“Minister told to raise welfare rates instead of consulting” at Hamilton’s Basic Income Pilot Consultation
Members of ACORN, Campaign for Adequate Welfare and Disability Benefits (CAWDB), Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Put Food in the Budget, Ontario Association of Professional Social Workers (Hamilton) and Voices for Change Halton joined forces to demonstrate outside the first consultation on the Basic Income pilot at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hamilton last night.
Headline in Hamilton Spectator article today captures it all “Minister told to raise welfare rates instead of consulting”.
People arriving for the consultation were given a leaflet (see leaflet) calling for an end to the cycle of endless poverty reduction studies and consultations and raise the rates now!
John Mills of CAWDB interrupted the consultation session to read this emergency resolution.
“Whereas Senator Hugh Segal said “It is hard to conclude that the income support that is now available for those living in poverty is adequate in any meaningful way”;
“Be it resolved that the Government of Ontario immediately raise the Ontario Works rate for a single individual to $1,320 per month and raise ODSP rates by at least $500 per month.”
Several people shouted “I second the motion”. When John Mills called on the audience to show their support with a show of hands – the support was overwhelming. (See video here).
Successive Liberal governments in Ontario track record of studying poverty, reviewing poverty, consulting on poverty and making empty promises to reduce it suggests nothing will be different this time with the Basic Income Pilot. More study and consultations simply delay the clear action needed to seriously reduce poverty in Ontario.
It is time to raise the rates now and put food in the budget!
Eleven anti-poverty groups have endorsed this emergency resolution (see list below). We jointly call upon everyone to organize a similar information picket and emergency resolution if a consultation is held in your community. See here for list of communities and dates.
ACORN, CUPE Ontario, Freedom 90, Health Providers Against Poverty, Injured Workers Action for Justice, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, OPSEU Local 586, Put Food in the Budget campaign, Social Justice Project, Toronto South East Presbytery (United Church), YWCA Toronto.