[Hpn] Cathy Crowe news January Newsletter

William CharlesTinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 12 Jan 2005 16:43:28 -0500


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Cathy Crowe January 2005 Newsletter

----- Original Message -----=20
From: Crowe News=20
Wednesday, January 12, 2005=20
January Newsletter




=20

Below is the seventh edition of Cathy Crowe's monthly newsletter. A =
great resource for individuals who care about homelessness, health and =
other social issues. To accommodate for the various email systems and =
settings of our subscribers, we have attached the full newsletter as a =
text file. You can also view Cathy's newsletters at her website at: =
http://www.tdrc.net/Crowe-Newsetter_main.htm.=20

You have been subscribed to this list that is specifically for this =
monthly newsletter. We will not share this list with any other party. If =
you do not wish to receive any future editions, simply Reply to this =
email with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line and you will be =
removed from the list. Also, if you have any questions about the list or =
any feedback for the newsletter send an email to: =
crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca .=20



Cathy Crowe Newsletter No. 7, January 2005

      I've been a street nurse in Toronto for 15 years. In the spring of =
2004 I received the Atkinson Economic Justice Award which permits me to =
pursue, for up to three years, my passions for nursing and working on =
homelessness and housing issues. In this newsletter I hope to report on =
my activities, create a link to a broader group of individuals who care =
about these social issues and encourage critical debate.=20

      Further information about subscribing to the newsletter is found =
below.  I want to hear from you - about the newsletter, about things =
that are happening in the homelessness sector (what a sad term!), and =
about good things which will provide inspiration for all of us.


      *****************************************************=20
     =20

      January 2005=20

      Disaster: "catastrophe, calamity, tragedy, flood, deluge, quake, =
typhoon, tsunami, hardship, adversity, hurt, ruin, desolation, trouble =
and strife, collapse, breakdown." (from Rodale's Synonym finder)

      There's essentially one thing on everyone's mind of late - the =
tsunami disaster. The consequences of disaster, natural or man-made, are =
linked to social vulnerability and the strength, capacity and resilience =
of a region's infrastructure and economy. This will be apparent in years =
to come in the more than 13 countries affected by the tsunami.=20

      Like other Canadians I gave a donation to one of the Tsunami =
relief groups. Will this catastrophe be solved by the global community's =
outpouring of donations? Should the weight of that responsibility be on =
individuals and groups or on governments? If this huge fundraising =
effort is not enough, what then?=20

      This got me to thinking about my own personal interest in the =
concept of disaster.=20

      Canada has seen its share of natural and man-made disasters (the =
1917 Halifax explosion, 1958 Springhill mining disaster, the 1987 =
Edmonton tornado, the 1950 and 1997 Manitoba floods, the 1998 Canadian =
ice storm, and Canada 's late -90s worsening homelessness disaster).=20

      In the spring of 1998 the City of Toronto's Homeless Advisory =
Committee, which advises City Council, asked that the city be declared a =
federal disaster area because it could not treat or shelter its growing =
number of homeless people. This motion was shuffled to another committee =
and was ultimately ignored.=20

      So, later in the year some of the proponents of this motion =
(myself included) came together and formed the Toronto Disaster Relief =
Committee. We asked that the disaster of homelessness be dealt with in =
the same manner and spirit as other Canadian disasters such as floods =
and ice storms. We demanded emergency relief monies for our cities and a =
long term strategy for a national housing program where an additional 1% =
of government budgets would be allocated for an affordable national =
housing program. (The entire State of Emergency Declaration document is =
on the TDRC web site at www.tdrc.net - look at Reports and Articles - =
before 2002).=20

      What was the Canadian response to Canada's homeless disaster?=20

        a.. On the day the declaration was released the Toronto Star =
headlines read "Plight of the homeless a National Disaster" (Toronto =
Star, October 8, 1998)

        b.. Within weeks of the Disaster Declaration, hundreds of =
prominent individuals and groups including city councils across the =
country and the Big City Mayors' Caucus of the Federation of Canadian =
Municipalities endorsed the disaster declaration.=20

        c.. The United Nations responded by criticizing Canada's track =
record on housing. "The Committee is gravely concerned that such a =
wealthy country as Canada has allowed the problem of homelessness and =
inadequate housing to grow to such proportions that the mayors of =
Canada's ten largest cities have now declared homelessness a national =
disaster." (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. =
1998)

