Tag Archive: Durham


Guest Blog also posted in the Huffington Post.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s recent white paper, “Flexible Labour Markets,” has been the centre of much controversy and debate.

Hudak trumps up a lot of nonsense and feigned concern about union democracy and transparency, but in the end offers little more than selfish individualism in opposition. That his hostility towards the union principles of social cooperation and compromise for the greater good puts him at odds with the basis of Canadian democracy — from elections to tax collection — appears to be lost on him.

However, the depth of his hypocrisy is perhaps best illustrated by his total lack of concern for fairness and transparency when it comes to his corporate backers. According to a recent study of Ontario elections, between 2004 and 2011, over 40 per cent of Progressive Conservatives’ funds ($26 million) came from corporations.

By contrast, the New Democratic Party received a paltry $666,000 from corporations. Overall, corporate contributions comprised nearly 40 per cent of all election financing while union contributions made up a mere five per cent. And in a testament to the extent of internal democracy within the labour movement, it is worth noting that unions donated money to parties of all political stripes, including a handful who pitched in to the Progressive Conservatives.

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#DearLaureen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#DearLaureen Harper,

​Citizens for Social Justice would like to thank you for taking the time to visit the City of Oshawa and recognizing the plight of homeless youth in our community. While you’re in town to attend a fundraiser for The Refuge, a homeless youth drop-in centre, we’d like to offer some practical policy proposals to combat poverty and homelessness.
​We’ve been told you are bringing a couple of neck-ties belonging to your husband and Minister Baird for auction at the fundraiser. With skyrocketing youth unemployment, good jobs leaving our community, and a lack of youth shelters and affordable housing, we think it’s going to take more than a couple of neck-ties to address the problems of youth poverty and homelessness.
​In return for the neck-ties, we’d like to offer you some practical poverty reduction strategies to bring back to Ottawa:
1) Create a comprehensive national housing strategy to bring good, affordable housing to our community;
2) Ensure all homeless youth have access to social services regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender;
3) Increase funding for addiction and mental health services;
4) Implement a job creation strategy to bring back good paying jobs to our community; and
5) Re-open the Youth Employment Centres that were recently cut in the federal budget.
Again, we’d like to thank you for recognizing the need to address youth homelessness in our community. Now, it’s time for this government to make poverty reduction and youth homelessness a priority through social policy at the federal level. We need less neck-ties and more action.

Sincerely,
Citizens for Social Justice:

For Labour and community groups:

We want to initiate a twitter/Facebook campaign to coincide with this press release. We would like to use the hashtag #DearLaureen and use it to offer poverty reduction solutions one tweet at a time. Please spread this widely to your network of social justice, labour, and poverty reduction activists and ask them to post a tweet with the hashtag “#DearLaureen”!
Here are some examples:
#DearLaureen, while neck-ties are nice a National Housing Strategy would be better.
#DearLaureen, neck-ties may raise some money but re-opening Youth Employment Centres reduces youth poverty.
#DearLaureen, neck-ties don’t put youth to work or create jobs.
#DearLaureen, tell Steve to keep the neck-tie – our community needs mental health and addiction counselling.
#DearLaureen, please ask your husband to create a REAL job creation strategy!

Power Shift Coming to Canada

In anticipation of the Power Shift Canada event in October of this year, with the lead up to the UN convention on climate change in December.The CAW Local 222 members are planning on playing an important role in this project. We will be mobilizing and fundraising across Durham Region in Ontario. Both Jesse, Tammy and Myself attended the Toronto meeting to talk about some of the stages and important undertakings this will require. Our goal is to have a very impresive turnout and we call on youth across the country to raise the importance of climate change. The Conference call was last Thursday!!. A french call will take place this Thursday.

Thanks Erin for taking notes on the call and sending them out to everyone here. (attached below)

Our committee really encourages everyone in the network to look into this series of events and to try and play a role in your city, town or province. This could really be a big campaign that everyone in the network would help build up. With that, we would be building upon the strength of our network. The issue is of importance to youth no matter what part of the country you live in.

Lets Do It!! Lets take a major issue on together!! What do you think??

The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC) is in the early stages of

organizing an event called Power Shift Canada. We need YOU!

*The plan:*

October 21-23, 2009, we will bring together over one thousand young people from across Canada for two days of awesome workshops and strategy sessions that will build to a MAJOR lobby day on Parliament Hill on the third day. We will deliver our message of change to our elected officials and push the federal government to take bold steps in tackling climate change.

Youth of all backgrounds will come together to create a fresh, positive, and inspiring vision of the future, one focused on our potential to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, build a clean energy economy, create green jobs, increase global equity, and revitalize our economy. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for boldness.

*Why now?*

The timing of Power Shift is critical. It leads into the UN climate negotiations taking place in December in Copenhagen where the international community must pull together a post-Kyoto deal on emission reductions. Canada has been a well-known laggard on the international front,

which makes this action doubly important – we need an international stance we can be proud of.

Young people in Canada have helped lead the charge for a brighter future that has gained national and international recognition. This moment is our chance to leverage that momentum into the largest youth climate action gathering Canada has ever seen!

*Didn’t this happen somewhere else before?*

Powershift Canada will build on the success of similar events across the globe – in the UK, in Australia and in the US. To emphasize the success of PowerShift US, young people

mobilized over 10,000 youth to attend a major demonstration and lobby day in Washington last year! (http://www.powershift09.org/About) It’s time to bring that excitement to Canada and make our voices heard!

*What is it going to take to make this happen?*

To make it happen we need YOUR help! There is a lot of exciting stuff that needs to happen, and a

lot of fun ways to get involved (and we are going to have awesome volunteer titles). This is your opportunity to make history.

Also, spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in making this happen and invite them to the call, hop on the call yourself, and volunteer for a working group. With your help, we can send a strong and unified mass of young people to Ottawa to call for meaningful action internationally and domestically in Canada.

Whether you are super involved with climate issues, or are just concerned about the future, or you’ve never been that involved in environmental initiatives, Power Shift is for you! Power Shift operates under the principle that the well-being of the future is everyone’s issue.

If you have any questions, want to volunteer, or would like to know more, please contact Adam or Tria at powershift@ourclimate.ca