Stop the War on the Poor

* Read the Latest News on this site or get news at

  • The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
  • The Housing Again Site
  • The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
  • Tenant Help
  • squeegee gal
    -Links - to other Poverty Web Sites
    -Collected reports on the Issues
    -Daily Bread Food Bank - To find a food bank in your neighbourhood call referrals 416 203-0050
    -Toronto Housing Connections for applying for socially assisted housing. 416 392 6111
    -Emergency shelters - Street Helpline 416 392-3777 or call it free from any pay phone 0-416 392 3777

    Latest News: * Go to PJ the Cat's - Adopt a Homeless Pet page

    Residents Return to the Pope Squat – Nov.2.2002
       - read the report with photos
    At the STAR
    - Fighting to win: The `system' doesn't work, and the poor won't let it crush them By John Clarke
    OCAP - National Give it or Guard it Housing Protests
    (Toronto October 26th 2002)
    - Photos & Report by Gary Morton
     At Straight Goods - 05 Nov 2002
    - Housing shell game - Reuel S. Amdur. Less-than-market housing units will still price poor out.
    - Weak link in Ontario's affordable housing plan - Reuel S. Amdur.
    - Homeless fight to retain housing squats - Paul Weinburg.
    - How Canada can abolish poverty and unemployment even in a no-growth economy - Gideon Rosenbluth and Peter Victor, CCPA.
    - Co-ops should be part of solution to Canada's housing crisis - Ian Skelton, CCPA.
    At the Globe/Star - Nov.6.2002
    - New homeless data misleading, advocates say
    - More than 14,000 Canadians call shelters home
    sometimes good things happen - Oct .2002
    an update from Cathy Crowe on the status of the Tent City residents...
       After the horror of the September  23 assault on Tent City it's great to say that once in a while a great thing can happen! Here is a brief update on what is now happening to people post Tent City eviction.
       The men and women (and dogs) evicted from Tent City have been in various locations since September 23, in part due to the TDRC pressure on the City to invoke their Critical Incident Protocol. This meant that some people were (and still are) sheltered in the Kingston Road welfare/motel strip. Others were communally sheltered at Woodgreen Community Centre with the exception of a couple nights across the street at Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre. Woodgreen, Social Housing Connections, Seaton House staff, Salvation Army, TDRC, PARC, Regent Park CHC maintained intense ongoing support through this trauma period. Particular thanks goes to Woodgreen for making their space available for an extended period of time and for the commitment they made to respond to people's huge physical and emotional needs. Woodgreen housing workers, City Staff and Social Housing Connections have truly gone above and beyond to help shelter and HOUSE people.
       On Friday October 4 we knew that Woodgreen had to return to their normal functioning. For the last few days bureaucracy was sped up (I have never seen that happen before!) and people were assisted with all the logistics of the rent supplement program which included getting ID, getting on Welfare, finding landlords, the signing of leases, etc. etc. Today it was quite exciting to see that a number of people had secured housing. People in the motels will stay there until next week when priority will be placed on assisting them in finding housing. A small number of people will go to 60 Richmond shelter tonight and be assisted again on Monday. Others will go to motel rooms thanks to PARC which facilitated and PAID for that option. Several others who are not able to tolerate shelters or take their animals into motels were provided with tents - again thanks to Woodgreen.
       Ongoing support for those moving into housing will be provided by a collection of people. Today, Friday afternoon, the mood at Woodgreen was happy and light. People were proud of their WIN and grateful for the public support they received. Many have made public statements to the media indicating they believe all homeless people should have the same opportunity they now have to enter housing.
       Naturally, the struggle is not over yet. People will face hardships in affording food, moving their belongings from Tent City, furnishing their places, missing their former neighbours. Some people are still lost to us and we are putting out the word and searching for people from Tent City who can be assisted next week at Woodgreen.
       The details of the rent supplement program are way too complicated to go into here except to say that Tent City people struggled for a long time making the right for housing a national issue. The outcry over their eviction leveraged monies - and so it should have. Tonight some people have entered their new homes!

    Cathy Crowe
    Police Army Demolishes Tent City Toronto- Sept.24.2002
    Report and Photos by Gary Morton

       The long hot summer at Tent City on Toronto’s waterfront ended today with a police raid. Home Depot, owner of the land, moved in aggressively and by surprise. A hired security firm came with dogs, bulldozers, banks of spotlights and an army of police (on cycles, horses, in cars and paddy wagons) for backing.

       By sunset the residents and supporters were protesting outside. Cops lined the fence, security people and a lot of cops roamed the property, and a huge goon was setting all the surrounding fencing with barbed wire toppings. Some evicted residents had puppies and dogs. Cats and kittens remained locked in some of the small houses while a huge bulldozer remains parked until tomorrow. A security chief told me that any remaining animals would be turned over to the humane society if found. Otherwise they will be bulldozed under with the tiny houses.

       Under a deal with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, residents were allowed in to claim some belongings. Councillor Olivia Chow announced arrangements to move the people to shelters and hotels for the time being.

       Some of the squatters were weeping over the loss of their homes. And it really looks bad on the city, province and the feds, that people find tents on contaminated land preferable to the overcrowded city shelters. The message really is that people squat because they want housing. None is being created by the feds, rents are out of control and the province hasn’t come through with its promise to provide rent aid. All of it meaning that the issue is really only beginning, and not ending through this cruel eviction … they can’t bulldoze all of us under yet … though they would if they could.

    Photos by Gary Morton
    Before Raid:
     (Aug 2002 - Visitor Poses in Front of Tent City House

