Recession Relief Fund "We Are All In This Together Forum"

April 28, 2009


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Recession Relief Fund
Recession Relief Fund "We Are All In This Together Forum"
dated April 28, 2009


Toronto, Ontario
April 28, 2009
      

Toronto, Ontario
April 28, 2009


Peggy Nash
Assistant to CAW President

       "The Recession Relief Fund coalition has brought together labour and community organizations that really are dealing with the fall out of the economic crisis. The forum today is really trying to broaden the base of the coalition and say; we're all in this together. We have to work together to get ourselves out of this economic crisis and to get the kind of support for people, the investment for people that we need during this economic crisis."

Uzma Shakir
The Colour Of Poverty

       "We are talking about recession today as if this is happening today but for people of colour and for immigrants and refugees it has been happening for thirty years. Between 1980 and 2000 poverty rates amongst white Caucasians went down by 28% but they went up by 361% for racialized people. This is also the time to build a larger solidarity. Not to the exclusion of race but by including the issue of race into it. It is also the time when asking the government to get back into governing is not a dirty issue."

Naomi Klein
Activist and author of "No Logo and Shock Doctrine"

       "This idea of holding the line and absolutely refusing this off loading of the effects of the crisis has spread throughout Europe. I think we need to really embrace that slogan here in Canada that we will not pay for the crisis. But more than that, that we will use this crisis as a transformational moment because this is a moment when you get trampled or you transform. That is really what we are facing here. You can't just hold the line. We need to use this moment. If the workers are alone in this they will get crushed. If it becomes a social movement it's a winning battle because everyone is in favour of saving jobs when an economy is haemorrhaging jobs. But it is not actually a sustainable model to illegally occupy factory after factory. This has to lead to demands. What is often being demanded is changes in the bankruptcy law which says that the workers become the first creditors. And that what you are saying to the government is before any factory is closed down in this economy, first explore the option of turning it into a co-op."

Gail Nyberg
Daily Bread Food Bank

       "What we are forecasting for food bank use across the GTA and across the country, for the very first time in a long time we are going to begin to see people coming to food banks who are going to make a choice to take all the money they have to pay their rent. I mean it happens now but they are in low rental housing or not so good housing. But we are going to see people who are living in condominiums, paying $1,000 for a two-bed room condominium because they had been able to afford that. They may have a small mortgage because they have been working all their lives and they are going to decide to continue to pay their mortgage and they are going to use food banks."

Caroline Lavoie
CAW Organizer

       "I think there were a lot of people here who have never come out to this type of forum, who were looking for some kind of solution, some kind of hope. We're all in this together and the more we can bring people from different groups together to talk about some of these things, eventually we have to move to action but this is part of the process."

Sharon Devine
Retired Educator

       " My suggestion is that we legislate that every company that is a legitimate company has to buy into a benefit package which includes EI, health, dental and pensions. And that for every part time worker that you have they have a choice to come into that package and then the employer pays his or her portion of that based on the number of hours, prorated to the number of hours that the employee works and I think that would cut down on the amount of employers that try to get 15 part time workers instead of seven and a half full time workers."

Peggy Nash
Assistant to CAW President

       "It's incredibly gratifying to see the diversity of the group that was brought here together today. More than a couple of hundred people from students to seniors and different community organizations. Many people here are leaders in their organization so they are going to go back and reach to the members of their organizations to try to build the social solidarity that we need more now than ever."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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