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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.