    During Raid:
    At the Gate
    Bulldozer and Cops Wait to begin Demolition
    Security Guard Inside Tent City
    Police Line and Spectators
    Police Horses
    Pope Squat Banner
    Cops Behind Fence
    Homeless Man and Dog
    Homelessness is a National Disgrace Banner
    Homeless Dog
    Big Security Guy Setting the Fence for Barbed Wire
    The Pope Squat
    - News, Articles & Photos on the Pope Squat Toronto - July/August.2002
    - OCAP Update Page on the Pope Squat
        On April 25, 02, BC Liberal MLA Jeff Bray’s office was occupied by ten womyn from the Kimberly Rogers Womyn’s Brigade (part of the Victoria Anti-Poverty Coalition).
    Full story
    The Age of Inequality- May 2002
    Here's the latest evidence of the startling growth of income and wealth inequality, in the United States and around the world:
       The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly reports this week on the development of a new innovation in healthcare delivery: "boutique" or "concierge" coverage for the world's super-elite.
       Leading medical providers like the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore are establishing special programs to give platinum service to the well-heeled. Depending on the program, the super-rich customers may receive massages and sauna time along with their physical, housecalls, and step-to-the-front-of-the-line service in testing facilities.
       Using these services are a worldwide elite class of business executives and royalty -- the "winners" in a system of corporate globalization that is generating morally repugnant economic disparities.
    Here are some other measures of the gains of the wealthy:
    * Executive pay at top U.S. corporations climbed 571 percent from 1990 to 2000.
    * There are presently nearly 500 billionaires worldwide.
    * U.S. corporate tax payments are slated to drop to historic lows as a result of the tax bill enacted into law earlier this year. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, corporate taxes will plummet to only 1.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product this year, the lowest since fiscal 1983, and the second lowest level in the last 60 years.
    * More than half of the tax cuts enacted last year that are scheduled to take effect after 2002 will go to the best-off 1 percent of all U.S. taxpayers.
    Even in the United States -- the nation that is supposed to be the biggest winner from globalization -- the average person has watched skyrocketing executive compensation and wealth accumulation, but has not been able to climb even a few steps up the economic ladder. Average real wages in the United States are at or below the wage rate of 1973.
    Meanwhile, poverty remains pervasive in both the United States and around the world.
    * One in six children in the United States live in poverty.
    * In 2000, a full quarter of the U.S. population was earning poverty-level wages, according to the Economics Policy Institute.
    * Around the world, 1.2 billion persons live on a dollar a day, or less.
    * Tens of millions of children worldwide are locked out of school because their parents are unable to afford school fees.
    * More than a million children die a year form diarrhea, because their families lack access to clean drinking water.
    At the Star - May.21.2002
    - Secret video shows shelter overcrowding
    At Eye - May.2002
    - ID hassles for the homeless
    At the Star - May.12.2002
    - A day to tidy Tent City
    HungerCount 2001: Food Bank Lines in Insecure Times Canada's Annual Survey of Emergency Food Programs
    Report Available in English and French at: www.icomm.ca/cafb/hunger_count
    Food Bank Facts 2001
     * 718,334 people in Canada received emergency groceries from a food bank during the month of March 2001 - a 90% increase in food bank use since March 1989
     * 632 food banks with 2,123 affiliated agencies operate in Canada
     * while Ontario and Quebec assisted the greatest number of people, Newfoundland  continued to show the highest rate of per capita food bank use at 5.4%
     * 41% of food bank recipients were children and estimates suggest that almost 60% of households accessing food banks were families with children
     * almost 65% of food bank recipients received social assistance, 12% were working poor and about 7% received disability support
     * most food banks provide a 3 to 4.5 day supply of groceries on a monthly basis
     * over 1.2 million hours of labour, including more than 800,000 volunteer hours, contributed to the operation of food banks in Canada during March 2001
     * since this study was conducted, economic conditions have worsened and food bank use has increased substantially with further intensification following September 11
     * through United Nations' international agreements, the Canadian Government has committed to ensure the right to food for all people of Canada – yet they have left the responsibility for fulfilling this human right to the volunteer sector
    Toronto families got poorer over last Decade – Apr.2002
       Lean times came to Toronto in the 90s says a study prepared for the United Way by the Canadian Council on Social Development.
       Toronto families went from being better off at the start of the decade, when compared to all Canadians, to worse off at the decade's end.
       Despite the economic recovery in the last half of the 90s, poverty rates in Toronto got worse. The boom was a bust for many Torontonians, especially the poor. At the decade's end, the distress among Toronto's most vulnerable was evident everywhere -- in the growing number of people living on the streets, in rising evictions and use of emergency shelters, and in the increase of hopelessly long waiting lists for assisted housing.
       The number of Torontonians considered poor was 23.3 per cent of the population in 1999. For one-parent families, the poverty rate rose to 42.0 per cent in 1999.
       The median income of one-parent families living below the poverty line in
    1999 was just $10,100 a year, which means that their entire monthly income was $82 less than the average rental cost of a two-bedroom apartment.
    Ontario Common Front Opposes the Tory Convention(Toronto, March 22nd & 23rd 2002)
    Page of Complete Reports Includes

  • Help with Legal Support
  • One of the 58 (arrested) by Stephanie Holliday
  • Report & Photos on the Protests By Gary Morton
  • Video Activists Coverage
  • Photos by Doug & Graeme

  • ---------
    INTERROGATION AT US BORDER by John Clarke – Feb.2002
    * US Authorities Detain OCAP organizer John Clarke and demand to know the whereabout of Osama Bin Laden
    British Columbia Liberals Declare War on the Poor: Letter to UN - Feb.2002
       Letter to the United Nations documents the attack on the poor by the BC Liberals. Single mothers and children are the biggest victims of these drastic social assistance cuts in British Columbia.
    Toronto to Cut Help for Homeless Children – Feb.17.2002
       The City's proposed budget includes a $2.6 million cut to Hostel Services in the City of Toronto. This devastating cut would reduce support services to homeless families staying in shelters by 75%.
       It's not too late to stop this disastrous cut to crucial services. Call, email, fax or write the Mayor and key Councillors and let them know that enough is enough.  Ask them to vote to restore the $.6 million into the budget.
       Cuts include:
    - Children who stay in hostels or motels would lose access to the children's recreation program, which includes: toy lending, homework clubs, recreation activities etc. Shelter stays for children average 4 months, often in a small room in a motel on Kingston Road in Scarborough.
    - The loss of children's recreation and day care staff also means a loss of respite services for parents. Single mothers head 59% of the families in the motels.
    - Reduction in support program of 75%
    - Loss of 40 jobs out of 56 people providing support services
    - The cut also targets counsellors who assist clients in obtaining identification, accessing welfare & drug cards, as well as providing basic information on how the client can get back on their feet and out of the shelters.
    - Additionally, staff who organize activities (card games, movie nights, crafts) will be eliminated. This will be particularly hard for those clients who are infirm, elderly or unable to spend the day on the street.
    - Staff who provide medical referrals & intervention, supervision of medication and basic first aid will also be eliminated.
    Mayor Lastman Meets with Hell’s Angels While Refusing to meet with Homeless Groups– Jan.12.2002
       Cathy Crowe of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee has sent out a post noting that Mayor Mel Lastman refused 17 requests for a meeting on homeless/housing issues.
       After being confronted on the Megacity Mel show Lastman finally agreed to a meeting this January, but it never took place as he later decided to send out a nasty letter labeling Cathy a professional protester who uses public TV to attack him.
       Faring much better than Cathy are the Hell’s Angels. Mel went to the trouble of popping up at the hotel for their Toronto Convention to greet them, and appeared in the Toronto Sun in a photo op with some of the Angels.
       Perhaps if the homeless start selling a lot of drugs, tailpipe bombs and hit pistols, and Cathy and friends dress in gang jackets, they will qualify for a meeting with Toronto’s crazy mayor.
    By Gary Morton
    Out in the Cold with the Homeless and the Dead
    (Deaths of Homeless People Protested by the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee – Dec.31.2001)


  • Homelessness is a National Disgrace Banner at the morgue.
  • Cathy Crowe speaks on the deaths of homeless people.
  • March to the Princess Margaret Hospital.
  • TDRC March and Drummers.
  • Homeless guy speaks on the deaths of friends.
  • Sarah Vance speaks at Princess Margaret hospital.

  • STORY: People from the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and the ranks of the homeless met in bitter cold outside the coroner’s building this morning to continue actions for shelter and housing programs.

       During the holiday week at least two homeless deaths occurred in a three day period. These deaths could have been prevented as the TDRC and other groups have lobbied the Mayor's office for years with recommendations for more shelter beds, warming centres, health measures and harm reduction shelters.

        Tuberculosis is spreading at the crowded shelters as the city fails to heed health warnings. Though space is available at the empty Princess Margaret Hospital and the Armory the city is again playing a game of rationing shelter, acting on a questionable emergency basis and rules that leave people on the streets in freezing temperatures or in disease-ridden shelters.

       After a talk on the deaths at the Coroner’s building, angry protesters marched across downtown to the Princess Margaret Hospital to demand that it be opened for shelter space … and later found that it wasn’t completely empty as a gang of police officers emerged through the doors. Horseback police and a number of cruisers were also present to hinder the protest.

       We have a city that doesn’t want to pay for more shelter space yet has plenty of cash for unessential policing and heating an empty building … which seems to be part of a general trend toward a misguided form of security. Billions are being spent to prevent terrorism in a federal security budget, though there haven’t been any terrorist attacks in Canada … and likely won’t be.

       Believers in security should perhaps consider that genuine security arises from a person first having a home. Homelessness is really a form of economic terrorism where those that fall through the cracks of the rat race are left to the mercy of the streets, to be victimized by harsh conditions and ignorant social forces that thrive on using or bashing the poor.

       Housing really has to be part of social policy and programs. People are homeless and dying now when the economy is fairly strong, and the lack of affordable housing grows each year in so-called prosperous times.

       For many people insecurity is growing, and elected officials need to change their outlook. Working people lack stable housing solutions and the unemployed quickly hit the streets. The roots of our fears and suffering aren’t foreign terrorists. Stupid or stupefied city, provincial and national governments are the source.