        d.. The federal government responded as well. Prime Minister =
Chr=E9tien appointed a senior Cabinet Minister, Claudette Bradshaw, as =
Minister Responsible for Homelessness, perhaps the only government =
position in the industrialized world with this title. Eventually the =
federal government rolled out hundreds of millions of dollars for =
homelessness relief called 'Supporting Community Partnerships =
Initiatives' or as we call it "SCPI" (pronounced skippy).=20
      The good thing about Ms. Bradshaw's appointment was that =
communities across the country had to develop community plans to =
document the horrific state of their communities when it came to housing =
and homelessness and it forged some pretty strong alliances for advocacy =
work.=20

      However, as the name suggests, the federal response "skipped" over =
the concept of housing. Instead, the government took an individual =
approach to the homeless victims of the disaster, focusing on =
circumstances of their homelessness: mental illness, alcohol or drug =
use, personal trauma or crisis, etc. They "skipped" the broader social =
and structural causes of the crisis: cuts to social programs including =
housing and social assistance, tighter eligibility restrictions for =
social safety net programs such as EI and disability benefits, changes =
to tenant protection legislation, to name just a few. As Michael =
Shapcott has said "the "SCPI" monies made homeless people more =
comfortable being homeless, but no less homeless." This would be like =
providing emergency relief to the victims in Asia but refusing to bring =
in the necessary long term infrastructure. Many commentators are =
presently warning of this outcome.=20

      Almost 7 years after Canada 's historic Disaster Declaration we =
still await the federal government's commitment to a national housing =
program. Emphasizing this point, economist Armine Yalnizyan points out - =
Canada now has a population of 31 million. 1.7 million are underhoused =
or non-housed (Canadian Housing and Renewal Association). That's 5.5% of =
the Canadian population still looking for safe, decent and affordable =
housing.=20

      Disasters are both natural and man- made.=20

      It's important to note that the term "disaster" was and still is =
appropriate to use to describe Canada's homeless situation. The World =
Health Organization describes a disaster as "any occurrence that causes =
damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of =
health and health services on a scale sufficient to warrant an =
extraordinary response from outside the affected community."=20

      Disaster is not just a single event but a social consequence. In =
the 1999 World Disasters report, an annual survey of humanitarian =
trends, Astrid Heiberg states "everyone is aware of the environmental =
problems of global warming and deforestation on one hand and the social =
problems of increasing poverty and growing shanty towns on the =
other..when these two factors collide, you have a new scale of =
catastrophe."=20

      So what is the government role in responding to disasters - =
whether it be a natural disaster like the tsunami or one caused by =
structural policies like Canadian homelessness? Experts who study =
disaster such as Saundra Schneider argue that "natural disasters create =
problems that can realistically be addressed and managed by government." =
Certainly Canada's growing volunteer sector, the charity sector, which =
has responded to the life and death needs of homeless people, whether it =
be church basement Out of the Cold programs, or annual drives for =
sleeping bags, have proven ineffective in alleviating homelessness. =
Perhaps worse, they have allowed the municipal sector to further =
withdraw from providing essential life-saving shelters that meet UN =
standards for refugee camps. Furthermore, Canadian governments' promises =
that the private sector would fill the gap in affordable housing starts =
has been an empty promise, although the private sector has certainly =
been there to benefit from what scarce provincial housing monies there =
are.=20

      Professor Ursula Franklin suggests that natural disasters such as =
the 1985 Mexico City earthquakes that killed 10,000 people, evoke =
solidarity and tolerance. Political and social divisions are put aside =
and people focus on providing solutions to the injured and homeless =
while at the same time addressing prevention, for example, in the Mexico =
case - improved use of geological knowledge and the role of the subway =
layout in the amplification of shock waves. Homelessness, in the =
Canadian case a man-made disaster, increasingly evokes blame, =
discrimination and stereotypes as an excuse to not do anything.=20

      For example, we have recently witnessed debate at Toronto City =
Council that I would consider discriminatory - homeless people called =
bad for tourism, called lazy, an eyesore and best suited for assignment =
to garbage pick-up responsibilities. We have also witnessed provincial =
legislation that makes it illegal to panhandle or beg for money.=20

