May 1: Honour Communities - Fight Capitalism

OCAP - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:51pm

May Day 2014
Honour our Communities - Fight Capitalism!
Thursday, May 1st
5:30pm
Allan Gardens Park (Carlton/Sherbourne)
Meal, Rally and March

*ASL provided
*Accessible march
*Child friendly

On May 1st, International Workers Day, we will march to reclaim May Day
for just people's struggles and to Honour Our Communities. We are unified in our fight against poverty and capitalism. We oppose attacks on rights and income of workers, irrespective of status. We demand an end to immigration detention because no one is illegal. We will continue our support for Indigenous peoples' movements for elf-determination. We oppose colonialism. We are in solidarity with struggles against Canadian imperialism. We insist on an end to environmental destruction. We resist patriarchy, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia both in our day-to-day work and as larger systems of oppression. Join Us!

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Fighting Back Against Cuts to Disability Benefits – from U.K to Ontario

OCAP - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 2:55pm

Fighting Back Against Cuts to Disability Benefits – from U.K to Ontario
Austerity is Global – so is our resistance.

The Raise the Rates Campaign is excited to announce an Ontario-wide speaking tour this coming May 2014 of Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) UK.

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Wynne Government Backs Away From Plans To Merge ODSP and OW

OCAP - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 2:31pm

Wynne Government Backs Away From Plans To Merge ODSP and OW

On Thursday April 3, 2014 The Minister of Community and Social Services told the Ontario Legislature that his Government would not be merging the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW). ‘We’ve heard loud and clear that this is not the way to go’, he said, in grudging recognition of the outpouring of community outrage and action that met this proposal of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario.

That the Wynne Liberals have thought better of merging ODSP and OW is a considerable victory that we should take heart from. However, it would be a mistake to think that the threat to ODSP is now removed. First of all, the future of the Liberal Government is somewhat shaky. Should they go down to electoral defeat in the near future, the merger might reappear as a threat and certainly would if the Hudak Tories were in power. Even more to the point, an attack on disability benefits could still be carried out without combining the two benefit systems. The above-mentioned report calls for increased reviews of ODSP claims and assessments, such as we’ve seen in the UK, remain as the main threat to the rights and income of disabled people. Forcing a huge chunk of people who presently qualify for ODSP to scramble for the lowest paying jobs on offer is in line with the plans for austerity based ‘reform’ that is unfolding in a whole number of countries, including this one.

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May 1: Honour Our Communities! No One Is Illegal!

NOII - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 2:43pm
Start: May/01/2014 - 5:30 pm Start: May/01/2014 - 5:30 pm

See vids from past May Days: http://bit.ly/1gWEnv0

9th Annual May Day of Action. Rally and March.
5:30pm, Allan Gardens, Toronto

On May 1st, International Workers Day, we will march to reclaim May Day for just people's struggles and to Honour Our Communities. We are unified in our fight against poverty and capitalism. We oppose attacks on rights and income of workers, irrespective of status. We demand an end to immigration detention because no one is illegal. We will continue our support for Indigenous peoples' movements for self-determination. We oppose colonialism. We are in solidarity with struggles against Canadian imperialism. We insist on an end to environmental destruction. We resist patriarchy, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia both in our day-to-day work and as larger systems of oppression. Join Us!

--

Take a moment and imagine with us.

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Raise the Rates March Confronts Ontario Liberal Annual Gathering

OCAP - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 4:49pm

Raise the Rates March Confronts Ontario Liberal Annual Gathering

Kathleen Wynne wanted to use the Ontario Liberal AGM at Toronto's Metro Convention Centre to push the message that her Party and Government represent a 'progressive' alternative to the Hudak Conservatives.

Unfortunately for the 'Social Justice Premier', hundreds of people facing poverty, joined by their community and union allies, organized a loud and spirited March on the Convention. The Liberals had to stand behind a line of cops to pretend they stood for social progress instead of austerity and poverty.

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Twitterstorm to support #RaisetheRates Protest on Liberal AGM in Ontario

OCAP - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 3:58pm

http://dftr.org.uk/RaiseTheRates

Saturday 22nd March

Kathleen Wynne's Liberals are a Government of austerity and poverty that hides behind a facade of 'poverty reduction'. People are poorer to day on Ontario Works and ODSP than they were when the Liberals took over from the Tories. Vital programmes like the Community Start Up and the Special Diet have been slashed and a UK style attack on disability benefits is being prepared.

As the Liberals gather in Ontario for their AGM and prepare for further austerity measures, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and its community and union allies in the Raise the Rates Campaign are marching on them.

Please send in these tweets or others you may wish to compose at 2.30 PM, Toronto time this Saturday, March 22 and help us fight back against Wynne's war on the poor

from 2.30pm EST in solidarity with the demonstration
from 10.30am GMT for those who want to tweet in support from the UK

Hashtags: #RaisetheRates #onpoli
Tweet targets are @Kathleen_Wynne and @OntLiberal
Follow twitter account @OCAPToronto for more information

- See more at: http://dftr.org.uk/RaiseTheRates/songbird.php#sthash.peG34EJY.dpuf
Join the March 22nd mobilization – no matter who is in power this spring –
Stop the War on the Poor, Raise the Rates NOW! http://ocap.ca/node/1137

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OCAP disrupts Liberal ‘Heritage Dinner’ – Stop the Liberal War on the Poor!

OCAP - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 8:00pm


The Ontario Liberal party’s annual lavish fundraising dinner was disrupted
this evening in Toronto by members of the Ontario Coalition Against
Poverty. In the face of grinding poverty across the province as a result
of Liberal policies, a dinner that boasts of $1500 a plate is a slap in
the face to people struggling to pay the rent or put food on the table.
Disrupters unfurled a banner demanding a raise in social assistance rates
and littering the floor with macaroni.

This action is in the lead-up to a mass mobilization this coming Saturday,
March 22nd with people coming from across the province to protest the
‘Liberal War on the Poor’ at the OLP annual meeting. The Liberals have not
only solidified the 1995 Harris government cuts, but brought down their
own brutal form of austerity. Since 2005, this government has hacked away
at the Special Diet Benefit – a food benefit – making it almost impossible
to access.

Then in 2012 the Liberals announced the cut to Community Start-Up and
Maintenance Benefit – a benefit to get people housed, used often by those
who are homeless, in the shelter system, leaving an institution, or women
escaping domestic violence. This is on top of failing to raise the rates
of social assistance to any livable amount let alone keep up with
inflation. Today people are living on social assistance rates that are at
least 55% below where they should be. Wynne talks about social justice,
but few across the province have seen any evidence of that.

“We will not let the rich dine at our expense or at least not dine in
peace. The poor will not suffer in silence and we are fighting back!”

Join the March 22nd mobilization – no matter who is in power this spring –
Stop the War on the Poor, Raise the Rates NOW! http://ocap.ca/node/1137

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End Immigration Detention! Public Forum

NOII - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 12:24pm
Start: Mar/26/2014 - 6:30 pm Start: Mar/26/2014 - 6:30 pm

March 26, 2014, 6:30pm
Room 2-212, 252 Bloor West, OISE, Toronto
Join the facebook event! 

* MARTIN SISAY, released after 32 months in detention, on organizing the historical and ongoing migrant strike.
* MARU MORA, Latino Advocacy in Seattle Washington, on 1,200 migrants on hunger strike in North West Detention Centre near Tacoma in the United States since March 7th.
* TAREK LOUBANI, Physcian, jailed for 7 weeks in a Cairo prison. Read about his visit to Lindsay jail here.
* TINGS CHAK, organizer No One Is Illegal - Toronto and the End Immigration Detention Network

Got time after the panel? We will be letter-writing to detainees, and making art for a creative action.

Wheelchair accessible, snacks, tokens and child-minding provided, we’re unfortunately not able to provide ASL interpretation.

More info: www.toronto.nooneisillegal.org and www.endimmigrationdetention.com
TAKE ACTION: http://endimmigrationdetention.com/take-action/

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Email Action! Tell the City not to cut the HSF!!!!

