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Program Information
 CKLN News 
 Grassroots women denounce Canada at the United Nations
 Doreen Silversmith, Emily Paradis, Susan Clancy
 CKLN 88.1 fm  
 For non-profit use only.
A grassroots women's group delivers scathing report on Canada's violations of economic, social and cultural rights, at UN Committee in Geneva. Includes a statement on April 20 police attack on Six Nations people.
On May 1, a group of Toronto women who are homeless and underhoused are going all the way to the United Nations to speak out about homelessness, poverty, and violence against women in Canada. They are FORWARD, Feminist Organization for Womyn's Advancement, Rights & Dignity. The group is based at a Toronto drop-in centre for women who are homeless, and underhoused.

FORWARD is sending a representative to address the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN CESCR) in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 1. The UN CESCR is reviewing Canada's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

"Many people don't realize that Canada has signed a binding international treaty that declares adequate housing, an adequate standard of living, and adequate food to be fundamental human rights," said Emily Paradis, the facilitator of FORWARD. "You only have to walk down the street in Toronto to know that Canada is in violation of international law."

In its last review of Canada in 1998, the UN CESCR expressed grave concerns about welfare cuts in Ontario, women's poverty, and high rates of homelessness across Canada. The Committee strongly recommended that provinces raise social assistance rates and that Canada mount an urgent national strategy to respond to the national disaster of homelessness. In spite of strong economic growth and annual federal budget surpluses, conditions have worsened, not improved, since 1998. For example, small recent increases in Ontario welfare rates have not even restored benefits to their 1998 levels. Social assistance benefits in Ontario have declined in value by over 35% since 1995.

Doreen Silversmith, who was homeless in the past and is still living in poverty, will represent FORWARD at the United Nations. "We will not be silenced. Now is the time to tear the mask off Canada and expose the truth of what happens here. Women are suffering because of poverty, homelessness, and violence. Canada has the money to make this stop, but the government has done nothing," Silversmith said.

Silversmith, a Six Nations community member, will also address the Committee about the standoff over disputed land at Six Nations. "For Aboriginal women, poverty and homelessness are interconnected with having our land stolen," she said. In its 1998 review of Canada, the UN CESCR raised concerns about the relationship between Aboriginal poverty and the dispossession of Aboriginal peoples of their lands.

View the FORWARD report at
Files are:
Emily Paradis - facilitator of Forward
Susan Clancy - director of Sistering, the agency in which the women came together
Doreen Silversmith1 - about the Forward report
Doreen Silversmith 2 - about the confrontation at Six Nations, at Caledonia Ontario

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00:25:37 English 2006-04-26
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EmilyParadis  00:06:12  128Kbps mp3
(5.68MB) Stereo
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SusanClancy  00:02:08  128Kbps mp3
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DoreenSilversmith1  00:06:44  128Kbps mp3
(6.17MB) Stereo
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DoreenSilversmith2  00:10:33  128Kbps mp3
(9.66MB) Stereo
259 Download File...