      Had our governments acknowledged homelessness as a legitimate =
political earthquake, it could have resulted in an organized tri-level =
government response to homelessness and it's not unrealistic to have =
expected that. We have witnessed other landmark Canadian versions of the =
earthquake, for example floods, and chemical spills. These catastrophes =
all resulted in a government led shelter and rehousing response.=20

      We perhaps should apply the same lesson to our response to the =
tsunami. How should we respond to "political earthquakes"? Are emergency =
pledges within days of a catastrophe and frantic global relief charity =
drives enough?=20

        a.. Richard Gwyn in the Toronto Star (January 5, 2005) argues =
that some of the wealthy nations that have proudly announced large =
contributions will never fulfill their pledges, and many will take the =
money from other projects, including from countries like Haiti and Iran, =
hard-hit by their own natural disasters, or from HIV/AIDS funds to =
Africa=20
        a.. While the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 150,000, both the =
Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail have reminded us of other worldwide =
disasters. AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria alone kill 40 times that =
number every year. In the days since the tsunami, more than 360,000 have =
died around the world from poverty diseases (tuberculosis, malaria, =
AIDS, pneumonia). ( Toronto Star Jan. 8, 2005 and Globe and Mail January =
7, 2005 ). The United Nations still struggles to respond effectively.=20
      We need to keep reminding our governments of the homeless disaster =
right here in Canada .=20

      In 1990, while in opposition, Liberal MPs Paul Martin and Joe =
Fontana called for a major new national housing strategy. The report is =
called Finding Room: Housing Solutions for the Future, Report of the =
National Liberal Caucus Task Force on Housing. Released after an =
extensive national consultation, when Mr. Martin's Liberal Party was not =
in power, the report contains 25 recommendations to improve the lot of =
Canada's homeless population, aboriginal people, tenants and low-income =
homeowners. The report states: "The federal government has abandoned its =
responsibilities with regards to housing problems... The housing crisis =
is growing at an alarming rate and the government sits there and does =
nothing; it refuses to apply the urgent measures that are required to =
reverse this deteriorating situation... The federal role in housing must =
not be a residual one. The connection between housing and other aspects =
of both social and economic policy means that the federal government =
must take a lead role... Our market housing system has not responded =
adequately to all of society's needs. ....The Task Force believes =
that... all Canadians have the right to decent housing, in decent =
surroundings, at affordable prices."=20

      Well, Paul Martin is now Prime Minister and Joe Fontana is now =
Canada's housing minister and they have promised $1.5 billion towards =
housing.=20

      In Ontario we also have promises. In 2003, Premier Dalton McGuinty =
promised monies for 20,000 housing units and for 35,000 rent =
supplements.=20

      "We can deliver relief when there is pain, shelter where there is =
none", Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said on January 8th, Day of =
Mourning for Tsunami victims.=20

      We should be absolutely certain that Ottawa and Ontario 's promise =
are not like the outcome of the numerous Toronto waterfront =
announcements we have heard over the last few years.=20

      What if governments just gave short term aid such as clean water, =
food and blankets to the tsunami victims? What if we didn't help them =
with housing, fishing boats and the repair of their tourist industry? =
The outcome would be long term poverty, homelessness and death.=20

      Presently, the Canadian government's response to our homeless =
disaster has essentially been funding of shelters, social services and =
food. This has left people poor, homeless, and dying. The response to =
disasters has to answer more than immediate needs - whether it is at =
home or abroad. As my TDRC co- founder Beric German says "Disasters are =
only over when civil society is returned and people can live together =
with dignity, prosperity and hope."=20

      Cathy

      =20

      Subscribe to this newsletter

      I plan to publish this newsletter regularly. If you receive this =
newsletter directly, then your address is already on our mailing list; =
otherwise, to subscribe or unsubscribe, send a note to =
crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca . For more information on my work including =
this and other editions of my newsletter please visit my web page at =
www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm.=20

      There is no charge for this newsletter.  Please forward it to your =
friends and others who you think may be interested in it. I value your =
feedback and ideas. Please share them with me at ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca =
or c/o the Sherbourne Health Centre, 365 Bloor Street East, Suite 301, =
Toronto, ON, M4W 3L4.