    Contact the TDRC
    Washington Post - Dec.2001
    - Homeless Surge In N.Y. Symbol Of New Crisis
    Toronto Tenants - Dec.2001
    - New Rental Statistice Paint Damning Picture of Harris Government - Dec.2001

    OCAP in 2002 -   Thu, 8 Nov 2001
    From:   "John Clarke" <johnclarke@sprint.ca>

       Fundraising is no place for false modesty so we’re going to come out and say that OCAP has won its place on the cutting edge of the fight against the Tories in Ontario and the neo-liberal agenda they are implementing. In 2002, we plan to play an even greater role in fighting Harris’s replacement than we did him. We want to put down deeper roots in several poor neighbourhoods and to forge links throughout the Province, including and especially amongst First Nations. We will confront the attack on immigrant communities that some think they now have a pretext for getting away with. We will increase our capacity to defend individuals and families facing denial of welfare, eviction, deportation and other injustices. We will raise the level of resistance in Ontario.

       The growth of OCAP is linked to a more general development that has seen people in struggle starting to question and challenge the rituals of token protest that have rendered us passive in the face of attack. We are part of an emerging trend that seeks to end the retreat and fight back effectively. There is no doubt that this approach has influenced many rank and file activists and some organizations within the Labour Movement but it is also true that approaches based on passivity and accommodation are holding back the bulk of trade unions from playing anything like the role they could and should be playing in the fight against the Tories. In this situation, some union leaders are hostile to any force that wants to spread the notion of fighting to win and this has been expressed by the closing of some doors on OCAP in the last while. While CUPE and CUPW have continued to support our work, the leadership of the CAW has openly denounced our tactics and withdrawn all funding. This convinces us (since we are not prepared to give up waging a serious fight) that we must rely on the backing of local organizations and individual supporters to win the resources needed to expand our fight. Where once we looked to a big name union leader to approve a donation of $10,000 we must now, if we are to carry out important work, ask dozens of sincere and dedicated supporters to step in and demonstrate their solidarity.

       IN 2002, OCAP PLANS TO RAISE $100,000 IN DONATIONS IN ORDER TO EXPAND ITS WORK AND WE ARE ASKING ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUAL ALLIES TO PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR THIS EFFORT. That’s a very modest amount for an organization that plays the role that OCAP does. It is only a fraction of the money that we will win for people facing denial of social benefits and it is a tiny sum relative to the impact we will have on the regressive political agenda we are fighting back against. It is also a minuscule portion of the resources that cops, courts, columnists and capitalists put into trying to destroy us. We ask that you consider taking on the role of an OCAP fundraiser and commit to finding at least $100 during the course of next year. If you can give that much right away, that’s great but we can also accept post dated cheques. We stress that the amount you pledge doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket. You can take up a collection amongst co-workers or friends or hold some fundraising effort like a yard sale. Amongst our many supporters, we are looking for 1,000 people who will undertake to raise at least $100 in 2002.

       Toronto’s Chief of Police, Julian Fantino, has described us as ‘domestic terrorists’ and the ‘worst kind of organized crime’. The Mayor of the Toronto calls us ‘thugs’ and ‘animals’. Both of them recently held a meeting with Ontario Attorney General, David Young, and other Tory Cabinet ministers to discuss ‘putting [OCAP] out of business’. A recent National Post advertisement sought to convince potential readers that they should subscribe to that paper because its hatred of OCAP is more genuine than that of the Globe and Mail. Last year, a Crown Attorney described OCAP members as ‘a cancer that needs to be removed’. At the risk of boasting, who else fights the Tories and their agenda and earns such an impressive set of bitter enemies? Does NATO have to declare war on us before you realize we must be doing something right? We are asking that you pledge your support to-day.

    To sign up as an OCAP fundraiser please mail, fax, e mail or phone in your pledge of $100 or more to the OCAP office as soon as possible.

    In Solidarity,
    OCAP Fundraising Working Group
    Stop the Tory Clawback of Disability Benefits - Nov.6.2001
    from the NDP -  MPP WANTS A RAISE - FOR OTHERS - Sault Ste. Marie MPP Tony Martin reminded the Conservatives that families on Ontario Works or recipients of disability supports have had their benefits frozen since 1995.  Meanwhile, the cost of living has increased by 9.5 per cent. Martin has spearheaded a drive to stop the Conservative government from clawing back the child benefit allowance that Ottawa sends to Ontario's poorest families.  He has also introduced a bill to provide people on disability allowances a cost of living increase every April 1 to keep pace with rising costs of food, clothing, housing and necessities.  "Children are suffering.  Families can't put food on the table, can't afford the winter clothing they need, and are terrified by the upcoming stresses of Christmas. Stopping the claw back would give back almost $100 per child every month to families who need it most.  Surely Minister, you don't think children should be penalized for being born into poor families," Martin said in the house today.
    Heart Health and Poverty report released on Nov. 1
    This report shows that  poverty itself has a direct effect on the heart health of low income communities. The full report can be downloaded from the web site
    http://www.york.ca/wellness/heart.pdf. Hopefully the report can be an  important advocacy tool.
    The Other Side of Policing - Oct.28.2001
       Relatives of police shooting victims and a number of citizen groups held forums, workshops and a march and rally as a Toronto Alternative to the International Police Convention at SkyDome.
    - read the full news article with photos.
    Flag Burner gets beaten in Jail - Oct.2001
       After burning the American Flag I was jumped by under-cover cops who made sure to act in the most violent way possible.
    - read the full article at Indy Media
    NDP Calls for Increase in Ontario Minimum Wage - Oct.25.2001
    AT A MINIMUM - At the very least, the Conservative government should increase Ontario's minimum wage to $7.50 an hour immediately, NDP Leader Howard Hampton said in the Legislature today.   A new poll just released in the US shows that 81 per cent of Americans favour  raising their minimum wage again to stimulate the economy.  The American minimum wage is already higher than Ontario's.  Hampton's proposal makes Ontario's lowest hourly wage, frozen since 1995, equivalent to the current American minimum wage after conversion.
    O16 Reports - Oct.2001
    At the Varsity
    - Thousands demand help for Ontario’s poor - Students join anti-poverty demonstrators for march through financial district By Kelly Holloway
    At NowToronto
    - Invasion on Bay  OCAP Action  By Tom Lyons
    An interactive slideshow on the global problem of child labour
    from the Globe and Mail
    Top court dismisses bid by media on riot tape- Friday, September 7, 2001 – Page A8
    Ottawa -- A group of media companies has lost its bid to stop police from retaining confiscated photos and videotape of a riot outside the Ontario legislature.
       The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application by CBC, CTV, Global Television, ONtv and The Globe and Mail seeking to appeal a ruling that upheld the police's right to confiscate and view footage from the riot of June 15, 2000.
       Last November, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected an application to quash a search warrant used to seize the film. CP
    Death Due to the Harris Cuts

    In memory of Kimberley Rogers
    Date:  Fri, 17 Aug 2001 14:47:47 -0400
    From:  David Starbuck <starbuck@cyberbeach.net>
    Society must recognize the rights of all to a livelihood
       Last spring, 40-year old Kimberley Rogers graduated from the social services program at Cambrian College here in Sudbury.  Also last spring, Kimberley was convicted of fraud for failing to declare student loans while receiving social assistance.
       Pregnant, Kimberley was sentenced to six-months of house arrest, confined to her sweltering second floor apartment except for three hours per week and for medical and religious reasons.
       Punished for her crime of being poor once, Kimberley was then punished a second time by the Harris government as she was cut off social assistance benefits, although five months pregnant, for a period of three months.  Not only was she faced with no way to pay rent or buy food, she was also cut off her prescribed medication.
       Now, Kimberley Rogers is dead.  Whatever the immediate cause of Kimberley’s death is ultimately found to be, it is incontestable that her death is intimately bound up with Mike Harris’ “common sense revolution” and the entire process of neo-liberal globalization.
       Born in poverty and growing up in poverty, Kimberley lived in poverty and died in absolute poverty.  But Kimberley was also a fighter.  She fought to procure a living for herself and her unborn child.  She completed two college diplomas and was ready for employment.  Upon realizing the seriousness of the terms of her confinement, she found the resources to launch a Charter challenge to the denial of her benefits, a challenge that resulted in a temporary injunction in a Charter case for the first time in Canadian history.
       Kimberley Rogers was denied the right to a livelihood.  This is totally unacceptable in a modern society.  People are born to society and live in society.  As such, they possess inalienable rights by the very virtue of their existence as human beings.  Significant amongst these rights is the right to a livelihood, the right to useful and gainful employment or to a pension for the aged and the otherly-abled commensurate with what society is able to provide.
       The denial of Kimberley’s right to a livelihood is the cause of Kimberley’s death.  We will not forget!  We will not agree with this tragedy happening again.  Society must recognize the rights of all.
       We urge all Sudburians to participate in the memorial service for Kimberley Rogers on Monday, August 20 at 12 noon at the Provincial Government Building at Tom Davies Square (Larch and Paris)
       Sudbury Coalition for Social Justice Friday, August 17, 2001 scsj@noront.net

       The death of Ms. Kimberly Rogers was received by the Sudbury community with outrage and disgust.

