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Recession Relief Coalition

Toronto City Council is about to attempt a count of the number of homeless people in the city. Find out what happened last time on our Street Count page and why we still oppose the count.

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TUESDAY APRIL 28, 2009   3pm-5pm
Multi-Faith Centre, U of T: 569 Spadina Ave., Toronto

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Dear Prime Minister, Dear Finance Minister

Background: The Looming Crisis

With a recession under way, the need for services provided by the front line agencies serving Canada’s most vulnerable will increase.

It is anticipated that all levels of government, faced with deficits and declining tax bases will cut spending. Social spending grants to agencies are not seen as core spending and are often the first things to be cut. In addition, Foundations and individuals, facing 30% plus hits to their equity portfolios are likely to cut back on charitable giving. Corporations facing layoffs, decreasing profitability and in many cases fighting for survival will likely cut back on charitable giving and philanthropic sponsorships.

At a time of increased demand and decreased revenues, many agencies will be very hard pressed to maintain service levels. Some agencies may be forced to lay off staff, cut programs and even close their doors creating greater crowding, demand and pressure on those remaining. At the same time, more and more people will require help.

The result will be an increase in the number of homeless men, women, children and families. There will be overcrowding in shelters, deteriorating health conditions and increased mortality. Increasing levels of extreme poverty will lead to higher costs to the healthcare system, criminal justice system and remedial social services.

Recession Relief Fund Declaration

We call on the Federal Government to immediately create a Recession Relief Fund which will include:

  • preventing spending cuts to public and private not for profit agencies serving vulnerable people including children, youth, families, immigrants, those who are homeless, un/under-employed, senior citizens, people who are disabled and those suffering from mental illness. (some funding programs are set to expire March 31,2009)
  • increase funding to all HRSDC (Human Resources and Social Development Canada)and settlement programs, including doubling the existing level of funding being provided through the HPI (Homeless Partnerships Initiatives) program to supplement funding that is projected to be lost from private sector sources and increase funding levels as required.

In addition, we call upon the Federal Government to invest a portion of proposed infrastructure spending on social infrastructure by implementing a fully funded National Housing Program.