You are invited to: The funeral for those whose lives will be lost due to the cuts agenda

Dear Councillor:
Rob Ford, Mayor of City of Toronto,
Doug Ford, Ward 2 Etobicoke-North,
Michael Thompson, Ward 37 Scarborough Centre,
David Shiner, Ward 24 Willowdale,
Jaye Robinson, Ward 25 Don Valley West,
Cesar Palacio, Ward 17 Davenport,
Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ward 34 Don Valley East,
Peter Milczyn, Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore,
Giorgio Mammoliti, Ward 7 York West,
Norman Kelly, Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt,
Doug Holyday, Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre,
Mike Del Grande, Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt,
Michelle Berardinetti, Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest, and
Paul Ainslie, Ward 43 Scarborough East

You are invited to: The funeral for those whose lives will be lost due to the cuts agenda
When: Friday September 23, 2011
When: Noon

AIDS ACTION NOW invites you as a City Councilor who supports the Ford agenda to the funeral of Toronto residents who will die as the result of your actions in proposing to cut vital HIV and Hepatitis C and harm reduction services and grants.

The Mayor says that his Core Service Review recommendations are just “scratching the surface of what’s needed”. The cutting of grants and programs will have negative health impacts, and marginalized residents of Toronto will suffer substantially!

There are currently over 17,000 people living with HIV in Toronto. Many people who have HIV also have Hepatitis C. People who are co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C face much higher mortality rates. These people come from all different walks of life, they are taxpayers, voters, and live in the suburbs and downtown, and invest in this city. Many are from disadvantaged and marginalized populations and face a great deal of difficulties. This makes life for them, their families and their children, uncertain.

Toronto has done an excellent job in the past at providing services and outreach programs to keep the HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics under control and support those who are living with the viruses. We can assure you that if these funding cuts occur there will be a significant increase in infection and residents of Toronto will die as a result. Toronto needs to keep these programs strong!

While many cuts were recently deferred, AIDS Service Organizations along with daycares, long-term care homes, social services, community grants and the arts are still facing the threat of devastating cuts in the upcoming 2012 budget process. The 2012 budget for Toronto Public Health was cut by 10% as a result of the Ford agenda. Cuts to the Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) have been deferred, and have not been voted down. They are still coming and we will continue to fight to keep them every step of the way.

While you say you demand respect for taxpayers. We demand respect for our communities, our public services, and good jobs and to continue the fight against HIV and Hepatitis C!

If you vote to cut services and city grants you can count on losing in the next election. You can also count on the lives of residents of Toronto living with HIV and Hepatitis C being lost. This isn’t just about balancing a budget. This is a life and death situation for marginalized residents of our city. Continuing with the cuts agenda will never leave your political record and our strong community will actively ensure that you will never be re-elected.

AIDS ACTION NOW is part of the strong and coordinated Toronto Stop the Cuts Network and encourages you support the People’s Declaration, which was democratically drafted by over 600 Torontonians on September 10, 2011, and since endorsed online by nearly 3,000 residents.

We hope you do the right thing and chose life over political games.

AIDS ACTION NOW!

We are committed to improving access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS in Canada and around the world; fighting for effective HIV and AIDS prevention that respects human rights; and working to improve the social determinants of health for communities struggling against the AIDS epidemic.

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