        On, Monday, August 20th, 2001, we will be gathering in front of the Provincial Government Building on Larch Street @ 12 noon to mourn the death of Ms. Rogers and her unborn child.  We are demanding an end to the war on the poor launched by this government and are seeking;

    - A Full Inquest Into The Death Of Ms. Rogers and Her Unborn Child
    - Rescinding of All Legislation That Would Permanently Disqualify the Poor From Receiving Social Assistance If Found Guilty of a Crime
    - Policies Directed at Creating Employment & Affordable Housing not Punishment and Social Stigma
    - An Abolition of House Arrest in These Circumstances

    Globe - Aug.2001
    - 13 convicted under Ontario anti-squeegee law
    At Montreal Indy Media - Aug.2001
    - "Historic" Victory for Squatters Amidst Police Intervention

    Psyche Survivor Pride Week Begins – July 14.2001
       Psyche Survivor Pride Week kicked off today with A Rant In Trinity-Bellwoods Park! put on by The Committee To Stop Targeted Policing. This event took the form of a picnic with a skit under the banner and trees. Don Weitz wore a judge's robes while others dressed as police officers and the public laid charges … Anna Willats directed as the Toronto Police were put on trail by the crowd for such things as the deaths of Edmond Yu and Wayne Williams and the brutal treatment of people with and without psychiatric problems.
    A couple small photos of the survivor judge and a survivor cop
    Committee To Stop Targeted Policing (416)760-2133
    Harris's Ass Saved! - June, 2001
       Anti-poverty and labour activists rejoiced when Mike Harris's Ass was handed over to the people. After being captured on June 15th and spending the weekend in custody.  Mike Harris's ass was returned to the hands of the OCAP allies, who will be taking it on tour for a good kicking to raise money to support the OCAP-initiated campaign of economic disruption set to begin on October 16th, 2001.
       The ass was seized when over 30 officers of the law surrounded a small house in the Annex, blocked all exits, and swarmed the 4 or 5 puzzled revolutionaries who were relaxing on the porch enjoying the day. Officers were quick to identify the bouncy buttocks warming in the sun as dangerous instruments of violence, and fearing the buttocks might be deployed at the (OCAP June 15) public assembly that was to take place that evening, the officers grabbed them and whisked them into a nearby van.  Inside sources said that Metro Police abducted the ass to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Police Riot at Queen's Park and their ongoing tradition of completely absurd, unaccountable and pointless use of force.
       The hindquarters were returned without comment when the detectives concluded their weekend-long investigation of them.
       You can see the ass and kick it (for a small donation to OCAP) at upcoming rallies, fundraisers, GMM's and direct actions.
    Now that the Retreat is Over, let's kick Mike Harris's Ass!
    It's good for your health! It's good for your workplace!
    It's good for your education! It's good for your conscience!
    It's good for society as a whole!
    In solidarity,
    Neil :)
    Neil Braganza <braganza@YorkU.CA>
    June.15th in Toronto – OCAP Economic Disruption Meeting
    - read the full report with Photos:
    OCAP'S Picnic and Condo Disruption
    (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty at Allan Gardens June.9.2001)
    Going down the road
    Inside Noble Star Condo Sales
    At Radio City
    Inside Radio City Condo Sales Office
    Fight to Win Banner
    Strange Characters
    Undercover Cops Study Faces at Picnic

       OCAP held a picnic for the homeless today and later decided to do a surprise march and economic disruption action … the sort of event that will happen across Ontario in the Fall.

       At the picnic John Clarke and Shawn Brant spoke on the bad situation for the poor and homeless in Toronto. John said the local community centre has been shut for the last five weeks, the homeless shelter at the empty Princess Margaret Hospital has been closed, the Street City shelter is set to close in the fall and another homeless person just died on the street.

       At the same time local property is being converted to condos that poor and low income people can't afford. Rents are also high – almost as costly as buying a condo.

       Marching thru the park, people took over the road and chanted … and the first destination wasn't all that far. It was Noble Star Condo Sales – one of those cheap sales trailers you see everywhere in the city.

       The inside was spacious and had nice couches. There was a model of the condo development and a skylight allowing sunlight to highlight it. Some people felt it would make fine housing for some homeless people.

       Once the chanting died down Shawn Brant addressed the crowd on the housing and welfare cuts issue. He said there is a visibly bad situation in the city, and out of the city on native lands as many as 15 or 16 people must often live together in the same small house.

       Noble Star's sales lady went so far as to interject from the back while Shawn Brant was speaking. She claimed that even homeless people can afford condos. And perhaps we should take her up on the offer.

       Leaving Noble Star the march continued over to the old CBC headquarters where the rusted tower rises above Radio City – another condo sales outfit with a huge trailer and model.

       Radio City became a different story altogether. People chanted and drummed on the walls and walk outside while others went in and were confronted by a salesman and his assistant. These chaps did not want to sell us condos, but saw us as a group of unglamorous outcasts. They got in scuffles with people and the guy in charge ran around in a state of general hysteria that became amplified when he discovered that people would fight back and not be bullied out. At one point he was screaming, "We're under attack! Call the police! Call the fire department!"

       When we finally did leave I noticed Henry using graffiti in an educational manner on the wall. He notes that "Radio City was promised for 100 units of Social Housing. So where are They?"

       Probably the guy at Radio City didn't care. He was wondering where the police were … and we were on our way back to the park by the time they came racing around the corner.

       Police used to send a lot of uniforms to all OCAP events. This time they sent two spotters in civilian clothes. Their photo is listed above. Apparently they study all of the faces, document who is present and do identification if police want to make arrests after the event.

       This is to protect condo people that might be under protest attack. But what about the homeless, the poor, tenants? We are under attack every day in Mike Harris' Ontario for the wealthy. We can't call the police or the fire department … and there aren't any undercover people at large, spotting affordable housing for us.

