The following call to action is from Susan Bender of The South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC):
“This Valentine’s Day – No Fudging It. No Sweet Promises.
Just Immediate Action on Social Assistance Rates.
This Monday, February 14th, the Health and Strength Action Group will take a Put Food in the Budget delegation to the office of Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. We will deliver a large hand-crafted Valentines and at least a thousand personally signed Valentines, all with a similar message: No one can be healthy living on social assistance. It is budget time. Add a $100 healthy food supplement to the cheques of all single recipients of social assistance.
How you can add your support:
- Fax or email your own Valentines to Dwight Duncan STARTING AT 11 AM on Monday, February 14th
- Join us and/or bring your collection of Valentines to the delegation at
7 Queen’s Park Crescent, Frost Building (south-east side of Queen’s Park Crescent). Meet us at 11am. Let Susan Bender know you are coming by calling 416-461-1925 ext 353 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take your Valentines to your local MPP’s office, and ask your MPP to bring them to Dwight Duncan’s office, or give them to Dwight Duncan during Question Period!
- If you have a Liberal MPP in your riding you can take the Valentines and tape them to their constituency office window. You can continue to send in your valentines all month long.
The Honourable Dwight Duncan
Minister of Finance
7 Queen’s Park Crescent, 7th floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y7
Let Mike Balkwill, Provincial Coordinator of PFIB (Put Food in the Budget), email@example.com know if you were able to organize a drop off or a mass mailing. It has been exciting for us to hear how people are using the Valentines across Ontario. What a strong message!
Thanks everyone. Susan Bender.”
Here is the Media Advisory from Mike Balkwill (Provincial Co-ordinator of Social Planning Network of Ontario, Put Food in the Budget Campaign) regarding the Valentine cards’ momentous message to the Minister of Finance
Event Date: February 14, 2011
We are members of communities across Toronto who are part of the Ontario-wide Put Food in the Budget Campaign. On a day where people typically give each other chocolates and flowers, we are here because there are far too many people who cannot afford to eat a basic, healthy diet. There is nothing sweet about trying to survive on social assistance.
We are here today to deliver a message to the Minister of Finance: It is budget time in Ontario. Important decisions are being made about how money will be spent – and because of those decisions, who this government thinks is important and who it will listen to. Listen to all of us who have filled out valentines cards. Now is the time for the Minister and the government to show a genuine commitment to addressing poverty. At any time, the government could raise social assistance rates. It is urgent for the health and well-being of thousands of people in our communities. We think this budget is a good time to do it.
We want this provincial government to immediately raise social assistance rates by adding an extra $100 Healthy Food Supplement to every single recipients OW and ODSP cheques. $100 is only a first step in ensuring that people receiving social assistance can eat a healthy diet and live with dignity. We also need a clear and rational process for setting social assistance rates so that they correspond with what real costs of living.
And we are not alone in our message. The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Canadian Auto Workers – Canada, Income Security Advocacy Clinic, Kingston Community Round table on Poverty Reduction, and OPSEU are among those organizations that have included the recommendation of $100 HFS in their pre-budget submissions to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
We are also joined by the Health and Social Services Committee of the Regional Municipality of Durham, Social Services Administration Board of the District of Parry Sound, the Town of Wainfleet and the City of Hamilton, all of which passed motions to call on the provincial government to add a $100 HFS.
Our Valentine’s message is simple: Don’t Fudge it. Put Food in the Budget. Include funds for a $100 HFS in this budget.
We don’t want fudge. We don’t want promises. We want immediate action.
You may also want to know:
- Please Urge the Provincial Government to Add $100 Healthy Food Supplement Now to Canadians’ Social Assistance Cheques