Maytree blog

These stories highlight what organizations and individuals are doing to reduce poverty and strengthen their communities, as well as how and why they do the work that they do.

Published on 18/12/2019

[Series: Rights-based participation] Authentic rights-based participation will require that we be deliberate about naming and addressing the systemic oppressions of those who are disproportionately affected by poverty.  

Over the course of the year, Maytree has explored the role of people with lived or living experience of poverty in finding solutions to poverty. Using a human rights approach to poverty requires the participation of those affected in all stages of the decision-making process. While in principle, there is a growing acknowledgement that people […]

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Published on 10/12/2019

To mark an extraordinary year for housing rights in Canada and in Toronto, we wanted to capture the possibilities opened up by the recognition of the right to housing.

This December 10, Human Rights Day, the City of Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee is considering the City’s new HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. In a first for Toronto, the plan expressly recognizes housing as fundamental human right essential to human dignity and wellbeing, and sets out a number of actions and targets to progressively realize […]

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Published on 22/11/2019

Homelessness is the sharp end of our affordable housing crisis, but that crisis is a human rights crisis that stretches into many corners of our city. While we need more shelter spaces, our solutions cannot begin and end there.

On this November 22, National Housing Day — a little more than two decades after the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee and City Council declared homelessness a national disaster — Toronto’s permanent shelter system will be operating at 94 per cent capacity. On November 6, the City announced its winter services plan, which promised, among other […]

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Published on 30/10/2019

[Series: Rights-based participation] The non-profit sector is seeing a shift toward people-centred civic engagement. Sree Nallamothu from Toronto Neighbourhood Centres writes about how the organization is exploring and strengthening this practice.

Toronto Neighbourhood Centres (TNC) is an association of 28 non-profit multi-service organizations dedicated to strengthening local neighbourhoods by supporting the efforts of individuals in all sectors of society to participate fully in the processes that shape their communities. For the latest installment of our blog series on rights-based participation, we reached out to Sree Nallamothu, […]

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Published on 18/10/2019

Recording of the webinar: The Road to the Right to Housing in Canada: How did we get here? What's next?

The right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right that lies at the heart of human dignity, and is key to the realization of other rights.  Housing must be prioritized – and coordinated – by the federal government, all provinces, and municipalities. Featuring Emily Paradis, Maytree Fellow, Janice Arsenault, Charter Challenge Applicant, Mike Creek, […]

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Published on 27/09/2019

[Series: Rights-based participation] As part of our series on rights-based participation, we spoke to Wendy Porch, Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), about how non-profits and governments can integrate accessibility into their engagement processes.

Rights-based participation emphasizes the leadership of those directly affected by systemic issues and protects their right to be involved in the decision-making that affects their lives. But many community engagement processes and policy consultations still overlook the experiences and expertise of people with disabilities; this is true of both the research conducted to understand the […]

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Published on 26/09/2019

A group of over 60 organizations and individuals are leading a campaign for the City of Toronto to adopt a rights-based approach to housing. Here’s what you need to know.

The City of Toronto could adopt a rights-based approach to housing by the end of the year. With HousingTO 2020-2030 — the City’s next ten-year housing and homelessness plan — in development, a group of over 60 individuals and organizations comprising housing advocates, community health centres, and non-profit organizations are coming together to call on […]

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Published on 22/08/2019

We spoke to street nurse and activist Cathy Crowe about her new memoirs and encouraging people to take action for social change.

“My dream from the age of five was to be a nurse,” writes Cathy Crowe in her new book A Knapsack Full of Dreams: Memoirs of a Street Nurse. Growing up in Cobourg, Ontario, the longtime social justice activist and street nurse learned her earliest lessons about nursing and advocacy from her mother, an emergency […]

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Published on 19/08/2019

[Series: Rights-based participation] Anti-poverty activist and lived expert Bee Lee Soh shares her advice on how governments and non-profits can adopt better practices for the participation of experts with lived/living experience.

For the sixth installment of our blog series on rights-based participation, we interviewed Bee Lee Soh, an active community volunteer and anti-poverty activist with lived/living experience of poverty, who is a member of the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Lived Experience Advisory Group. From September 2017 to August 2018, Bee was also a member […]

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