Letter by Rayna Slobodian, to Official Opposition Critics
October 7, 2018

Dear Member of Parliament Lisa Gretzky,
Dear Member of Parliament Joel Harden,
Dear Member of Parliament Rima Berns-McGowns,
Dear Member of Parliament Bhutila Karpoche,

Dear, I am a Masters student at York University. I am writing to you today because I am a deeply concerned, and frustrated citizen who is dedicated to fighting stigma and irrational decision making.

Minister MacLeod wants to change our social assistance system to "get us back on track." Unfortunately that means cuts, which will cost us in the long run, with money, and lives. We have seen the effects of what slashing cuts have done in the past with the Harris government back in the 90's, and these effects are still being seen today with the many names of homeless deaths that I keep track of. The negative stereotypes, and beliefs that people on social assistance are "drains on the system" or "lazy" are highly inaccurate, wrong, and completely unfounded.

Programs like the basic income project, the minimum wage increase, OW, and ODSP, are so vital to the success of our community. Outside of doing the right thing, researchers have shown that time and time again, financial assistance for those who are continually marginalized in our society is a profitable venture. Not only does this assistance help those who have a mental illness, or disability, or people who have fallen on hard times, but it also makes for productive citizens, which is really important for decision makers in this neoliberal society.

Evidence consistently shows that people who receive financial assistance typically go back to school, get jobs, or volunteer and help others in their community. They can save our governments more money because of not having to use unnecessary expensive healthcare, and justice costs. Outside of that, just imagine a world in which we help others because they need it, without expecting anything in return, simply being decent human beings to one another, without judgements. We are not all created equal. We do not all have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Please do everything in your power to stop Minister MacLeod, and anyone else going forward from committing terrible atrocities. This is not the Ontario I want to live in.

Thank you for your time,
Rayna Slobodian