    Report by Gary Morton
    The OCAP Web Site is
    http:// http://www.OCAP.ca/
    New in May.2001 - A website for socially excluded Torontonians
    - http://www.ourlives.ca/
    OCAP - call for Youth -  Wed, 16 May 2001
       Youth in Ontario are robbed of their dignity.  We are bored and unstimulated by school, we have little access to things we need to enrich our lives and better our selves.  We are viewed as criminals and it makes us targets of harassment from the police and other authorities.  These problems aren't new, but since the Mike Harris government has taken office the problems of youth have gotten significantly worse.
       The Mike Harris government has made a series of attacks on youth in this province.  There has been increased criminalization of youth through changes to the young offenders act, laws attacking squeegee kids, and by creating privatized youth "boot camp" prisons.
       The Tory government has drastically altered the education system, slashed billions from its budget, and created conflict between students, teachers and the boards of education. At the end of the day school is an even worse place.
       Through the cuts he has made, the Harris government destroyed many of the social services that were meeting the needs of youth.
       In partnership with a broader campaign to defeat Harris, we are organizing to take action this fall.  We intend to disrupt the economy and infrastructure of the province.  At the same time we will have some of the needs of youth met through our actions.
       Our emphasis will be on high school walkouts, but students will take on other actions, some will block highways and intersections, others take over classrooms for teach-ins or start food fights in cafeterias.  We will confront politicians, school bureaucrats and those particularly heinous teachers.  In some communities we will distribute condoms, in others we will put up basketball nets, and throw parties.
       As high school students and youth we are making a call.  We call on the youth of this province to take a stand, to better their lives, and to attack the interests of a common enemy.
       To get involved or endorse the campaign contact
    the Toronto High School Student Flying Squad:
     Or phone us care of O.C.A.P.:  416-925-6939
    Mike Harris and the Political Agenda of Globalization
    - read the full article
     "I'm starting a group called "FEED THE HOMELESS - TORONTO.  I don't think people are doing enough!!! Anyone interested contact me at  feed_the_homeless@hotmail.com
    Transit too Expensive - TTC out for needy - April.19.2001
    DEFEAT HARRIS! Fight to Win. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty – Mar.28.2001
       OCAP people filled the Hall at 519 Church Street last night as they outlined new cross Ontario Actions and their campaign against the FTAA.
       Details of this meeting and upcoming meetings plus their flyers and sound files appear at the new OCAP web site at http://www.tao.ca/~ocap/
    or http:// http://www.OCAP.ca/
    International Monetary Fund Water Privatization Kills Millions each Year - 9 Feb 2001
    (IMF Forces Water Privatization on Poor Countries)
    info from: Sara Grusky Globalization Challenge Initiative
       A random review of IMF loan policies in forty countries reveals that, during 2000, IMF loan agreements in 12 countries included conditions imposing water privatization or full cost recovery.  In general, it is African countries, and the smallest, poorest and most debt-ridden countries that are being subjected to IMF conditions on water privatization and full cost recovery.
       Ironically, the majority of these loans were negotiated under the IMF's new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), a reform announced with great fanfare in 1999 when IMF officials claimed that the new loan facility would re-focus the IMF's controversial structural adjustment measures on activities that borrowing government's would identify as leading to poverty reduction.  Rather than contributing to poverty reduction, water privatization and greater cost recovery make water less accessible and less affordable to the low income communities that make up the majority of the population in developing countries.  The most immediate impact of reducing the accessibility and affordability of water falls on women and children.
       More than five million people, most of them children, die every year from illnesses caused from drinking poor quality water.  When water become more expensive and less accessible, women and children, who bear most of the burden of daily household chores, must travel farther and work harder to collect water - often resorting to water from polluted streams and rivers.
    Anti-Poverty Activists Celebrate Victory
    Criminal Charges dropped against Allan Gardens Protester - Tuesday, January 23, 2001
    From:    ov@campuslife.utoronto.ca (Oriel Varga)

    TORONTO - Toronto’s activist community is celebrating today as criminal charges against U of T  graduate student and anti poverty activist Elan Ohayon were dismissed. Ohayon faced criminal charges of assault police with intent to resist arrest and received tickets for trespassing on public property and erecting a tent structure without a permit. The charges stemmed from an October 21, 2000 incident where police officers assigned to the Special Taskforce Division of Metro Toronto Police Services assaulted and arrested Ohayon while he was involved in a protest against the increasing levels of homelessness in the city.

    The Judge dismissed the charges, on the basis that there was no evidence to convince him that Elan Ohayon had committed or had the intention to commit an assault. Six police officers of the public safety unit testified, giving contradictory statements on crucial details of the events, such as the location of the alleged assault and Elan Ohayon’s video camera. Evidence was also provided showing that the police officers were given orders to “sweep the park for protesters” in light of the Tory policy convention which occurred the weekend of October 20-22, 2000.

     “This has exposed how the Toronto police assault and then lay bogus charges. We have been demanding a stop to police ticketing, harassing and assaulting the homeless. Elan was lucky to have a great team of lawyers; this is not always available to a homeless person. The fact that someone can be put in jail for three weeks for putting up a tarp while protesting peacefully reveals the social conditions which the homeless endure on a
    daily basis.” Oriel Varga, Protester at Allan Garden’s Park

    The protest, dubbed the ‘Allan Gardens Project’, is an ongoing sleep out every Friday night that began in August 1999 to raise awareness around the lack of affordable housing and the increasing levels of poverty in the city. The protesters demand the following : that all levels of government address the homeless crisis by building public housing, putting into effect the 1% solution proposed by the Toronto Disaster Relief Committeeand ending all forms of police oppression against the city’s homeless.

