Archive for the ‘Campaigns’ Category

Winnipeg Supports a National Housing Strategy: National Housing Day 2012

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

On November 22, Right to Housing and the Red Tent Campaign, along with dozens of Winnipeg housing advocates stood together with other cities across Canada in support of Bill C-400 to mark National Housing Day. This Act, which is going to a vote in the House of Commons on November 28, will ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians. Participants picketed in front of the Cargill Building as it houses offices of the Federal Government. These actions were followed by a press conference, which attracted several local media outlets.

Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy and has consequently become a country of severe affordable and social housing shortages, escalating homelessness and an embarrassing lack of follow through in honouring our international human rights commitments to guarantee the right to adequate housing for our inhabitants.

For more information about the urgent need for a National Housing Strategy, read this article by the CCPA’s Shauna MacKinnon: National Housing Day: Still Waiting for Plan

View pictures from the day on our Facebook page

Students bring Social Housing Campaign to University of Winnipeg

Friday, March 30th, 2012

On Wednesday, March 28, five students from the University of Winnipeg held an action to promote the Red Tent petition to defend social housing in Canada. To catch people’s attention they set up a mock bachelor apartment in a busy walkway outside the main campus building. Using a combination of charm, and harassment, they talked students and faculty into stopping, then told them about the expiring operating grants and urged them to sign the petition. By the end of their four hour action they had collected over five hundred signatures.

Thank you Sara, Erin, Chelsey, Matt and Ron. You did a fabulous job!

Click here to see more pictures from the day.

Defend our social housing - important petition

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Red Tent Coalition of Canada- concerned about increase in housing crisis

Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, March 10, 2012 – A coalition of right to housing organizations across Canada concerned over the withdrawal of federal funding for existing social housing have launched a petition drive to put pressure on the Harper government.

This petition calls on the Federal Government to increase funding for the renovation of existing social housing units and more importantly, to continue to fund the operating subsidies for all the 900,000 plus social housing units across the country. As the mortgages are being paid off on these units, the operating subsidies that are attached to them are ending. If not dealt with, this will effectively move most of our country’s investment in social housing into the private market, effectively putting it out of reach for the people who most need it and for whom it was created.

Encourage your contacts to print as many copies of the petition as they need, remembering that the wording cannot be altered in any way. All signed petitions must be turned in to the Social Planning Council by April 20. They will then be forwarded to our central organization, FRAPRU in Quebec.

Right to Housing is planning events to increase the exposure of the issue during this campaign, including an action on May 25. This will be part of a national weekend of action to heighten awareness of the operating grant crisis. You will be kept current as these plans become clearer and we hope many of you will chose take part in the events.

Download the full press release: defend-our-social-housing-release-march-9-2012

Download the petition: red-tent-petition-pdf-mar-10-2012

Endorse an MP’s Plans to Put Housing Back in the Parliament Agenda

Monday, February 6th, 2012

MP Marie-Claude Morin, Housing critic for the NDP, is planning to introduce a bill similar to Bill C304. She is requesting organizations to endorse her efforts to put housing rights back on the Parliament’s agenda:


Dear friends,

As the Housing Critic for the Official Opposition, I am proud to present a bill that will ensure safe, secure, accessible, and affordable housing for all Canadians.

If made law, this bill would require the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to work with provincial ministers, municipal representatives, First Nations communities, non-profit housing groups, the private sector, and civil society organizations to finally create a Canadian national housing strategy.

I will be formally announcing the tabling of this bill with Deputy Critic for Housing, Andrew Cash (Davenport), at a press conference in Ottawa on February 16, at 10:30 am.

I invite you to join us in calling on the government to support this bill and implement a national housing strategy.

Please sign and return the attached letter, signalling your endorsement for a law that will guarantee all Canadians access to safe, secure, accessible and affordable housing.

We would greatly appreciate your support in our collective fight for housing in Canada.


Marie-Claude Morin
Députée | MP   Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot
Critique de l’opposition officielle en matière de logement /
Official Opposition Critic for Housing

National Housing Day in Winnipeg a Success

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The Right to Housing’s rally on Tuesday was a qualified success. Our theme was very current, “Homes not Jails”, referencing Bill C-10 that will cost us all a lot of money for little or no benefit. The National Housing Day events served two key purposes: 1) to rally our own supporters and celebrate our freedom to do it together in solidarity; and 2) to bring the issues of Canada’s housing shortage to the attention of the general population.

