Late last year, as I listened to federal politicians and policy makers talk about the National Housing Strategy and the right to housing, I wondered how children and youth would understand this idea. How would they react? While the right to housing is outlined in many international agreements (such as the Universal Declaration of Human […]
Stories of change
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 27/04/2018
What do young people envision when they think of the right to housing? Kate Butler, Maytree’s Human Rights and Learning Lead, shares five things she learned from discussing the right to housing with high school students in Ontario.
Published on 08/03/2018
We spoke to Lori Kleinsmith, health promoter with Bridges Community Health Centre Port Colborne, and member of the OHRC Community Advisory Group, about the state of oral care in Canada, and the need for rights-based advocacy to universal dental care.
Let’s begin with the numbers. An estimated 32 per cent of Canadians don’t have dental insurance. According to a report released by the Canadian Dental Association, 53 per cent of adults between the ages of 60 and 79 are uninsured, as are 50 per cent of low-income Canadians. Every year, tens of thousands of patients […]
Published on 18/01/2018
Every year, YPI empowers high school students to develop an understanding of social issues and become key decision-makers in their communities. Now the organization is adding a new dimension to its model: building a culture of human rights to deepen student engagement.
At a high school in Toronto, a group of students is working on creating a social safety net – quite literally. Within the fictional community they’ve created in their interactive workshop, the students are matching community members facing challenges to their rights with social services that address those challenges. Each student must make a connection […]
Published on 14/12/2017
Twenty years ago, Dufferin Grove Park began to convert a small rink change room into a community hub. Now there’s a skate-lending program for just $2 and an inclusive skating community.
Twenty years ago, a rink change room in Dufferin Grove Park, used only for about three months a year, began to be converted into a small year-round neighbourhood clubhouse. This happened without a middle man or architect. The conversion took place as small grants became available – step-by-step and piecemeal, and as useful changes suggested […]
Published on 29/11/2017
With the passing of Bill 148, we have moved closer to ensuring that the right to decent work is enshrined in our laws. And that historic change has happened through the tireless efforts of workers and their allies, who have led a movement to build consensus around worker protections.
With the passing of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, employment standards in Ontario will offer better protections for the province’s most vulnerable workers. We are now, through our legislation, advancing the argument that employment for all workers should be tied to our fundamental social and economic rights such as decent work, income […]
Published on 26/10/2017
In the push for better rights, tenants’ associations across the city have become important resources for support, advocacy, and education.
Hardly a day goes by without a news item in the Toronto media about tenants’ issues. We hear and read about tenants fighting against unreasonable rent increases, looking for decent living conditions, or organizing to have illegal air conditioning charges removed. In the push for better rights, tenants’ associations across the city have become important […]
Published on 23/08/2017
Sharing experiences and learning new leadership skills to effect change on a big scale.
On a hot June weekend in Ottawa, over 250 ACORN leaders from across Canada gathered at our 2017 convention. The atmosphere was electric from the outset, with members eager to catch up on campaigns from other cities that they might be able to replicate back home, listen to leading speakers on social justice issues, and […]
Published on 28/06/2017
Hoping to increase their impact, a group of stakeholders used a flexible, adaptive process to develop a joint policy submission to a federal government consultation.
In late 2015, the federal government committed to the creation of a National Housing Strategy based on the vision that “housing is the cornerstone of building sustainable, inclusive communities and a strong Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.” In response, a group of non-profit and private housing associations, and foundations came together to […]
Published on 26/05/2017
Overcoming discriminatory NIMBYism means giving people the tools and resources to say “Yes-in-My-BackYard” to supportive housing, rooming houses and homeless shelters.
Many of us have dedicated our lives to promoting engaged communities, where residents come together for the good of their neighbourhood. But what if these same communities believe “preserving good neighbourhoods” means keeping out homeless shelters, rooming houses, supportive housing, and other places where low-income people live? That was the question the HomeComing Coalition asked […]