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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.

Get started with our Social Justice and Advocacy Parish Outreach Guide 

The new Outreach and Advocacy Prayer Cycle begins on Advent 1.  Find it on our Prayer Resources page

Learn about Social Justice Vestry Motion 2023: It’s Time to Raise the Rates!

What’s new

Provincial Advocacy: Share your Concerns about Bill 23

On October 25, 2022, the day after Ontario’s municipal elections, the provincial government introduced Bill 23, the “More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022.”   While we agree that more affordable housing is desperately needed in Ontario, and while the bill contains some helpful provisions for which we have been advocating, these are outweighed by several extremely worrying provisions.

Bill 23 eliminates or waters down existing municipal measures to preserve housing affordability, overrides environmental protections that prevent urban sprawl and pollution, opens the Greenbelt to development, and guts the power of municipalities and Conservation Authorities to address these matters.

Read our brief submitted to the Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy concerning Bill 23.

Organizations including Ontario for All, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and Environmental Defence have prepared backgrounders on how this legislation will have a detrimental impact on housing affordability and environmental protection in Ontario. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has also submitted a brief outlining the problems with Bill 23. More comments on the impacts of the Bill can be found here.

Please add your voice! While Bill 23 passed on Monday, November 28, there are still opportunities to comment on several of its provisions. See the full list of deadlines here.

You can also write and/or call your MPP, the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs, and the Premier to share your concerns (find their contact information here.)

A number of rallies have been planned for the weekend of December 2-4: see details here.

 

Provincial Advocacy: Call for Paid Sick Days and better Worker Benefits

While the Ontario government has extended its temporary paid sick day program to the end of March 2023, this is still far from adequate. The provisions only grant three paid sick days and only for COVID-related reasons. Workers who contract COVID more than once, or who become ill for any other reason, are not covered. The reality is that more than half of workers in Ontario cannot afford to stay home and lose wages. Send a message to the Premier and your MPP calling for paid sick days now!

The Ontario government is also seeking public feedback as it moves forward with plans to expand benefits like health, dental, prescription drug and vision care to more workers, particularly those in part-time and precarious work. You can learn more and respond to the public survey here until Dec. 16, 2022.

The Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services have outlined some concerns about portable benefits in this brief.   We continue to call for robust employment standards for all workers.

 

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 suffragan 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: