The St-James Drop-In Centre Seeks New Home

Image Credit: http://mapio.net/o/1128092/

In the core of Montreal’s downtown, the St-James Drop-In Centre provides a multitude of services to individuals grappling with homelessness and mental illness. Due to changes in the Church’s leadership and the enforcement of its new guidelines the Centre chose not to renew its lease. Primarily, the new leadership’s requirements were not in line with the Centre’s mandate and collective goal. Therefore, due to various changes, the St-James Drop-In Centre is currently seeking a new home preferably located in the downtown area, where its services are needed most.

On Friday, May 20th, Sarah Berry and James Falconer, two members of The St-James Drop-In Centre’s board of directors, were interviewed by Soraya Mamiche for the CKUT new collective. During the Interview Sarah Berry and James Falconer discuss relocation, homelessness in Montreal, and StreetSuds (one of the Centre’s most prominent projects).

Inside Airbnb

Credit: http://insideairbnb.com/

Founded by Murray Cox, Inside Airbnb is an independent project that shines a light on the reality of Airbnb and its impact in various cities across the globe. For many housing and anti-poverty activists, Airbnb is a major concern. Hence, through the use and collection of public Airbnb data, Inside Airbnb supplies individuals with a greater understanding of Airbnb’s role in their residential communities. Therefore, by using Inside Airbnb, individuals can see how the residential housing market and Airbnb compete in their neighborhoods.

On May 13th, Murray Cox was interviewed for the CKUT news collective by Soraya Mamiche. During the interview Murray Cox discusses Inside Airbnb and what its findings reveal about Montreal.

Hôtel-Dieu to the people!

 

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Credit: Michel Carra

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On Thursday May 19th, the Public Assembly on the Future of Hôtel-Dieu will bring together hundreds of Montrealers with a vision for the future of the site. The Hôtel-Dieu is a historic building located at the intersection of rue Pins and Saint Urbain in the Plateau (check out the facebook page of this event).

Since 2013, community organizations such as Centre des Femmes de Montréal, Coalition Communautaire Milton Parc, the Old Brewery Mission and many more have been working together to prevent the privatization of the Hôtel-Dieu and urge authorities to use the building for social and community purposes.

As one of the main organizers of the Assembly, Dimitri Roussopoulos, explain in this episode the primary goals of the Hôtel-Dieu Community Project are to provide housing for people at risk such as families with children, itinerants and create community spaces, artists studios as well as shared green spaces and community gardens (check out the full plan here).

One of the volunteers of the Coalition Communautaire Milton Parc, Théo Rouhette, points out that while there is a lot of support for the project coming from the city of Montreal and other levels of government, people from the community should continue to show their support and mobilize to ensure the implementation of this project.

Join the Assembly on Thusrday May 19th at l’Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette 3535, Avenue du Parc from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM!  

CKUT News Header – May 13, 2016

 

Liberals announce that Canada will introduce legislation that will offer federal protections to trans Canadians. Still, in light of the arson at the CMC Clinic, the only medical clinic in Canada that offers gender reaffirming surgeries to trans people, the media has been relatively quiet about the act of violence. Trans individuals have been wondering why the media has been so silent about such a heinous act of violence. Lindsay Nixon spoke to Sophia Banks about the issue.

Paul Martin claims that, “Canadians aren’t racist,” and Indigenous peoples clap back.

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CKUT News Header – May 12, 2016

Brandy Payne, associate minister of health in Alberta, spoke at a news conference on Wednesday. She announced that, as of Friday, take-home naloxone kits will be available at pharmacies without prescription. Naloxone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids. When administered correctly and in a timely manner it prevents overdose. Payne discussed the high rate of fentanyl overdoses in Alberta during recent years.

Harm Reduction organizers and service providers in Montreal have long wondered when such a program will be made available within Quebec. I spoke to Sara Martin, Program Coordinator for the Street Work Project at Head & Hands in Montreal.

[Sara Martin Sound Bite]

On a day when George Zimmerman murderer of 17 year old Trayvon Martin is making headlines, it feels important to recentre the voices of Black community organizers who tirelessly fight against racist police targeting and ongoing murders within their communities at the hands of police.

We must remind ourselves that police killings and racial profiling within the Black community is closer to home than some might think. Janaya Khan co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto spoke to this at the Global Women’s Strike Conference in 2015.

[Janaya Khan Sound Bite]

Here in Montreal, Montreal Noir and Montreal North Republik call for an end to racial profiling tactics by SPVM police towards visible minorities. Robyn Maynard, an organizer with Montreal Noir spoke to the Montreal Gazette on April 20th.

