Social Justice and Advocacy: What’s new

To learn more about Social Justice and Advocacy in the Diocese of Toronto, click here.

Responding to the 2019 Ontario Budget

The 2019 Ontario budget was released April 11, 2019.  While there was some good news around funding for affordable housing and partnerships with non-profit and cooperative housing providers, much of the budget includes cuts to key programs which will directly affect some of the most vulnerable people in our province.

Read our response to the 2019 Ontario Budget here

One of the cuts is a 30% cut to the budget of Legal Aid Ontario in the present year, which will have an immediate impact on the work of community legal centres.  These centres support and assist low-income Ontarians with understanding their rights, access to benefits, and representation in administrative, landlord-tenant, worker’s compensation, victim compensation, and other cases.  In addition, the provincial government has completely cut provincial funding for refugee or immigration cases, forcing vulnerable refugee claimants to represent themselves or face deportation to potentially life-threatening situations.  A petition calling on the Ontario Legislature to reverse these cuts is available to download and print here.  (Please note that signatures must be gathered on the forms provided; signatures on the back of the form or on a separate sheet will not be counted.)

Read the College of Bishops’ letter to the Health Minister regarding Overdose Prevention Sites here

Read our 2019 Provincial Pre-Budget Submission here.

New Diocesan Policy Papers

We’ve just updated our Diocesan Policy Papers on our three priority areas:  Affordable Housing and Homelessness; Poverty Reduction; and Environmental Issues.  You can find and download them here.

Social Justice Vestry Motion 2019: Standing In Solidarity

Thanks to all parishes who have already sent in their response to this year’s Social Justice Vestry motion. If you haven’t already done so, please send the motion, as passed by your parish, to Elin Goulden, Social Justice & Advocacy Consultant, at egoulden@toronto.anglican.ca

Recalling that how we treat “the least of these” among us is how we treat Christ himself, parishes are invited to pledge one way to increase their direct outreach on behalf of those in need and one way to increase their advocacy efforts toward structural and policy changes to benefit people experiencing poverty.

Social Justice Vestry Motion 2019 and Backgrounder (PDF)

You can find additional resources on our Poverty Reduction page, and a sample letter here.

Faith Buildings Energy Benchmarking Project

Our friends at Faith & the Common Good/Greening Sacred Spaces have received funding to do a Faith Building Energy Benchmarking Project with 100 faith communities in Toronto, York Region, and Halton Region.  This project will help parishes establish a baseline for their energy use and identify areas for improvement to lower energy costs. Several churches in our Diocese have already signed up – you can learn more and sign up here.

Greening Sacred Spaces has worked successfully with several parishes and communities in our Diocese including St. Matthew’s, Islington, Holy Trinity, Thornhill, and the Sisters of St. John the Divine. Click here to read how Faith & the Common Good/Greening Sacred Spaces is helping Holy Trinity, Thornhill achieve their environmental stewardship and energy saving goals.

Updated Outreach & Advocacy Prayer Cycle

The Outreach & Advocacy Prayer Cycle has been updated for the 2018-2019 liturgical year. You can download this resource below:

(For best results, select the “booklet” option when printing from the PDF)

 

Get Involved: Contact Elin Goulden, Social Justice & Advocacy Consultant, at egoulden@toronto.anglican.ca or by phone at 416-363-6021 (1-800-668-8932), extension 240.