Social Justice

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 the Diocese Social Justice and Advocacy Committee agrees 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.

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.)

Advocacy on Proposed Federal Benefits: The federal budget is likely to come out by the end of this month. While the Diocese does not normally submit a pre-budget brief to the federal government, they are advocating in this budget season for two new benefits which could make a material difference for people living in poverty and housing insecurity:

Legislation to create a Canada Disability Benefit has passed the House of Commons and is now making its way through the Senate. Disability advocates are pushing for the creation and implementation of this benefit to be made a high priority and incorporate the input of people with disabilities throughout the process.
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) has proposed a federal Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit provide immediate rental relief to up to 385,000 households at imminent risk of homelessness and help over 50,000 people leave homelessness.
You can read more on our website, and use our letters as templates to send your own, copied to your local MP.

Continue to speak up for Paid Sick Days! The Ontario government’s temporary COVID-related paid sick day program comes to an end on March 31, 2023. This program only provided three paid sick days and could only be used for COVID-related reasons. Over half of Ontario, workers still lack permanent, employer-paid sick days. Contact your MPP and urge them to pass paid sick day legislation now.

Thank you to all attending the Feb. 1 “Everyone needs a Home” workshop at All Saints Kingsway.  

We at ECULINKS Etobicoke and KAIROS – Toronto West are continuing to reach out regarding “how many hands working together” might help solve the problem of homelessness in our midst.  At the February workshop, many participants said that they would like to continue to be informed of ongoing activities and collaborative efforts.  Hence, these two pieces of information are for you.

Our workshop presenters, Sandra Fawcett and Helen Gill recently received the following from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH).  

  • CAEH is calling on the federal government to take urgent action to support low-income Canadians with a new proposal for a Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit ( HPHB).  The links below will take you to information about this proposed new benefit and then a sample letter – when you click the “action”  link.   Our working group members agreed to send this letter out individually to our elected federal representatives this week and to the leaders of opposition parties. We hope you will do so, too. 
  • A Call to Action – Here’s where the CAEH can use our help:
  • Will you send a letter to our elected federal representatives this week and also to the leaders of opposition parties?  This CAEH link makes it easy to do so.
  1. Would you send a letter to the editor of your local paper to raise awareness of this issue?   This CAEH link can assist you:

We are also sharing information with you about a local Housing Affordability Conference at Humber College Lakeshore Campus – March 3-5, 2023:

  1. Some of you may be interested in:   “Building a Path Forward – A Conference on Housing Affordability in South Etobicoke.”  
  2. Details :    
  3. Registration is limited:
  4. It is being organized by South Etobicoke Housing Advocacy (SEHA), a research project focused on cost of living issues in South Etobicoke.

There is article that has been published on the paper’s website:  Click the highlighted link below to read the story now –