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Fight Homelessness – Buy a Tent!

September 27, 2010

by Social Planning Council of Winnipeg


Buy a tent to fight homelessness!

On October 19, you are invited to erect a small village of Red Tents on the lawn of the Manitoba Legislature to protest homelessness.

Our demonstration will be part of a national campaign that includes Parliament Hill.

We don’t want to put homeless people in the tents. Quite the opposite.

We are using the Red Tents as a symbol of Canada’s desperate need for a National Housing Strategy, the goal of Bill C-304.

Details of the national campaign are below.

In Manitoba, you need to take the following steps to be part of this campaign:

  1. Decide to buy a tent. The cost is $100, all in, including sales tax and shipping.
  2. Send an e-mail to dbenham@spcw.mb.ca listing:
    * Name of individual or organization
    * Number of tents ordered
    * E-mail or Canada Post mail address for invoice
    * Phone numbers
  3. Attend the next meeting of the Red Tent organizing committee, to be held:
    2 to 3 p.m.
    Tuesday, October 5, 2010
    Social Planning Council Boardroom
    300 – 207 Donald St.
    (Parking on the street, cityplace surface parking lot or parkade, Millennium Library parkade. Well-served by all major transit routes by stops on Graham and Portage.)

October 19th will be the Red Tent National Day of Action for a National Housing Strategy in support of Bill C-304 An Act to secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians. The Red Tent Campaign will be heading to the Hill on October 19th to ask Bloc and Conservative MPs to join the NDP and the Liberals in supporting the Bill.  The Campaign is looking for enough organizations to sponsor a red tent to ensure one tent per MP is set up on the Hill with a personalized tag detailing their voting record on issues of housing and homelessness. For more information or to sponsor a tent, visit http://www.redtents.org, email housingnow@redtents.org, or call (604) 255-9700

Canada is currently the only G8 country without a country-wide housing strategy.  The result has been a housing and homelessness crisis that the United Nations described in a 2009 report as a national emergency.

A solution is within our reach. But it is going to take all levels of government, Aboriginal communities, and civil society coming together to develop a comprehensive housing strategy to address homelessness and ensure decent housing for all.  With Bill C-304, an Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians, set to go before Parliament for a final vote at the end of October, we have an opportunity for a federal housing strategy that could meet the diverse needs of communities across Canada.  The NDP and the Liberals are supporting this Private Member’s Bill, but they don’t have enough votes to pass it alone.

On October 19th, join the Red Tent Campaign in calling on Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs to make, by supporting Bill C-304, a commitment to ensuring everyone in Canada has access to safe and affordable housing.

We will kick off the Day of Action in Ottawa at 9:30am Eastern with a press conference on Parliament Hill. Then, we will gather on the Hill where 100 red tents will stand as symbols of Canada’s homelessness crisis and the growing support for a federal housing strategy.  We will end the day with a procession down Sussex Drive to a second rally outside the Prime Minister’s Residence, with red tents in hand.

Simultaneous actions are set to take place across the country on the 19th and during the week leading up to our Canada Day of Action.  Look for red tents this October in Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.

To find out more about Bill C-304 and the Red Tent Campaign, or to help pitch in by sponsoring a tent, visit the campaign site at www.redtents.org

To find out about actions in your community, or if you want to help organize a local action in solidarity with the day of action on the 19th, get in touch with the campaign at housingnow@redtents.org

Canada has been without a federal housing strategy for too long. It’s time for people across the country to stand up and tell the federal government that Canada needs a pan-Canadian, comprehensive housing plan today!

Red Tent is a joint campaign effort of more than 20 housing and homelessness organizations, including: Pivot Legal Society, CWP Advocacy Network, ACORN Canada, Impact on Communities Coalition, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, et le Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU).

Rob Rainer
Executive Director / Directeur executif
CWP ADVOCACY NETWORK / RÉSEAU DE REVENDICATION CSP
Working in alliance with Canada Without Poverty
Travaillant en alliance avec Canada sans pauvreté
1210 – 1 rue Nicholas Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
(613) 789-0115
rob@cwp-csp.ca; www.cwp-csp.ca; www.dignityforall.ca

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