What does Toronto need for a just and equitable recovery? Bold ideas for change!
Co-hosted in partnership with United Way Greater Toronto
What Does Toronto Need for a Just and Equitable Pandemic Recovery: Bold Ideas for Change was a two-part panel series highlighting current challenges facing the community sector.
Discussion focussed on the issues that low-income and equity-owed Torontonians (and the organizations that serve them) are grappling with and what our next City Council and Mayor need to prioritize.
Experts from the community sector shared their insights on the current crises and challenges within the sector, solutions, and how our perception and thinking needs to shift in order to achieve an equitable recovery rooted in social justice.
Our first panel, on October 12, tackled affordable housing, food security, and challenges facing the community sector. Moderator Alex Dow, UWGT's Director of Neighbourhood Initiatives, led a fascinating discussion with panelists Sharmini Fernando (Executive Director, Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre), Ryan Noble (Executive Director, North York Harvest Food Bank), and Walied Khogali (Community Leader, Toronto Centre – Ward 13).
The second panel, on October 19, focussed on community-based alternatives to policing, and harm reduction & mental health. Lori Galway, UWGT's Director of Public Affairs, moderated a complex and rich dialogue with speakers Angela Robertson (Executive Director, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre), Cynthia Bell (Executive Director, ENAGB Indigenous Youth Agency), and and Serena Nudel (Director of Community Programs, The Neighbourhood Group Community Services).
Election engagement workshop series
Social Planning Toronto offered a series of workshops in which we engaged with community development workers and grassroot groups to discuss important civic issues that are shaping the election narrative and share our strategies and challenges in supporting democratic engagement in the communities we work with.
If you missed out on any of the workshops, you can view the recordings below.
"Vote PopUp" training
Democratic Engagement Exchange led us through an interactive workshop that explored methods to build awareness of the municipal elections in Ontario and engage voters in the process. By discussing the importance of democracy, we recognize how crucial it is for people to cast their ballot in this election. Through a simulated polling place and a guide describing best practices, community leaders and groups are equipped with the tools to walk residents through the voting process and reflect on what matters to them.
"Elections 101" workshop
Elections Services, City of Toronto guided us through the basics of municipal elections in Toronto. Learning about the different levels of government, roles of the Mayor and City Council, and how the municipal election is administered. Voting rules were outlined, including who is eligible to vote, what ID is needed, and additional voting options. Lastly, Elections Services shared ways residents can participate in local municipal elections beyond voting including running as a candidate, working the elections, and promoting the elections with your networks.
Voter Registration and Accessible Voting Options
Elections Services, City of Toronto covered four key areas during this workshop including important election dates, who can vote, additional voting options and accommodations, and voter registration with MyVote. The multiple ways of voting this year are part of the City’s efforts to make the democratic process more accessible to eligible voters and encourage residents to vote in Toronto’s municipal elections.