This backgrounder is meant to explain the demand made by ACORN Canada (ACORN), the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) for a $50 credit towards the Internet service bills of all needy Canadians (“Canada Broadband Benefit”) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
CIRA's 2020 report on digital development in Canada
The need for expanding the Federal Government’s Connecting Families to ALL low-income people is greater than ever! Governments – federal and provincial – have called for social/physical distancing during the ongoing health emergency due to COVID-19 but that requires access to the internet for anything and everything anyone can imagine. However, the reality is that not all Canadians can afford the internet. The issue of digital divide cannot be overemphasized, especially during a pandemic like this, as internet becomes a lifeline for most people.
Through this resource, ACORN Canada calls on the government and CRTC to take some urgent actions to address barriers to digital equity, especially during COVID-19 pandemic.
Barriers to Digital Equality in Canada
We encourage the Ministry of Finance to take this opportunity to consider the needs of almost 2 million low-income Ontarians. Poverty costs the province $32-to-38-billion per year: it is a problem worth tackling. We believe that Ontario can lead the way in Canada by tackling housing affordability, rising child care costs, energy poverty, an inequitable financial system, and benefits that do not meet the needs of our most vulnerable, to foster a fairer, more inclusive province.
ACORN Canada members feel strongly that access to home internet is essential and a right. Since 2013, ACORN members have been organizing on our Internet for All campaign, after members identified the high cost of home internet as a major barrier to low-income earners’ participation and success in the digital economy. ACORN Canada is fighting for affordable home access to high-speed home internet for all Canadians
Approximativement 2 millions de Canadiennes et Canadiens utilisent des prêts sur salaire chaque année.
Recently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began an inquiry into the sales practices of telecoms companies, to understand whether services are being sold fairly and transparently. ACORN invited members across the country to share their experiences. Many members who reached out had been misled when buying a product or service, encountered pushy salespeople, or found their phone, internet or TV package confusing.
ACORN is working to bring the vision for LeBreton Flats of our members living in the surrounding neighbourhoods to decision makers.
Toronto ACORN's report on the State of Repair for 2020
CAPREIT tenants have united to form the ACORN CAPREIT Tenant Union (ACTU) and launch a national coordinated campaign to overhaul CAPREIT's business practices.
This study, conducted by the Wellesley Institute, aims to add to the knowledge on evictions in Toronto in three ways. First, it describes the numbers and rates of formal eviction applications in Toronto 2010-2018. Second, it maps their geographic distribution. Third,it correlates formal eviction application filing rates with census tract sociodemographics of renter households from the 2016 Census to uncover who may be at increased risk of eviction. In order to examine these questions, we use administrative data from the Landlord and Tenant Board, and 2016 Census data.
Win municipally to end the housing crisis
Posted on August 6, 2020
This report focuses on the housing crisis in Surrey in BC. Based on the victories secured by BC ACORN members in several other cities in BC, including in Burnaby and New Westminster, the report underscores the need for urgent measures that the city government in Surrey can take to address the existing housing issues and protecting tenants' rights in Surrey.
Read this report to learn how we can win municipally to end the housing crisis in Surrey.
Posted on 24 June, 2020
Doug Ford is bringing in Bill 184 named “Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act” which does the exact opposite. This is the written submission that members of ACORN have made to the Standing Committee on Social Policy to raise our concerns relating to the Bill.
Posted on April 29, 2020
COVID-19 a changé nos vies comme jamais auparavant en apportant un ensemble unique de problèmes. Cependant, ces défis deviennent encore plus complexes pour les personnes qui vivent déjà en marge. Les statistiques continuent de brosser un tableau sombre en ce qui concerne l'accès à des logements abordables et sains au Canada et avec la pandémie COVID-19, la situation ne fera qu'empirer, en particulier pour les locataires et les personnes à faible revenu ou appartenant aux sections les plus vulnérables du population. ACORN Canada a contacté 1082 personnes à travers le Canada pour comprendre les problèmes auxquels les gens sont confrontés pendant la pandémie, en particulier ceux liés à leur capacité de payer le loyer car elle arrive à échéance le 1er mai et les problèmes qu'ils rencontrent. dans leurs immeubles / appartements car le manque d'entretien et de réparation pose un risque majeur pour la santé publique, en particulier lors d'une pandémie. Ce rapport présente les conclusions principales de cette enquête et les mesures urgentes que les gouvernements doivent prendre pour garantir que les personnes en marge obtiennent le soutien dont elles ont besoin en cette période de crise sanitaire et économique.
This document details ACORN's policy position on Employment Insurance on EI. At a time when thousands of low-income Canadians are struggling to pay for their rent and put food on the table, it's critical that the federal government modernises EI.
It has been six years since Toronto’s living wage estimate was calculated at $16.60 in 2008.
