ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) Canada is an independent national organization of low- and moderate-income families. We have over 130,000 members organized into twenty four neighbourhood chapters in nine cities across Canada. We believe that social and economic justice can best be achieved with a national active membership who are invested in their organization and focused on building power for change!
ACORN has a deep history of working in low and moderate income communities. Our presence in these communities has enabled us to connect community members -- low and moderate income consumers -- who are most in need, but often hardest to reach, with information about their rights, financial literacy education, tax and benefit services, and leadership development training. By working collectively, we support communities to articulate priorities for addressing their financial needs and accessing fair financial services.
Since 2004, our members have won several important victories including: Provincial Payday Lending legislation in Ontario and BC, and working in coalition to raise the Minimum Wage in Ontario to $11/hour plus indexing to inflation, ending the child support clawback in BC to put $13 million back in the pockets of single parents - and many more! Other national and provincial campaigns: Remittance Justice, Internet for All, Healthy Homes, Fair Banking, Wages Rising (for a $15 minimum wage) and Disability and Social Assistance Rights. All of our offices offer free tax preparation services.
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Toronto ACORN was founded in 2004, with the first organized group in Canada being formed in Weston / Mt Dennis after tenants took their slum-lord to task and won $250,000 in rent abatements. In the next ten years Toronto ACORN spread to every part of the city leading the fight and winning significant victories including raising the minimum wage; strengthening of the enforcement of apartment building standards; regulating the payday loan industry in Canada; and countless improvements in our neighbourhoods. In the next year we plan to fight for a new Residential Tenancy Act; to turn up the heat on predatory lenders that sell consolidation loans; to continue our fight to get the city of Toronto to license all landlords in the city; and to keep the pressure on to close the digital divide.
Toronto ACORN has local meetings in your neighbourhood and they are always open for new people to get involved. Join Toronto ACORN now!
Nova Scotia ACORN started out in Sydney, Cape Breton back in 2011. In 2012, NS ACORN moved to the HRM and first started organizing in North Dartmouth. We established our North Central Halifax Chapter in May 2014 and our Dartmouth North Chapter in September 2014 -- and we will be coming soon to a neighbourhood near you!
In the meantime, we've been busy fighting back against slumlords, pushing the city to introduce landlord licensing, and campaigning for better living conditions for public housing tenants. Nova Scotia ACORN is also fighting for the return of rent control to Nova Scotia, a living wage, and affordable access to the internet.
Want to join the fight? Join ACORN!
Ottawa and Gatineau ACORN has over 30,000 members committed to fighting for change. Like any union or association, membership decides the drives the of the organization, while determining that the vast majority of our resources go towards organizing door to door, block to block, and city to city. Our local chapters include: Vanier (our first), Overbrooke, Britannia, Mechanicsville, Carlington, South Ottawa, and we have an at-large chapter for those who do not live in our member dense neighborhoods. We also have a chapter in Gatineau. We began organizing in Ottawa in December 2007.
Some of our victories include winning $800,000 worth of investments from the city of Gatineau to renovate Parc Fontaine in 2014; winning investments to fix and renovate parks in the east and west end of Ottawa; forcing landlords to invest millions in apartment building repair with our Healthy Homes campaign; winning a new appliance maintenance bylaw in the city of Ottawa; fixing Social Assistance, stopping disability discrimination, working with allies to raise the income clawback amount – and many more! Join Ottawa ACORN now!
BC ACORN started organizing in 2005, starting with our first chapter, Surrey. Since then we have built up six more chapters across the lower mainland (New Westminster, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Whalley, Guilford, and Newton). Some of our biggest victories include: Canada’s first living wage policy in New Westminster; the introduction of a healthy homes bylaw in Surrey; regulation of payday lending; and many local victories against slumlords!
Despite losing our office in an explosion in 2013, BC ACORN is stronger than ever and continuing the fight for healthy homes, disability rights, and closing the digital divide!
Want to be part of the fight? Join ACORN!