Author: John Clarke

John Clarke is a writer and retired organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). Follow his tweets at @JohnOCAP

  • What Basic Income Means for Disabled People

    Disabled people in Ontario are much more likely to experience poverty than non-disabled people. Many have to live on sub-poverty payments under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or the even more wretched income provided by Ontario Works (OW). Those that are in this situation are confronted by an ongoing process of surveillance, invasion of … Keep reading »

  • John Clarke – Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?

    Toronto – 13 April 2017. The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an … Watch video »

  • Basic Income: Progressive Dreams Meet Neoliberal Realities

    Up until now, the concept of Basic Income (BI) has enjoyed a greater history of being proposed than of being implemented. We may well b approaching a period, however, when this changes. The Ontario Government is holding consultations on setting up a BI pilot project. The Legislature in another Canadian Province, Prince Edward Island, has … Keep reading »

  • Ontario’s Austerity Government Sets Basic Income Trap

    The Ontario Government’s Adviser on Basic Income (BI), Hugh Segal, has released his much heralded discussion paper, “Finding a Better Way,” that sets out his proposals for a lengthy BI pilot project. If the experiment he advocates is put into effect, it will run parallel to the deliberations of a Security Reform Working Group that … Keep reading »

  • Disabled People Give Lead In Fight Against UK Austerity

    I recently had the enormous honour of representing the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) at a week of action and international conference, organized from September 4-10 by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) in the UK. This was another step in building a close working relationship between our two organizations. It was also fascinating and inspiring … Keep reading »

  • Let me tell you how Basic Income can achieve savings in other areas, such as healthcare and housing supports.

    Looking the Basic Income Gift Horse in the Mouth

    Both the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa and the Wynne Government at Queen’s Park in Toronto have been making noises of late on the subject of Basic Income. The last Ontario Budget, in fact, declared an intention to carry out a pilot project in a community still to be announced. While no clear details are yet … Keep reading »

  • Toronto Police Budget

    Toronto’s Homeless Shelters Bursting at the Seams

    On Wednesday, February 17, a mass delegation of members and supporters of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) marched to Toronto City Hall. We brought with us copies of a report we had put together called Out in the Cold: The Crisis in Toronto’s Shelter System. The City Council was putting the finishing touches to … Keep reading »

  • Raise the rates

    The Austerity Agenda in Sheep’s Clothing

    As we go into the New Year with Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government in place, it’s worth noting that the struggle against poverty in Toronto now unfolds with a complete set of federal, provincial and municipal regimes all seeking to position themselves politically as moderate if not progressive. This has particular implications and poses particular challenges … Keep reading »

  • Community Resistance to the War on the Poor: The Online Course

    Justin Podur interviews John Clarke and A.J. Withers In January 2016, John Clarke and A.J. Withers will be teaching the online course, “Community Resistance to the War on the Poor,” at the World Institute for Social Change, an experiment in online courses for the left sponsored by Znet. The course will present an overview of a … Keep reading »

  • Toronto’s Plan to Push Out the Homeless

    The Mayor’s Office in Toronto is today occupied by a much slicker operation than it was during the years of dysfunctional, bigoted buffoonery that unfolded under Rob Ford. Mayor John Tory has resumed the drive toward a fully fledged neoliberal city but has the basic political skills to frame his twin agendas of austerity and … Keep reading »

  • The Fight Against Street Deaths in Toronto

    The twin agendas of urban redevelopment and austerity have increased the scale of the homeless crisis in Toronto. Over 4,000 people cram into the emergency shelters every night and many more try to survive out on the streets. This situation raises the question of what lengths the agenda of austerity can be taken to. If … Keep reading »

  • Austerity and the Attack on Disability Benefits

    Facing Resistance In Ontario At the beginning of this month, Ted McMeekin, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services, informed the provincial Legislature that his government will not be merging Ontario Works (OW) with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Given that the Liberal’s own 2012 Report of the Commission for the Review of Social … Keep reading »