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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

Preparing for the Provincial Election

Ontario goes to the polls on June 2, 2022. What are the justice issues front and centre in this campaign? What will you ask the candidates who knock at your door, no matter what party? How will the promises we make in baptism and the values of our faith inform our vote for the common good?

In partnership with the Diocese of Niagara, we’ve created a resource to spark conversations with candidates around justice issues at stake in the upcoming election:

Opening the Door to a Just Conversation: Provincial Election 2022 Backgrounder and Questions for Candidates (PDF)

Links for further reading on these issues can be found here.

Find your local riding and information on how to cast your ballot at Elections Ontario.

Provincial Advocacy - Urge Action on Supportive Housing in Willowdale

A planned supportive housing project in Willowdale has been stalled due to lack of support from the provincial government. This is one of several modular supportive housing projects being built across the City of Toronto as part of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. We have written to Premier Ford, Housing Minister Steve Clark, and area MPP Stan Cho to urge them to expedite this project. You read our letter here and feel free to use it as a template for your own.

Find contact information for Members of Provincial Parliament

Provincial Advocacy - Pre-Budget Submission

Read our submission to the 2022 Provincial Budget Consultation.

Federal Advocacy - Advocating for Income Security for Seniors

As inflation in Canada soars to its highest level in over 30 years, seniors on fixed incomes are feeling the pinch. Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefit increases haven’t kept pace with inflation, and seniors are now the fastest-growing demographic among food bank users. Moreover, low-income seniors who received pandemic benefits have had them clawed back from their Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits, leaving them worse off than before. While the federal government has promised to reimburse these clawbacks, those affected are in need right now.

Read our letter to Ministers Khera and Freeland, and feel free to use it as a template for your own. Why not copy your local MP as well?

Find contact information for Members of Parliament

Federal Advocacy - 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. The federal Liberal, New Democratic and Green parties have all adopted some form of basic income in their platforms.

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

Municipal Advocacy - Supporting Residents of Homeless Encampments

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 and other municipalities, encampment residents face forcible displacement by authorities, despite the prevalence of COVID-19 in shelters and other factors which make homeless shelters an inadequate solution to their situation.

Read our most recent letter to the City of Toronto regarding encampment clearings. We have also endorsed the Toronto Drop-In Network letter “A Path Forward,” calling for a human-rights-based approach to housing and homelessness. You can use either or both of these as a template for sending a message to Mayor Tory and your own city councillor.

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

Anglican Outreach Support Network

Many parishes have contacted the Diocesan Office for guidance on continuing outreach programs during COVID-19.  See the Amber/Red Guidelines for Outreach Ministries and the Guidelines for Outreach Ministries Offering Indoor Food Services documents on our COVID-19 Updates page.

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: