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OCAP Protests Ontario Liberal BBQ Fundraiser

Issue: 22 Section: Canadian News Geography: Ontario Topics: poverty, OCAP

September 30, 2004

OCAP Protests Ontario Liberal BBQ Fundraiser

On Saturday, August 28, the Ontario Liberal party held its "Red Hot Grits" fundraiser at the residence of party supporter Joseph Kurian in the York Mills/Bayview area. This was to be the party's biggest fundraiser of the year. However, members and supporters of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) decided to show up as well in order to protest the inaction that they feel the Liberal government is showing toward the poor in Ontario.

Two busloads of protesters arrived at the party, and they were immediately blocked by police, resulting in a two hour standoff. During this time, the fundraiser was hindered by OCAP's chanting. Liberals and friends who arrived needed a police escort, and many decided simply not to go – a success for the protesters.

Eventually, three people were arrested during the confusion that involved police pepper spray and police horses riding into the crowd. According to OCAP, one of its members was injured by the police and later charged with obstruction after being released from the hospital.

OCAP says Premier McGuinty and the Liberal government have done precious little to fight poverty, despite their campaign of "change." They point out that while a few pennies have been added to the minimum wage, social assistance has only gone up 3%, an increase that has not yet even been delivered.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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