Picket Challenges Mayor John Tory and his Austerity Agenda

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On February 9, Mayor John Tory came to the pro-business CD Howe Institute to tell them all about the austerity he is imposing on poor and homeless people in Toronto. A strong OCAP picket was gathered outside to give him the welcome he deserved.

As this City faces a wide array of cutbacks and service reductions, as they prepare to board up desperately needed public housing for lack of repairs, as services for homeless people are gutted and, as the conditions of overcrowding in the shelters go beyond the level of a crisis, John Tory will be pocketing a 2.1% increase in his ample salary. He is a Mayor who is building a neoliberal city in which all but his rich friends are pushed to the margins and in which a war on the poor is ramped up.

Our picket was loud and not to the liking of the business crowd trying to make their way in to hear Tory’s speech. Some managed to get through and others gave up in dismay. Tory himself delayed his entry but was finally rushed in through a side entrance with a strong force of cops to clear his path, pushing someone down in the process. A Mayor who talks of ‘inclusiveness,’ came out to address rich people with an escort of cops to protect him from the poor.

The days when John Tory could pose as anything other than a political representative of the developers and moneybags are over. Our picket was an indication of the movement against him and all he stands for that is emerging in Toronto. Our fight against his agenda of poverty and his abandonment of the homeless will continue. Fight to win!