ACORN members across the province are gathering on the second Thursday of every month to protest and demand the government increase social assistance rates and abandon plans to adopt stricter federal definitions of disability.

Last year the Ontario government announced, but eventually had to walk back from, a proposal to cut more than $1 billion worth of benefits to Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

The government was forced to walk back their proposed changes in the fall, after documents leaked to The Toronto Star showed civil servants warning the government that people would probably start dying if all these changes were pushed through. More alarming might be the anxiety of those working on the frontlines of poverty, who warn (without a hint of hyperbole in their voices) that going through with changes as substantive as last year’s proposal would lead to an uptick in suicides, drug overdoses, and general hopelessness.