Marchers holding signs at the Toronto Disability Pride March

Marchers holding signs at the Toronto Disability Pride March. Featuring Beverly Smith.

Back in 2015, before the Canadian federal election, a movement of disabled people was building across the country. The call for a barrier-free Canada was built in that time by a small, dedicated group of people who reinforced their message daily through social media and on the ground action. Their methods were so effective, that what began as a grassroots call for national solidarity grew into a campaign promise by Trudeau….

Instead of reaching out to offer paid work to disabled people, they paid consulting firms to find disabled people to consult with. They are doing market research rather than accepting the expertise of disabled people in designing policies or programs.

Read the full article I wrote for

City Hall, Council Chambers
100 Queen Street West
Tuesday, July 13 at 6 p.m.

TOBI, The Toronto Open Budget Initiative is a group of residents and community organizations working in areas including housing, arts, environment, childcare, social planning, child welfare, seniors, youth, anti-poverty, gender and racial equality, and local community services.  This group formed in September 2009 and has been organizing and advocating for a more open, participatory and equitable budget process in the City of Toronto.

The City of Toronto’s budget is $9.2 billion and oversees programs and services for over 2.4 million people.  TOBI wants to find ways for individuals to become more involved in making the decisions about how these funds are spent.  Join us for:
* A panel presentation of TOBI principles and values
* TOBI’s recommended actions
* A chance to learn about some issues within Toronto’s current budget process
* Sharing your ideas for a more open and participatory budget process in Toronto

A book was just published by a Toronto Sun cartoonist that is like a catalogue of street-involved homeless people.
It has profiles of each person with a drawing and description, often using people’s real name. The drawings also lable various features on the person’s body as if they are animals to be examed, for example “weird growth on neck”.
Each profile also includes a map of where to find people – the exact blocks where they tend to hang out.
It names and describes people like  “escaped mental patient”, “crack whore”, “pimp”, etc.
Apparently the author followed people around for two years to write the book.
Here is the website. It includes a sample of the book – the sample is NOT the ‘worst’ stuff… it gets scarier.