Sunday, April 18, 2010

Video: Poverty and the Provincial Budget.

Video: Poverty and the Provincial Budget.

These are three short talks from an event held in Toronto a few weeks ago. The speakers -- John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Michael Hurley of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Dr. Roland Wong -- talk about both the most recent provincial budget and the overall record of Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government when it comes to poverty. Both, as the speakers relate, are quite awful. Despite making noises about poverty reduction, and despite endless consultation with the naively hopeful moderates in the agency sector and social justice spaces in the province, the Ontario Liberals have never given any evidence whatsoever that they would seriously consider deviating form the neoliberal consensus, which is a guaranteed recipe for a society with deep and broad poverty. Poverty and attacks on welfare recipients have only become more entrenched on the Liberal watch. As Clarke points out, the 1% increase in general welfare rates seems like a tiny but positive thing, but the abolishment of the special dietary supplement to social assistance that is being implemented at the same time actually means that the total provincial money going into the hands of Ontario's poorest residents will be cut by about 3% this year. This is only the third time in Ontario history that welfare payments have been cut, and this act puts McGuinty beside such odious figures as Mitch Hepburn from the 1930s and Mike Harris from the 1990s. To reach the real spending power of social assistance rates in the early '90s -- and even then activists were pointing out how inadequate the rates were -- would require an increase of about 55%.

Here are the videos:

John Clarke on the Ontario 2010 Budget from OPIRG-Toronto on Vimeo.

Michael Hurley on the Ontario 2010 Budget from OPIRG-Toronto on Vimeo.

Dr. Roland Wong on the Ontario 2010 Budget from OPIRG-Toronto on Vimeo.

(Found via LeftStreamed.)

No comments: