OPICCO Newsflash – July 2017





  1. SBT Medical Review Early Resolution Pilot – Update and Survey
  • Supporting Organizations: Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT), ISAC
  • Date: Deadline is August 14th
  • Event Summary: The SBT has gradually been expanding its “Medical Review Early Resolution Pilot Project”. The SBT is asking participating clinics to complete a survey by August 14.

Your completion of the survey would be greatly appreciated, to ensure that we identify all the benefits and problems with the program.


  1. SST Appeal Process Review – Submission Deadline
  • Supporting Organizations: Social Security Tribunal, CRO, ISAC
  • Date: Deadline is August 8th
  • Event Summary: The federal government has hired KPMG to review the SST appeals process. We have been talking for years about all the problems with this tribunal; now is our opportunity to voice those concerns! But the deadline is coming up soon. We invite you to make submissions to the review before the (recently-extended) deadline of August 8. The survey does not address all the issues that we have flagged. Make sure you use the comment boxes to explain all the problems you have experienced and to clearly explain how you think the process needs to be changed

You can participate by written, audio, video feedback, or by completing the online survey.

Mail: Review of SST


150 Elgin Street, Suite 1800

Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2P8

Email: tribunal@kpmg.ca



  1. Immigration Funding Action Campaign
  • Supporting Organizations: Willowdale Community Legal Services, ICIWG, private bar
  • Date: Ongoing
  • Event Summary: Willowdale Community Legal Services issued a written statement to all of our MP’s and MPP’s, the Minister of IRCC, and the Attorney Generals for ON and Canada about the immigration and refugee Legal Aid funding issue. We followed up with specific MP’s that we thought would assist further, and one of them wrote a letter of support to the Minister of IRCC, on our behalf.

We contacted community partners and asked them to endorse our written statement and write to the MP’s/ MPP’s. We were in contact with ICIWG and private bar (through Maureen Silcoff) to coordinate action.

So far we have received responses from the Minister of IRCC and one MP – both acknowledging the issues. There was some indication that additional funding may be available to address the deficits creating this crisis

Contact Info: Willowdale Community Legal Services


  1. Housing Stabilization Fund Action Meeting
  • Supporting Organizations: ISAC, GTA Clinics
  • Date/Time/Location: August 3rd, 10:00 am, 55 University room H1 on the 14th floor
  • Event Summary: Changes to the HSF have been made without consultation with community partners and legal clinics. A meeting to talk about our next steps in pushing for better reform to the HSF. Agenda includes:
    • Changes to the HSF: Questions and Clarification
    • Updates since the submissions and letter
    • Next Steps (Clinic Actions- some of the proposed ideas from our SAAC group)
    • Meeting with City Councillors
    • JR
  • Contact Info: ISAC




  1. OESP Awareness Sessions
  • Supporting Organizations: Geraldton branch office of the Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
  • Date: May 24th, July 19th
  • Event Summary: The Geraldton branch office of the Kinna-aweya has been working with First Nation communities in the Greenstone area to ensure that all First Nation Members take full advantage of the Ontario Energy Support Program and benefits the program has to offer. Many of the FN in Northern Communities strictly heat with Hydro as gas is not available. This is resulting in extremely high energy cost for northern FN communities therefore it is extremely important that all FN communities take advantage of the program.

A first successful PLE session was held at the Longlake #58 First Nation on May 24th. A second session was held on the Aroland First Nation on July 19th.

Contact Info: Kinna-Aweya Legal Clinic



  1. I AM COMMITTED Campaign
  • Supporting Organizations: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
  • Date: Ongoing
  • Event Summary In the words of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), our collective journey must be led by our conviction, courage, love and COMMITMENT. The I AM COMMITTED campaign is a way to publicly state your COMMITMENT to Reconciliation.

You are invited to state your name and join the growing list of people COMMITTED to Reconciliation. Start by reading the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action.

Take it one step further. Add your photo to this campaign. Then share it on social media. Spread the word with your family, friends, neighbours, classmates, colleagues and acquaintances. Encourage them to become COMMITTED! In this way, we make a concrete contribution to Reconciliation.

Contact Info:  Hamilton Community Legal Clinic



  1. Indigenous Outreach Project
  • Supporting Organizations: Peterborough Community Legal Centre
  • Date: Ongoing
  • Event Summary We have established ongoing relationships with six local Indigenous service providers in Nogojiwanong. This has led to some very meaningful collaborations such as: organizing a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Trans event in partnership with Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre on April 10, 2017 and writing a support letter to the City of Peterborough to create a by-law to exempt Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre from adhering to the Ontario Fire Prevention Act when it comes to open-air burning for traditional ceremonies and cultural workshops and events.

We also implemented a land acknowledgement in our waiting room and are putting posters from the “I Am Affected” series in our waiting room and intake room. We are continuing to build on these relationships in order to increase access to justice among the Indigenous peoples of Nogojiwanong.

  • Link for more info: Find our project report Find our support letter for Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre here. Find the “I Am Affected” posters we chose here and here.


  1. Fundraising for Impact Recovery
  • Supporting Organizations: Peterborough Community Legal Centre and Impact Recovery
  • Date: TBD
  • Event Summary We are planning on doing some outreach with Impact Recovery in Peterborough. This service provider helps people who hoard prepare for bed bug spraying. We will be helping them with some fundraising in return for some volunteer hours to help preserve the tenancies of our clients who are hoarding and facing eviction to their inability to adequately prepare for bed bug spraying because of this. This service would usually costs someone up to $7,000 depending on the level of hoarding that is present, which our clients cannot afford.
  • Link for more info: N/A


Is your clinic working on a campaign or initiative you’d like featured? Contact Meghan MacDonald 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 Regini David or Meghan MacDonald



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