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Living on the Streets: Toronto vs MTL

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On March the 15th, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) officially released its report Out in the Cold on the state of the Toronto shelter system . The study’s findings are based on numerous interviews with service users and workers. It points out to a shelter system in crisis, plagued by constant overcrowding, harsh living conditions and a city government unwilling to take action.

Source: OCAP report “Out in the Cold”

CKUT reporter Chloe interviewed one of the writers of this report for a summary of the OCAP’s findings. Some of the statistics are hard to believe. For instance, 81% of the people surveyed stated that they had been denied a shelter bed because the shelters were full (see the chart above)! Equally shocking, in most shelters occupancy levels exceeded 90% every night. This is highly problematic given that  overcrowded shelters lead to a high stress environment, a poor night’s rest and health issues. Luckily, OCAP volunteers and engaged citizens are taking action against this situation. Check out this video to get an idea of the scope of the protests happening in Toronto. 

Francois Boissy

To get a sense of the state of the shelter system in Montreal, we also interviewed Francois Boissy who is the director of operations at La Maison du Pere, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. He points out some of the differences between the way the cities of Toronto and Montreal deal with their homeless populations.

Aside from the administrative aspect of the shelter systems of Toronto and Montreal, an important question remains: “how does it feel, for people on the ground, to experience the shelter system in both cities?” Michel, an ex-homeless man that lived on the streets for two years from 2009-2011, explained to our reporter his personal experience with Montreal shelters. In this fascinating interview he talks about the reasons why he became an itinerant in the first place, the different shelters he slept in,  food conditions and how shelter services helped him get out of the streets. We are truly grateful for his trust in sharing this story, the full interview is available for stream and download below.

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More More I want More!

  • For the history of the Toronto shelter system click here. 
  • Find a critical (but pretty short!) analysis of the Montreal shelter system here
human rights Indigenous missing justice MMIW Uncategorized vigil

7th Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women in Canada

Moving speeches and songs for lost sisters were amplified through the streets and onward during the march.

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On Sunday February 14th of 2016, the 7th Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women took place at metro St Laurent, and was organized by the Centre for Gender Advocacy. Valentines Day was thus reimagined across the city of Montreal as a day to honour the lives of lost loved ones, and also to celebrate anti-capitalist forms of love, invisible forms of love, and a solidarity of sisterhood.


A large crowd gathered in solidarity on this cold beautiful Sunday afternoon.



This piece was produced by Claudia Edwards.

student strike

UQAM and Concordia Students United Against Political Threats of Expulsion


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Photo Credit : Pauline Ferrari


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On September 16th, a hundred students from UQAM and Concordia Universities, part of movement No Tribunal For Students, walked between their two universities to demonstrate their solidarity with the students threatened of expulsion by the Universities`administrations.

Following spring 2015 strikes , many students of Concordia and UQAM were charged in front of disciplinary Tribunals for disobey the Universities regulations codes. Among other things, they were charged of disruption and obstruction of university activities.

Students are claiming for the abandonment of the charges by the Universities but also to recognize the political nature of these complains.

En profondeur festival festival des solidarites

Festival des Solidarités 2015 – Interview avec Roger Rashi


Credits: Alternatives


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Le 13 juin prochain aura lieu la 3eme edition du Festival des Solidarités, coorganisé par Alternatives et Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung— Bureau de New York. Le thème de cette année est l’austerité, avec trois questions centrales: comment poursuivre la mobilisation à l’automne? comment intégrer les luttes environnementales à la mobilisation en cours? quelles leçons politiques tirer de la lutte européenne contre l’austérité?

Anouk Millet, membre du collective d’actualités de CKUT, a discuté avec Roger Rashi, le coordinateur des campagnes chez Alternatives. Il nous parle de l’organisation du festival, de la crise politique et économique au Canada, et d’alternatives aux politiques d’austerité.


Wage Solidarity to Nourish the Nation

Wolverine in his garden. Photo courtesy of
Wolverine in his garden. Photo courtesy of

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On December 4th, hundreds of people across Turtle Island will be invited to donate their day’s wage in labour to “Nourish the Nation“, an autonomous Indigenous garden project that feeds communities on the front line of harmful extraction projects, as well as single families and elders. CKUT’s Off the Hour spoke with Ruby Smith Diaz from Wage Solidarity to find out more.

Canada En profondeur Iraq

«Solidaire pour faire échec à la guerre»


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Pour En Profonduer, Leila Lemghalef nous a cherché les commentaires d’un militant paléstinien, une citoyenne québécoise, ainsi que de Raymond Legault du Collectif Échec à la guerre lors des actions de protestations contre la participation canadienne à la troisième guerre en Irak. L’évènement du 26 octobe 2014 a été organisé par le Collectif Échec à la guerre et l’Alliance canadienne pour la paix.


Conférence de Presse (8 Août): Solidarité Québec-Gaza

De Gauche À Droite: M. Jooneed Khan, Mme Fabienne Preséntey, Mme Mélanie Sarazin, M. Bruce Katz, Mme Hala Yassin, M. Paul Ahmarani, M. Francis Dupuis-Déry

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Une conférence de presse a eu lieu le Vendredi 8 août afin de réclamer une plus grande solidarité entre le Québec et Gaza.  Plusieurs organisations Québécoises ont  invité le public Québécois à venir en masse pour démontrer leur soutien au peuple Palestinien durant une grande manifestation qui s’est déroulé le dimanche 10 août et qui a commencé à la Place Émilie-Gamelin près de la station Berri UQAM.


Palestine Solidarity Sessions: Interview with Grace Batchoun of CJPME

Grace Batchoun, of CJPME, during her appearance on CTV

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Grace Batchoun is the VP Public Relations of CJPME (Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East). CJPME is a non-profit and secular organisation. One of its main missions is to enable Canadians of all backgrounds to promote and work for justice and peace in Palestine. Recently CJPME released an instruction guide called “Speak up for Palestinian human rights”. The goal of this guide is to provide Canadians with tools that will help them defend Palestinian human rights and raise awareness about the struggle of the Palestinian people.

In this interview we discuss the guide and go over all of its major points in details. Grace will talk about the importance of having the exact facts and how to get them. We will talk about the main pet arguments that Israel use and how to respond to them. We will also learn how to contact or approach the media and our MPs and why it’s so important to do so.


Montrealers Marched for 6 Hours to Express Solidarity with Palestine (August 1st)

A long evening march took place in Montreal this Friday in solidarity with Palestine. Hundreds of Montrealers took to the streets from 6pm to 12am. The protest was organized by PAJU- Palestinian & Jewish Unity. Protesters gathered to denounce Israeli apartheid and the ongoing occupation and colonisation of Palestine. Among the protesters, Anarchopanda pour la gratuité scolaire was also marching in solidarity.


‘Anarchopanda pour la gratuité scolaire’ was among the protesters.
Palestinian girl being interviewed.
CKUT Audio news

Solidarity Across Borders raises money for Ivonne Hernandez


Brunch poster


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On Saturday May 10, 2014, Solidarity Across Borders organized a brunch to raise
money for Ivonne Hernandez, a Mexican immigrant fighting to stay in Canada with
her one year-old son. Just like Ivonne, more than half a million people
in Canada live without papers today. The fundraiser attracted families
and friends in an effort to raise awareness about the problems that
immigrants face.

We talked to Ivonne, as well as Bruno, a participant and Renata, a woman who came from Hungary with her family two years ago to escape discrimination.

Please visit Justice Pour Ivonne’s website for more information.