In the face of a billion dollar budget shortfall and more financial problems to come, Mayoral hopefuls will need to share more than their vision for the city

As Toronto voters head to the polls on Monday, June 26, they will need to consider more than a candidate’s vision for Toronto. The City is facing major financial challenges with troubling implications for residents. Our next Mayor must have a credible plan to deliver on that vision and address the City’s fiscal challenges.

Caring about Care Workers: The Experience of Immigrant Women PSWs in Toronto’s Home Care Sector in the COVID-19 Context

Help us make an impact. Social Planning Toronto (SPT) and Dr. Naomi Lightman of Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) are conducting a research study entitled “Caring about Care Workers: The Experience of Immigrant Women PSWs in Toronto’s Home Care Sector in the COVID-19 Context.“ The study examines the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods, health, and well-being of immigrant women who work as PSWs in home care. This research recognizes that immigrant women PSWs are vulnerable due to the front-line nature of their employment. We are seeking 25 immigrant women PSWs to participate in this study.

Wishing Maria Serrano a Wonderful and Well-Deserved Retirement!

After 35 years of dedicated service, SPT Director of Operations Maria Serrano is retiring. As many of you know, Maria has been the rock and the heart of Social Planning Toronto for decades. Her leadership, her expertise, and her tenacity ensured the survival of the organization through turbulent times and made possible the continued success of SPT to this day.

Ombudsman Toronto’s investigation finds ‘significant unfairness’ in the City’s decisions and actions regarding encampment clearings

“The overall result was significant unfairness in how the City planned, engaged stakeholders, and communicated about the encampment clearings. The City showed a lack of commitment to honouring its pledge to a human rights approach and to serving this vulnerable population with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

— Ombudsman Toronto, Investigation into the City’s Clearing of Encampments in 2021, final report, March 24, 2023

Request for Proposals: External Consultant, Safety Network Co-Design

The City of Toronto Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) works directly with local safety networks and a diverse set of stakeholders to coordinate trauma-informed and culturally responsive crisis response and recovery supports for those most affected by violent and traumatic incidents. CCRP has co-developed and supported over 26 informal and formal Safety Networks across the City of Toronto. The purpose of this enhanced safety network model is to have a community led network that is geared towards preventative measures of safety initiatives. The size and composition of these informal and formal networks varies across neighbourhoods, with many of them relying heavily on the support and coordination from the City’s Community Crisis Response Program (CCRP) Community Development Officers (CDO’s). 

53 community organizations and City Councillors to MPPs: Reject Bill 39!

In less than 24 hours, 53 signatories including 10 City Councillors came together to send a message to all Members of the Provincial Parliament on the eve of a vote: reject Bill 39!

We need to talk about Bill 39 — yet another threat to Toronto's democracy

On November 1 our Executive Director, Jin Huh, addressed Ontario's Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy about Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022.

Schedule 1 of the Act would amend the City of Toronto Act, 2006 by adding section 226.9.1. This section states that if the mayor is of the opinion that a bylaw could potentially advance a provincial priority, they may propose the bylaw and require Council to consider and vote on it. For the bylaw to pass it requires the support of only one-third of Council.

Dear Council: Fight Bill 23, a threat to local democracy!

Today we made a submission to Council on Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022), expressing our grave concerns that the bill will only exacerbate the current housing crisis and have serious and long-lasting negative impacts on housing affordability in our city by removing the rental replacement policy, limiting Inclusionary Zoning, and changing the definition of affordable housing.

We urged Council to ask the Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to reconsider these changes, which not only dismantle policy made through extensive consultation but also threaten local democracy. 

We are losing control of our local democracy. It’ll take every one of us to take power back.

At its core, local democracy requires both democratic processes and the participation of residents. It’s about ensuring that people have a say in local decisions that directly affect their daily lives. 

In Canada, local democracy has always been precarious. As creatures of the Province, Toronto and other Ontario municipalities are at the whim of the provincial government, a truth more apparent with each passing day.

Poverty drops in Toronto, but it's temporary. So what can we learn?

Newly released data from the 2021 Census indicate that poverty1 was reduced for many Toronto residents in 2020. The data discussed below, which are based on 2020 income, show that significantly fewer people in Toronto lived on low income in 2020 compared to 2015. However, even Statistics Canada has cautioned that these developments are not expected to continue in 2021 and 2022.

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