    Allan Gardens Project
    Members of this group will be holding a press conference, teach in and celebration party this Friday January 26, 2000 at 8:30 p.m. at Allan Gardens.
    for more information, call:
    Chris Ramsaroop, (416) 832-4932
    Oriel Varga           (416) 894-1290
    From:  Brian Burch <burch@tao.ca>
    ST.  CLARE'S WINS ON APPEAL - Jan.2001
            At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23rd Justices O'Leary, Jennings and Aitken effectively ended the efforts of Gordon Shipley and others connected to the Kensington Community Action Committee to stop affordable housing from being developed in their neighbourhood. The justices unanimously ruled to dismiss the application for judicial review of an Ontario Municipal Board ruling in support of the conversion of 25 Leonard Avenue to 51 units of affordable housing.  The court also awarded costs of $2,500 for St. Clare's and $500.00 for the City of Toronto.
            Says St. Clare's president, Rev. Brian Burch, "We are glad that at long last the legal battle to provide a small number of units of affordable housing seems to be ending.  It has been a long and tiring effort to help secure the right to housing for some of the most vulnerable among us. We look forward to working with the community activists who invited us to share in the ongoing task of developing a new affordable social housing initiative".
            For more information on St. Clare's, e-mail <burch@tao.ca>, write
    to us at P.O. Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West Toronto, Ontario M6C 1C0 or call us at
            St. Clare's Multifaith Housing Society is a registered charity (87305-9192) that grew out of the work of Toronto Action for Social Change.  TASC can be reached at 416-651-5800 or <tasc@web.ca>.
    3.7 Million Canadians below Poverty Line - Dec.2000
     Welfare rates in all the provinces are well below the poverty line. 3.7 million Canadians live below the poverty line in Canada. Low-income cutoffs depend on family size and take into account the varying costs of living associated with different communities -- rural, remote or urban.  In 1998, a family of four living in a city of 500,000 or more would be counted as low income if its after-tax income fell below $27,890. For the same family living in a rural area, the cutoff was $18,285.
      The National Anti-Poverty Organization's updated poverty figures conclude that 16.4% of Canadians -- about 4.9 million -- are poor.
    Canada fails on child poverty - Dec.2000
       The National Council of Welfare's poverty profile reveals that in the past nine years child poverty has skyrocketed.
        "In spite of talk by governments about putting children first, approximately one in five children in Canada, or 1.3 million, were poor in 1998," said the report, entitled Poverty Profile 1998.
        "This is an increase of roughly 400,000 or 42% since 1989, the year of the House of Commons (all-party) resolution to end child poverty by 2000.
       "Ontario had, by far, the largest increase in poor children over this time period ... (it) almost doubled from 254,000 in 1989 to 463,000 in 1998."
     - The poverty rates of single-parent mothers and their children are shockingly high -- 54.2%. For single-parent mothers under 25 it was 85.4%.
     - Poverty among young people in general has grown to 43.3% from 28% for families with heads under 25 years and to 61% in 1998 from 48% in 1989 among singles under 25.
       The situation for seniors improved: 17.5% lived in poverty in 1998, down from 34% in 1980, which is when several levels of governments stepped in to address the problem.
    Baird unmoved as Tory tuna diet up 21% in cost - Dec.2000
      Five years ago social services minister Dave Tsubouchi urged welfare recipients to eat tuna and produced a recommended shopping list for the poor. His shopping list, from brown rice to whole grain bread, oranges and yogurt, cost $90.81 for a month's worth of groceries.
       Liberal critic MPP Michael Gravelle has discovered the identical items now cost $109 to buy, a 21% increase. Yet welfare benefits have not risen since they were cut 21 percent.
       The Tories do expect more money themselves as they tried to put through a huge 38 percent increase in their pay this year.
    Portable Houses for Tent City - Fri, 8 Dec 2000
    Fwd from: dweitz@interlog.com (Don Weitz)
    Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
    On the morning of December 7, 2000 a flatbed truck and a large crane pulled into Tent City, a shantytown occupied by about 30 of Toronto's many thousands of houseless people. A prefabricated house, the size of a small hotel room, was delivered.  DuraKit Shelters, an innovative Canadian manufacturer of prefabricated housing, donated it.  This type of house has been delivered around the world where disaster relief housing is required and where 'instant housing' is needed, such as at remote mining camps in Canada's north.
    For information on the DuraKit house that was delivered.
    See DuraKit Shelters
    Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
    Beric German @ 964-2459
    Cathy Crowe @ 703-8482, x117
    To find Tent City
    DIRECTIONS:  By car, drive east on Lakeshore Blvd from Parliament St.  Stay in the curb lane.  Turn south onto Cherry St and enter the first gate in the chain link fence.  You have gone too far if you go over the bridge.
    By TTC, take the Parliament bus to the bottom of the loop. Walk down to Lakeshore Blvd.  Walk east on the south side of Lakeshore Blvd.  Follow the chain link fence around  onto Cherry St and then enter the gate before Cherry St goes over the bridge.
    Or, take the King car to Cherry St, which is east of Parliament and then walk south to Lakeshore Blvd, cross Lakeshore Blvd and continue east and south.
    It is a large site so you may need to look around for a minute to find the crowd.
    See you there!
    Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
    RENTS RISE AGAIN - Dec.2000
    from the NDP
    - The Conservative government's repeal of rent control laws has created a wasteland of plunging vacancy rates and soaring rents, NDP Leader Howard Hampton said today.  "Families desperate for decent housing re losing hope," Hampton said. "There is less and less rental housing available and it's costing more and more."  The latest figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation show the average vacancy rate in Ontario dropped to 1.6 per cent this year, from 2.1 per cent in 1999. Meanwhile, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment soared 5.6 per cent. That means it costs a whopping $1,896 more a year. "We have been demanding a two-year rent freeze and the reintroduction of rent controls. It's time the Conservatives took our advice before the problem gets worse," Hampton said. Housing Critic Rosario Marchese said rent hikes are forcing low-income and social assistance families into the streets. He called on the Conservatives to immediately increase the shelter portion of social assistance payments.
    POOR PEOPLE'S SUMMIT reviewed in Village Voice of Nov 22-28
    Federal Housing Debate -  Spin Doctoring on CounterSpin - Nov 02, 2000
    (Real Housing for Real People, or Another Bedtime Story.)
    By Doreen & Gary
       Tonight CounterSpin with Avi Lewis held a discussion called Housing and Homelessness As An Election Issue. The Liberal Red Book III calls for 680-million dollars in aid for Canada's homeless, but only if the provinces match it. Some housing advocates think this is a good beginning. Cathy Crowe of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee wants the Federal Government to spend one percent of its budget on housing. She is elated to be one sixteenth closer to her goal.
    - read the full report
    Toronto shelters don't meet UN refugee camp standards - Oct 28, 2000
       The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee says conditions in many of the city's 46 shelters for single people don't meet United Nations standards for refugee encampments,
       Their report, titled ''The State of the Disaster,'' also says crime, violence and disease are rampant in Toronto's homeless shelters, and that two out of three people using shelters personally experienced violence and/or crime there.
       Kathy Hardill, one of the authors of the report said ''What we found was a shelter system that's bursting at the seams that doesn't come close to U.N. standards."
       Some facilities for the homeless have only two washrooms for 150 people, don't provide clean bedding and accommodate people by crowding common areas with floor mats mere inches apart. The food isn't nutritious and there's little air circulation.
       One in three people using shelters or drop-in centres for the homeless has tuberculosis.
       The report estimates that 1,000 homeless people are living on Toronto's streets. It calls on the city to stop closing shelters and to come up with another 1,000 safe beds in the shelter system this winter. It also calls for more harm-reduction facilities and shelters for couples.
    A Home for All - The Gomberg for Mayor platform plank on Housing and the Homeless is now on the web at
    Residents Oppose Single Mothers' Shelter - October 11, 2000
    Info from the Star
       Residents of the St. Clair Ave. and Lansdowne Rd. area spending money to block Beatrice House, a transitional home for single mothers, from moving into their community.
       Suzanne Stanley is spearheading the group and was among 100 residents who showed up at the Joseph Piccininni Community Recreation Centre on St. Clair Ave. W.
       The Toronto District School Board approved a plan for Beatrice House to move into Hughes Junior Public School on Caledonia Ave. Thirty families are expected to move in next spring.
       Beatrice House is secondary-stage housing, meaning the women are one step away from living on the street. Single mothers get job training and earn the equivalent of their high school diplomas. The non-profit, city-funded centre is chaired by the renowned Dr. Fraser Mustard.
       Better-off local residents continue to oppose all development for those in need and it is a shame to see democracy used as a tool for victimization.
    Harris' Eviction Swat Teams - Oct.2000
       The Harris government is planning to set up swat teams of eviction officers to speed up the process of turning desperate families out on the street, NDP Housing critic Rosario Marchese revealed today.  The creation of eviction swat teams is part of the government's latest so-called Red Tape Bill. It would allow the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal to appoint "Default Order Officers" who can move quickly to evict tenants.
       Default Orders are issued when tenants don't show up to contest evictions.  But advocates say tenants often don't show up because landlords never give them notice of eviction. Others never appear before the tribunal because they don't understand the notice. Marchese noted that evictions have climbed 15 per cent since the Conservatives repealed the NDP's Rent Control Act in 1997.  "Instead of finding faster ways to evict families, the Conservatives should freeze rents for two years as proposed by the NDP. Our Rent Freeze Act would end skyrocketing rent increases and force the Tories
    to solve the affordable housing crisis they created," he said.
    NDP QUOTE OF THE DAY - "Just in time for winter, the Conservatives have come up with a scheme to make sure more families are kicked out of their homes. They want to turn public servants into eviction thugs who will throw more men, women and children into the street without ever hearing their side of the story." - Trinity Spadina MPP Rosario Marchese on government's new eviction swat teams.
    Food bank's gaining more customers - Oct.11.2000
       The Daily Bread Food Bank's latest survey data shows that the need for the food bank's services is growing. The number of people turning to the food banks grew by 5,000 since 1995, to 120,000 in 2000. This has happened despite a large reduction in the unemployment rate – 9.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent over the same period.
        People who have been cut off under Harris' welfare cuts need to use the food banks more and the growing army of the working poor need food banks.
       In times of an economic boom our system victimizes the poorest with cuts and a low minimum wage.
    New studies show Canada's rich really are getting richer -- and the poor  poorer -- as the middle class erodes
    Statistics Canada report from 1989 to 1998
    The poorest Canadians with an income of around  $10,388  to  $8,627 saw their earning decline 17%
    The Lower Middle with an income of around $31,427 to $27,486 saw their earning decline 13 %
    The Middle at  $48,776 to $46,835 saw a decline of 4%
    The Upper Middle at  $67,790 to   $68,505 gained 1 %
    The Richest at $114,178 to  $124,681 gained  9%
    Toronto expecting record numbers of homeless people this winter - Sept.16.2000
       Councillor Brad Duguid says the city is preparing for record levels of homelessness this winter and has 308 new shelter beds in place and plans for another 368.
       Citizen advocates for the homeless say city officials have misjudged demand and predict that the 3,000 emergency beds in the city won't be enough once the snow starts.  Allison Kemper of the Advisory Committee on Homelessness, said the city faces a shortfall of up to 655 beds.
       More than 32,100 people are expected to seek emergency shelter at some time this year.
