You won’t believe the nerve of Davenport Liberal MPP Cristina Martins
Members of the Put Food in the Budget campaign demonstrated outside Liberal Cristina Martins constituency office in Davenport riding in Toronto, in support of a delegation of our leaders who met Cristina Martins Liberal MPP for Davenport.
Immediately upon our arrival Martins’ constituency staff told us that we should have let them know we were going to have a demonstration in front of their office! Imagine them thinking we needed their permission to demonstrate!! You can see we lined up right in front of her office so everyone could see. We handed out leaflets and drivers repeatedly honked their horns in support!
Martins’ staff then tried to tell us our delegation of four people was too big and we were only allowed to have two because the MPP’s office was ‘too small for more people’. So we made the MPP and her staff come out into the waiting area and our four person delegation met with them there.
We had three questions for Liberal MPP Martins and the questions and her non-answers follow below.
To be honest, this short summary makes Liberal MPP Cristina Martins sound more coherent than she was. Cristina Martins repeatedly avoided answering our direct questions to the point of sounding like a robot stuck on ‘repeat’. Incredibly the Liberals are still blaming the conservative government of Mike Harris 13 years late and saying as a result all that she says the Liberals can do ‘is take baby steps’ towards social justice.
- Question - How do you justify keeping us poor? Answer - “Everything could be better”.
- Question - Do you personally support a significant and immediate increase in social assistance rates – yes or no? Answer - “We need to make people self-sufficient”. Liberal MPP Cristina Martins also had the nerve to say that the Ontario Liberal government has raised social assistance every year since they were elected in 2003! When repeatedly confronted with the fact that the annual 1% increase every year was less than inflation she said over and over “we raised social assistance rates”.
- Question - Will you hold a public forum in Davenport riding in September to talk about privatization of Hydro One? Answer - “People in Davenport riding don’t need to worry about this because we have Toronto Hydro not Hydro One”.
We didn’t actually expect to change Cristina Martins mind on social assistance because the Liberal record is clear. Promise consultations today on social justice tomorrow and never deliver. We did want to make Liberal MPP Cristina Martins feel uncomfortable – and we were successful!
We handed out hundreds of leaflets to people on Bloor Street and drivers passing by honked their horns in support throughout our two hour demonstration.
We told Cristina Martins we will be back and we will continue to organize in her riding until her government puts food in the budget.
Special shout out to the Steelworkers Summer Interns who joined our demonstration!!!