The rally ran very smoothly. The speakers were excellent. The weather was sunny and mild. The police escort was friendly and cooperative. Thank you to all the supporters, organizers, and everyone who came out, and all of those who wanted to but were unable.

Visit the Red Tent Campaign website to learn about National Housing Day events held across Canada.

Follow the links below to access National Housing Day media coverage from across Canada

So You Think You Can House Event a Great Success

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Over 150 people jammed the Free Press News Café and spilled out into the patio to take part in the “So You Think You Can House”, pre-election debate on Monday , September 19.  Ron Schuler, (PC), Paul Hesse, (Lib.), Kerri Irvin-Ross,(NDP), and Harold Dyck, (Green), settled into the carefully planned program moderated by Terry McLeod, host of CBC’s Information Radio.  A panel of policy experts made up of Shauna McKinnon, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Tom Carter, Carter and Associates, and Peter Squire, Winnipeg Realtors represented the public with informed questions for each candidate.  The candidates and the panel were given the questions one week in advance.  The questions concerned the creation of social housing, affordable rental housing, financing these, and government accountability.  After each question had been addressed, (or not addressed), by the candidates and the panel had asked their questions, the audience voted for the candidate that they thought had the best answer, by hold up coloured cards.

The response of the audience was very positive.  Many were party faithful but many were also young people who seemed to be seriously trying to assess the party’s positions on housing.  All candidates agreed that the housing shortage in Manitoba is a serious problem, affecting not only the thousands of households living in core housing need, but also industry and businesses that are crippled because there is not sufficient housing for their employees.  This is resulting in jobs going unfilled and overcrowding.  The other commonly acknowledged theme was the absence of the Federal government as a major funder in solving the housing shortage that affects not just Manitoba, but all of Canada.

The event was co-sponsored by the Right to Housing Coalition, the Planners Network and the Winnipeg Free Press.  The News Café won wide praise as a nifty venue for this type of event with full restaurant service throughout the event and a lively vibe.  My only concern was that with the exception of some good reporting by Terry McLeod the next morning on his show, the media, including the Free Press basically ignored the event.  As the main objective was to raise housing as an election issue, we had hoped and were assured, that there would be coverage.  As it was, only the 150 plus people who attended went home with a clearer idea of the housing issues and possibilities that the parties would offer to address them.

There is  growing agreement among all sectors that housing is an issue that needs much higher priority by all levels of government and the private sector.  The Canadian Federation of Municipalities have posted their statement relating the effects of lack of housing on immigrants.  It can be seen at: LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND EFFICIENT TRANSIT BARRIERS TO SUCCESS OF IMMIGRANTS AND THE ECONOMY

Media coverage for So You Think You Can House:

R2H Chronology of correspondence on Kapyong

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Right to Housing and the Federal Government:

Chronology of correspondence on Kapyong’s empty housing.

February 25, 2006: R2H writes to MP Vic Toews, asking for his support, as well as that of Prime Minister Harper, in making use of empty Kapyong homes. No reply from Mr. Toews.

November, 2007: R2H meets with MP Rod Bruinooge with a plan to use empty Kapyong houses while the government resolves the land issues. R2H followed up with letter indicating the Province’s support for the plan with rental subsidies and the need for a further meeting to advance this plan. No reply was received.

March 26, 2008: A delegation from St. Peter’s Anglican Church and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church meet with Mr. Bruinooge, contending that if there was no federal money to move Kapyong houses to First Nations communities, then they should be occupied.

MP Bruinooge said to expect the relocation effort to begin “within a couple of months.”

April 21, 2008: A similar delegation from St. Peter’s Anglican and Messiah Lutheran met with MP Steven Fletcher.  Mr. Fletcher blamed the First Nations court case and the indecision of the city of Winnipeg re: widening Kenaston Blvd. for the non-use of the homes.  The delegation pointed out that many of the empty homes were located on streets other than Kenaston, including the homes on Carpathia.  Mr. Fletcher said that some of the homes would be used “soon”.

April, 2009. As the senior conservative MP from Manitoba, R2H called Mr. Toews’ Steinbach constituency office to ask for a meeting at the Winnipeg federal cabinet office.  The staff person in Steinbach said the Winnipeg office is not open to the public.

May 8, 2009: R2H wrote to Mr. Toews requesting a May or June meeting to review the issues that are preventing the use of the Kapyong houses and present the R2H plan. No response from Mr. Toews.

