OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - Ottawa ACORN (Ottawa Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) members are fighting to improve social assistance in Ontario. Members have been campaigning over the past year for the provincial government to take immediate action and commit to reversing the rate cuts from the Harris years, ensure individuals are able to maintain special diet allowance, stopping the clawback of income earned for people transitioning back into the workforce from social assistance.

The current government of Ontario voted to cut the community start up and maintenance benefit in half by January 2013. The benefit allows 16,000 OW/ODSP recipients a month to access stable housing if people need first and last month's rent to establish a home coming from a shelter situation, help to connect their hydro, or add accessible renovation to their unit if the person becomes increasingly disabled. Members feel this is an affront to low income families and will continue to campaign to reverse the cuts, and fix social assistance.

When: Friday, Nov. 30 12PM
Where: March starting outside on sidewalk of 370 Catherine, marching to 351 Preston (Government of Ontario ministries)
Why: Stop the cut to the community start up and maintenance benefit for social assistance recipients
What: Media opportunity, protest march
Who: Ottawa ACORN members, friends and supporters

"I'm disgusted by the cut to the community start up. It's appalling that the government cuts from the poorest of the poor. We're already being stigmatized by living in poverty and now we have to justify ourselves to the government," says Kathleen Fortin, ACORN member and head of the ACORN Board. Kathleen is on ODSP and used the community start up when she was applying for jobs. The funds were used to help her purchase new clothes and new shoes for interviews and she was able to find a part time position.

Check out our Fix Social Assistance Now Video to find out more about the issue:

Contact Information:

For information or to speak to Ottawa ACORN members
in French or English, contact: ACORN Canada
Jill O'Reilly
613-744-7228 or 613-808-6523