On March 25th, Ontario’s Liberal Government killed the Special Diet in the
Provincial Budget. 20% of those on social assistance in Ontario had been
getting this vital benefit and they will now be thrown into a crisis by a
move that will rob them of the ability to buy food and pay the rent.

People on OW and ODSP live on rates that are shamefully inadequate. Since
the 1995 cuts, these rates have been reduced in real terms by at least
40%. For 15 long years, people have been forced further and further in to
poverty. In slashing the Special Diet now – the government is taking away
the one thing that people on Social Assistance had left to try to get-by.
This is the most devastating social cutback since Mike Harris slashed
welfare rates in 1995.

The Liberal Government has dared to talk about ‘poverty reduction’. Not
only has it cut the Special Diet while huge numbers of people face the
impact of an economic crisis, but it has announced that it will increase
the rates by 1% at the end of the year. That’s less than inflation and an
insulting slap in the face.

Governments responded to the economic crisis by giving billions of dollars
in bailouts and tax cuts to failed corporations and banks. Now they are
looking to get that money back in the way of serious social cutbacks. The
Special Diet is an example of this, but all Public Services are under
threat.

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