OCAP - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:28am

The City of Toronto wants to destroy the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) that enables people on Ontario Works or ODSP to obtain or retain housing. They have systematically restricted access to it and turned applicants away in droves, causing great hardship and increasing homelessness.
Email your thoughts, experiences with the HSF or Community Start-Up to Toronto Emplyment and Social Services cchowen@toronto.ca by March 24th

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Raise the Rates Poster and Flyers

OCAP - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 5:32pm

Available now! Click the "attachments" link to download and print the poster and flyer.

March 22nd Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Convention

OCAP - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 2:17pm



March 22nd Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Party Conference!

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Assemble at Metro Hall, King and John, 1.00 PM

Meal, rally and march

Our Pots and pans are empty, bring yours to bang!!!!!!!!!!

*Buses coming in from Sudbury, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo and more -
Stay Tuned for More Info!

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MIGRANT DIGNITY NOT MIGRANT DEATH: END IMMIGRATION DETENTION RALLY

NOII - Wed, 02/19/2014 - 10:05am
Start: Feb/28/2014 - 12:30 pm Start: Feb/28/2014 - 12:30 pm

February 28, 2014
Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre, Border Agency HQ, 6900 Airport Road
1:45pm. Buses leave Bloor & St George at 12:30pm, Kipling Station Parking at 1pm

February 28th marks the two-month anniversary of Lucia Vega Jimenez’s attempted suicide while in immigration enforcement custody awaiting deportation. She died 8 days later. February also marks the five-month anniversary of the historic migrant strike in Lindsay ON against endless detentions, maximum security incarceration and a broken detention review system.

Get on the bus! Confirm your seat: http://bit.ly/1kFzQys. If you are coming from Guelph please contact fuerza.puwersa@gmail.com for a ride.

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STOP THE LIBERAL WAR ON THE POOR

OCAP - Thu, 02/13/2014 - 4:10pm

Raise the Rates March to the Ontario Liberal Party Convention

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Assemble at Metro Hall, King and John, 1.00 PM

Meal, rally and march

*Buses coming in from Sudbury, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo and more -
_______________________
Stay Tuned for More Info!

Kathleen Wynne is every inch a Liberal. She talks about poverty reduction while imposing deeper poverty on communities. She has been a leading member of the Government all along while social assistance (OW and ODSP) rates have lost even more of their spending power. She was a cabinet minister while the minimum wage was frozen, while the Special Diet was slashed and while the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit was being eliminated. There is no question that the Liberals added their own misery to the brutal cuts that the Harris Tories imposed in 1995. Today a single person on Ontario Works is expected to survive on just $626 a month, while rent and cost of living continues to rise beyond reach.

As we head into another round of provincial elections in the spring, we will not be swayed by fake gestures and empty rhetoric from any politicians.

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Open Letter from Shawn Brant to Stephen Harper

OCAP - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:35pm



Shawn Brant Gives Harper Until The End of February for an Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Dear Stephen Harper,

I am writing in regards to a mandate issued from the Mohawk Community of Tyendinaga, dated October 27th 2013, requiring your cooperation for the facilitation of a national inquiry into the circumstances of murdered and missing First Nations Women.

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9th Annual Strawberry Ceremony in Honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

OCAP - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 1:23pm

Strawberry Ceremony with Wanda Whitebird begins at
12:30pm
Police Headquarters
40 College Street at Bay, Toronto

Community Feast catered by NaMeRes at the 519 Church Street Community Centre; 519 Church Street following the rally.

Please leave your agency banners and organization signs at home and make some in honour of women who have died instead.

Tokens will be available at the rally.

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Support for Dr. Roland Wong Strong Despite Weather

OCAP - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 7:32pm



Dr. Roland Wong's patients, medical allies and community supporters gathered outside the College of Physicians and Surgeons

Dr. Roland Wong's patients, medical allies and community supporters gathered outside the College of Physicians and Surgeons to challenge his unjust suspension for helping low income people obtain the Special Diet. Despite the driving snow, his patients, many of them injured workers, came out to show solidarity. Following the rally, a delegation accompanied Dr Wong and one of his patients to the offices of the Minister and Community and Social Services where her application for the Special Diet was left with McMeekin's staff.