    =20
      Photo: Cathy Crowe at the Federal-provincial-territorial meeting =
in Gatineau with members of FRAPRU; Photo by Danielle Koyama =20

=20






   
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<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message -----=20
<DIV style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; font-color: black"><B>From:</B> <A=20
title=3Dcrowenews@sherbourne.on.ca =
href=3D"mailto:crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca">Crowe=20
News</A> </DIV>
<DIV>Wednesday, January 12, 2005&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>January Newsletter</DIV></DIV>
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<P class=3Dstyle4>&nbsp;</P>
<P class=3Dstyle4>Below is the seventh edition of Cathy Crowe's monthly=20
newsletter. A great resource for individuals who care about =
homelessness, health=20
and other social issues. To accommodate for the various email systems =
and=20
settings of our subscribers, we have attached the full newsletter as a =
text=20
file. You can also view Cathy's newsletters at her website at: <A=20
href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net/Crowe-Newsetter_main.htm"=20
target=3D_blank>http://www.tdrc.net/Crowe-Newsetter_main.htm</A>. </P>
<P class=3Dstyle4>You have been subscribed to this list that is =
specifically for=20
this monthly newsletter. We will not share this list with any other =
party. If=20
you do not wish to receive any future editions, simply Reply to this =
email with=20
the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line and you will be removed from =
the=20
list. Also, if you have any questions about the list or any feedback for =
the=20
newsletter send an email to: <A=20
href=3D"mailto:crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca">crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca =
</A>. </P>
<P class=3Dstyle4>&nbsp;</P>
<P class=3Dstyle3>Cathy Crowe Newsletter No. 7, January 2005</P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=3D10 cellPadding=3D2 width=3D"85%" border=3D0>
  <TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD>
      <DIV align=3Djustify>
      <P class=3Dstyle2>I've been a street nurse in Toronto for 15 =
years. In the=20
      spring of 2004 I received the Atkinson Economic Justice Award =
which=20
      permits me to pursue, for up to three years, my passions for =
nursing and=20
      working on homelessness and housing issues. In this newsletter I =
hope to=20
      report on my activities, create a link to a broader group of =
individuals=20
      who care about these social issues and encourage critical debate.=20
      <BR><BR>Further information about subscribing to the newsletter is =
found=20
      below.&nbsp; I want to hear from you - about the newsletter, about =
things=20
      that are happening in the homelessness sector (what a sad term!), =
and=20
      about good things which will provide inspiration for all of =
us.</P>
      <P =
class=3Dstyle2><BR>***************************************************** =

