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Advocacy

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion... If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner  
 

What We Believe In…

The Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa envisions a future in which all persons have the capacity to work together to develop, manage and utilize the wide range of opportunities, responsive services and resources within their diverse communities for a safe, just and healthy life for all.

We are committed to the eradication of poverty in Ottawa. Coalition members advocate at many levels and on many issues to help people gain access to the basic supports, including shelter, food, income, childcare, recreation and transportation.

What does Advocacy mean to us?

  • Ensuring a process for a voice for community members on issues that matter to them, regardless of means, by proving training and opportunity.
  • Maintaining the support of funding agencies for the community-based infrastructure that provides the health and social services sought by City of Ottawa communities.
  • Maintaining crisis resources within CHRCs to ensure the most vulnerable have ready access to needed services.
  • Supporting people with barriers to access in achieving increased access to the full range of health and social services available within the City of Ottawa.
  • Working more closely with community associations.
  • Supporting investment in social capital.
  • Expanding resources available for community-based health and social services in the City of Ottawa as needed.

Social Services Matter

Every community in Ottawa deserves a range of social services, such as accessible mental health counselling, playgroups that nurture child development, or “Meals on Wheels” to help seniors stay independent longer.  Ottawa’s most vulnerable citizens are being placed at risk because these and many other essential social services are being eroded.  Funding for them has simply not kept pace with the City’s growth, and rising levels of demand and complexity in our population.  People are at risk of falling through the cracks.  Critical social services need to be a priority in our City.  We all benefit when we have a strong safety net that includes comprehensive, accessible and sustainable social services.

When planning for a city will a population of more than a million,  we can’t let our social services crumble. Our politicians must ensure that social services have sufficient funding to keep pace with the growing demand. We urge the City of Ottawa to:

  • Create a 2019-2022 Term of Council Priority that includes expansion of non-profit social services, with clear targets for strengthening these services.
  • Invest at least $5 million, over and above existing funding, for non-profit social services in Ottawa during the 2019-2022 Term of Council

Our statement regarding anti-Black racism in Ottawa

June 16, 2020

 The Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres joins Black communities in Canada, the United States and around the world in calling for an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence.

 We offer our deepest condolences to the families of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, Abdirahman Abdi, and to the many who have been impacted by police violence toward Black communities.

Along with our service users, staff, leadership, and communities, we express our outrage at the senseless acts of hate, ignorance and violence that continue to occur toward the Black communities in Ottawa.

We stand in solidarity with all Black communities, and recognize that Canada’s legacy of white supremacy, rooted in slavery, and reinforced by the systems on which our country is governed, have oppressed African, Caribbean and Black Canadians throughout history, and caused serious and lasting health problems in these communities. 

We see an urgent need for allies and non-Black community members, with guidance from Black communities, to take the lead in mobilizing to dismantle anti-Black racism. As a Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, we have a renewed responsibility to challenge our own privileges, and to create spaces for others to do the same.

In support of Black Lives Matter movements, the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres encourages the City to increase investments in social services as part of their overall crime prevention strategy. Community-based interventions are essential for creating safer communities for all.  More investments are needed to promote resilience and reduce anti-Black racist violence in our city.

Anti-Black racism negatively impacts everyone. We are here to work together to bring about change, and we commit to being the allies that our Black communities need and deserve

Our Statement about the 215 Indigenous Children found Buried at Residential School Site

June 2021

Our hearts go out to the grieving families and communities of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and to every Indigenous community member who is affected by this tragedy.

We stand with Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation Chief Rosanne Casimir, and echo her statement that “Each child has been forever taken from a family and a community that loved them. This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.”

While this discovery is shocking to many Canadians, it does not come as a surprise to Indigenous communities, and it is sadly a part of the long history of colonial violence and genocide that continues today in Canada. As social service organizations, we know that the current state of health among Indigenous people on these lands is a direct result of colonial policies such as residential schools. We are also familiar with First Nations, Métis and Inuit resistance that helped to bring about the Truth and Reconciliation process. Released in 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report included 94 Calls to Action, of which only eight have been completed. As individuals, as leaders, as organizations, and as a Coalition, we commit to playing an active role in advocating to the Federal government to act now on all of the report’s recommendations. We urge the Federal Government to take action to ensure that these children can be brought home to their communities.

Released in 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report included 94 Calls to Action, of which only eight have been completed. Settlers in our various organizations commit to better implement decolonization and reconciliation as guided by Indigenous First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Old Ones and Elders leadership.

We urge the Federal Government to provide sustainable funding for Indigenous-led services to heal the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harms caused by residential schools. We humbly look to First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members to guide social service providers in our work to advocate for justice for past, present and future generations of Indigenous peoples.