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ADVISORY: Ottawa Town Hall Exposes Local Impact of Government Cuts to Services and Democratic Rights

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/23/13 -- Outraged at the McGuinty governments' deep cuts to social programs and the recent attack on the democratic rights of education workers, Ottawa community members will be gathering on Wednesday, January 23 for a public town hall meeting. The forum will provide an opportunity for local residents to discuss the impact of job loss and public service cuts in their communities and develop plans to pressure local members of parliament.

The meeting will address local concern about the fact poverty over 15 percent of Ottawa's population are struggling on low incomes and almost one in five children are living in poverty. While unemployment rates in the National Capital Region are lower than most Ontario jurisdictions, higher than average living expenses continue to drive a disproportionate number of families to the brink. However, the impact of cuts is being felt across most income levels. A recent report from the Ontario Common Front revealed that fully 40 percent of Ontario families have seen their incomes stagnate or fall over the last decade, as Ontario's social program funding lags behind every other province by nearly every measure.

"In communities across the province, families are falling further behind because of McGuinty's cuts to vital services and social programs, while corporate tax cuts continue to starve Ontario's economy of $15 billion annually," said Irwin Nanda, Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "Struggling families here in Ottawa are right to demand fairness and equity from the Ontario's Liberal government. Investing in jobs, protecting services and safeguarding workers' democratic rights is the only way to prevent a double-dip recession and address rising inequality."

WHAT: Ottawa Community Town Hall Meeting on Economic & Democratic Rights

WHEN: Wednesday, January 23 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

WHERE: Ottawa City Hall, 111 Laurier Ave. West (Champlain Room)

"Labour and community groups have come together to launch an Ontario Common Front against cuts to jobs and services. We are building partnerships in every community - from Windsor to Ottawa to Thunder Bay," said Nanda. "It is time for the people to start setting the agenda."

The Ottawa town hall is one in a series of regional meetings taking place across Ontario in the lead-up to a protest at 1:00 pm on January 26, outside the Ontario Liberal Leadership. Over 100 buses will travel to the protest in Toronto from every corner of the province, including many locations in the Ottawa region. Community and labour groups have banded together to call on the government to recall the legislature, protect workers' rights and invest in the jobs and services.

For more information, visit: www.ofl.ca/index.php/campaigns/democraticrights

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. Visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour and SidRyan_OFL.

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