Friday, March 16, 2012

Abolish Austerity!

Photo by John Bonnar, from

Photo by John Bonnar, from

Today, with many of my peers, I took part in a demonstration to protest the cuts in the upcoming 2012 provincial budget.  Financial Consultant, Don Drummond has even come out and bluntly said that if all these cuts go through as planned, Ontario will have to face an age of austerity for many years.

As usual, I wrote a speech to voice my opinion. Here it is:

Queen’s Park is coming out with the 2012 Budget very soon. We know this will be an austerity focused one. Once again, low income communities and marginalized people will be hit the hardest.  Drummond has proposed cutbacks that would make the years of Mike Harris’ “Common Sense Revolution” seem like child’s play by comparison.  Harris cut 4.6% from government programs.  Drummond wants to cut a whopping 16.4% across the board.

Pocketing $1,500 a day to consult on how to make people’s lives a little more difficult, a little more demeaning, Drummond has proposed that there be cuts to healthcare, education, and social programs.  These cuts mean loss of vital services and loss of many, many jobs. They also mean that if people get laid off and can’t find jobs, which in this economy is entirely probable, they will have to apply to receive EI or OW.  But wait! According to Drummond’s plan, it will be made more difficult for people to get OW and ODSP.  He also states that these programs shouldn’t be run provincially but run federally.

I keep hearing the word “austerity” - and I bloody well hate it!  I want to abolish the word “austerity” and those who threaten us with it!  We already barely survive on what little we have each month, how can our government even think of making more cuts? They who give big corporations and banks tax breaks, who buy obsolete fighter jets, and pay consultants $1,500 a day want to cut back on the amount of money I have available for groceries and bills!

I got kind of depressed writing this speech and thinking about how many incredibly similar speeches I have written and delivered over the past 7 years. We keep fighting the cuts to services but the cuts keep coming, if not to the same services then to different ones. Either way, governments are unravelling the fabric of our society.

 In spite of all this, I remain steadfastly hopeful. Being here with all of you today makes me feel strong and determined to keep fighting, and to continue to do so until my very last breath! We must all continue to fight together to ensure that those unfeeling, greedy bastards don’t keep cutting services so there’s nothing left for us or for future generations!

Abolish Austerity!

Thank you.

1 comment:

Nic deGroot said...

I love you Anne. Jen and I miss you so much ... oh and you looked pretty hot in those protest pics ;)

-I recently heard a very apt description of the present 'austerity' minded cuts/tax-breaks for mega-corps that are occurring all over the conservative western world; "Kiss-up, Kick-down" budgets

Look to Bolivia for our way out. nudge-nudge, wink-wink.