The Canadian Press Published on Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010
The activists marched into the office in downtown Toronto to present a fake invoice representing the cost of welfare cuts. They also hung a banner out the window of the second-floor office.
Police say nine people were arrested and charged with forcible entry and mischief interfering with property.
Those arrested included John Clarke, 56, a founding member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), and other members of the group.
The action came during a rally against the elimination of a special diet allowance for welfare recipients, which drew about 200 to 300 people.
The activists say the Liberal government's decision to scrap the allowance and replace it with a new program will lead to more hunger, poor health and homelessness in the province.
Mary Lynn Higgins, 50, relies on Ontario disability payments and said she stands to lose an additional $64 that makes a “huge difference” in her monthly budget.
“Basically, right now I go to a food bank because I have no money for food,” Ms. Higgins, who is in a wheelchair, said at the rally.
She said almost all her disability payment goes toward paying her rent, with very little left over.
“What I usually do with the special allowance is try to get healthier foods,” Ms. Higgins said. She said food banks rely heavily on canned foods and she tries to buy fresh fruits and vegetables with the extra money.
Kevin Cooke, a spokesman for the Minister of Community and Social Services, said something had to be done about the allowance, noting the cost of the program had jumped from $6-million to more than $200-million a year.
He said the government is developing a new “medically based nutritional supplement program” for people on social assistance who have severe medical needs, to replace the Special Diet Allowance.
Mr. Cooke said the decision to scrap the allowance was “difficult” but had to be made to “restore fairness and protect the integrity of the system.”
Details of the new government program should be released soon, he said.
commentary by the ottawamenscentre.com
The Ontario Government has delusions that those in poverty are criminals and
therefore "the end justifies the means".
Got back to the dark Harris days, and those who demonstrated the appropriate conservative tendencies of the empathy of a rock and red neck knee jerk bias, were selected to make all sorts of political decisions that in effect, criminalized, the poor, by ensuring that only the absolute minimum jumped all the hurdles to a disability income.
When that failed, they slowly reduced the amount of welfare for singles to the point that its impossible to eat properly on such an income.
Now, if you go into a welfare office asking for welfare, welfare officials are just as likely to fabricate a criminal allegation to use a justification to 'get the scum out of the office'.
In Ottawa, Peter Roscoe was recently charged with criminal charges after he begged welfare for help. It appears that Justice Denis Power has political connections, his former law firm also represent Ottawa Hydro, who chose to demand a draconian security deposit to effectively evict him from Ottawa.
That same law firm went into court recently and submitted a large number of public comments about Justice Denis Power as the reason, nudge nudge wink wink, as to why the court should allow Ontario Hydro to cut him off (so he can't file any court documents etc.
The Ottawa Welfare office were so afraid of Peter Roscoe that they failed to call security or the police, to have him removed at the time.
Frequently, those on welfare are on Welfare due to the Corruption of the Judiciary where all that it takes is One Dead Beat Judge to create One Dead Beat Dead.
Ontario Prisons are now increasingly being used as "debtors prisons' for men, whose only crime is going to court and seeking access to their children.
Peter Rosco had an order for access. Justice Denis Power, the most corrupt judge in Canada, 'struck his pleadings', never to be allowed in a court again.