Although our focus is the city of Toronto, federal and provincial government decisions have very local implications. Leading up to the provincial election this year, we provided policy analysis and supported civic engagement around key issues impacting Toronto residents.
CALLS FOR INVESTMENT IN SCHOOLS – THE HEART OF THEIR COMMUNITIES
The pandemic highlighted that public spaces are critical to community wellbeing. Neighbourhood schools have abundant space for community groups to run after-school and evening programs. But community access to school facilities has shrunk thanks to funding cuts, and the pandemic only worsened the situation.
The SPACE coalition used its 2021 briefing note, “Maximizing Community Use of School Space: Preparing for A New Normal,” to call on the Province to invest in CUS in its 2022 budget, and to push the parties hoping to form the next government to commit to returning CUS funding to its 2018–19 budget level plus 10 percent. (All three opposition parties provided broadly supportive responses.)
background: As an active member of the coalition we enthusiastically endorsed the document and its vision of making school facilities accessible, affordable, and equitable for community use.
A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
For the provincial election in June, we focussed our advocacy on the relationship between municipalities and the Province, which impacts the quality of life, health, and wellbeing of our communities.
We produced shareables (a 2-page fact sheet and a 5-page backgrounder) outlining some of the issues shaped by this special relationship, and in May we brought panelists from across Ontario together for a non-partisan discussion of what cities need from the Province to build more inclusive and just communities, especially as we move out of the pandemic.