the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy at Laurentian University, CUPW, Labour Studies at Laurentian University, Laurentian University Graduate Students Association, Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council (NSTC), OPSEU Local 104, Sudbury and District CUPE Council; Sudbury and District Labour Council, Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre (SWEAC), Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, The provincial Raise the Rates Campaign.


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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.