February Newsflash



New Directions Speakers’ School – New Session February 2017

  • Supporting Organizations: Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic, the City of Thunder Bay, Bay Credit Union, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Public Service Alliance of Canada, the United Way, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Date: New session starting February 2017
  • Event Summary: This free 14-week course runs twice per year teaching public speaking and leadership skills in an environment of peer support and within the context of education in social justice issues. Guest speakers present on issues relating to discrimination, disability, poverty and unemployment. Participants are those who have faced a variety of challenges, such as unemployment, workplace injuries, disability, poverty, mental health and/or addictions issues, discrimination, racism, and other economic or social challenges. Speakers’ School also offers workshops on various topics such as group facilitation, working with the media, and financial management for alumni who wish to continue developing their skills and broadening their knowledge once they have graduated.
  • Contact Info: Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
  • Link for more info: http://www.speakersschool.ca/


Billion or Bust Campaign

  • Supporting Organizations: Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), Waterloo Region Community Services, Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries, House of Friendship, and the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario
  • Date: Ongoing
  • Event Summary: The campaign actions included meeting with local Liberal M.P.P’s and asking them to champion the campaign asks in caucus. Asks include allocating $1 billion to increase Ontario Works and ODSP rates and change punitive and counterproductive rules, increase the commitment to affordable housing, and increase the minimum wage to $15. Two meetings with local M.P.P.`s both resulted an agreement to champion the campaign asks.
  • Contact Info:Waterloo Region Community Legal Services
  • Link for more info: http://isarc.ca/home-eh/billion-or-bust-campaign/


  • Supporting Organizations: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Professional Aboriginal Advocacy and Networking Group (PAANG)
  • Date: Ongoing (September 2016 – January 2018)
  • Event Summary: I AM COMMITTED challenges settler allies and celebrates Canada’s 150 PLUS by having their pictures taken for posters and on social media platforms to publicly commit to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We seek to promote reconciliation and build a vibrant, healthy and inclusive community. This is the second phase of powerful poster campaign about intergenerational trauma (I AM AFFECTED). Posters will be in Mohawk, French and English and will feature prominent people and ordinary citizens and will be distributed broadly for posting.
  • Contact Info: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
  • Link for more info: https://150alliance.ca/projects/project_listings/i_am_committed

The [DIS]PLACEMENT Project: Tools for Tenant Rights

  • Supporting Organizations: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton
  • Date: Ongoing (Monthly from March – July)
  • Event Summary: Free, community-based, legal training on housing! Displacement (involuntary loss of housing) due to gentrification is happening in Hamilton. To challenge this, the [Dis]placement Project provides training on housing law to community leaders, emerging community leaders, and service providers who support new Canadians in the Riverdale and Beasley neighbourhoods.
  • Contact Info: Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton
  • Link for more info: http://www.sprc.hamilton.on.ca/2017/02/the-displacement-project-tools-for-tenant-rights/


SBT Public Consultation on Consent Order Process

  • Supporting Organizations: Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC), Steering committee on Social Assistance – SBT Sub-Committee
  • Date: Contributions due February 15 by 5pm
  • Event Summary: on January 20th  the Social Benefit Tribunal made an announcement about a proposal to incorporate a “Consent Order” process into disability appeals. Consent orders will be available in situations where the parties to a disability appeal reach a settlement on the day of the hearing. Right now, settlements on hearing day are not possible because Case Presenting Officers do not have the authority to agree to grant an appellant disability benefits. The Disability Adjudication Unit has agreed to have an adjudicator on-call to give instructions to Case Presenting Officers. The Steering Committee on Social Assistance is gathering feedback from clinics.
  • Contact Info: Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
  • Link for more info: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/sbt-october-01-2016-sbt-has-a-new-address/

Pre-budget Submissions to the Ministry of Finance



Is your clinic working on a campaign or initiative you’d like featured? Contact Meghan Morrison for more info about the monthly OPICCO Newsflash.

Interested in Community Development/Community Organizing? Check out our Website: https://opicco.org/, or contact our co-chairs Liz Walker or Meghan Morrison



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