We are writing to all the people who have been part of the collective effort of the last ten years to increase social assistance rates so that everyone can "Put Food in the Budget" - and have health and dignity while receiving OW or ODSP.
Over the last several months the Steering Committee for PFIB has been wrestling with what to do next to contribute to the work that needs to be done now in the current political, economic and social environment. We have made the difficult decision that PFIB is not the vehicle for our commitment to building power and changing the thinking, policies and programs that another regressive and oppressive government is forcing on people throughout Ontario.
We are going to wrap up PFIB. As part of this moment, we are reflecting on and celebrating how we pushed the envelope around charity, around what social assistance rate increases should be, around what we could and should demand, around who cared about poverty in our communities.
We are going into other campaigns and struggles with the huge amount that we have learned, the solid critical analysis of poverty and wealth that we have built together, the amazing connections we have made and perhaps most importantly, with the determination that it is always worth it to struggle for what we want and deserve and not what we think we can get.
As allies, members and supporters we are honoured to have worked with you. We invite you to send us any short stories, photos, other memorabilia that speaks to a great PFIB moment for you, your group or your community.
Remember Do the math? Living on a food bank diet? The challenge to Sounds of the Season that got us up and out at 4am? The McGuinty doll? The walk to Queen's Park? The Shoefies? The inquiry and trial of the policies of Premier Wynne? The political burlesque show? Yearly strategy sessions? The visits to communities in northern Ontario? Donning our corporate camo, and confronting Premier Wynne at a Liberal Party fundraiser in Perth? The challenge to the Merry Go Round consultations of the Liberal government on poverty reduction?
This is our shared history and we would love to collect if for all of us. So please scan, mail, email us with your part of the history.
Send your memories, pictures etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org We will keep the website up until September to share what you send to us.
Meanwhile, some of us are moving into organizing around not only saving but expanding affordable housing. Others are continuing our efforts to fight for workers' rights. One of our Steering Committee members is running a news site devoted to poverty issues in Canada and monitoring provincial policies on housing and homelessness. Others are organizing around the climate crisis – which will impact ‘first and worst’ people who are poor and marginalized.
We are going to continue to rely on each other for building our analysis of what is going on and sustaining our spirits and capacity to be active for justice. Let us know also if we can help to connect you to on-line and/or local groups, especially in rural and smaller urban communities. We will do what we can to keep us all in the struggles of the day in the many, many ways that make a difference.
Thank you for the powerful experience of PFIB.
Put Food in the Budget campaign
2009 - 2019