Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Poverty Activists Brag of Theft

Wed, October 6, 2004
Activists brag of robbery
LOBLAWS TARGET OF OCAP
By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF

JOHN CLARKE and his band of poverty activists are trying to stick Premier Dalton McGuinty with the bill for $3,525 worth of groceries they say they took from Loblaws without paying. Clarke, head of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, said items such as meat, toiletries and canned food were taken last Wednesday from a GTA store and distributed to the poor in a downtown neighbourhood.

Clarke rejected the use of the word shoplifting.

But, he said, "We unquestionably took the food without asking permission from Loblaws (and) we today delivered a bill to McGuinty.

"And we would say that the Liberals should, through either government enactment or out of their own personal pockets, that they should pay for that amount."

QUEEN'S PARK PROTEST

Loblaws spokesman Geoff Wilson said that most of the downtown stores have been checked and "we are not aware of any of our stores being robbed for goods stolen to support their claim.

"About two dozen OCAP members descended on Queen's Park yesterday, rattled a few doors and dropped off the bill with an NDP staffer to give to the Liberals.

Sandra Pupatello, minister of community and social services, said the government has no intention of picking up the tab. "But I would hope the police might charge to the full extent of the law because that behaviour is completely unacceptable," Pupatello said.