Wednesday's meeting to review and mobilize around the 2009 City of Toronto operating budget, hosted by the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, highlighted some of the key messages coming from the budget, and identified main themes that the community sector could employ in responding to the message.
A Blueprint for Economic Stimulus and Poverty Reduction in Ontario – the result of consultations in 30 Ontario communities – lays out a plan that could reduce the number of poor Ontarians by 197,420 (15 per cent) and reduce the number of poor children in Ontario by 62,000 (19 per cent) within the next three years.
The Council has put together a quick snapshot of the proposed City of Toronto operating budget in terms of areas which are most likely to impact the community services sector.
You can download it here in PDF format for printing: City of Toronto Operating Budget Highlights
City of Toronto Operating Budget Highlights
The following are the City's recommended budget figures for a select few city programs and services for 2009. The overall net operating budget this year is $3.397 billion- a 2.5% increase from 2008.
Chronic and severe health conditions hit poor Ontarians at rates that are far higher than those of average Ontarians, according to new research released today. Diabetes, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and mood disorders are found at rates as much as 4.5 times higher among social assistance recipients than the non-poor, according to the study by the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, the University of Toronto's Social Assistance in the New Economy Project, and the Wellesley Institute.
The Recession Relief Fund Coalition will be meeting next Tuesday (Feb 3) at 5pm in Toronto to discuss next steps.
Meeting location: Research Capital, 199 Bay Street, Suite 4500, Commerce Court West, Toronto.
All are welcome.
For those unable to attend, feel free to email them your ideas, concerns, and comments and they will do their best to include them at the meeting. Alternatively, you can use the discussion board on the Recession Relief Fund Coalition Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54616996258) to post and discuss ideas.
On January 14th, the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto hosted its regular Research and Policy Forum. January's forum focused on housing issues with an excellent line-up of speakers - Yutaka Dirks (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario; ACTO), Elinor Mahoney (Parkdale Community Legal Services) and Michael Shapcott (Wellesley Institute). Despite being a frigid day, the forum brought together a full room of activists, students, social service workers, researchers and community members for engaging presentations on emerging affordable housing and tenant issues.
The City of Toronto's budget meetings are an important opportunity to demonstrate to the community, to councillors and to media the strength and vitality of the community-based sector in Toronto. We saw last year the impact that the arts sector had on the city budget, getting significantly increased funding for special projects through advocacy and a strong presence at the debates. With next year's Community Partnerships Strategy process already planned, we need to start building momentum for a big advocacy campaign for the 2010 budget and election to make sure that we see the investment in communities that we know is needed to make Toronto a livable, affordable city for everyone.
A dialogue between two leading social historians, Adrienne Shadd and Karolyn Smardz Frost, discussing identity, race, gender, ethnicity, the discovery of missing histories and the Underground Railroad.
Adrienne Shadd is a researcher, writer, curator and editor living in Toronto. Her new book, Journey from Toll Gate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton, will be published by Dundurn Press in 2009. Adrienne is the great, great grand-niece of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first African woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America and who fled to Toronto in 1851 after the US Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act.
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Good Jobs Coalition to Call for Urgent EI Repair
Community and Labour will Deliver Pre-Budget Message to Flaherty
TORONTO—This Thursday, the Good Jobs Coalition—an alliance of more than 35 community and labour groups representing people throughout the Greater Toronto Area—will be sending a pre-budget message to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty about the urgent need to repair Employment Insurance (EI).
Due to overwhelming response, the forum registration has been closed. Proceedings from the forum will be available online following the event.
Taking Action on Poverty, Poor Health and Bad Jobs
The Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, Wellesley Institute and University of Toronto’s Social Assistance in the New Economy Project invite you to take part in this one-day research and action forum.