Ontario Coalition Against Poverty to march on McGuinty Government over cut to
Special Diet

TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ -

DATE: Thursday, April 15, 2010

TIME: 12 Noon

LOCATION: Rally at Allan Gardens, followed by a March

Announced in the recent Provincial Liberal budget, the elimination of the Special Diet Benefit will result in a 3% cut to the income of poor people on social assistance. This is only the third time in Ontario history that a Government has slashed income to the poor - Hepburn did it in '38, Harris in '95 and McGuinty in the 2010 Budget.

Even before this budget, people on social assistance struggled to survive on a real income that was even lower than under Mike Harris. Now, the only real means of partially relieving the impact of the Tory cuts has been destroyed. McGuinty has not only failed to reverse the Common Sense Revolution - he has taken it much farther than the Harris Government ever did.

According to Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, "The cruel elimination of the special diet program for low income people with chronic medical conditions will cost far more than the province will save, because hospitalization and institutionalization costs far more than a nutritional supplementary allowance ever would. Put this cut together with the $50,000,000 cut to legal aid for civil cases for low income people in Ontario, and what can we conclude but that this government has turned its back on the poor and the homeless?"

On April 15th, OCAP will march on the Provincial Government, joined by a wide range of communities under attack and an array of allies. We intend this day to be a turning point. It is time for poor people to refuse the failed strategy of consultation with McGuinty's Liberals, and take up a serious mobilization to challenge them.

OCAP calls for the restoration of the Special Diet, a 40% increase in welfare and disability rates, and a Province-wide movement to take back what is ours.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Media calls, please contact: (416) 826-4796

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