You’re Invited: Celebratory Events in Montreal & Toronto Nov.29-Feb.23, 2014 + News & Alerts

There are exciting celebratory events happening in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • Most events are FREE.

This video presents “Festival recap – BARBEGAZI 2013.”

  • BARBEGAZI 2013 – Action Sports Festival at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life, Parc Olympique,  Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Launch of the 2013-2014 Winter Program of the Olympic Park: ENTER PLAY OUTSIDE the Sun Life Financial Esplanade!

FREE  Admissions

Located East of the Olympic Stadium, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

December 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014

February 7, 2014

February 15 and 16, 2014

  • Olympic Park announced that the Esplanade will once again host an authentic Winter Village , a central element of its winter program that will include family, FREE and accessible activities.
  • Fitted this year in the area 100 of the Sun Life Financial Esplanade, which is located behind the Pie-IX metro, this new version of the Olympic Winter Park Village will feature a rink, allowing everyone to skate FREE and, even in mild weather thanks to its cooling system.
    • For the second year, the Winter Village is easily recognizable by its huge natural tree which this year, will measure 65 feet tall!
      • It will certainly return to Montreal as Sun Life Financial Esplanade will be hosted throughout the cold season.
  • The official opening of the site on December 1 will be highlighted by a fundraiser to benefit the organization’s Frimousse, a toy lending library of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
    • For the modest sum of $2, children and adults can come affix a huge Christmas tree decoration in the Winter Village and are collected for each design will be donated to the toy library.
    • They will also be on site to donate new toys to contribute to service the loan toys Frimousse.
    • And to close the festival in style, end of the day, the Olympic Park will illuminate all lights to shine throughout the winter!

“Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch”: Canadian Municipalities’ National Campaign Needs Your Help

The following video presents “Michael Shapcott – Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Canada November 20, 2012.”

  • Michael Shapcott is Director of Affordable Housing and Community Innovation at the Wellesley Institute, an independent, non-profit policy, research and social enterprise / innovation institute.
    • Shapcott has worked extensively in Toronto, in many parts of Canada, nationally and internationally on housing and housing rights, poverty, social exclusion, urban health and health equity.
      • He has worked with community and municipal officials in a dozen Canadian cities to develop local housing plans.
      • Shapcott has worked with Aboriginal housing and service providers nationally and in a number of communities to develop practical and effective strategies for Aboriginal housing under Aboriginal control.
      • He is co-author, with Jack Layton, of “Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis” (Penguin, 2008) and co-editor, with David Hulchanski, of “Finding Room: Policy Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy” (CUCS Press, 2004).
    • He has worked on housing rights issues with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
      • He is co-chair of Canada’s National Housing and Homelessness Network.
      • He is active internationally with the Habitat International Coalition and has worked with community partners on housing issues in Beijing, Istanbul and Nairobi, as well as seven U.S. cities.
  • United Nations Human Rights: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Part III, Article 11 states:
    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right
  • Duration of video is 53 minutes:40 seconds.

This is an update to the following previous blogs:

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meeting in Ottawa (October 28, 2013), just launched the Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch campaign.

Toronto Announced “Close the Housing Gap” Campaign’s New Phase for Toronto Community Housing

Close the Housing Gap Poster
Close the Housing Gap Poster

Toronto Community Housing in Ontario is Canada’s largest social housing landlord.

  • Its core business is to provide clean, safe, well-maintained, affordable homes for low and moderate income households.

The City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing launched the Close the Housing Gap campaign on June 24, 2013, at City Hall with a group of enthusiastic stakeholders donning campaign buttons to show their support.

  • The campaign took part in Let’s Get Growing event at Lawrence Heights Community Centre on July 18, 2013.
    • Staff handed out brochures, buttons, postcards and posters and gathered signatures on the Close the Housing Gap petition.

The goal of the advocacy campaign is to persuade the federal and provincial governments to continue funding social housing at existing levels and provide new, long-term funding for social housing capital repairs.

This video presents “Co-chair Councillor Ana Bailão discusses the Close the Housing Gap campaign.”

  • Co-chair Councillor Ana Bailao discusses the importance of the  campaign to Torontonians.

Federal contributions to social housing are declining across the country.

  • In 2012, the City of Toronto received approximately $161.3 million from Ottawa.
  • However, by 2017, that will decline by $33.4 million and reach zero by 2031.
  • Just to fill the $33.4-million gap alone would require raising property taxes by an estimated 1.4 per cent.
  • At the same time, the province has failed to harmonize social assistance subsidies between private market and social housing renters.
    • This means Toronto has to cover an annual shortfall of some $81 million.

The Close the Housing Gap campaign calls for the following measures.

Continue reading “Toronto Announced “Close the Housing Gap” Campaign’s New Phase for Toronto Community Housing”