    Low-income housing project to go ahead - Sept.2000 -  Swansea NIMBYS have failed to block a 42-unit apartment building for low-income tenants. City council's administration committee approved contributing $1.3 million in grants, loans and land to the project, to be developed by the Fred Victor Centre, a shelter for homeless women.
       The project goes to city council early next month for final approval.
       Councillor David Miller supported the project, and is at odds with Councillor Bill Saundercook, who is seeking to unseat him in the Nov. 13 municipal elections.  Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski also sided with NIMBYS opposing the project.
       Almost no new affordable housing has been developed since 1995.
    Mel's Flawed Law and Order Ticket- Sept.2000 - Mel Lastman says he is campaigning for re-election as Toronto Mayor based on a law and order ticket. Yet a new document on his past programs of Target Policing and CAP reveal his law and order agenda to be a failure, cruel to the poor and racial minorities, and fatally flawed in many other areas.
    Read - Who's the Target?
    (An Evaluation of Community Action Policing by the Committee to Stop Targeted Policing)
    Posted at the bottom of our Target Policing Opposed page
    Jobless rate higher than thought - Sep.9.2000
       The ravages of unemployment are far more widespread than the official job figures show, Statistics Canada reported yesterday.
       A study of unemployment in 1997 shows that while the official figure has one out of every 11 workers out of a job that year, the number of individuals who were without work at some point was closer to one in six, says StatsCan. The number of family households affected was nearer to one in four.
       The old system has not taken into account that some people find work each month, while others lose their job. A more detailed study of the figures found that 17.3% of individuals were out of work at some point during the year and that 28.2% of family households were affected by one or more members being unemployed.
    Lastman Plugs Beggar Meters- Sept.7.2000
       Mayor Mel Lastman will consider installing beggar meters on Toronto street corners in a bid to stop aggressive panhandling. This is a coply of a US system where instead of giving change to panhandlers, people in some major U.S. cities contribute only to specially designated parking meters.
       The money will go to the homeless -- but with the city in charge of the purse strings. And where will the homeless be sent - up North perhaps, with a free ticket on Mel's garbage train.
       It is also questionable as to whether the city could divide any such money fairly.
    United Church Pushes for end to Homelessness - Monday, Aug.21.2000
       The United Church of Canada, meeting in Toronto for their 37th general council, approved a plan to reduce the number of people living on the streets. The plan includes petitioning Ottawa for a national housing charter. The church wants the government to spend one more percent of its budget on housing.
    Ottawa judge halts provincial day-care rip-off - Aug.27.2000
       An Ottawa judge has granted a temporary injunction allowing parents to keep their RRSPs while qualifying for day-care subsidies.
       Justice Monique Metivier said the new provincial policy of Mike Harris to limit such subsidies would cause "real and immediate harm" to needy parents.
       Judge Metivier said the harm would begin Sept. 1 when parents of 900 children would be forced to spend their RRSPs or pay full fees.
       Outraged by what they regard as discrimination, 11 parents whose children attend Glebe Parents' Day Care sought an injunction that would allow them to keep their retirement savings.
       The injunction will remain in effect until Oct. 3 when the court decides on the legality of the government policy that would require parents to cash in RRSPs worth more than $5,000 to qualify for subsidies.
       Across the province, the policy would affect about 133,000 children in subsidized day care.
    Anti-Poverty Actions Continue in Toronto- Friday.Aug.11.2000
    Intelligence officers have been staking out all anti poverty actions and making arrests since the June 15th rally at Queen's Park. In spite of that there were two actions tonight. The 1st anniversary of the OCAP "Safe Park" in Allan Gardens is still underway . . . . . .
    - read the full report at the rallies page.
    Rent Freeze takes another step forward - Aug.12.2000
       The Greater Toronto Tenants' Association (GTTA) has been promoting the idea of a Rent Freeze in response to the housing crisis. NDP MPP, Rosario Marchese, is now introducing a private member's bill to support this idea. GTTA is now planning a march in North York to support the Rent Freeze. Contact GTTA at 967-4882.
       Clip from the NDP Statement - NDP Housing Critic Rosario Marchese is calling for a blanket freeze on rents across Ontario for the next two years to keep families from being thrown into the streets.
       "Tenants will sleep easier knowing they have the protection of a two-year rent freeze," Marchese said. "A blanket ban on rent increases will help low and moderate income families keep a roof over their heads."
       Tenants across Ontario have been hit with huge rent increases in the last two years, thanks to the Conservative government's repeal of the NDP's Rent Control Act. During the same period, evictions in Toronto jumped 15 per cent.
       Landlords, on the other hand, have enjoyed a rent bonanza. By the fall of 1999, landlords in Toronto alone had pocketed more than $282 million in additional rent.
       Marchese will introduce a private member's bill this fall that would amend the Tories flawed rent legislation. The two-year freeze would be followed by the passage of a new rent control bill similar to the NDP's now-cancelled legislation.
       The Trinity-Spadina MPP said that the Tories legislation had failed miserably because it had produced no new affordable rental housing in two years. At the same time, the province has stopped building non-profit housing. These two developments have turned Ontario into a tenant's nightmare.
    Media Contact: Gil Hardy at (416) 325-7118
    Support Groups say increase city aid to the poor - Aug.2000 - The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, a coalition of 40 ethnic community groups is demanding that city council take action on the widening gap between Toronto's rich and poor. The coalition wants the city to adopt a short-term relief package providing supplementary benefits for welfare recipients, rent subsidies, neighbourhood-based support services and day-care programs. The money would come from the city's $26 million welfare surplus in 1999.
       Debbie Douglas of the coalition said that apartheid-like conditions call into question the right of full citizenship for the city's racialized majority. Her group plans to act during the upcoming election.
       The coalition is outraged because Mayor Mel Lastman and city councillors have failed to respond to a recent study that outlines huge inequalities in income, employment, education and rates of poverty among ethno-racial groups.
        A large part of the city's problems come from the hostile provincial government of Mike Harris. The Harris cuts in housing and social services are taking a huge toll and there is no sign of relief for debt-ridden Toronto.
    Speakers support Civil Rights of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty leaders
        Labour and social justice leaders will bring a message of support for the civil rights of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) leaders to a court-house rally on Wednesday, August 9th. The event will take place at 10 AM in front of the Ontario court at 361 University Avenue.
       The rally is designed to support the bail review hearing for OCAP Executive members John Clarke, Gaetan Heroux and Stefan Pilipa. The three OCAP activists were released from jail on July 22nd on the condition that they not associate with other OCAP members.
       "This restrictive bail condition is a fundamental violation of the constitutional right to free association," says Ryerson Political Science Professor Colin Mooers.
       Speakers at the court-house rally will include Wayne Samuelson, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Josephine Grey from Low Income Families Together, Peter Rosenthal, Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and Helen Kennedy of the Metro Network for Social Justice, among others.
       The bail review will take place Thursday, August 10, 10AM, 361 University Ave.
       For further information contact David McNally, Professor of Political Science at York University at (416) 465-5684
       See also - OCAP - June 15.2000 March
    Fight for a Rent Freeze - Toronto Tenants take to the Streets- Aug.3.2000 - Members of one of this city's largest tenants' associations and its supporters took to the streets tonight in their kickoff of a fight for a Rent Freeze.
    - read the full rally report.
    Safe Park Anniversary Campout on August 13th.2000. (Safe park charges tossed and Constitutional Challenge on hold)
       OCAP had a "Safe Park" in Allan Gardens August 7-10 1999. It was a place where the homeless could sleep safely. The police busted it up on August 10.
        On Friday, August 13, 1999, a group of University of Toronto students and supporters began sleeping in the Allan Gardens Safe Park every Friday night. They have been charged under City of Toronto by-laws with sleeping in a park and with putting up a structure in a park.  (They draped a tarpaulin over a tree branch when it rained).
       Thursday, August 3, 1999, they went to court to launch a constitutional challenge to these City by-laws.
       Their challenge failed when the judge threw the charges out.  The cops apparently made many errors when writing up the tickets. My guess is that the cops never intended to convict anyone, they just wanted to harass and intimidate the students and their supporters.
       Mayor Mel Lastman and His City Council have given the police $2 million for "Targetted Policing."  Guess who the "target" is?
       The students will be sleeping out every Friday night, Allan Gardens, corner of Gerrard and Sherbourne.  They usually set up by 10:00 pm and usually are there until about 10:00 am Saturday.
       Drop by some time during the evening. It is never too late.  Better still, bring a sleeping bag and join them.
       They will be holding an anniversary, supported by the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, on Friday, August 11, probably starting at about 8:00 pm. There will be a "speak-out" for all those who support the Safe Park.
       OCAP thinks that this is great, but OCAP itself is busy doing OCAP work, and besides, OCAP does not do anniversaries.
       Come on down!
     Bob Olsen, Toronto
    Tory Welfare Fraud Exposed - July.31.2000
       The Harris Government has ignored nearly all other issues as it boasts of the success of it welfare reforms. Now an analysis of government reports that The Toronto Star obtained under access-to-information laws paints a totally different picture.
       The Tory studies really only contact those who used to be on welfare and now have some source of income. Those that can't afford housing or telephones aren't tracked in the studies. Andy Mitchell of the group Welfare Watch notes that the welfare reforms have driven the most needy people further into poverty.
       Social Services Minister John Baird boasts that more than 60 per cent of people who leave welfare do so for full-time work. The truth is that a disproportionate number of those who polling firms could track were better-educated and had more recent work experience that helped them find full-time jobs. In one study of 5,441 people who left welfare in a single month in 1996, only 2,159 could be found and asked how they were supporting themselves without welfare. A mailing survey to 1,000 former welfare recipients at their last known address found only 59 people. 35 of them said they were back on welfare.
       The government boasts of improvements are fraudulent because the findings assume that 60 per cent of people who could not be contacted were also in the workforce. What is more likely is that these people are on the street without any support. Food banks are verifying the increase in clients who have no source of income after being forced off welfare by unfair rules. The many thousands with no fixed address crash wherever they can find shelter. If the economy downturns and the Harris welfare laws are not reformed, Ontario will face an unbelievable poverty disaster.
    G8 Summit - A Billion Dollar Insult to the Poor- July.2000
       Let them eat computers is the new motto of G8 leaders after their billion-dollar Okinawa meeting did nothing for debt relief or foreign aid. Jean Chretien's modest plan for aid improvement died on the table. And No was the word they had for a new plan to accelerate $100-billion in  debt relief for the poorest countries. They even turned down a Japanese plan to set up a G8 fund to fight infectious diseases.
        In their final communiqué the leaders did vow to help bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots of the digital age. And this led critics to charge that they expect the poor to eat computers.
       At $1-billion, it was the costliest summit ever mounted, and the biggest insult ever from rich nations. No summit at all, with the one billion used to aid the needy, would have been much better.
    Latest News Relating to the Toronto June 15th Poverty Rally/Riot- updated in late July.2000
       Bail conditions set for Ontario Coalition Against Poverty activists amount to persecution. Read about them and the courthouse protest.

  • Alice from Police State Wonderland
  • Fringe Mayoral Candidates Join Protesters at Toronto Court House Rally
  • New Political Arrests in Ontario on Fri.July.21.2000
  • Toronto Police Attempt to Usurp Media Impartiality

  • --------
    City Study - Rampant Racism and Cruel Poverty Built into the Ontario Social Structure - July.2000
    Read news report - at the megacityelection.com features page
    GO TO THE 2ND PAGE OF Poverty News

     Collected Reports
  • June.15.2000 AntiPoverty Rally Attacked by Police - full Reports.
  • Psychiatric Survivors fight forced drugging - Harris' CTOs - April.2000
  • Pepper-spray Attack on Housing Protesters on Parliament Hill - Don Weitz Nov/99
  • The Malthus Factor - Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development - July.2000
  • The Safe Park - Reports of 1999
  • Workfare-Fight, the list for fighting workfare internationally
  • Report Card on Women and Poverty - Women's poverty rates reach 20-year high - Apr.2000
  • Housing and Homelessness in City of Toronto - at JacklLayton.com
  • The Hunger Site http://www.thehungersite.com
  • Dec -1999 -  UNICEF Reports Poverty Amidst Plenty for 1.2 billion
  • Maximum Rent Legal Extortion why we need Rent Control - Aug/99
  • National Housing Report, June 99 - Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Reclaim the Wealth - World Wealth Redistribution Tax.
  • Report - Poverty and the Decline in Public Health - June/99
  • US Mayors' report on hunger and homelessness - Dec/99
  • Housing Watch and the Golden Report on Homelessness
  • Real Unemployment 20 Percent Says Ryerson University Study
  • United Nations - Human Development News and Reports
  • No Fingerscanning Web Page
  • United Nations Attacks Canada's Record on Poverty - detailed
  • Squatters' Rights Case(OCAP) - Trial Reports to 29 Dec/98 from Bob Olsen.
  • Tenant Info & Ontario Coalition Against Poverty Report Tenant Protection Act
  • Coalition for a Ban on Pepper Spray -  Web Page
  • New Report - Myths about World Hunger
  • Reports - Growing Gap between Rich and Poor in Canada
  • excerpt from The Growing Gap Report
  • Stats, Post Mortem & Archive of election news for Ontario Election 99

  • Toronto Disaster Relief Committee Web Site
  • Povnet
  • Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
  • United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
  • Housing Again Site
  • The Hunger Site - http://www.thehungersite.com
  • Listing of Toronto - service and anti-poverty resources
  • Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless
  • Aquarian Age Tenant Site
  • CSAR Homeless Site.
  • Canadian National Anti-Poverty Organization
  • USA - National Coalition on Police Accountability
  • USA Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
  • Information Poverty Research Institute
  • Homeless Peoples Network email discussion list
  • Workfare Links Site
  • SHELTERNET B.C - http://members.home.net/shelterpete/shelternet.htm
  • Food not Bombs Discussion Archive
  • Un High Commissioner for Human Rights - site contains human rights documents
  • Global Community Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo - http://www.web.net/~gccwat/
  • Ontario Welfare Watch
  • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation http://www.web.net/cera/golden.html
  • World  Poverty Net
  • California Homeless Civil Rights page
  • Charter Committee on Poverty Issues http://www.web.net/ccpi
  • USA -  Kensington Welfare Rights Union
  • Ontario Coalition Against Poverty -- call 416 925-6939 Web Page Fax: (416) 966-8759
  • Toronto Food Not Bombs web page http://www.tao.ca/~hermes3/fnb.htm
  • Anti-Racist Action Phone: (416) 631-8835  E-mail
  • USA National Coalition for the Homeless
  • The North American Street Papers Association
  • The Workfare Watch Page   Walled Cities
  • Raising The Roof:  Solutions for Canada's Homeless
  • Homelessness in Calgary
  • The Mission in Ottawa:  Shelter for the Homeless
  • Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
  • Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
  • International Homelessness Home Page
  • U.S. National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Welfare Reform Watch (USA)
  • Homelessness in the U.K.
  • U.N Fact Sheet, The Human Right to Adequate Housing
  • Report Page on Welfare Rate Cuts
  • Tenant Rights under Attack - Letter from The Centre for Equality Rights in Accomodation
  • United States Welfare Reform Links   Tenant News Page
  • Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness
  • Natiional Anti-Poverty Organization
  • U.S. Repeal the Fingerprint Law Page.
  • The International Network of Street Papers and The Big Issue
  • The Freedom Network - fingerscan info
  • CCPI- Charter Committee on Poverty Issues CCPI@web.net ,  http://www.web.net/ccpi
  • Disabled Women's Network (DAWN) dawn@tynet.com, http://www.dawn.tynet.com
  • Metro Network for Social Justice (MNSJ) http://www.mnsj.org

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