Since then, the cost of living has gone up: the cost of child care has risen by 30 per cent; rent has increased by 13 per cent; the cost of public transit has grown by 36 per cent. This report updates Toronto’s living wage to reflect what it takes for two working parents with two children to make ends meet in 2015. It’s based on the needs of a family with two parents and two young children ages 7 and 3. Each of those parents needs to earn $18.52 per hour, and work 37.5 hours per week, in order to afford the basics in life in this very expensive city.
In a new nationwide survey among 3,000 Canadians conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Canada for the Broadbent Institute, Canadians were asked about their perceptions of inequality and the distribution of wealth in Canada. The findings demonstrate that Canadians vastly underestimate how skewed the distribution of wealth actually is and think there should be a much more equitable distribution.
New research shows that in Ontario, large employers are the biggest culprits in perpetuating a low-wage economy.
Written by Metcalf Innovation Fellow and labour market policy expert Tom Zizys, the paper examines our under-performing labour market and challenges the popular notion that the threat to good jobs is inevitable.
Better Work chronicles the economic and political changes that have brought us to our current situation. It reconstructs the advent of our global economy and reflects deeply on its effect on employment practices. Central to its thesis is a simple proposition: workers are not a cost to be constrained but, rather, an asset to be invested in.
Among industrialized countries, Canada has the highest proportion of residents with a post-secondary education. Yet we also have the highest rate of degree holders working in jobs earning half the median income or less. We know there are many external factors at play, and that a rise in precarious employment and the widening gap between knowledge sector and entry-level jobs is creating income disparity. But the question remains, are we responding to the emergence of technology, globalization, and increased competitiveness in the most efficient and equitable way? Are our workplace practices, labour market institutions, and the norms and values that shape our economic thinking supporting the best interests of both employers and employees?
Un extrait de Global Grassroots sur salaire de subsistance, par John Anderson.
There are over 338,000 migrant workers in Canada. This number has more than doubled since 2006. As Canada increasingly relies on a work force of transnational migrant workers with temporary status, an industry of third-party for-profit recruiters has emerged to match workers with jobs in Canada.
This report exposes how temporary foreign workers are paying thousands of dollars in recruiting fees — equal to as much as two to three years’ wages in their home currency — to work in minimum wage jobs in Ontario.
The People’s Budget campaign was initiated as a response to the continuing evidence of the failure of the austerity agenda. Austerity measures have had a devastating impact on the people of Ontario, particularly its most vulnerable citizens. When even organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum are calling for a reconsideration of the austerity agenda, it is time for Ontario to chart a new course.
ACORN members are concerned about what will emerge from the government’s 100-day review. We can look to other countries with Conservative leaders to imagine what the Province’s reforms could look like. In recent years, the UK has implemented a series of social assistance reforms which have contributed to a 169% increase in homelessness since 2010 . Similar reforms could be disastrous for low-income Ontarians.
Ontario ACORN members are demanding an increase to allowable employment income before deductions and increases to allowable asset limits for ODSP and OW recipients
In 2006 the United Nations held a convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Article 28 states: “States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing.”
“Adequate” does not include unhealthy and dangerous housing standards or negligent property owners.
Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms“ guarantees the life, liberty and personal security of all Canadians.”
ACORN MEMBERS DEMAND a housing allowance that guarantees ODSP and OW recipients’ healthy housing where they can freely choose a home that guarantees their personal security from violence and negligent property owners.
The first comprehensive report on child and family poverty in Toronto since 2008 will be released by Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Social Planning Toronto, Family Service Toronto, Colour of Poverty-Colour of Change, and the Alliance for a Poverty-Free Toronto .
New data in the report shows that Toronto is becoming an increasingly divided city. Where a child is born and raised in Toronto greatly influences their chances of success.
Canada’s disability income expenditures are rising at an unsustainable rate and the largest and fastest growing program is social assistance. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ontario where ODSP expenditures increased 44.8% between 2005 and 2010.
This report by Metcalf Innovation Fellow John Stapleton, provides critical insight into the intricate drivers behind the alarming rise of disability income expenditures.
More than two decades have passed since the House of Commons’ unanimous resolution “to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000” and four years after the entire House of Commons voted to “develop an immediate plan to end poverty for all in Canada.” Neither the promised poverty elimination nor plans have materialized.
See ACORN's annual report for 2019.
Stay safe while you fight back by following these steps at ACORN actions.
Posted February 24, 2020
ACORN Canada's Platform for the 2019 Federal Election
ACORN Canada, founded in 2004, is a grassroots membership based organization that has rapidly grown into one of the country's most effective voices for low- and moderate-income Canadians. With over 130,000 members in 22 chapters in 9 cities across the country, our central purpose is to effectively represent and champion the interests of Canada's low- and moderate-income urban citizens on the critical issues of social and economic justice.
See ACORN's annual report for 2018.
By introducing a National Housing Strategy (NHS) and making a commitment to a rights-based approach to housing, the Federal Government is taking a significant step towards tackling Canada’s housing crisis. ACORN members welcome this national plan. Yet, we acknowledge that there is a long way to go to overcome the systemic issues that have led to so many homeless and underhoused Canadians.
See ACORN's annual report for 2017.