Small but important victories achieved by anti-poverty groups in the last month.
Friday’s meeting of the Put Food in the Budget began with news that the Minister of Energy had announced a moratorium on disconnections by Hydro One this winter. While the practice of disconnecting people from hydro is cruel as well as outrageous – it is a victory earned by the activism and advocacy of many groups and individuals across Ontario. One group – the Gnomes for Justice and Equity from North Hastings County – celebrated with this message (See video) – which opened our meeting on Friday.
The demonstrations at Basic Income consultations and the endorsement of the emergency resolution. (See here) is having an impact on Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services. At the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s (ISARC) Nov. 24 meeting at Queen’s Park the Minister reported she is hearing the demand to raise social assistance rates. ISARC announced its ‘Billion or Bust’ campaign at the meeting (See here.)
OCAP reported on their victory to force the City of Toronto to end discrimination in the administration of the Housing Stabilization Fund against people with disabilities. (See here)
ACORN reported how they have forced the CEO of the Ontario Energy Board to meet and hear about the problem with sub-metering companies gouging tenants for unnecessary and excessive fines on their hydro bills which you can read about here.
The Community Action Network and Voices for Change Halton presented their successful outreach projects to engage people who are poor around inadequate housing and food insecurity.
Jane Finch Action Against Poverty opened the day with a presentation on poverty through the lens of anti-racism.
While there is still much more to be done to ensure adequate social assistance rates that put food in the budget of people who are poor these victories are the results of impressive grass root organizing.
Why Wait? Raise the Rates! Twenty people at our meeting volunteered to demonstrate at the upcoming government consultation on Basic Income. This will be held Tuesday December 13 at the Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd, Etobicoke. The demonstration will begin at 6pm. Please plan to join with a broad coalition of anti-poverty groups as we continue to demand that social assistance rates be raised in the next provincial budget.
Put Food in the Budget
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