In This Issue
Winnipeg is one of five Canadian cities participating in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s four-year Research Demonstration Project in Mental Health and Homelessness. At Home/Chez Soi was launched on November 23rd. Based on the Housing First model, 300 homeless Aboriginal people with mental illness in Winnipeg will be housed across the city with supports to help them with their tenancy. They will then be provided with the other assistance and services they need to help with their mental health recovery. The only requirement is to meet with a local service provider at least once a week in their apartment for follow-up supports. Their experience will be compared to that of other homeless people who will receive existing community services. The goal is to determine the best approach to help homeless people with mental illness to reintegrate into society.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has partnered on this project with the provincial and municipal government, local researchers, Winnipeg residents with lived experiences and local service providers including Mount Carmel Clinic, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Center and Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg. They have also called upon several locally owned businesses, social enterprises and co-operatives to help implement the project.
Manitoba Green Retrofit Inc. will conduct apartment inspections and provide ongoing maintenance and repair services for new tenants. The non-profit provides training, jobs and a supportive working environment for inner city and Aboriginal residents who might otherwise face barriers to employment. Enviro-Safe Cleaning Workers Co-operative Ltd will provide ongoing cleaning services for new tenants and will train new tenants whenever possible to maintain their apartments independently. The worker-owned and operated co-op pays a higher than minimum wage while using environmentally friendly cleaning products and methods at its work sites. Self Starting Creative Opportunities for People in Employment will assist with moving. The non-profit provides meaningful, flexible and supported training and employment for consumers of mental health services. Locally owned MM Campbell Furniture Agency will furnish the apartments. Finally, The Co-operators Group Ltd., a Canadian owned co-operative that uses its profits in part to promote the well-being of communities, will provide tenant insurance.
Participation in the project is expected to create new employment opportunities within these organizations for Winnipeg residents in order to meet the increased demand generated by the project. Most of these community based organizations have expertise in training and employing people with barriers. This makes them particularly well placed to train and hire new tenants to fill these new positions whenever possible. By incorporating a community economic development approach and by supporting community based organizations like those mentioned above, this project has the potential to improve not only the well-being of the participants, but that of other Winnipeg residents as well.
New Research: New futures: Innovative uses of the co-op model
Twelve profiles show the flexibility of the co-operative model and how it is being used in a wide variety of situations. Check out the profile of Saskatchewan’s Affinity Credit Union’s work with first nations.
Co-ops provide a distinct values-based and community-owned and controlled alternative to other business models. They recognize the importance of people and communities, and are a powerful and democratic way to put decision making into the hands of those who need and use their services. Surplus profits are returned to the members and, therefore, remain within their communities.
This first look at income inequality among Saskatchewan families from 1976 to 2006 uncovers a new and troubling phenomenon in Saskatchewan. The report draws on Statistics Canada data to examine the earnings and after-tax incomes of Saskatchewan families with children 18 years and under over the past generation. Its main finding is that the gap between the richest and poorest families in Saskatchewan has increased dramatically over the past generation and has mushroomed since 2000 — during the best of economic times. In 2006, Saskatchewan’s after-tax income gap was the third worst in all of Canada.
Great examples of community food enterprises in the USA and around the world www.communityfoodenterprise.org
JudyLynn Archer, CEO and President of Women Building Futures was recently honoured in Toronto by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Under Archer’s leadership, Women Building Futures completed construction in 2008 of the $12 million dollar Petro-Canada Training Center and Housing Facility – the first of its kind in Canada. Women Building Futures is a charitable organization dedicated to empowering women to succeed in non-traditional careers, inspiring positive economic change for women and forever transforming the face of industry in Canada.
Co-operation and sustainability: the way forward
June 14-16, 2010
The Westin Bayshore
Canada's Parliament has passed an all-party motion that would commit the federal government to developing a plan for the elimination of poverty.
The motion was adopted in the House of Commons on November 24, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1989 parliamentary resolution to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000. The motion acknowledges that the goal of the 1989 resolution has not been achieved and that a plan for eliminating poverty for all is needed.
The motion originated with the House of Commons Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA). The committee is currently doing a study on the federal role in reducing poverty in Canada.
Seven Canadian provinces already have or are working on poverty reduction strategies at the provincial level.
On Friday December 4th, two panels of anti-poverty advocates, including CCEDNet members, staff and coalition partners, submitted evidence to the parliament's HUMA committee on the federal role in reducing poverty.
Panellists and their submissions
Neil Cohen (Community Unemployed Help Centre)
Brendan Reimer (Manitoba CED Network)
Lynne Fernandez (Manitoba Research Alliance)
Sid Frankel (Social Planning Council)
Susan Prentice (Department of Sociology, U of M)
Mr. Gerald Duguay (citizen)
Shauna MacKinnon (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
Chief Donovan Fontaine (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs)
Martin Itzkow (Federation of Non-Profit Organizations)
Lindsey McBain (Right to Housing Coalition)
On Dec 11th, 2009, Bill C-304, also known as the 'Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act', was sent back to the House by the HUMA committee for its third and final reading early next session. The Bill has been supported by the NDP, the Liberals and the Bloc. The Bill is a rights based housing strategy that calls for an immediate and coordinated approach to address the growing concerns of housing in Canada. It is seen as an innovative and important piece of legislation "designed to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the right to adequate housing as guaranteed under international human rights treaties ratified by Canada.”
The federal government has announced Canada's support for the United Nations resolution that would proclaim 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives. This is the first time the Government of Canada has announced its support for an International Year before its proclamation by the UN General Assembly.
Topics covered include financial areas such as proper receipting, managing books and records, GST/HST for charities, the disbursement quota, the new T3010B information return, and CRA audits. Good governance principles and approaches are another focus, which is extremely important for Board members. The sessions also offer advice on allowable fundraising activities, and social enterprise.
For those who are unable to attend the sessions, or for those who have, and want to share the information with colleagues, all presentations and notes can be accessed for free online.
For the latest CED postings visit the National and Regional job pages on CCEDNet's website
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