      </P></DIV></TD>
    <TD vAlign=3Dtop><IMG=20
src=3D"http://www.chaddavis.ca/crowe/image003.jpg"></TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD colSpan=3D2>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><A name=3DTop></A></P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG>January 2005=20
      </STRONG><BR><BR>Disaster: =93<EM>catastrophe, calamity, tragedy, =
flood,=20
      deluge, quake, typhoon, <STRONG>tsunami</STRONG>, hardship, =
adversity,=20
      hurt, ruin, desolation, trouble and strife, collapse, =
breakdown.=94</EM>=20
      (from Rodale=92s Synonym finder)</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>There=92s essentially one thing =
on everyone=92s=20
      mind of late - the tsunami disaster. The consequences of disaster, =
natural=20
      or man-made, are linked to social vulnerability and the strength, =
capacity=20
      and resilience of a region=92s infrastructure and economy. This =
will be=20
      apparent in years to come in the more than 13 countries affected =
by the=20
      tsunami. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Like other Canadians I gave a =
donation to=20
      one of the Tsunami relief groups. Will this catastrophe be solved =
by the=20
      global community=92s outpouring of donations? Should the weight of =
that=20
      responsibility be on individuals and groups or on governments? If =
this=20
      huge fundraising effort is not enough, what then? </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>This got me to thinking about my =
own=20
      personal interest in the concept of disaster. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Canada has seen its share of =
natural and=20
      man-made disasters (the 1917 Halifax explosion, 1958 Springhill =
mining=20
      disaster, the 1987 Edmonton tornado, the 1950 and 1997 Manitoba =
floods,=20
      the 1998 Canadian ice storm, and Canada =92s late -90s worsening=20
      homelessness disaster). </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>In the spring of 1998 the City =
of Toronto=92s=20
      Homeless Advisory Committee, which advises City Council, asked =
that the=20
      city be declared a federal disaster area because it could not =
treat or=20
      shelter its growing number of homeless people. This motion was =
shuffled to=20
      another committee and was ultimately ignored. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>So, later in the year some of =
the proponents=20
      of this motion (myself included) came together and formed the =
Toronto=20
      Disaster Relief Committee. We asked that the disaster of =
homelessness be=20
      dealt with in the same manner and spirit as other Canadian =
disasters such=20
      as floods and ice storms. We demanded emergency relief monies for =
our=20
      cities and a long term strategy for a national housing program =
where an=20
      additional 1% of government budgets would be allocated for an =
affordable=20
      national housing program. (The entire State of Emergency =
Declaration=20
      document is on the TDRC web site at <A =
href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net/"=20
      target=3D_blank>www.tdrc.net</A> =96 look at Reports and Articles =
=96 before=20
      2002). </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>What was the Canadian response =
to Canada=92s=20
      homeless disaster? </P>
      <UL>
        <LI class=3Dstyle2>
        <DIV align=3Djustify>On the day the declaration was released the =
Toronto=20
        Star headlines read =93Plight of the homeless a National =
Disaster=94=20
        (Toronto Star, October 8, 1998)<BR></DIV>
        <LI class=3Dstyle2>
        <DIV align=3Djustify>Within weeks of the Disaster Declaration, =
hundreds of=20
        prominent individuals and groups including city councils across =
the=20
        country and the Big City Mayors=92 Caucus of the Federation of =
Canadian=20
        Municipalities endorsed the disaster declaration. <BR></DIV>
        <LI class=3Dstyle2>
        <DIV align=3Djustify>T<SPAN class=3Dstyle2>he United Nations =
responded by=20
        criticizing Canada=92s track record on housing. =93The Committee =
is gravely=20
        concerned that such a wealthy country as Canada has allowed the =
problem=20
        of homelessness and inadequate housing to grow to such =
proportions that=20
        the mayors of Canada=92s ten largest cities have now declared =
homelessness=20
        a national disaster.=94 (UN Committee on Economic, Social and =
Cultural=20
        Rights, Dec. 1998)<BR></SPAN></DIV>
        <LI class=3Dstyle2>
        <DIV align=3Djustify>The federal government responded as well. =
Prime=20
        Minister Chr=E9tien appointed a senior Cabinet Minister, =
Claudette=20
        Bradshaw, as Minister Responsible for Homelessness, perhaps the =
only=20
        government position in the industrialized world with this title. =

        Eventually the federal government rolled out hundreds of =
millions of=20
        dollars for homelessness relief called =91Supporting Community=20
        Partnerships Initiatives=92 or as we call it =93SCPI=94 =
(pronounced=20
        <STRONG>skippy</STRONG>). </DIV></LI></UL>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>The good thing about Ms. =
Bradshaw=92s=20
      appointment was that communities across the country had to develop =

      community plans to document the horrific state of their =
communities when=20
      it came to housing and homelessness and it forged some pretty =
strong=20
      alliances for advocacy work. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>However, as the name suggests, =
the federal=20
      response <STRONG>=93skipped</STRONG>=94 over the concept of =
housing. Instead,=20
      the government took an individual approach to the homeless victims =
of the=20
      disaster, focusing on circumstances of their homelessness: mental =
illness,=20
      alcohol or drug use, personal trauma or crisis, etc. They =
=93skipped=94 the=20
      broader social and structural causes of the crisis: cuts to social =

      programs including housing and social assistance, tighter =
eligibility=20
      restrictions for social safety net programs such as EI and =
disability=20
      benefits, changes to tenant protection legislation, to name just a =
few. As=20
      Michael Shapcott has said =93the =93SCPI=94 monies made homeless =
people more=20
      comfortable being homeless, but no less homeless.=94 This would be =
like=20
      providing emergency relief to the victims in Asia but refusing to =
bring in=20
      the necessary long term infrastructure. Many commentators are =
presently=20
      warning of this outcome. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Almost 7 years after Canada =92s =
historic=20
      Disaster Declaration we still await the federal government=92s =
commitment to=20
      a national housing program. Emphasizing this point, economist =
Armine=20
      Yalnizyan points out - Canada now has a population of 31 million. =
1.7=20
      million are underhoused or non-housed (Canadian Housing and =
Renewal=20
      Association). That=92s 5.5% of the Canadian population still =
looking for=20
      safe, decent and affordable housing. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Disasters are both natural and =
man- made.=20
      </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>It=92s important to note that =
the term=20
      =93disaster=94 was and still is appropriate to use to describe =
Canada=92s=20
      homeless situation. The World Health Organization describes a =
disaster as=20
      =93any occurrence that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss =
of human=20
      life, deterioration of health and health services on a scale =
sufficient to=20
      warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected =
community.=94=20
      </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Disaster is not just a single =
event but a=20
      social consequence. In the 1999 World Disasters report, an annual =
survey=20
      of humanitarian trends, Astrid Heiberg states =93everyone is aware =
of the=20
      environmental problems of global warming and deforestation on one =
hand and=20
      the social problems of increasing poverty and growing shanty towns =
on the=20
      other=85.when these two factors collide, you have a new scale of=20
      catastrophe.=94 </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>So what is the government role =
in responding=20
      to disasters =96 whether it be a natural disaster like the tsunami =
or one=20
      caused by structural policies like Canadian homelessness? Experts =
who=20
      study disaster such as Saundra Schneider argue that =93natural =
disasters=20
      create problems that can realistically be addressed and managed by =