October 9, 2009: With the federal court’s decision that Ottawa had failed to properly consult the Treaty One First Nations before transferring Kapyong to Canada Lands, chances are good the houses will remain empty unless the Government of Canada shows courage and leadership by proceeding with R2H’s plan to put them to good use. R2H wrote to Mr. Toews, following up on our email of September 30, requesting a meeting to ask for Mr. Toews’ assistance in implementing the R2H plan for the interim use of some of the empty houses on the Kapyong base. There has been no reply from Mr. Toews.

Kapyong houses still empty - Right to Housing wants to know why

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Media Release - For Immediate Release

Families homeless; Kapyong houses still empty — Right to Housing wants to know why.

Winnipeg, MB November 18, 2009-

Right to Housing Coalition will hold informational pickets to draw attention to the more than 100 empty Kapyong houses that have remained empty for the past five years, while being maintained at a total cost of $7.5 million to taxpayers.

* One picket will take place at the former Kapyong Barracks site, corner of Kenaston and Corydon at 3:30 on Friday, November 20th.

* A second informational picket will be held in Steinbach at 1pm on Friday, November 20th, and will involve a visit to the office of Vic Toews, MP, Provencher, to ask him why he has refused to respond to the Coalition’s ongoing requests to address this issue. (See Chronology)

The Coalition wants taxpayers to know that, while the Canadian Forces housing remains empty, the houses continue to be heated and maintained, at a cost of about $1.5 million per year (based on heat, upkeep, security and lost rent).  The cost of losing them due to deterioration could be over $15 million.

At the same time taxpayers are paying to heat these empty houses, there is a critical shortage of low-cost housing for families in the city.

This situation has been brought to the attention of Minister Toews on a number of occasions. Minister Toews, President of the Treasury Board and senior minister in the federal government from Manitoba, has been asked to meet to discuss the Coalition’s proposal to allow a number of the empty houses to be used as transitional housing for eligible families. All the federal government has to do to provide a letter directing the empty houses be rented.

The Province of Manitoba has agreed to provide rent subsidies under existing provincial housing programs as soon as the houses become available.

Right to Housing is a Winnipeg-based coalition that brings together 36 organizations and over 120 individuals to address the chronic need for social housing.

For more information, please contact:

Ellen Kruger, Right to Housing Coalition

Ph:  204-774-5080

Government Lobbying

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Right to Housing contends that the ongoing, meaningful role of all levels of government is essential to ensuring that adequate housing is available to those most vulnerable in our society who are in core housing need. The Coalition lobbies politicians and bureaucrats at all three levels regarding the need for sound policies, inclusive programs, and public investment in the creation of social housing.

Presentations, transcripts of panels and presentations, and correspondence with politicians reflecting our lobbying activities are available here.

December 2008: Don’t Sell Public Housing.

Following up on a Winnipeg Free Press op-ed, “Sell public housing,” by Dan Klymchuk (klymchuk-op-ed-dec-081), Right to Housing published a Letter to the Editor, “Don’t sell public housing” (letter-to-ed-fp-dec-081) and emailed Minister of Housing Gord Mackintosh (email-to-mackintosh-dec-081).

February 2008: Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative.

Right to Housing’s presentation to the tri-level Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Inititative (WHHI): presentation-to-whhi

Kapyong Military Base Housing

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Right to Housing is committed to seeing a number of empty houses on Kapyong Military Base along Winnipeg’s Kenaston Boulevard used as transitional, subsidized housing for newcomer immigrant and Aboriginal people on an interim basis. Right to Housing is working in coordination with the following stakeholders to achieve this goal: Interfaith Immigration Council (Welcome Place), Kanata Housing, SAM Management Inc., Manitoba Urban Native Housing Association, and E.A.G.L.E. Urban Transition Centre.

The full proposal for a pilot project of transitional housing on Kapyong Base is available here: kapyong-base-project

Press release, October 13, 2006 - Toronto-based street nurse joins Right to Housing picket

Cathy Crowe, housing advocate and “street nurse”, will join the River Heights Ministerial Housing Action Group and the Right to Housing Coalition in an informational picket Tuesday, October 17, beginning at the Corydon and Carpathia bus shelter. Picketing will take place along Kenaston Blvd. from 8:00 AM until 9:00 AM, and a press conference will be held at 8:15 AM. Read more