[Robyn Maynard Sound Bite]

#blm #blacklivesmatter #montrealnoir #montrealrepublik #harmreduction #head&hands

Bedbugs: A Conversation Hosted by University of the Streets Café

Image Credit: http://www.pesticon.ca/

On April 28th, University of the Streets Café hosted a discussion on bedbugs and their effects. University of the Streets Café is a program initiated by Concordia University that hosts conversations on a wide array of topics in various spaces throughout Montreal (https://www.concordia.ca/about/community/initiatives/streets-cafe.html). The discussion about bedbugs was titled, “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite” and took place at Café l’Artere from 7 to 9 PM.

Bedbugs are becoming increasingly prevalent in Montreal, primarily in low-income neighborhoods. Moreover, the consequences of bedbugs can influence the mental, social, and even professional aspects of a person’s life. Therefore, this discussion, in addition to being informative in terms of combatting bedbugs, allowed for individuals to discuss their personal experiences and struggles with bedbugs.

The discussion began with an informative introduction led by André Trépanier. Trépanier is a tenant human rights advocate involved with CAPE, the Comité d’action de Parc-Extension (http://comitedactionparcex.org/). After the discussion, CKUT’s Soraya Mamiche interviewed several people who attended the event. Juniper Belshaw was the discussion moderator and is getting her master’s degree at Concordia University. Alex Megelas currently runs the University of the Streets Café program. Sasha Dyck is a nurse and resident of Park Extension.

If you have any questions about bedbugs, then you should contact your neighborhood housing committee. Additionally, if you have any questions about your rights as a tenant, then the Project Genesis website is a helpful place to start (http://genese.qc.ca/).

CKUT News Header – May 11, 2016

“Every day over the course of a three-year period, Mr. Ghomeshi made it clear to me that he could do what he wanted to me and my body. He made it clear that he could humiliate me repeatedly and walk away with impunity.”

Today crowds gathered in front of Old City Hall in Toronto in support of survivors. Kathryn Borel delivered an arresting statement outlining the harassment she was subjected to by Jian Ghomeshi.

Ghomeshi – former CBC broadcaster – made an appearance in court wherein the Crown withdrew the charge of sexual assault brought against him. Ghomeshi apologized to Kathryn Borel in court and signed a peace bond.

Borel, who produced Ghomeshi’s radio show Q from 2007 to 2010, bravely told her story to a crowd of supporters and media after the court appearance.

“There are at least three documented incidents of physical touching. This includes the one charge he just apologized for, when he came up behind me while I was standing near my desk, put his hands on my hips and rammed his pelvis against my backside over and over, simulating sexual intercourse.

“Throughout the time that I worked with him, he framed his actions with near-daily verbal assaults and emotional manipulations these inferences felt like threats or declarations like I deserved to have happening to me what was happening to me. It became very difficult for me to trust what I was feeling.

“Up until recently, I didn’t even internalize that what he was doing to my body was sexual assault. Because when I went to the CBC for help, what I received in return was a directive that, yes, he could do this and, yes, it was my job to let him. The relentless message to me from my celebrity boss and the national institution we worked for were that his whims were more important than my humanity or my dignity.”

Borrel makes a strong statement implicating not only Ghomeshi but internal structures at CBC.

It’s a story that clearly rings true to survivors across Canada who have had an overwhelming response with movements like We Believe Survivors emerging in support.

The title We Believe Survivors of course speaking to the Canadian legal systems inadequacy in dealing with charges of rape and sexual assault.

These organizers recognize that, even upon telling their stories, survivors are met with legal responses that do not offer them justice but only serve to further harm and invalidate them.

Supporters gathered outside of the court to show their support of Borrel. They chanted, “We support survivors” as Ghomeshi entered the building even writing messages of support on the sidewalk surrounding the building.

Naomi Sayers, legal scholar, has tweeted about the Ghomeshi trial wondering if healing for survivors can truly be found through legal processes.

Sayers questions responses to sexual assault that are based in carceral and punitive measures. Says Sayers, “If your “feminism” upholds and affirms the prison industrial complex then I don’t want any of it.”

Indigenous feminists have long wondered how we can find justice within an institutionally racist and colonial structure like the Canadian legal system.

Above all, Borel says she wants accountability.

“Jian Ghomeshi has apologized, but only to me there are 20 other women who have come forward to the media and made serious allegations about his violent behaviour. Women who have come forward to say that he punched and choked and smothered and silenced them.

“There is no way that I would have come forward if it weren’t for their courage. And yet Mr. Ghomeshi hasn’t met any of their allegations head on as he vowed to do in his Facebook post of 2014. He hasn’t taken the stand on any charge. All he has said about his other accusers is that they’re all lying and that he’s not guilty. And remember, that’s what he said about me.

I think we all want this to be over but it won’t be until he admits to everything that he’s done.”