***Please distribute widely***
Sign the HOUSING NOT WAR declaration NOW!
A call for action:
Declare HOUSING NOT WAR now!
December 3, 2007
There is an old saying, "Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice." It is in this spirit that the anti-poverty advocates of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC) and the anti-war Canadian Peace Alliance are joining forces to launch a national HOUSING NOT WAR campaign.
Canada once had a world-renowned National Housing Program, won by the protests of WW II veterans, members of the faith community and women's groups - but it was scrapped in the 1990s. Soon after, municipalities across Canada declared homelessness a national disaster. The United Nations agreed. The campaign won some funding to help the homeless, but the government still failed to invest in a national housing program.
The homelessness disaster worsened. Today 300, 000 people in Canada experience homelessness with its violence, illness and death.
Meanwhile, Canada's military spending has skyrocketed to the highest level since WWII. In Afghanistan, Canada fights an intense counter-insurgency to prop up a government of warlords in warfare a majority of Canadians do not support. In 2007-2008, $18.2 billion will flow to war – 8.5% of the federal budget.
We call on the government to end its wasteful and destructive war in Afghanistan and invest in peace at home and abroad. We call for the one percent solution: Raise federal funding for housing by 1% to 2% ($4 billion) of the budget.
As we build a broad coalition, we are preparing to take this issue to cities and municipalities across Canada. Time is of the essence: a federal election looms and we need you to sign today. Together we can make this a national issue and end the twin disasters of homelessness and war.
We need your support. Join us in calling on the government to implement a Housing Not War strategy. Sign the declaration today. Learn more, sign the declaration, and get involved at www.housingnotwar.ca.
The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee Steering Committee and close supporters:
Jon Alexander --- community activist, TDRC Steering Committee
John Andras --- Senior Vice President & Portfolio Manager at Research Capital Corp., past President of the Rotary Club of Toronto, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee member, founder of Project Warmth, and Chair of SKETCH
Bonnie Briggs --- formerly homeless, housing activist, writer, award-winning poet, founder of the Homeless Memorial, TDRC Steering Committee
Cathy Crowe --- Street Nurse and Atkinson Foundation Fellowship Award Winner, author of Dying for a Home: Homeless Activists Speak Out, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee
Dri --- Former Tent City resident, TDRC Steering Committee
Ursula Franklin --- Companion of the Order of Canada, Recipient of the 2001 Pearson Medal of Peace, University Professor at University of Toronto, physicist and author
Beric German --- housing advocate working on homeless issues for 25 years, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee
Sherrie Golden --- anti-poverty activist, artist, musician, TDRC administrative assistant, co-founder TDRC, TDRC Steering Committee.
Tanya Gulliver --- Instructor, "Homelessness in Canadian Society", Ryerson University, TDRC Steering Committee
Alice Heap --- active Anglican, housing activist
Don Heap --- former Toronto City Councillor, former Member of Parliament, Anglican priest, co-founder TDRC and honorary TDRC Steering Committee
David Hulchanski --- Professor and Director, Centre for Urban and Community
Studies, University of Toronto, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee
Sister Susan Moran --- Member of the Order of Canada, founder of Out of the Cold program (Toronto), and member of Our Lady's Missionaries
Charles Roach --- Criminal and Civil Rights Lawyer, co-founder and present Chair of Caribana, co-founder of Black Action Defence Committee, and Local Organizer of the National Conference of Black Lawyers
Bob Rose --- Program Director Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre/TDRC Steering Committee
Peter Rosenthal --- Lawyer with Roach, Schwartz and Associates, and Professor of Mathematics at University of Toronto, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee
Michael Shapcott --- housing advocate, co-chair National Housing and Homelessness Network, co-founder TDRC, TDRC Steering Committee
Frank Showler --- retired Ontario civil servant, former teacher, co-founder TDRC and TDRC Steering Committee
David Walsh --- President, Realco Property Ltd., Jane Jacobs Award recipient, board member Agora Foundation and Seeds of Hope Foundation, co-founder of TDRC and honorary member TDRC Steering Committee
to contact the organizers: email@example.com
[ 20 January 2008: Message edited by: AndrewM ]