• Ontario’s cities need a new approach to homelessness

    The system seems to simply move from crisis to crisis with minimal evidence of strategic or long-term thinking… Under this model, Ontario government would issue a call for proposals to its municipal partners and flow new funding based on bids by municipal governments to achieve real measurable outcomes… fewer people in core-housing need, fewer people on the waiting lists for social housing, and a reduction and ultimate elimination of homelessness.

  • The law has done its job, but there must be justice for Tina Fontaine

    Outrage at her death in 2014 was a crucial factor in prompting the Trudeau government to set up the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) two years later… its success will be measured… in how effective it is in sparking real change. The inquiry… has compiled 1,200 recommendations to address the problems it is looking at. The issue isn’t more recommendations — it’s whether they are put into action.

  • We need to focus more on mental-health care

    … access to appropriate, effective mental-health care needs to be seen as a basic human right and component of a publicly funded health-care system. / People suffering mental illness were deinstitutionalized without necessary community supports, to be managed by law enforcement and ER staff who lack the skills and facilities to respond respectfully. / The article understates real-world factors (marginalization, social determinants, and access to competent help) that can thwart the potential impacts of even the most cutting-edge research.

  • Homeless shelter crisis reveals unabashed attempt to legitimize inequality

    What we have here is an unabashed attempt to legitimize inequality; the rich are rich because they deserve to be, because they’re superior. “Ordinary people,” by contrast, are inferior, and, therefore, deserving of poverty. Their very ordinariness condemns them to minimum wages and unpaid breaks. The homeless, at the bottom of the barrel, are wholly undeserving… The notion that taxes could be a means of redistributing wealth is now considered a socialist heresy.

  • Biting cold exposes deeper rot in Toronto’s attitudes to poverty

    … fixing short-term inadequacies will have to be paired with a more sweeping strategy involving all three levels of government to improve income security, strengthen mental health, addiction, and overdose prevention services, and make affordable housing the national priority it used to be. None of these things can or will happen until we acknowledge that the austerity consensus in public policy has been a failure; that real efficiency means actually meeting human needs rather than perpetually looking for and inventing new ways to cut public spending

  • Find permanent housing for the homeless

    … the answer to homelessness isn’t emergency shelters. It’s ensuring there is affordable accommodation so people don’t find themselves on the doorsteps of emergency shelters or, worse, on the street. To do that the city needs the help of Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Both could immediately begin to ease the city’s chronic housing shortage by funding two programs that are already in the works.

  • Federal Government Back with Big Dollars for Housing ‘This is very significant.’

    Canada signed and ratified the 1976 United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which recognizes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.” However, the right to housing has not been replicated in Canadian law and cannot be enforced. The strategy said the federal government will “introduce a bill to enable new legislation that promotes a human rights-based approach to housing.”

  • The radical ex-hippie who infiltrated Ontario’s health-care establishment

    His improbable trajectory has taken him from firebrand to respected senior hospital executive. Along the way, he has established himself as one of Canada’s strongest advocates for disadvantaged patients… a skilled, hard-working, team-playing professional. He is credited with using his leadership roles to help develop a multitude of programs and services for disenfranchised patients. But when conventional means of addressing gaps in their care didn’t work, a different Philip Berger would emerge

  • Ottawa’s housing plan will create 100,000 new housing units nationally

    The measures… include: $2 billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit to provide funding directly to low-income families and individuals… $2.2 billion to expand and extend the homelessness partnering strategy… New legislation to require future federal governments to maintain a national housing strategy… The federal government also recognizes that housing is a human right, for the first time.

  • Formerly homeless, they’re now advising doctors drafting Canada’s street health guidelines

    … the most important issue for the 84 health-care workers and homeless advocates as well as the 76 people who are or have been homeless was housing… “If you think about it, if somebody’s homeless and you’re trying to fix everything else but the housing it doesn’t make sense.” … The guidelines could recommend that doctors refer homeless patients to programs that provide housing vouchers or accommodation that is not contingent on them staying clean and sober so that they can focus on recovering without worrying about where they’ll sleep at night.