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Attack on people with disabilities and vulnerable workers: ACORN and allies to rally against OW and ODSP cuts


TORONTO and HAMILTON, Ontario and OTTAWA, Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Thursday, August 9th ACORN members and allies will rally across the province to protest the Ontario government's attempt to ram through a number of cuts that will force our most vulnerable community members deeper into poverty.

Toronto: Aug 9 at 11am - Ministry of Community and Social Services (80 Grosvenor)
Hamilton: Aug 9 at 1pm - Outside ODSP Office (119 King St W)
Ottawa: Aug 9 at 12pm - Outside ODSP/OW Office (351 Preston Street)

Around 940,000 OW and ODSP recipients were promised an increase of 3 per cent in the most recent passed government budget, due to take effect in fall 2018. However, the current government has set a 100-day deadline to implement a series of reforms, including slashing the planned OW and ODSP rate increase from 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent and ending the basic income pilot.

"Experts have recommended an immediate increase to ODSP and OW by 5% right away - the Wynne government cut that already to 3% and now the Ford government is cutting that to 1.5%. An immediate 5% increase is needed for people in this situation. We're not only NOT getting the 5%, we're not even getting the 3%, we're getting a fraction of it. For me, that 3% increase would have meant clothing and better groceries. I don't have a bus pass, I don't have the internet. I'm not even close to having what most do to make ends meet. It's as if the Ford government is going out of its way to be punitive against the poor." ACORN leader, Ray Noyes, speaks out about what the cuts mean to him as someone living on ODSP.

According to StatsCan, people with a disability are more likely to live in poverty in Ontario than any other province. These cuts will further exacerbate an already bleak situation; many ODSP recipients cannot meet their basic needs - including shelter, food and transportation - due to inadequate support. ACORN members are concerned about this government's rhetoric regarding a focus on employment over social assistance "helping people lift themselves out of poverty". For many vulnerable people, work is not an option. This government's savage cuts are a direct attack on our lowest-income community members, but ACORN members pledge to fight back.

We call for an immediate halt to the proposed cuts, for the 3 per cent rate increase to go ahead and for the government to undertake meaningful community consultation prior to any social assistance reform.

For more details or to speak to an ACORN spokesperson, contact:
Toronto: Andrew Marciniak / 647 771 2359
Hamilton: Olivia O'Connor / 905-393-5734
Ottawa: Ashley Reyns / 613 447 4270

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