Author: John Clarke

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

  • Austerity Agenda Targets the Disabled

    The recent Ontario provincial budget did not do very much to uphold Kathleen Wynne‘s claim to the title of ‘Social Justice Premier.’ Most of those on social assistance received an increase in their benefits that was below the rate of inflation while no increase whatsoever was provided to those subsisting on the minimum wage. Modest … Keep reading »

  • Austerity, Resistance and the Poor

    On April 1, the Dalton McGuinty government, will introduce a new version of the Special Diet benefit for those on Social Assistance. This vital benefit, which provides up to $250 a month in additional income to people on assistance, has been accessed by tens of thousands of people over the last five years and has … Keep reading »

  • Book Launch: Global Slump

    Toronto — 20 January 2011. Introductions by Faria Kamal, Liam McNally and Syed Hussan: Jesook Song is an associate professor in Anthropology at the University of Toronto. John Clarke is an anti-povery activist and member of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. David McNally is a professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto and the author … Watch video »

  • OCAP Marks its First Twenty Years

    Twenty years ago this month, the founding conference of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) took place. In the two decades that have followed, OCAP has organized and mobilized communities under attack in the context of an advancing agenda of neoliberalism. The present situation is dominated by a world-wide crisis of capitalism and, as a … Keep reading »

  • Who Pays for the Crisis?

    The ‘Special Diet’ Cut – An Injury to One… The Liberal Government of Ontario’s decision in the spring Budget to eliminate the ‘Special Diet’ will remove the one means by which a major section of people on social assistance had been able to compensate partly for the huge loss of real income that has taken place … Keep reading »

  • Poverty and the Provincial Budget

    Toronto, April 6, 2010. Part 2 View part 2 on website Part 3 View part 3 website The Ontario 2010 budget, released on March 25th, confirms that the McGuinty government’s “poverty reduction” efforts are all pretense. Poor and working people are being forced to pay for the economic crisis. New cuts to social … Watch video »

  • Driving the Poor Deeper Into Poverty

    The Province and the City of Toronto Team up to Attack the Special Diet Since 2005, a large part of OCAP’s (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) work has involved organizing to obtain and defend access to a benefit known as the Special Diet Allowance (SDA). Under this, people living on the Province’s sub poverty social assistance system … Keep reading »

  • A Call to Action Against the Cuts to Come

    Submission on the Ontario Provincial Pre-Budget ‘consultations’ The Ontario Government’s pre-budget consultations are currently underway at Queen’s Park. The Federal budget is set to be released at the beginning of March (that is unless Harper decides for another spontaneous vacation), with the Ontario Budget, and most Provincial budgets, then set to be released by the … Keep reading »

  • November 5 Day of Action Called at Critical Time

    The November 5 day of action for a ‘poverty free Ontario,’ that has been called by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), is taking place against a backdrop of major attacks on working class living standards and social gains. The day needs to become a rallying call for a serious resistance to these unfolding attempts … Keep reading »

  • Economic Crisis and the Poor: Probable Impacts, Prospects for Resistance

    Now that the crisis of the financial markets has become a crisis of the ‘real’ economy, it is obvious that those who already face poverty (or live on the edge of it) will be hit extraordinarily hard in the days ahead. Over the last three decades, social programs that served to partially redistribute wealth or … Keep reading »

  • Out of Sight – Out of Mind

    Toronto’s ‘Streets to Homes’ Response to Homelessness The City of Toronto’s ‘Streets to Homes’ program is a finalist for one of two awards that will be presented during the celebration of United Nations’ World Habitat Day. These annual awards are given for “practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems.” ‘Streets to Homes’ is … Keep reading »

  • Raise the Rates: The Vital Struggle Against Ontario’s Sub-Poverty Welfare System

    A drastic reduction in the adequacy of income support payments is key to the neoliberal agenda. This is especially true in a country like Canada that had earlier seen the consolidation of a basic social infrastructure. However much the balance is tilted in favour of the employers, employment insurance (EI) and welfare payments limit the … Keep reading »