      government.=94 Certainly Canada=92s growing volunteer sector, the =
charity=20
      sector, which has responded to the life and death needs of =
homeless=20
      people, whether it be church basement Out of the Cold programs, or =
annual=20
      drives for sleeping bags, have proven ineffective in alleviating=20
      homelessness. Perhaps worse, they have allowed the municipal =
sector to=20
      further withdraw from providing essential life-saving shelters =
that meet=20
      UN standards for refugee camps. Furthermore, Canadian =
governments=92=20
      promises that the private sector would fill the gap in affordable =
housing=20
      starts has been an empty promise, although the private sector has=20
      certainly been there to benefit from what scarce provincial =
housing monies=20
      there are. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Professor Ursula Franklin =
suggests that=20
      natural disasters such as the 1985 Mexico City earthquakes that =
killed=20
      10,000 people, evoke solidarity and tolerance. Political and =
social=20
      divisions are put aside and people focus on providing solutions to =
the=20
      injured and homeless while at the same time addressing prevention, =
for=20
      example, in the Mexico case - improved use of geological knowledge =
and the=20
      role of the subway layout in the amplification of shock waves.=20
      Homelessness, in the Canadian case a man-made disaster, =
increasingly=20
      evokes blame, discrimination and stereotypes as an excuse to not =
do=20
      anything. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>For example, we have recently =
witnessed=20
      debate at Toronto City Council that I would consider =
discriminatory =96=20
      homeless people called bad for tourism, called lazy, an eyesore =
and best=20
      suited for assignment to garbage pick-up responsibilities. We have =
also=20
      witnessed provincial legislation that makes it illegal to =
panhandle or beg=20
      for money. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Had our governments acknowledged =

      homelessness as a legitimate political earthquake, it could have =
resulted=20
      in an organized tri-level government response to homelessness and =
it=92s not=20
      unrealistic to have expected that. We have witnessed other =
landmark=20
      Canadian versions of the earthquake, for example floods, and =
chemical=20
      spills. These catastrophes all resulted in a government led =
shelter and=20
      rehousing response. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>We perhaps should apply the same =
lesson to=20
      our response to the tsunami. How should we respond to =93political =

