Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

October 15, 2012 16:33 ET

Media Advisory: Anti-Poverty March and Rally Set for Wednesday, Oct. 17

Campaign against cuts comes as commission prepares to release report on social assistance reform

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2012) - Community activists have requested a meeting with Minister of Community and Social Service John Milloy to hand-deliver applications for a benefit the Ontario government wants to cut.

Members of the public are invited to join Wednesday's anti-poverty march and rally to protest how the McGuinty government is making poverty worse in Ontario, most recently with plans to cut Community Start Up funds that help people move into better housing.

The events in Toronto follow similar actions in communities across the province, including Kingston, Ottawa, Sudbury and Hamilton. A groundswell is rising to meet this week's release of a report by an Ontario government commission looking into social assistance reform. Many are concerned that the report may not deal with the adequacy of social assistance rates, the most pressing concern for recipients, whose income levels have not recovered from the cuts by the Mike Harris government of the 1990s.

WHAT: Anti-poverty rally and march

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 17, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
12:00 PM

WHERE: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto

Note: A "walk-in clinic" on applying for the Community Start Up benefit will be held from 10:00 AM at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, west of Eaton Centre, south of Dundas.

The Community Start-Up makes a difference in the lives of over 16,000 people every month in Ontario. It 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 Community Start Up, slated for elimination in 2013. The march and rally is part of a provincial movement to stop the cut.

Sponsors include: Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, CUPE Ontario, Ontario Nurses' Association, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada-Ontario Region.

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