25 in 5 Network and Partners on the Budget

In this eBulletin:

  1. Quote of the Day
  2. 25 in 5 Network and Partners on the Budget
  3. Valentines for Dwight Duncan: Put Food in the Budget!
  4. Ontario Can’t Work Without Child Care
  5. Welcome to Ontario: But Please Don’t Get Sick!
  6. Upcoming Events Around the Province: 
  • Action for Affordable Housing Forum: Toronto
  • Anti-Poverty Forum for Frontline Social Workers: Brant / Brantford
  • Pathway to Potential: Windsor
  • Breaking Out: Real Voices, Real Change – Save the Date!


Quote of the Day:

“We are cutting off our fiscal nose to spite our face, when we short-sightedly fail to provide necessary income supports to the poor and hungry. I would rather pay up front, in a concerted and integrated effort to prevent hunger, rather than after the fact, to try and fix the health and other problems caused by hunger.”

Who said it? Jim Stanford, economist with the Canadian Auto Workers and a panelist for the Recession Relief Coalition’s Hunger Inquiry, on the Inquiry’s recommendations to resolve hunger and poverty.

See the Hunger Inquiry’s top ten recommendations and coverage of their release in a recent Toronto Star article

25 in 5 and Network and Partners on the Budget 

Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs recently held public hearings on the upcoming provincial budget. The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction appeared before the Standing Committee in Windsor and recommended spending in a number of areas to ensure that poverty reduction remains a priority.

Putting poverty reduction on hold during an economic slowdown only makes income inequality worse. Inequality had already reached new heights before the global recession weakened Ontario’s economy – which is on the mend, but remains fragile. Dealing with the economic challenge will take a substantial investment by the public for the public. Ontario will pay a steep price if we take a political road that favours some Ontarians while leaving others behind. We will pay a steep price if we allow a generation of formidable minds to waste away on the sidelines.

25 in 5’s pre-budget submission recommends that the provincial government implement and fund smart policies that achieve four core goals during this next period of economic recovery.

Many of 25 in 5’s partner groups and others also appeared before or made submissions to the Standing Committee with recommendations on a variety of poverty-related spending priorities for budget 2011-12. Here are links to a small selection of these submissions:

If you would like your pre-budget submission circulated in an upcoming 25in5 eBulletin, please send a link from your website to info@25in5.ca.

Valentines for Dwight Duncan: Put Food in the Budget!

The Heath and Strength Action Group in South Riverdale has developed “Valentines for Dwight Duncan”, to let him hear from people from around Ontario – as he prepares his last budget before the election – that it is time to ‘Put Food in the Budget’ and immediately increase by $100 a month the social assistance received by every adult in Ontario.

The campaign has designed two choices of Valentines, with a common message for the back of each one. Click here to download the Valentines.

There are several ways you can use the Valentine:

  • Print them off and  have people sign them and give them back to you and then mail them all at once to Dwight Duncan at 7 Queen’s Park Crescent, 7th floor, Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y7;
  • OR people can mail them in themselves;
  • OR people can email them by attaching their choice of valentine to an email;
  • OR you can take the Valentines to your local MPP’s office, and ask your MPP to bring them to Dwight Duncan’s office, or give them to Dwight Duncan during Question Period!
  • OR if you have a Liberal MPP in your riding you can take the Valentines and tape them to their constituency office window.

You can combine any of these actions with a demonstration at the office of your local MPP, or if you are in Toronto you can join the group that will deliver a giant Valentines with all the valentines we have collected to Dwight Duncan. Contact Susan Bender at sbender@srchc.com or 416-461-1925 ext 353 for details.

Ontario Can’t Work Without Child Care

A message from the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care:

It is essential the 2011 budget include increased funding for child care. Without it we will see child care fees rise anywhere from 15 -30%, or some programs closing.

In preparation for the Ontario Budget, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, along with the Ontario Federation of Labour, is hosting community forums across the province to discuss:

  • Lack of funding for early learning and child care programs
  • Impacts of Ontario’s Early Learning Program on child care
  • How to stop increasing parent fees
  • Ensuring that all child care staff have decent wages

Communities we are visiting: Belleville (Jan 25), Peterborough (Jan 26), Hamilton (Feb 2), Thunder Bay (Feb 9), Orillia (Feb 16th), Windsor (Feb 28), Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge (TBD), Sudbury (TBD), Ottawa (March 10)

Materials for the campaign are available here!
Please send an email to your MPP echoing the three messages on the Child Care Overview and Information for Parents fact sheet.

February 14th-18th, 2011 is the Week of Action for Child Care.

