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Social Justice and Advocacy

The Social Justice and Advocacy Consultant, with the Social Justice and Advocacy Committee, coordinates and advances the public witness of our Diocese on issues of social and ecological justice. We seek to be faithful to God’s call to compassion and justice, live out our baptismal vows, and engage faithfully with the world.

To learn more or get involved, contact Elin Goulden, Social Justice & Advocacy Consultant, at egoulden@toronto.anglican.ca or 416-363-6021 (1-800-668-8932), ext. 240.

What’s new

Calling for a Guaranteed Basic Income in Canada

Calls are growing for a guaranteed basic income in Canada, supported by the Bishops of the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Canada, the United Church of Canada, and many others.  Over the weekend of April 9-11, 2021, both the federal Liberal and New Democratic Party national conventions will be considering the possibility of creating a guaranteed basic income in Canada.

You are invited to contact your MP to express your support for a guaranteed Basic Income in Canada.

We have prepared a toolkit of resources to help you learn more about and advocate for Basic Income:

Provincial Budget 2021

The 2021 Provincial Budget, “Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and our Economy” was released March 24, 2021.

Read our response to the 2021 Budget

Read our 2021 Provincial Pre-Budget Submission here.

Homelessness and Housing Advocacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of homelessness. People who are unhoused are already at higher risk due to underlying health conditions, while living on the streets or in crowded shelters makes it difficult to comply with physical distancing and hygiene guidelines. In addition, new provincial legislation (Bill 184) gives landlords more power to evict tenants for falling behind on their rent, putting even more people at risk of homelessness during the pandemic.

Many homeless people in our Diocese are currently living in encampments rather than risk exposure to COVID-19 in congregate settings.  In Toronto, encampment residents have been given notice that their makeshift homes will be cleared if they do not accept placement in a shelter or shelter-hotel by April 6, 2021.  Read our letter to City officials urging City officials not to clear encampments without the consent of residents and contact Mayor Tory and your councillor to send your own message.

Additional information and resources can be found in this toolkit from the Encampment Support Network.

 

In preparation for National Housing Day on November 22, 2020, the Social Justice & Advocacy Committee prepared a “Housing Matters” toolkit for parishes to use to call on the provincial and municipal governments for immediate measures to prevent evictions and support people experiencing homelessness. These resources continue to be relevant through the spring of 2021.

Anglican Outreach Support Network

Angie Hocking at Church of the Redeemer is organizing a weekly Zoom conference call for those involved in front-line outreach programs in our Diocese.  To be added to the mailing list for this weekly call and other ways to connect with outreach coordinators in our Diocese at this time, please contact Elin Goulden.

Many parishes have contacted the Diocesan Office asking whether and how to continue outreach programs during COVID-19.  For guidance, please see the section under Outreach in the Red Stage Guidelines that were provided June 30, 2020, as well as the Guidelines on Indoor Food Services issued on November 4, 2020.   We urge all parishes to follow Public Health protocols for screening, hygiene, PPE and distancing when offering outreach services.

What we do

We facilitate communications between the diocesan and area bishops and various levels of government. We also educate, equip and support parishes and individual Anglicans in advocacy on social and ecological justice.

Priorities

Our ongoing social justice work is focused on three priority areas:

  1. poverty reduction
  2. affordable housing and homelessness
  3. environmental issues

Other areas of concern, where we support the work of other church ministries, include:

Some of our key activities include: