Soundbites e-Bulletin July 21,2011

Soundbites e-Bulletin
Thursday, July 21, 2011


1. Core Service Review Suggests Eliminating or Reducing Community Grants
2. July 29 SPT Research and Policy Forum
3. SPT Member Forum on Social Assistance Review
4. Worth Repeating: A Poverty Free Ontario
5. News from our Partners
6. Get Involved in Social Planning Toronto
7. About Social Planning Toronto

1. Core Service Review Suggests Eliminating or Reducing Community Grants

Deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee on the Core Services Review

Housing Action Now
c/o 489 College Street, Suite 205, Toronto, Ontario M6R 2A3
Contact: Beth Wilson, 416-351-0095 x257, beth@socialplanningtoronto.org
Deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee on the Core Service
Review - Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. My name is Beth Wilson. I am the
senior researcher from Social Planning Toronto, a nonprofit community organization that works
to advance social and economic justice issues through research, community development and
promotion of civic engagement. I am also the co-chair of Housing Action Now, a city-wide
network of residents and community groups working to advance the right to safe, decent and
affordable housing in Toronto. I am here today to speak on behalf of Housing Action Now.
HAN conducts public education and policy work to inform and engage community members
and policy-makers around vital housing issues affecting our neighbourhoods and communities.
Our network includes 40 individuals and organizations, including agencies such as Kensington
Bellwoods Community Legal Services, Social Planning Toronto, Children’s Aid Society of
Toronto, Tenants for Social Housing, Canadian Pensioners Concerned, and Federation of Metro
Tenants’ Associations.

Registration is Now Open for Social Planning Toronto’s June Research & Policy Forum: "Justice & Equity on the Job"

Registration is Now Open for Social Planning Toronto’s June Research & Policy Forum: Justice & Equity on the Job: Challenging wage theft and employment barriers for racialized workers

Join us for a discussion on issues facing racialized workers in the Canadian labour market and the campaign to improve Ontario’s employment standards.

Time: June 15, 2011, 1:00pm-3:30pm
Location: Social Planning Toronto, 2 Carlton Street, Suite 1001  (Corner of Carlton & Yonge)
Our office is wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be served.


  • Sheila Block, The Wellesley Institute, Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market: The Gap for Racialized Workers
  • Deena Ladd, The Workers’ Action Centre, Unpaid Wages, Unprotected Workers: A Survey of Employment Standards Violations

Space is limited so register early. You can register online at: http://spt-june-forum.eventbrite.com or call Mary Micallef at (416) 351-0095 x 251

"Tenant Voice, Tenant Homes" - SPT's Deputation to the Executive Committee, May 24, 2011

Toronto Community Housing’s one-man interim board, Mr. Case Ootes, has recommended that 22 TCHC homes be sold off. Seven residents and groups, including SPT, deputed to the City’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, May 24 calling for the committee to return the issue to the new TCHC board once its full complement with tenant representation had been established. Despite these calls, the Executive Committee voted in favour of selling off the homes. The decision now goes to City Council for a final vote on June 14/15. As well, provincial Ministerial approval is required before 10 of the 22 homes can be sold. Read the SPT deputation here:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Share Your Stories about Fees and Fundraising with the Ministry of Education!

The Ministry of Education is asking for feedback on its Draft Guidelines on Fundraising and Social Planning Toronto and the TDSB Inner City Advisory Committee want your voice included. Please follow this link to submit your confidential comments about the impact that fundraising (and fees) have had on your experiences with the education system, either as a student, as a parent or as a community member. Your feedback will go directly to a SPT staff person and will only be included into a submission to the Ministry and will help us formulate recommendations for the government on this issue. Also consider attending our public consultation at Fairmeadow School (17 Fairmeadow Ave.) June 7th at 9:30 to have your say in person.
Please contact Lesley Johnston at ljohnston@socialplanningtoronto.org or (416) 351-0095 x216 if you have any questions or for more information.

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Registration is now open for Social Planning Toronto’s March Research and Policy Forum: “The View From Here: New Research on Affordable Housing in Toronto”

Join us for a discussion of the most current housing research and ideas for improving housing in Toronto.

Date: Tuesday, March 29 from 9:30 a.m. to noon
Location: The 519 Church Street Community Centre Auditorium, 519 Church Street, Toronto (map)


  • Dr. David Hulchanski, U of T Cities Centre - "Toronto's Tower Neighbourhoods:  A Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal Agenda" and a discussion on privatization and Toronto Community Housing Corporation
  • Jamie Robinson, United Way Toronto - "Poverty by Postal Code 2: Vertical Poverty"
  • Nicole Stewart, City of Toronto - "Toronto Regional Housing Data Bank"

All are welcome.  As space is limited, please register below or call Margaret at (416) 351-0095 x211

Register for the February Research & Policy Forum: "The Real Cost of Public Education: Fees, Fundraising, Equity and Access in Ontario"

Being a student in Ontario’s public education system is supposed to mean having access to a top-quality education - free of charge.  This past reality, unfortunately, is not our present state of affairs. User fees, many violating Ontario’s Education Act, are popping up throughout the system to cover gaps in funding. In our more affluent schools parents are fundraising hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover items ranging from computers to school renovations to art supplies that used to be funded out of school budgets, while other students in other schools go without. Our neediest students, even our middle-class students, are struggling to pay for an education that should be free, while some schools are providing an education subsidized by the wealth of generous alumni.

How do we begin to reintroduce equity into the education system?

City Budget Watch Update - January 14, 2011

City Budget Watch Update – January 14, 2011

The Budget Committee concluded their budget review with City Councillors today – almost.  Because analyst notes were not available for the Toronto Police Service (and by the look of the website, analyst notes also appear to be missing for the Toronto Transit Commission as well) due to recent changes in these budgets, an additional Budget Committee has been scheduled for Thursday, January 20 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall in Committee Room 1.

Today’s Budget Committee meeting covered a number of agencies including Toronto Police Serviceand Toronto Transit Commission.  With regard to police services, TPS brought their requested increase down by delaying recruitment of new officers, cutting premium pay and reducing contribution to reserves.

Click to

Register for the SPT Member Forum on the City’s 2011 Operating Budget

When: Monday, January 17, 2011 from 3-5 p.m.

Where: The 519 Community Centre (map)

This session will include an overview of the 2011 operating budget, and analysis of various aspects of the budget of interest to the nonprofit community sector and residents.

Confirmed speakers (to date):

  • Councillor Shelley Carroll
  • John Cartwright (Toronto and York Region Labour Council),
  • Rob Howarth (Toronto Neighbourhood Centres),
  • Jane Mercer (Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care),
  • Michael Shapcott (Wellesley Institute),
  • Karen Sun (Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter),
  • Susan Wright (Toronto Arts Council),
  • speaker from the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

More info to come. Register today by completing the form below or call (416) 351-0095 x257.

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Video of SPT's December Research & Policy Forum: “Can We Talk?” is now available online!

“Can We Talk?” The relationship between the nonprofit sector and the Ontario government.

Join us for an important discussion of current opportunities and challenges for the sector in its relationship with the provincial government.


  • Lynn Eakin, Lynn Eakin and Associates, and Ontario Nonprofit Network
  • Margaret Hancock, Family Service Toronto, Ontario Nonprofit Network Steering Committee, and the Community Social Services Campaign
  • Kathy Johnson, CUPE and the Community Social Services Campaign



  • Update on the Partnership Project
  • Sector implications of recent provincial bills including:
  • Bill 16 (wage freeze)
  • Bill 65 (corporations act)
  • Bill 122 (procurement policy)
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