Unrest and protests will mar attempts to make Ontario “open for business” by attacking the poorest

TORONTO – This Saturday, November 17, as the provincial Conservatives further their grim vision for Ontario at their party convention, a unified front of social movements, led by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and the Raise the Rates coalition, will rally at Ford’s business: Deco Labels & Tags, at 1pm to send a clear message.

“Doug Ford must understand he can’t make Ontario ‘open for business’ at the expense of people’s lives,” says Yogi Acharya, organizer with OCAP.

The protest comes as a response to the attacks that Ford has launched on social assistance, minimum wage, job protections, sick days, healthcare, education and more, in under 6 months in power. On November 22, Ford’s government will unveil the results of its social assistance “review,” widely expected to introduce sweeping cuts. The announcement was originally due on November 8.

The Ford government has already cut scheduled 3% rate-increase in half, halted nearly 20 positive changes and abruptly canceled the basic income pilot. Deep poverty resulting from declining incomes and rising costs is already wreaking havoc on Ontario’s poorest people, and anxiety about further cuts has put many on edge.

“Forcing people off social assistance, and depressing working conditions won’t move people out of poverty, but it will make business executives and owners – the Progressive Conservatives’ bankrolling base – even richer. A program of tax cuts will allow them to accumulate wealth, while Ontario’s poorest people will pay the cost,” adds Acharya.