Anxious OW/ODSP recipients quaking in their boots as 100-day review findings are delayed: ACORN members will fight to save social assistance Nov 9th

Hamilton: Meet in front of the ODSP Office 119 King St W at 12:30PM, Friday November 9th for bus pickup to MPP Donna Skelly's office
Toronto: Meet at the corner of Bay and Wellesley at 11AM, Friday November 9th for rally then bus to Doug Ford's constituency office in Etobicoke
Ottawa: Bus leaves at 12:45PM sharp from corner of Aberdeen and Preston, or meet at outside MPP Lisa MacLeod’s constituency office 3500 Fallowfield Road at 1:30PM, Friday November 9th.

TORONTO and HAMILTON, Ontario and OTTAWA, Nov. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ACORN members will deliver a report and rally across Ontario on Friday, November 9th, to call for the government to halt cuts to OW / ODSP as we await the result of the government’s 100-day review.

Almost 1 million social assistance beneficiaries - already facing a 1.5% rate cut - have been left fearing the worst as the Province announced delays to the review. Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has set the tone for the looming cuts, indicating that even the most vulnerable will be expected to suffer as a result of the Government’s $15 billion deficit: “The hole is deep and it will require everyone to make sacrifices without exception”.

Ebony Menzies, an ACORN member from Weston living on ODSP said, “For the past 5 years, my ODSP allowance has basically stayed the same, while the cost of living in the city has gotten higher and higher. They’re making cuts, and it’s becoming impossible to live, especially if you have a family. They need to meet with ACORN, and stop the cuts.”

We are concerned about the government’s divisive rhetoric that social assistance recipients just need to get a job. Despite promising that the new program won’t be like the Workfare system of the Harris government, we see comparisons between the Province and other Conservative governments who have implemented deep cuts and made it so difficult to apply for assistance that vulnerable people have been forced into precarious and exploitative work. Our report reveals the impact of the UK’s punitive welfare system, where reforms have centred around cuts and work requirements. There, the new system has been disastrous for low-income communities. People are dying as a result of cuts.

ACORN is ready to take action to ensure the needs of our lowest-income community members are met. We call for all cuts to social assistance to be halted and demand that Social Service Minister Lisa MacLeod meets with ACORN members before the review is released on November 22.

For more details, contact: Hamilton - 289 887 8552 /; Toronto - 647 771 2359 /; Ottawa - 613 447 4270 /

ACORN Canada, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, founded in 2004, is a grassroots organization that has rapidly grown into one of the country's most effective voices for low and moderate income Canadians. With over 113,000 members in 22 chapters across the country, our central purpose is to effectively represent and champion the interests of Canada's low and moderate income citizens on the critical issues of social and economic justice.