January 23, 2013 15:31 ET
Next Liberal leader must raise social assistance rates & end Liberal record of making poverty worse
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2013) - The fight against the Liberal record of making poverty worse in Ontario will get a little hotter this Saturday as hundreds of anti-poverty activists get ready to march on the Liberal leadership convention, in support of the #J26 rally organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour.
The "Raise the Rates" campaign, led by community groups and labour unions, is hosting an anti-poverty rally and "feeder" march that will join the OFL demonstration in a massive show of force against the Liberal government's cuts to public services and suspension of democratic rights.
The next Ontario Liberal leader, no matter who she is, will face the same core demand: raise social assistance rates and fully restore the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB), recently cancelled. The CSUMB helps over 16,000 people every month in Ontario and is one of the only ways that people on Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can cover the costs of moving, save their housing and obtain the basic items they need to maintain a home. It is a defence against homelessness and a means by which many women are able to leave situations of domestic violence.
The Liberal government's 2012 budget brought a number of regressive cuts to social assistance, including the CSUMB. Anti-poverty activists registered a partial victory in December, with the government responding to public pressure and dedicating temporary funding to offset the cancelled CSUMB. This only encourages anti-poverty activists to step up their campaign.
CUPE Ontario CommunicationsDavid Robbins613 878 firstname.lastname@example.org
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