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You’re Invited: Toronto Events Jan.7-Feb.2, 2014 + Toronto & Ontario News

Here are some great events in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • Most events are FREE.

Are You Interested in Weaving?

Tuesday Afternoons from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

FREE Admission

Gibson House Museum

Call 416-395-7432 for more info.

  • Gibson House’s small but dedicated group of weavers has been making textiles for the museum programs and gift shops for years.
  • Their products are so popular they need more hands to help.
  • If you have basic weaving experience and are interested in helping them grow this group and their weaving activities at the museum – please join them.
  • Please call to confirm your interest.
  • After your initial orientation, you can drop in to weave any time (pre-arranged).

Saturdays and Sundays in January

Admission is by Pay What You Can

12 to 4 p.m.

Scarborough Museum

Contact Info: 416-338-8807 or

  • Warm up with some cider, sample fresh baked treats and share what you love about Scarborough!
  • Make your family a part of history!
  • The Community Memories Kiosk is waiting to record individual and family stories.
  • Newcomers and long time residents welcome.
  • Please click here for more info.

Factory Farms: Behind the Scenes

FREE Admission

January 8, 2014


Brentwood Library, 36 Brentwood Road North (Royal York and Bloor)

  • Brentwood Program Room
  • Speaker: Sonia Faruqi (
  • What are factory farms? What do they do? And why are they concerning?
  • In this talk, Sonia Faruqi will draw on industry information as well as her own experiences investigating and living at factory farms around the world.
  • The talk will end with tangible, practical solutions and actions.
  • Drop-In Workshop. First Come, First Seated.
  • Please click here for more info.

Toronto Repair Café


January 11, 2014


Skills for Change – 791 St. Clair Ave. W.

  • Do you have a broken appliance, piece of furniture or item of clothing that you’d like to save from the landfill?
  • That’s where the volunteer “fixers” at the Repair Café come in!
  • Help combat waste and built-in obsolescence at this event!
  • For more info about Toronto Repair Café, please click here.

winter bird count rouge park 2014

Rouge Park’s 11th Annual Winter Bird Count

January 12, 2014

9:30am Top of the Vista trail from Zoo Road
Meeting Point TTC and Parking info

12:30pm Beare Wetland Loop from Zoo Road
Meeting Point TTC and Parking info

Sheryl Santos
Stewardship Coordinator

Rouge Park
905-713-6007 (phone)

Sheryl Santos provided the following details of this event:

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Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013

This video presents “David Hulchanski: Toronto’s Three Cities.”

  • A new report details three cities within Toronto: the wealthy city, the middle-class city and the low-income city.
  • But if David Hulchanski’s research holds true, there will only be two cities in the near future: the rich and the poor.
  • What has caused this disparity? And what can be done to reverse the cycle?

The Ontario government  had launched Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008.

Poverty is no longer just a cycle wherein poorly-paid workers are struggling to “keep up with skyrocketing costs in housing, tuition and energy.”

This title should be revised and updated to ‘Breaking the Path to Poverty’ so as to be fitting to the reality of the present economy.

In today’s economy, the significant loss of  Canadian jobs due to outsourcing, dearth of middle-income jobs due to technology/digital revolution, and rampant job insecurity are all causal factors to almost instantaneous poverty for many hard-working individuals.

The shrinking middle class trend goes hand-in-hand with the growing poverty trend in this economy of  “anaemic GDP growth“, which is delineated by of the Toronto Star as follows.

Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness

2013 Ontario Budget: Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s Response

isarc's image: The Ontario Government's 2013 Budget
isarc’s image: The Ontario Government’s 2013 Budget

On May 2, 2013 the Ontario government of Canada released the proposed 2013 budget to be debated at Queen’s Park over the next couple of weeks.

The provincial government has reported that the Ontario Child Benefit provides financial support that has helped lift 40,000 children out of poverty.

According to the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC):

  • The majority of Ontario children receiving social assistance benefits (67%) are in lone-mother led families
  • The provincial child poverty rate is 12.6%, or 345,000 children (using 2005 Statistics Canada data on tax income)
    • That is, one of every eight children in Ontario is living in poverty

    • The rate declined slightly from 2004 to 2005, but has been on an upward trend since 2001

    • Ontario’s child poverty rate is the fourth highest in Canada – 44% of all low-income children in Canada live in Ontario

  • Poverty rates for children in Aboriginal, racialized, new immigrant and lone mother-led families are at least double the provincial rate
  • In 2007, a single mother with one young child on social assistance had a family income that was at least $5,357 below the poverty line
  • Full-time, full-year work at Ontario’s new minimum wage of $10.25 an hour generates earnings that are approximately $3,000 below the poverty line
  • 70% of all low-income children in Ontario live in families where at least one parent is working part-time or full-time, yet the families are unable to earn enough to lift family income above the poverty line
  • Parents who are unable to be in the workforce and rely on social assistance struggle on welfare benefits that are as low now as they were in 1967
  • Average CEO salary has grown from 25 times the average Canadian income in 1980 to 250 times the average income in 2011
  • In 2009, Ontario spent $64 per person on affordable housing compared to the average among all provinces of $115 per person

Premier Kathleen Wynne highlighted the 2013 Budget’s proposed increases to the Ontario Child Benefit, which helps about one million low- to moderate-income children across the province in the following manner:

  • The Ontario government is proposing to increase the Ontario Child Benefit’s annual maximum payment by up to $210 over the next two years
    • This would raise the maximum payment from $1,100 to $1,310 per year for each child, helping parents with their family expenses

    • The Ontario Child Benefit helps low-income parents provide for their children, whether they are working or not

  • In order for parents to receive this year’s proposed increase of $110 this July, the Budget 2013 bill would have to be passed and proclaimed before July 1, 2013
    • The benefit would also increase by another $100 per year as of July 1, 2014

  • Parents don’t need to apply for the Ontario Child Benefit
    • To be eligible they must file their income taxes, register for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, have a child under age 18, and live in Ontario

The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC)‘s response to Ontario government’s 2013 budget is given in the following press release:

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Put Food in the Budget Meeting & Fund-Raising Event Sept.28,2012

This video presents “DearMrPremiertrailer”:

  • Put Food in the Budget – Introducing our new trailer for the campaign we have all been working so hard on!
  • Stay tuned for the longer versions later and we hope to see you at our event on Sept 28th!

Put Food in the Budget Campaign Meeting

Friday, September 28, 2012

Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto

 11:30 am – 4:30 pm

The Put Food in the Budget campaign began in January 2009 in response to Premier McGuinty’s decision to exclude an increase in social assistance rates for adults in Ontario from his poverty reduction strategy.

The Put Food in the Budget campaign has had two demands since its formation in January 2009:


Ontario Minimum Wage Rate Set at $10.25 Per Hour in 2011

Ontario Minimum Wage Rate Set at $10.25 Per Hour in 2011
Ontario Minimum Wage Rate Set at $10.25 Per Hour in 2011

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

February 11, 2011 2:00 PM

2011 Minimum Wage Rate Set – Highest of Canadian Provinces

McGuinty Government Striking the Right Balance

After seven consecutive increases, the Ontario minimum wage rate will remain at $10.25 per hour in 2011, the highest provincial minimum wage in Canada.

The Ontario minimum wage has increased by 50 percent with annual increases in the last seven years. These increases outpaced inflation in part to make up for a nine year minimum wage freeze between 1995 and 2004.