We are circulating the statement below for endorsement by agencies, anti-poverty groups, unions, and other allies. Please forward it widely.
To add your name to the list of endorsing organizations, please contact Parkdale Community Legal Services 416-531-2411 ext. 248 or email@example.com
We are encouraging groups to take up this issue as part of the
Raise the Rates provincial Week of Action, Oct. 13-17
For more information:
like Raise the Rates on Facebook
Stepped Up ODSP Medical Reviews Will Mean Improper Denial and Needless Hardship
After much public outrage and mobilization against the mass raids of undocumented workers on August 14th in Toronto, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca has asked officials in his ministry to review its collaboration with immigration enforcement. The Toronto Star reported that the investigations will involve the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) going above and beyond its jurisdiction and allocating provincial resources to do the work of federal ministries, including racial profiling and abuse of power.
This is a step in the right direction, but nothing short of a clear declaration of Ontario as a Sanctuary Province is enough. Join your voice with ours, and sign this petition: http://chn.ge/1lbFvON
Massive outdoor free protest concert to celebrate the courageous 1-year long resistance of immigration detainees on strike in Ontario.
THESE WALLS WILL FALL
w/ Indigenous & PoC Artists from Across Turtle Island
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8PM - 11PM -- WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
CLOUD GARDENS (short walk to concert site)
COME TO PROTEST! COME TO DANCE!
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Arizona's finest Red-Brown power hip-hop duo
Undocumented & Decolonial Mujer Lucha Rap
Singer, song-writers, one-half of Toronto's own LAL
TEST THEIR LOGIK
Anarcho-Rap Rhythm Renegades
Colombian darling, Soundsister, improv virtuoso
More to be announced.
OCAP Delegation Delivers Strong Message to City Hall:
August 25th, 2014
To Members of Council and City Staff,
We are here today to ask an important question and to deliver a message.
Do the lives of homeless women matter in the City of Toronto?
We ask this question as every day we face the reality of violence against women in our City. This violence is even more acute for women who don't have a place to live or a safe place to go especially at night.
In June, Council approved the recommendation from Community Development and Recreation Committee that the City move forward with the process for establishing two 24 hour drop-in centres for street-involved women. The community was hopeful in this decision, and for a brief time, we celebrated. But instead of seeing this process move forward this fall, we now face a delay until after elections and until 2015. This is despite the fact that Council and Committee gave direction to staff to move forward this year. To us in the community, this delay is unacceptable. We need safe space now.
Toronto -- Over 50 of us protested outside the Ontario Ministry of Corrections on Monday August 18th, against the early morning raids, racial profiling, and detention of undocumented workers that took place August 14th, 2014. Under the guise of a "vehicle safety stop," Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) supported by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ministry of Transportation officials racially profiled, forcefully ID checked, arrested and detained at least 21 migrants who were on their way to work, some arrested on foot, in the Jane and Finch and surrounding neighbourhoods.
If you haven't yet, please sign and share this petition: http://chn.ge/1lbFvON. It has a lot of useful information contextualizing what happened.
Here is a chronology of events:
August 14th: Canada Border Services Agency, with the support of Ontario Provincial Police and Ontario Ministry of Transportation pulled over vehicles of people of colour and forced them to hand over their IDs. As this is an area where a large number of undocumented day-labourers get picked up to go to work, this was a targeted fishing expedition. Racialized men that were found to not have full immigration status where detained and taken to the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
@ the South-East corner of Jane and Finch intersection
For more information, please read and sign this petition: http://chn.ge/1lbFvON
Under the guise of a "routine traffic stop," Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ministry of Transportation officials racially profiled, forcefully IDd, arrested and detained at least 21 immigrants and handed them over to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) last week in the Jane and Finch and surrounding neighbourhoods. In detention, many were forced to sign documents waiving their rights that weren't adequately translated. Now our friends and family members face indefinite detention, deportation and separation from their families simply for trying to put food on the table.
Join us at 5:00 pm this Tuesday to find out how to defend yourself and know your rights in the face of racist police and immigration enforcement officers. Call for an end to detentions and deportations and demand that Kathleen Wynne stop doing Harper's dirty work. No racial profiling! No anti-immigrant raids! Members of our community should not live in fear! We welcome everyone in our community, with or without immigration papers!
Emergency Protest: Speak Out Against Racial Profiling and Anti-Immigrant Raids
12pm, Monday, August 18, 2014
25 Grosvenor Avenue (Yonge and Carlton)
Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services (Responsible for OPP)
For more information, please read and sign this petition: http://chn.ge/1lbFvON
Community Alert: Immigration enforcement targeting undocumented workers in Toronto around Jane Finch.
Toronto, August 14, 2014 -- This morning immigration enforcement targeted undocumented day laborers going to work in the Jane and Keele and Jane and Wilson areas, in particular the Weston road off-ramp to 400 / 401.
Vans with workers were pulled over, workers were ID'd and at least 5 workers without immigration status were detained.
Please visit and share http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/knowyourrights to learn your rights when coming in to contact with immigration enforcement. It includes video and downloadable flyers.
Please get in touch with us so we can support undocumented people impacted by these raids, including handing out Know Your Rights materials in Jane-Finch and other areas.
Raise the Rates Week of Action October 13-17
Liberal MPPs will be going back to Queen’s Park on October 20 but, during the week before, they will be in their local communities and in their constituency offices. Doubtless they will be feeling quite smug after their election win and telling people about how committed to ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ they are.
Communities living in poverty know from bitter experience that the reality they face is very different:
- The minimum wage has been set at a level that leaves people in poverty
- Those on Ontario Works (OW) and ODSP are living on incomes that leave them unable to feed themselves and pay the rent
- The real value of social assistance payments has fallen by some 55% since 1994 and people have continued to get poorer during the years the Liberals have been in office
- The vital Community Start Up benefit that kept people housed has been taken away
- Many people on ODSP are now facing medical reviews that threaten to take away their income
From August 21st to 24th, thousands of people are expected to converge at the People's Social Forum (PSF) in Ottawa to share ideas, strengthen alliances and carve the many worlds we wish to live in.
No One Is Illegal groups from Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver (Coast Salish Territories) are coordinating a stream of workshops, panel discussions, dialogues, films and movement assemblies at the PSF. These events are being hosted by and/or include speakers from End Immigration Detention Network, Health for All - Toronto, Justicia for Migrant Workers, Migrante Canada, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Solidarity City Network, and more.
If you are around, please join us at one or more of these sessions. We would love to connect with you.
24 Hour Drop-ins for Women in Toronto Shamefully Delayed; Important update about August 6th Budget Committee
After repeated sexual assaults on homeless women on the streets of Toronto and while the City shelter system for women in particular is in crisis and operating beyond capacity – women from the community fought to end the violence and for access to safe space.
In a report by City staff the call for two, 24-hour/after-hours drop-ins was supported by Shelter, Support & Housing as well as the Community Development and Recreation committee.
On June 10th, City Council supported the recommendation and voted to begin the process to create these drop-ins. City staff from Shelter Support and Housing Administration Staff were directed to present the funding needed to the upcoming budget committee on August 6 so that at least one space could be ready by the end of this year.
Despite the serious nature of this issue, City staff will not present its report on August 6. The issue of 24 hour drop-ins for women will NOT be on the agenda – deputations, therefore, are cancelled.
It remains unclear at this point what is to happen in order to move the development of this service forward. We are currently working to try to clarify information on this bureaucratic process, and as soon as we have further information we will send that out. However, what we do know is that August 6th is the last Budget Committee meeting, and August 25th is the last Council meeting – if this does come to the floor in August, because of the elections, the issue could be left until sometime in 2015 to proceed and become realized.
Our position is that delays cannot be accepted – money needs to be found and this issue needs to move forward IMMEDIATELY.
During the recent Provincial Election, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals distanced themselves from the crude right wing ideas of the Hudak Tories by pointing to their ‘progressive’ Provincial Budget over which the election was fought. In fact, this document is not quite the road map to ‘social justice’ it claims to be.
What the Liberals actually set out in their Budget plan is a multi-year blueprint to cut the spending for government programs in Ontario. If you take into account inflation and population increases, the Budget actually represents a commitment to shrink services and reduce deficits on the backs of those least able to afford the cost. Those on Ontario Works (OW) and ODSP will receive a 1% increase below the rate of inflation that will see them fall deeper into poverty. The vital Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit, that people used to obtain or retain housing, will not be restored. Low wage workers will see the minimum wage indexed to inflation but kept at a level that condemns them to working poverty. While the poor fall further behind, landlords are allowed to increase their rents at or above the rate of inflation and billions of dollars that the ‘cash strapped’ Government could use to reduce its deficit are handed to wealthy corporations in the form of tax breaks.
Come check out OCAP and get involved!
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty is holding a course to offer people some of the knowledge and skills they will need to mobilize in their communities to resist poverty and austerity. Since the last course, OCAP has fought for more shelter beds, a women's drop in, for a raise to social assistance rates, against cuts to ODSP and against gentrification and policing in the downtown East.
DTE Community Forum – TAVIS in the Neighbourhood
Thursday August 7, 2014
6pm - Community meal
6:30 - 7:30 - Forum
7:30 – 8pm - Social - tea/coffee and desserts
40 Oak St - C.R.C.*
Protests are being organized in cities around the world to respond to the ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians. Since the June 12 disappearance and killing of 3 Israeli settlers, Israeli forces and civilians have killed more than 10 Palestinian civilians and wounded 90 (including the brutal murder of 16 year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir), carried out 60 airstrikes on Gaza, arrested over 500 people, and invaded more than 1000 homes.
In Toronto, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), together with Palestine House, are calling on all supporters of Palestinian human rights to join us at a rally in front of the Israeli consulate.
Date: Friday, July 11th
Time: 6 - 7 pm
Location: In front of the ROM, across from the Israeli Consulate (corner of Bloor and Avenue)
Share this event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/594819810634425/
Bring Palestinian flags, banners, and your voices!
The Wynne Government has begun a Province wide drive to review the entitlement to benefits of thousands of people on ODSP. The Lankin Sheikh Report that the Government commissioned urges that a 'backlog' of 30,000 cases should be subject to an accelerated medical review process and it appears that this is being acted upon. Staff have been transferred for this purpose and the reviews may move at a rate of 600 cases a month.
Come out or call-in to show your support!
For the past two years Toronto Police and TCHC have been doing everything in their power to destroy the life of Asli Farah and her six children! This is an attack on ALL African People, call-in this Friday July 4th to defend the Farah family and show TCHC the consequences of violating an organized community!