John Bonnar was also there to document the event. Please contact John before using any of his pictures.
http://smu.gs/1itpKNO

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Next Wednesday: Solidarity Rally for Dr. Roland Wong

OCAP - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 5:50pm

College of Physicians and Surgeons, 80 College Street, (West of Bay),
Wednesday, February 5, at Noon

On February 5, a six month suspension of Dr. Roland Wong’s licence to practice medicine in Ontario will begin. He is also saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs and penalties.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons has imposed these measures on Dr. Wong because he helped large numbers of his patients, living in poverty on Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), obtain the Special Diet so that they and their families could have some chance of staying healthy.

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Cuts Cost Lives: OCAP Action at City Council 2014 Budget

OCAP - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 9:44am

CUTS COST LIVES: Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) Must Be Saved!
*OCAP takes action at City Council Budget Debate

*See pictures here: https://twitter.com/OCAPtoronto

When: Wednesday, January 29th, 10am
Where: Toronto City Council

OCAP has come to the Council Chambers at Toronto City Hall to demand that plans to gut the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) in the 2014 budget be overturned. A cut of $4.3 million has been proposed which means cutting the fund by virtually two thirds.

The HSF, the City’s replacement to the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) that the Ontario Liberal Government eliminated, plays a vital role in our communities. Through it, people who are homeless, people who are coming out of institutions, or women leaving situations of domestic violence, are able to obtain
housing. By accessing this fund, people facing the loss of their housing are able to save themselves from being dumped on the streets. Individuals and families who have suffered fires and floods or who lack basic household items are able to access the HSF.

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UPDATES & ACTION! UNDOCUMENTED TORONTO MAN DENIED FUNERAL SUBSIDY

NOII - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 9:27am

Mr De Souza, a Toronto resident for 25 years, passed away on Saturday, January 18th but is yet to have a funeral, because the family is unable to afford the costs associated and the City of Toronto will not pay simply because Mr De Souza was undocumented. The City has asked Mr. De Souza’s family to declare the body abandoned after which they will put it in a box, and burn it instead of following their internal processes and subsidizing the funeral. If this happens, Mr De Souza's children will be unable to say their last goodbyes.

This morning at 10am, Family, friends and supporters of Rogerio Marques De Souza including members of No One Is Illegal Toronto, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and other community organizations were outside Toronto Metro Hall, ready to demand that the City of Toronto provide him with a funeral subsidy like any other low-income Toronto resident so that his family can carry out his last rites.

However, a private organization stepped in to pay for the funeral which is now happening later today as a result of the Toronto Star story this morning. We postponed our action this morning but the family have resolved to make sure this never happens to anyone else in the city. We will be taking joint actions in the coming week. We cannot rely on the charity of individuals to step up each time while allowing laws and policies to continue to discriminate against undocumented people.

WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW

Email: Patricia Walcott, General Manager of Toronto Employment and Social Services at pwalcot@toronto.ca and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at premier@ontario.ca. Cc nooneisillegal@riseup.net

Tell them that in Feburary 2012, Toronto promised undocumented residents that they could live here without fear. Now, the city staff tells us that our communities can't even die with dignity. Undocumented people in Toronto deserve the same services as everyone else. Insist that this must never happen again. Let them know that neither municipal or provincial laws must shut out undocumented families. More information below.

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2014 City Budget: Toronto Community Organizations & Agencies Demand Action on Homelessness

OCAP - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 2:04pm

To City of Toronto Council Members:
cc.  Shelter Support and Housing Administration

(You can download a PDF of this letter here!)

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014. In the lead up to the 2014 Budget.
 
We, the undersigned represent community agencies and organizations in the City of Toronto who are concerned with the ongoing homelessness crisis in our city.  We are writing to you to urge you to take action now.
 
As you are aware, City Council voted to bring shelter occupancy rates down to 90% more than 9 months ago, but have failed to keep their promise.  Capacity for all shelters remains well over 90% in almost all sectors, even with the use of the flex beds, and the overall overcrowding or worsening conditions have not been adequately addressed.
 
We call on you as City Councilors to support the motions and directions set at the December 4, 2013 Community Development and Recreation Committee. 

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