In 2003, the Liberals were elected on the promise of 'change'. Those empty promises have done nothing to end poverty. The reality is that poor people in Ontario are worse off than we were 15 years ago. And now, things are about to get even worse.
Governments responded to the economic crisis by giving billions of dollars in bailouts and tax cuts to failed corporations and banks. Now, they plan to make us pay that bill. A massive round of social cutbacks is being prepared in Ottawa and at Queen's Park that threaten an even bigger explosion of poverty and suffering. By the end of March all three levels of government will be setting their budgets with priority being on reducing deficits by cutting social spending. Housing, social assistance, childcare are all under threat, and neither the health nor the well being of poor people will be a 'line item'. If anything, our right to a decent income and our services are on the chopping block.
Already, the first attacks have happened.
In Toronto, the cost of riding public transit is being pushed up. People on Welfare and Disability Supports who desperately need the Special Diet money are being robbed of this vital income. In the wake of an inflammatory Ontario Auditor's report, we are seeing escalating harassment and criminalization of people on Social Assistance.
People on Social Assistance live on rates that are shamefully inadequate. Since the 1995 cuts by the Harris Tories, these rates have been reduced in real terms by at least 40%. People are forced to choose between paying the rent or buying food. A health crisis in this province is looming as a direct result.
If we let the government write our future, it will be bleak. We are calling on poor and working people in Ontario to organize and fight back.
We won't pay for their crisis or their deficit. We demand the right to a decent income and a future free of poverty. Raise the Rates by 40% Now! Join us on April 15 and fight for the right to decent income!
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.