Posted on 9 January 2020
Members of ACORN organized rallies in cities across Ontario today to raise their concerns over the proposed changes to the definition of disability for the eligibility of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
In Hamilton, 30 ACORN members rallied outside of the downtown Hamilton ODSP office. Hamilton ACORN was joined by the Disability Justice Network of Ontario. ACORN and allies spoke about the looming change to the definition of disability in Ontario and the impact to ODSP. After speeches and chants outside, ACORN downtown chair Mike Wood and East End co-chair Raven Bridges led the group upstairs to the ODSP office to deliver a demand letter addressed to the Ministry. Hamilton ACORN members are united in fighting for raising the rates to ODSP and OW and stopping any changes that will hurt ODSP recipients.
In Ottawa, close to 40 ACORN members were joined by union allies: OPSEU, OECTA, OCETFO, OSSTF as well as the Raging Grannies and MPP Joel Harden to demand Doug Ford keep the CURRENT definition of disability in Ontario. Any attempts to change it will make it harder for people with mental illness or episodic disabilities to get the financial support they need to cover basic needs. We're asking other MPPs to REJECT Doug Ford's dictionary of exclusion! Joel Harden, the Official Opposition's Critics for Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities accepted our members' letter to Minister Todd Smith and will be delivering it in person to the Minister in Belleville on ACORN's behalf.
In Toronto, around 20 ACORN members were at the ODSP office, Josie Weir led the rally. Members petitioned and made speeches outside the office at 111 Wellesley St E then marched inside and delivered the letter for Hon. Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
Members will continue to fight any cuts to ODSP and fightback FORD!
The Hamilton Spectator: Hamilton disability protesters demand PCs back off on proposed changes to definition of disability
The Leveller: ODSP Recipients Ready to Fight: Social assistance cuts loom as provincial budget approaches