Man painting fence that says housing is a human right.

Open letter urges Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing

At a press conference in Ottawa on August 14th, advocates released an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau signed by over 170 organizations and prominent Canadians urging the Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing by enshrining that right in upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation.

Over 150 individuals and organizations have endorsed the letter! You too can join the call.

Visit the Legislate the Right to Housing Website.

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Call for Volunteer Marshals – TDPM 2018

The 8th Annual Toronto Disability Pride March will be taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, September 22nd, 2018.
We are looking for volunteers to serve as marshals for the march route (Queen’s Park to Ryerson University, 99 Gerrard Street East).
New marshals are asked to attend a brief training session on Saturday, September 15. (More details will be provided to people who volunteer. Returning marshals are also kindly encouraged to attend, if possible.)
If you are interested in marshaling or have any questions about what it means to be a marshal, please contact TDPM by:

1.  Commenting below the original post;

2. Messaging us on Facebook; or,

3. Filling out the volunteer form on our website.

One of our head marshals will connect with you.

Thank you!

Come out to the Rally to Fight the Cuts to Social Assistance TODAY!

Come out to the Rally to Fight the Cuts to Social Assistance TODAY!

The Ontario PCs have announced they are slashing a planned increase to social assistance rates from 3% to 1.5%.  Other reforms including increasing the employment income earned on ODSP before clawbacks and the Basic income Pilot have also been cancelled.

ACORN Members accorss Ontario are ready to stand up for Social Assistance Rates!  Come out and fight for ODSP and OW!

Meet us on August 9th at 10:45AM at Bay and College!  From there we’ll march to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on Grosvenor St.

When: TODAY: Thursday, August 9th at 10:45AM

Where: Bay and College – Meet at the corner – Look for the ACORN Flag!

Please let us know if you can make it by responding to this email or calling 416-461-9233.

Check out our Facebook Page for updates and events.

White banner with Together we Succeed! written in green

Accessibility Now Rally: October 11th

Join us Wednesday, October 11, 2017 starting at 4pm at Yonge & Bloor (north east corner) as Community takes to the streets to advocate for #accessibilityNOW

 

The list is extensive concerning barriers that TTC maintain/create thus breaching the AODA, Human Rights Code, Charter of Rights & Freedoms.  Here are 8 that reflect an overall concern:

 

  • Structural/Discriminatory Barriers – Presto Gates – the 1 or 2 installed in a station are significantly less than the inaccessible gates that are installed in the same station (think 1960s drinking fountains: ‘whites only vs colored’)

 

  • Psychological Barriers – doing the very least so it can be said it was done – installing the least number of elevators (usually 1) in subway stations in order to claim/identify that that station is accessible. When that 1 elevator is no longer working, that station is no longer accessible.

 

  • Attitudinal Barriers – failing to be proactive about ensuring that bus drivers follow policies about deploying ramps, allowing passengers using wheelchairs on first, stop between stops, etc…

 

  • Policy & Practices Barriers – failing to recognize the dignity, independence and rights of all patrons including people identified as having ‘disabilities’. IMO, “disability” is really created by the systems/systemic barriers that perpetuate the construction of barriers that disregard the fundamental humane rules of recognizing the humanity of individuals in society and their right to freely participate in all aspects of life.

 

  • Communication Barriers: – failing to provide inclusive signage

 

  • Technology Barriers – failing in providing clear inclusive announcements, information and messaging

 

  • Organizational Barriers -failure to ensure access to accessible transportation when rerouting takes place

 

  • Architectural Barriers – not demonstrating that accessibility is a priority and more importantly, that it is a right- not an option!

 

Join us starting at 4pm at Yonge & Bloor (north east corner) on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  Bring some friends too.  We had a crowd come out last year.  We expect a bigger crowd this year as more people recognize the need to organize and come together collectively to advocate for and protect our rights!

 

Together we succeed!

 

The #accessibilityNOW rally starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm but afterwards, in solidarity, we plan to head up to Yonge and St. Clair (by subway) to 25 St. Clair Ave. East to show some support to our Community members who have been holding a vigil for over two months to bring attention to the suicide crisis of Indigenous youth.  We want to lend our support reminding them that we are in solidarity with them; we acknowledge what they are doing and what is being done to Indigenous communities across Canada.

 

If you are to be picked up by Wheel Trans, we suggest a pick up time around 8:45pm or later depending on how much time you plan to spend at the vigil in front of 25 St. Clair Ave. East.

 

Together we succeed!

A picture of the 2016 organizing team: Kevin, Melissa, Janet, and Beverley

We Set Up a Fundraising Page!

Go to the Fundraising Page or Donate by Paypal.

What many people do not realize about the march is that most of the costs come out of the pockets of the organizers. We don’t have the resources to seek permanent funding at this point, and we would not accept funding that would restrict our advocacy work.

The funds we use cover things like:

  • Accessibility needs like ASL and attendants
  • Transit fare for those who need it.
  • Coffee and snacks, also known as critical marching fuel
  • We are also planning on setting up an award in Beverley’s honour.

We need your help to make this year’s march the most awesome yet. Please share what you can today!

We would also like to hear from those in our community who don’t have money to spare, but would like to volunteer, or come on out to the march.

Thank you for anything you can give to keep us marching. See you at the 2017 Toronto Disability Pride March!

Our Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 148

Fight for $15 and Fairness Logo

More information on the Fight for 15 & Fairness and Bill 148.

July 20, 2017

Attention: Mr. Eric Rennie, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Re: Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

Dear Mr. Rennie,

I’m writing to you on behalf of the Toronto Disability Pride March, an organization founded to bring attention to the rights and oppression of people with disabilities. Among Ontarians, people with disabilities are more likely to live below the poverty line, with low wage, precarious work, if we can find it all. We are appalled by opponents of this Bill who have cited people with disabilities as an excuse to keep wages low, or have insinuated that people with disabilities do not want or deserve a living wage.

Workers across Ontario, including those with disabilities, have made it clear that too many of us are working for low wages in part-time, temporary or contract jobs without employment benefits, workplace protection or the right to form, and keep, a union. For too many Ontario workers, full time work does not guarantee a life above the poverty line. Income and job insecurity keep us from making ends meet.

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) introduces many important changes to address Ontario’s outdated labour laws. The proposed changes in Bill 148 to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act (LRA) provide a good start to addressing precarious work to deal with changing workplace practices. However, we are calling for amendments to Bill 148 to ensure it can close the gaps and raise the floor of minimum standards for the highest possible number of workers in Ontario.

Millions of workers (and their families) in this province are waiting to see how your committee will pave the way to strengthen our archaic labour laws. We are calling on you to reject suggestions that will make work more precarious, under the guise of enabling flexibility for the kind of business practices that continue to exert downward pressure on the wages and working conditions of all of us. The bulk of evidence shows that decent work is the foundation of a strong economy, better health outcomes, and reduced inequality. We disagree with those who suggest otherwise.

Our organization fully supports the recommendations and amendments put forward in the submissions by: the Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services, Decent Work and Health Network, Migrant Workers’ Alliance for Change, Injured Workers’ Consultants Community Legal Clinic and the Ontario Federation of Labour as part of the Fight for $15 and Fairness.

Sincerely,

Melissa Graham, Founder

Toronto Disability Pride