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Senator Art Eggleton tries a new tack in his fight against poverty

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

16 August 2012
A Call to Action on Poverty, a massive report by the Senate subcommittee on cities… was loaded with facts, figures and heart-rending stories. It made affordable recommendations… Audiences listened but they didn’t take up the cause… This spring…[Eggleton] talked about inequality. He showed how the widening income gulf between the rich and the rest of society was jeopardizing economic growth, stoking intergenerational tension, breeding urban violence and stifling hope. His message finally hit home.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Unions recognize the need for a radical change

Friday, August 24th, 2012

9 August 2012
… the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP) have unveiled their blueprint for a proposed merger, creating the largest industrial union in Canadian history… They acknowledge that nothing short of a “culture change” will stem the 25-year decline in the strength and credibility of private sector unions… They aim to create a new union unlike anything labour activists or the public have seen in the past.

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Ontario, Law Commission highlights ageism in justice system

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

July 19, 2012
A Framework for the Law as it Affects Older Adults. It is designed to highlight and remedy the many ways provincial laws, regulations and policies discriminate on the basis of age, deprive seniors of rights guaranteed in the Constitution and shut them out of policy debates that directly affect their lives. “The framework creates a coherent, principled, step-by-step means of evaluating law, policy and practices as they affect older adults,”

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

New program offers immigrants a foothold in the job market

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

July 03, 2012
An immigrant who is struggling to break into the workforce applies to the Centre for Social Innovation to be a volunteer community animator. The responsibilities involve running its welcome desk, taking visitors on tours, offering clients IT support, preparing meeting rooms, helping organize community events and improving the centre’s work practices. In return, they get a full-time workspace in which to conduct their job search, free use of all the centre’s facilities (photocopiers, printers, phones, teleconferencing equipment and a kitchen) plus a membership in CSI, which allows them to participate in all workshops and programs.

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How to mobilize private funds for the public good

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Jun 19 2012
The idea is to create tools that will allow investors, philanthropists and foundations to use a portion of their money to tackle deeply entrenched social problems such as persistent poverty and environmental degradation. The concept is known as “social finance… ”Six months ago, it released a blueprint entitled Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good… charitable organizations willing to take the risk have a strong argument to make. “You say to the government: You’re in straitened circumstances. You can’t afford to give money to these causes. If you change the rules, we will.”

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | 1 Comment »

Rich-poor divide in Toronto’s hospitals

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

June 13, 2012
Those walk-in patients who clog emergency departments with non-urgent ailments? Probably not your middle-class neighbours with their coughing, feverish children. The majority are low-income Torontonians with nowhere else to go… two lessons from Hospital Care for All. The first is that “very low-income people are using the parts of the health-care system that are in greatest crisis.” The second is that to reduce hospital use “people need the ability to pay for healthy foods, buy medicine and live in a healthy place where they can receive home care.”

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No more second chances for offenders in Ontario

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Jun 07 2012
Last year, approximately 75,000 prisoners were released into Ontario’s population. The number will climb when Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s multi-part crime bill, approved in March, is fully implemented. Approximately half of these newly released inmates will come out of jail with mental health or addiction problems. A third will be homeless. Many won’t know how to apply for welfare, cook for themselves, navigate the social service system, replace lost identity documents or manage their anger. Most won’t have the skills they need to get a job… Now the province must pay the price:

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »

A rare success in the battle against homelessness

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

May 20 2012
Woodgreen launched an ambitious fundraising campaign and began the makeover. Using private donations, in-kind contributions (flowers, bedding, pots and pans) and every source of government funding available, it transformed the Edwin from a neighbourhood embarrassment into an attractive residence for homeless men over 55. The cost was $3.8 million. It reopened in 2010. It is now a source of local pride, an architectural gem and a safe, impeccably maintained home for the 28 men who live there… A project like the Edwin is not cheap or easy… But the ideological debate is over. It is hard to argue with success.

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Toronto incubates new brand of business-charity hybrids

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

May 01 2012
Social enterprises are business-charity hybrids. They aim to do well in the marketplace in order to do good in the community. The concept is not new. Long before anyone was theorizing about it, Maritimers were doing it. Dairy famers built co-op creameries to cut their costs and stabilize their communities… These grassroots initiatives were one of the best anti-poverty programs ever conceived… In the ’60s, it petered out. Today’s social enterprise movement is a digital, secular, urban renaissance of that tradition.

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Greed loses its glamour, even on Wall Street

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Apr 24 2012
… a few isolated voices — left-wing economists, academics, social activists, labour organizers, church leaders and corporate renegades — warned that Canada was becoming a highly inequitable nation… The volume went up a couple of notches last fall when thousands of young people took to the streets chanting: “We are the 99 per cent.” … Last week brought two developments that couldn’t be shrugged off or attributed to left-wing agitation. The first was a shareholders’ revolt at one of Wall Street’s biggest banks… “This is a shot across the bow of every corporate boardroom in America,”

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