      earthquakes=94? Are emergency pledges within days of a catastrophe =
and=20
      frantic global relief charity drives enough? </P>
      <UL>
        <LI class=3Dstyle2>
        <DIV align=3Djustify>Richard Gwyn in the Toronto Star (January =
5, 2005)=20
        argues that some of the wealthy nations that have proudly =
announced=20
        large contributions will never fulfill their pledges, and many =
will take=20
        the money from other projects, including from countries like =
Haiti and=20
        Iran, hard-hit by their own natural disasters, or from HIV/AIDS =
funds to=20
        Africa </DIV></LI></UL>
      <DIV class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>
      <UL>
        <LI>While the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 150,000, both the =
Toronto Star=20
        and the Globe and Mail have reminded us of other worldwide =
disasters.=20
        AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria alone kill 40 times that number =
every=20
        year. In the days since the tsunami, more than 360,000 have died =
around=20
        the world from poverty diseases (tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS,=20
        pneumonia). ( Toronto Star Jan. 8, 2005 and Globe and Mail =
January 7,=20
        2005 ). The United Nations still struggles to respond =
effectively.=20
      </LI></UL></DIV>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>We need to keep reminding our =
governments of=20
      the homeless disaster right here in Canada . </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>In 1990, while in opposition, =
Liberal MPs=20
      Paul Martin and Joe Fontana called for a major new national =
housing=20
      strategy. The report is called <EM>Finding Room: Housing Solutions =
for the=20
      Future, Report of the National Liberal Caucus Task Force on =
Housing</EM>.=20
      Released after an extensive national consultation, when Mr. =
Martin=92s=20
      Liberal Party was not in power, the report contains 25 =
recommendations to=20
      improve the lot of Canada=92s homeless population, aboriginal =
people,=20
      tenants and low-income homeowners. The report states: =93The =
federal=20
      government has abandoned its responsibilities with regards to =
housing=20
      problems... The housing crisis is growing at an alarming rate and =
the=20
      government sits there and does nothing; it refuses to apply the =
urgent=20
      measures that are required to reverse this deteriorating =
situation... The=20
      federal role in housing must not be a residual one. The connection =
between=20
      housing and other aspects of both social and economic policy means =
that=20
      the federal government must take a lead role... Our market housing =
system=20
      has not responded adequately to all of society=92s needs. ....The =
Task Force=20
      believes that... all Canadians have the right to decent housing, =
in decent=20
      surroundings, at affordable prices." </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Well, Paul Martin is now Prime =
Minister and=20
      Joe Fontana is now Canada=92s housing minister and they have =
promised $1.5=20
      billion towards housing. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>In Ontario we also have =
promises. In 2003,=20
      Premier Dalton McGuinty promised monies for 20,000 housing units =
and for=20
      35,000 rent supplements. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>=93We can deliver relief when =
there is pain,=20
      shelter where there is none=94, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty =
said on=20
      January 8th, Day of Mourning for Tsunami victims. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>We should be absolutely certain =
that Ottawa=20
      and Ontario =92s promise are not like the outcome of the numerous =
Toronto=20
      waterfront announcements we have heard over the last few years. =
</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>What if governments just gave =
short term aid=20
      such as clean water, food and blankets to the tsunami victims? =
What if we=20
      didn=92t help them with housing, fishing boats and the repair of =
their=20
      tourist industry? The outcome would be long term poverty, =
homelessness and=20
      death. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Presently, the Canadian =
government=92s=20
      response to our homeless disaster has essentially been funding of=20
      shelters, social services and food. This has left people poor, =
homeless,=20
      and dying. The response to disasters has to answer more than =
immediate=20
      needs =96 whether it is at home or abroad. As my TDRC co- founder =
Beric=20
      German says =93Disasters are only over when civil society is =
returned and=20
      people can live together with dignity, prosperity and hope.=94 =
</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>Cathy</P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify> </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify><STRONG>Subscribe to this=20
      newsletter</STRONG><BR><BR><FONT size=3D3>I plan to publish this =
newsletter=20
      regularly. If you receive this newsletter directly, then your =
address is=20
      already on our mailing list; otherwi</FONT>se, to subscribe or=20
      unsubscribe, send a note to <A=20
      =
href=3D"mailto:crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca">crowenews@sherbourne.on.ca =
</A>.=20
      For more information on my work including this and other editions =
of my=20
      newsletter please visit my web page at <A=20
      href=3D"http://www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm"=20
      target=3D_blank>www.tdrc.net/cathycrowe.htm</A></F ont>. </P>
      <P class=3Dstyle2 align=3Djustify>There is no charge for this=20
      newsletter.&nbsp; Please forward it to your friends and others who =
you=20
      think may be interested in it. I value your feedback and ideas. =
Please=20
      share them with me at <A=20
      =
href=3D"mailto:ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca">ccrowe@sherbourne.on.ca</A> or =
c/o=20
      the Sherbourne Health Centre, 365 Bloor Street East, Suite 301, =
Toronto,=20
      ON, M4W 3L4.</P>
      <P align=3Dright><SPAN class=3Dstyle6><A class=3Dstyle8 =
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      class=3Dstyle7></SPAN></A></SPAN></P></TD></TR>
  <TR>
    <TD colSpan=3D2><SPAN class=3Dstyle2><EM>Photo: Cathy Crowe at the=20
      Federal-provincial-territorial meeting in Gatineau with members of =
FRAPRU;=20
      Photo by Danielle Koyama </EM></SPAN></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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