Friday, May 24th, 2013
Regent Park Community Health Centre
465 Dundas Street East
5:30pm - Community Meal & Music
6:00pm Rally 6:30pm March
In Toronto's Downtown East community we have been faced with recent alarming incidents of violence against women including attacks on the streets and in apartment complexes. Women's homeless shelters in the City of Toronto continue to operate o n average at 99% capacity - forcing homeless women in to unsafe conditions without a roof over their head. Emergency anti-violence against women's shelters also remain packed. Women who have experienced violence in their TCH buildings have been denied transfers and the waiting list for Toronto Community Housing as a whole is 10 years long. Under all three levels of government women's services have been cut and under-funded. This cannot continue! Together we are demanding the things we need in order to be safe - the very basic needs - shelter, housing, enough income and support AND an end to all violence against women.
Join us May 24th as we come together to reclaim the streets of our community and fight for what we need!
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Where: corner of Dundas & Sherbourne
*Rain Location: St.Luke’s Church (Sherbourne/Carlton)
News broke recently that the Toronto Friendship Centre at the corner of Dundas/Sherbourne is slated to lose its funding from the City and be closed by the end of 2013. The Friendship Centre is a vital service that the local community has relied on for many years. It is a place where people go for early morning meals and coffee, a place to stay warm, a place to be safe - it is a life-line and staple community space. We cannot let the Friendship Centre close or be moved from the corner!
Come out June 6th for a Community BBQ and meeting to Save the Friendship Centre and talk about what we need in the Downtown East neighborhood.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/652894171392409/
Download the poster here
ONTARIO COALITION AGAINST POVERTY
416-925-6939 / email@example.com
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) has been challenging the overcrowded conditions in Toronto's shelter system. After months of community action, we have been able to win a commitment from the City that shelters will not go above 90% capacity. However, this has meant that they are putting down flex beds in crowded shelters instead of opening up new facilities.
We want to hear from you!
· If you have had trouble finding a bed, have been turned away from a shelter, or have had to put up with unsafe, stressful or overcrowded conditions - we want to hear from you!
· If you are a staff at a shelter or agency in the city and have had trouble finding someone a bed or have experienced the overcrowded conditions – we want to hear from you too!
We need your help to force the City to provide enough shelter space to ensure people have their right to safety and dignity respected.
Download the flyer here
Give us a call at (416) 925-6939 or e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Ontario Works or ODSP in the City of Toronto? Do you know about the new Housing Stabilization Fund?Submitted by ocap on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 16:22.
On Ontario Works or ODSP in the City of Toronto? Do you know about the new Housing Stabilization Fund?
**Download the HSF info flyer here and help us distribute in OW and ODSP offices
At the start of 2013, the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) was cut by the Ontario Liberals. This was a vital benefit that thousands of people on OW and ODSP used to secure a place to live, pay first and last months’ rent, stave off eviction, get furniture and household items, pay utilities,. This is just another attack on poor people who depend on social assistance, making it harder and harder to get by.
When the Liberal Government cut the Community Start Up, the City of Toronto created a new fund to replace it, the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF). This fund is set to run out by the end of 2013 and you may be eligible for it!
2013-2014 Ontario Provincial Budget Breakdown by OCAP
OCAP had no great expectations that the 'Social Justice Premier's' first Budget would give poor communities in Ontario much reason to celebrate. We are surprised, however, at just how shamelessly she has continued to push people into deeper poverty. Wynne, like McGuinty before her, is obsessed with ‘eliminating the deficit’ at all costs. It is clear from the government’s own figures that corporate greed created this deficit, but the people of Ontario will be expected to pay for it. In the 2013 budget, they boast of reducing corporate taxes by $8.5 billion per year since 2009 and proudly announce that Ontarians now get less per capita funding from their government than people in any other province.
The vital question was whether social assistance rates would be raised in a way that began to repair the incredible loss of real income that has taken place since 1993. The measures taken in this budget leave no room for doubt. The great majority of people on social assistance will get a 1% increase, which is, of course, a cut when you consider the rate of inflation. To put this in real terms, consider that in 2013, landlords can raise rent by 2.5%, but social assistance rates are only going up by 1%. Single people on Ontario Works, whose income has declined by 56% since the 90s, will receive $14 a month over and above this. Their income will increase by perhaps 3%, which means they will pretty well stay where they are against inflation. This comes shockingly below the $100 raise recommendation of their own commission.
May 2nd Court date same day as the Ontario Provincial Budget is released
During OCAPs recent fight against overcrowding in Torontos homeless
shelters, over thirty people were charged by police in two occupations at City Hall and Metro Hall, many of them on both occasions.
Last week, most of those charged met with the Movement Defense Committee that will be providing legal support and began to prepare our response to the charges. The following basic principles and goals emerged from the meeting:
1.We took the stand we did because we believe in the right to dignity,
shelter and housing. We want to respond to these charges in a way that
contributes to ensuring homeless people are sheltered and the fight for
housing is taken forward.
2.We intend to take a united stand against these charges. We will do all we can to ensure that all of us are tried together in one courtroom. We want to advance a collective defense and not act as individuals.
3.We make no apologies for the stand we took. We acted as we needed to
and forced the City to respond to a life threatening crisis for those on the streets. We will make sure that this is all brought out in Court and that those to blame for the needless suffering of homeless people are held accountable.
4.While it is true that OCAP has faced more serious legal challenges than the present round of trespass charges, the numbers facing them mean that we are looking at a big drain on resources. There will be significant costs and, potentially, fines to deal with. We will rely on the support and solidarity of the broader community to enable us to meet these costs without having to divert vital resources from our ongoing organizing work.
5.We see these charges as fundamentally unjust and as an attempt to hamper a completely justified and necessary community based resistance to austerity and poverty. Whatever the result in Court, we pledge that this attempt will not succeed and we will come out of this stronger than ever before.
3 Events: May Day 2013, Poor Peoples Historical Walk in the DTE, & 'Mayworks' Documentaries Co-Presented by OCAPSubmitted by ocap on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 21:49.
the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty on the streets for the annual May Day of Action in Toronto.
5:30 PM: Rally and March starting at City Hall and ending at Little Norway Park in solidarity with striking workers at Porter (Queens Quay and Bathurst)
On International Workers Day, we march to build a Solidarity City. Solidarity City is a unified struggle for: Respect for Indigenous Sovereignty, Status for All, an End to Imperialism and Environmental Destruction, an End to Austerity and Attacks on the Poor and Working class, continued resistance against Patriarchy, Racism, Ableism and Homophobia and Transphobia
- Organize a contingent: bring a group of people from your class, organization, neighbourhood, or union local to this demonstration, bring your demands, banners, flags and signs.
Raise the Rates!
In the lead-up to the Wynne Government's Provincial Budget - We Demand
Living Wages and Decent Income!
Rally at Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, constituency office in
Friday, April 12, 2.00 PM
1) East-end: leaves Carlton and Sherbourne, 12.30 PM
2) West-end: leaves from out front Parkdale Legal (1266 Queen St W) at 1:15pm
*Call and register to confirm a seat on the bus: 416-925-6939
The first Provincial Budget with Kathleen Wynne as Premier is about to
come down with new Finance Minister Charles Sousa laying out what cuts and funding will be part of 2013 in Ontario. The Raise the Rates Campaign is calling on supporters in Ontario communities to hold actions at local MPP's and Minister's offices the week of April 8 to demand real action to address poverty.
*Raise social assistance rates by 55% to put them back to real levels
before the 1995 cuts and 18 years of declining incomes
*End the three year freeze on the minimum wage, raise it to $14 an hour
and index it to inflation
*Restore the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit
*Stop the cut to the Special Diet, restore the full benefit
*Scrap plans to download ODSP onto local governments and merge it with
Thursday, April 4, 2013
It took months of community action, two occupations and some fifty arrests, but the City's claim that the overcrowded shelter system is 'meeting the needs of the homeless' has now collapsed.
On April 4th, City Council voted in favour of a return to the policy of opening new space when shelter occupancy reaches 90% (it is presently running at an official 96% average with some spaces, including women's shelters, at 99 and 100%). Staff are now instructed to take the measures necessary to achieve this goal including the opening of new facilities. Our efforts will now be devoted to ensuring that they do just that.
When the final vote was taken on the amended motion, one member of Council cast a vote against- Mayor Rob Ford. Ford had earlier told the media that he would return to the Council Chambers to explicitly vote against opening more beds for the homeless and he did just that. He had already delayed consideration of the shelter issue by placing on the agenda a proposal to open a Hero Burger outlet in Nathan Phillip's Square. He was able to win the burger joint, but his efforts to deny safety and dignity to homeless people were in vain.
RAISE the RATES!
A Raise the Rates Campaign strategy meeting was held in Toronto on
March 16 and one of its decisions was to call for a week of action in
the lead up to the 2013 Provincial Budget which is set to come down
mid-April. We are calling on community organizations and unions to
hold actions at Liberal MPP's offices and events during the week of
April 8 to challenge Liberal austerity and to demand real action on
> No cut to the Special Diet.
> Restore the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit
> No downloading of ODSP or forcing people with disabilities into poverty jobs
> Restore OW and ODSP rates to where they were in 1995 - A 56% increase is needed now
> End the freeze on the minimum wage. Set it at $14 and index it to inflation.