See www.childcareontario.org for more information.

Welcome to Ontario: But Please Don’t Get Sick!

DID YOU KNOW that the Ontario government currently imposes a 3-month wait on landed immigrants before they can access health care coverage through OHIP?

Because of the 3-month waiting period, many new immigrants are forced to pay for health care out-of-pocket, in some cases incurring great financial debt at a time when they are trying to establish a new life for themselves and their family in Ontario.

Others delay seeking necessary medical care, resulting in the need for much more serious and costly treatment in the future.

The Right to Health Care Coalition has recently launched a postcard campaign calling on the Ontario government to eliminate the 3-month waiting period.

To learn more or get involved, please email: righttohealthcarecoalition@gmail.com.

To order free campaign postcards please contact us at the above email or click here to download a high quality PDF.

To follow the campaign on Twitter click here: twitter.com/#3mthOHIPwait

The Right to Health Care Coalitionis a growing group of health and social service organizations that advocate for the removal of barriers and injustices that restrict access to health care for Ontario residents—including the 3-month OHIP wait period for immigrants.

Upcoming Events Around the Province: 
1) Action for Affordable Housing: Toronto

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) invites you to

Action for Affordable Housing: Moving Housing Rights Forward in our city, our province, our country

Friday, February 25
10 am – 12pm
O.I.S.E. room 5280 – 252 Bloor St. West (at St. George subway)
Free, TTC tokens available

  • What are the challenges that we face as we try to end homelessness and address the severe lack of good quality housing that people can afford?
  • What are the opportunities to move a ‘right to housing’ agenda forward?
  • What can we all do to end the housing crisis?

Join Doug King from PIVOT Legal Society in Vancouver, B.C., Sheryl Lindsay from Sistering, Regi David from the Rooming House Tenants Group—Scarborough and Cathy Crowe from the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee to discuss what we can all do to end the housing crisis!

To RSVP, for more information, or if your group or organization would like to endorse the event please contact Yutaka Dirks at ACTO: dirksy@lao.on.ca

Facebook event page:

2) Anti-Poverty Forum for Frontline Social Workers: Brant / Brantford

Anti-Poverty Forum for Frontline Social Workers
The goal of this full-day forum is to equip frontline workers with the tools and knowledge they need to help clients work their way out of poverty or at the very least find a way to survive within it.

Thursday, February 24
9 am – 4pm
Carnegie Building, 73 George Street
Laurier University, Brantford

The morning will consist of a thanksgiving opening, key note speaker – Pat Capponi (author) and break out sessions on Income/Food Security, Housing, Creative Arts, and Healing Mind and Body. The afternoon will consist of a panel of speakers on Community Collaboration. The closing speaker will be Heather Vanner, the Executive Director of Community Resource Service.

The fee is $10 and includes lunch – fee can be paid at the door with cash or cheque made out to the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant

The forum is being coordinated by the Sexual Assault Centre, the Grand River Community Health Centre and the Community Legal Clinic.

TO REGISTER: Call the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant 7511164 or email carrie@sacbrant.ca

3) Pathway to Potential: Windsor

Community Training Sessions

On March 10, Pathway to Potential will be holding the first of several community organizing training sessions for Voices Against Poverty and other community stakeholders.
The goal of the training is to develop a campaign that will help ensure that poverty reduction is a top priority issue for the Windsor-Essex region in the upcoming provincial election.

For more information, contact Adam at 519.966.8203 ext. 224

Check out Pathway to Potential’s website – it’s got a new look!

4) Breaking Out: Real Voices, Real Change

Save the date for the People’s Blueprint Conference in Toronto!

April 4 and 5, 2011

The People’s Blueprint Conference will bring together panel members, policy experts and community agencies in respectful dialogue, discussion, and exchange of ideas. We will see first-hand the important issues that arise from the Peoples Blueprint research. Together we will work toward real solutions to improving our social assistance system.

The People’s Blueprint: A New Approach

The People’s Blueprint is a collaboration between Daily Bread Food Bank and Voices From the Street. Together, we worked with 18 people receiving social assistance, equipping them with the tools they needed to be community researchers. The researchers went back to their communities, conducting over 100 video recorded interviews that demonstrate the hopes, challenges, and abilities of people “on the system” in an intensely personal way.

Working with people who are experiencing the social assistance system, giving them ownership over the research and the questions asked, and using their skills and contacts to reach people in the community has allowed us unfettered access to new voices. We are improving the research base for more effective policy making.

More information will follow in the coming weeks.

Contact Michael Oliphant at 416-203-0050 x256


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