Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here, courtesy of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) are two events coming up down Toronto way tomorrow and Saturday.
Friday: Health Care For All, Saturday: Housing For All:‏
1. Health For All:
Health Care Provision and Direct Action Politics Panel
Friday May 22, 20097-9 p.m.
Ryerson University
Thomas Lounge
63 Gould Street
2. Decent, affordable, accessible housing for all
Stop the sell-off of public housing.
May 2311:30 am
13 Trefann Street(north of Queen, just east of Parliament)
Free Meal
Health For All:
Health Care Provision and Direct Action Politics Panel
Friday May 22, 20097-9 p.m.
Ryerson University
Thomas Lounge
63 Gould Street
Join Students for Medicare and No One is Illegal as we bring together health professionals, organizing alongside their communities in the fight for health for all!
Health care professionals are on the front lines of care every day, and are direct witnesses to the inadequate resources and access to health care facing many marginalized populations in our own communities. It is during their professional lives that health care providers realize that just showing up to the clinic will not be enough to make everyone well.
This evening will provide opportunities to discuss the difference between patient advocacy and patient solidarity. We will learn from example how community members and health care professionals have used creativity to build safer, healthier communities and a healthy analysis of what it is that really makes us sick, and what it will take to realize health for all.
Panelists include:
Bethany Schroeder,
Executive Director of the Ithaca Health Alliance,Ithaca, NY ( )Bethany Schroeder will discuss the Ithaca Health Alliance which has been working for over ten years to facilitate creative health solutions for the uninsured. Their work includes providing grants for medical procedures, and the Ithaca Free Clinic, which provides 100% free conventional and holistic healthcare services to the un- and under-insured.
Roland Wong, M.D., Toronto
Dr. Wong is a community physician who works primarily with patients living in poverty. He has recently been challenged by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario regarding his professional "misconduct"because he continues to fill out Special Diet Forms for patients desperately in need. Dr. Wong has will speak on the direct link between poverty and health, and how he has successfully worked with OCAP to meet his patient's needs.
Samir Shaheen Hussain, M.D,
Solidarity Across Borders Montreal
Over the years, Samir has been involved with Indigenous solidarity, migrant justice and anti-police brutality organising, with groups like the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (IPSM), Solidarity Across Borders (SAB) and No One Is Illegal-Montreal (NOII). He will provide a critical overview of the barriers imposed on migrant folks in accessing healthcare, and will discuss the significant potential of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies based on his experiences with migrant children during his pediatric residency. Samir will also speak about the politicization of both healthcare workers and community members as being necessary for Health for All
Cathy Crowe, R.N.,
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, Toronto
Cathy Crowe has been a Street Nurse in downtown Toronto for over 20years. She has worked as a nurse and activist helping to found numerous coalitions that have fought for social justice including: Nurses for Social Responsibility, Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness, TB Action Group, and the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee which in 1998 declared homelessness a national disaster.
Decent, affordable, accessible housing for all
Stop the sell-off of public housing.
May 2311:30 am
13 Trefann Street(north of Queen, just east of Parliament)
Free Meal
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corporation) tenants, people on the TCHC waiting list and supporters will meet outside of one of the houses slated to be sold by TCHC to demand it and all TCHC units remain public housing. TCHC is quietly proposing to sell-off 326 apartment units and 45 single family homes that are located in sought-after neighbourhoods, primarily downtown and in the Beaches.
Many large families are living in two bedroom apartments, waiting for larger units, while TCHC is emptying select units in an attempt to to sell-off its prime real estate. These sales (and the City's displacement of poor people through “redevelopment”) means that many TCHC residents are being displaced from their schools, friends and communities - neighbourhoods that many residents have lived in for years.
TCHC says that the units up for sale are in such a state of disrepair that they cannot be fixed. We have seen many of the units and it is a boldfaced lie! Further, the units that are in really bad repair were purposely not kept up by TCHC so that they could sell the units off down the road and use their dilapidation as an excuse.
Public housing can be updated and revitalized without selling the land, forcing people from their homes and displacing entire communities.
We Demand:
Build housing, don't sell it!
Repair, don’t redevelop!
Don’t Ask, Don’tTell!
Stop the “Redevelopment” of Our Neighbourhoods
Currently, there are six large housing projects undergoing or slated for redevelopment This redevelopment is being promoted as an improvement to TCHC communities. Specifically, the city argues that the so called “mixed communities” will improve the lives of poor people.
The truth however is,that this is an excuse to take away poor people's homes that have high property values. The City isn't demanding that Rosedale be turned into a 'mixed neighbourhood' – just the places where poor people live. Further, over time, these rebuilt communities will become gentrified; we can expect TCHC to rent more of the units at market value, pushing poor people out.
Ensure that Enough Social, Supportive and Accessible Housing is Built to Eliminate the Waiting List
Over 70,000 households are waiting to get into social housing. It takes about 5 years to get a tiny bachelor unit in Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and about 10 years to get anything else. Thousands of people are working multiple jobs, going hungry, and living in rotten conditions while they wait. Thousands of homeless people pack into shelters or sleep on the streets every night because no supportive housing is available. Accessible housing for disabled people is very hard to find and is often extremely expensive. As the economic crisis continues, this situation will get even worse. We need more housing and we need it now!
Repair TCHC Units
Nearly 60,000 units of public housing in Toronto are being allowed to deteriorate. TCHC admits that $300 million worth of repairs is needed to bring their buildings up to a minimum legal standard. People are forced to live with gaping holes, leaking ceilings, exposed pipes, peeling paint, electrical sockets that spark and infestations of rats, mice and bedbugs.
This is unacceptable, this is illegal and it has to stop!
Don't Ask Don't Tell
People without immigration status are especially marginalized in our city. People without status are forced into precarious housing, unable to access safe, decent paying work and shut out from public services. There are over 500,000 people living without status across Canada, many of whom live in Toronto. A person without status is not eligible to apply for Toronto Community Housing. Further, if a family, living in housing, has even one family member without status that entire family will be evicted.
We demand the city implement a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. This policy would prevent all TCHC workers from asking people what their immigration status is, from refusing housing to people without status and from sharing that information with immigration authorities.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

1 comment:

Dan McIntyre said...

Derek Ballantyne did everything he could to improve the lives of all TCHC tenants.

It was all the fault of the Harris government downloading all this housing knowing that there were over $300,000,000 in repairs that need to be done.

Now Dalton McGuinty is refusing to upload the housing back or pay the repair costs that were the province's responsibility all along.