Monday, November 29, 2010

People's Assembly on Climate Justice - December 4th

Our chapter is part of the People's Assembly Toronto event happening this Saturday. Fourteen communities across the country will hold Assemblies to collectively make climate justice a reality. We hope to see you on Saturday at this historic event!

- Tara Seucharan.
Dear People's Assembly Participants,

First some inspiring news! Back in June, we established the model of the People's Assembly here in Canada. Now, thanks to national promotion of the idea through the Council of Candians, there be 14 People's Assemblies happening across the country this December. With your continued participation, the Toronto Assembly on Dec 4th will easily be the largest and most ambitious of these national Assemblies.

The second Toronto People's Assesmbly will occur on Saturday December 4th and will run from 9:30am-5pm. It will be held at Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St George St in room SS2118. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. As this is a grassroots community effort we will be asking a PWYC donation at the door to help cover costs. All contributions are welcome and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The main question we will address is how we can work together to create a stronger and more united movement for Climate Justice in Toronto. As with last time, we will employ a horizontal process and use a combination of breakout and plenary discussion. Taking your input from the First Assembly, we will aim to create more focus and be more action-oriented in our discussions.

Because we are going to be making food to share with you throughout the day, we highly encourage everyone to pre-register by sending an email to - even if you are not able to join us for the entire day, we hope you will come out for however much time you can spare.

If you would like to volunteer, we have plenty of need for extra hands to help cook, set-up and perform various tasks throughout the day on Dec 4th. For further details on how you can help, please contact us at or call 647-869-6496.

You can also help us build the Assembly by joining us on Facebook and inviting your friends to join us. You can also download all our outreach materials for printing or electronic distribution here. If everyone took a moment to tell 5-10 friends about the Assembly, it would go a long way to growing our movement!

The killing of the Climate Change Accountability Act in the Senate last week by unelected Conservative Senators makes what we are trying to do all the more important. It is clear that our government is recklessly opposed to taking real action on climate change will be going to the UN Climate Talks in Cancun only to promote false solutions and to protect the doomsday-esque Tar Sands gigaproject. If we want to realize the goal of Climate Justice we must band together. Only as a united movement can we hope to have enough power to create the just solutions that will combine our ongoing quest for social justice with effective action to prevent catastrophic climate change.

See you at the Assembly!

Brett Rhyno
on behalf of the People's Assembly on Climate Justice

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Organize to Win Workshop

Given the recent changes at City Hall . . .  it’s time to get your group Organized to Win!  Please join the Toronto Chapter of The Council of Canadians to learn how to become more successful advocates for the causes we work so hard on.

Workshop Leader:  Liz Benneian
Hosted By:  The Council of Canadians Toronto Chapter
Date:  Saturday, November 20th
Time:  11:00am to 3:30pm
Location:  Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto
Fee:  PWYC; Suggested donation of $5 to $20;  All profits will be donated to the G20 Legal Defense Fund.
Registration:  Pre-Registration is required!  Please email us at with your name, organization name, and how many people will be attending from your organization.  Please put “Organize to Win” in the subject line.  We will email you the hand-outs to be used during the workshop – please print and bring them with you.
* Includes light refreshments - please bring your own mug.

About the Workshop
Citizens’ groups fighting to protect natural spaces, stop incinerators, ensure more sustainable planning etc. are usually outgunned by “experts”, outmaneuvered by municipal staff, shut out by local media and outfoxed by politicians. But citizens groups can beat all these odds and win.  Learn how at the Organize to Win seminar led by Oakvillegreen Conservation Association president Liz Benneian, an award-winning community activist and environmental leader.

Oakvillegreen has been a tremendously successful citizens’ organization, partly because it had the help of some experienced organizers.  Oakvillegreen now wants to pass that experience and learning on to other organizations so they can be more effective in their battles.

The seminar will discuss: how to organize; forming successful strategies; developing effective tactics; getting publicity; understanding bureaucracies and politicians; and avoiding pitfalls.  Plenty of real life examples of successes and strategies will be given and those attending will be encouraged to add to the discussion with their stories and questions.  The seminar is geared to give participants useful tools their groups can employ immediately to become more successful.  The seminar will be especially helpful to groups that are just forming, offering critical information on how to get a new group organized. This seminar is not just for group leaders but for all members who want to learn how to become more successful advocates.

About Liz
Seminar leader Liz Benneian is a former newspaper editor who has been president of Oakvillegreen since 2005.  In 2010, she received an award from Heritage Ontario for her efforts in preserving the Province’s natural heritage. In 2009, she was the recipient of Earth Day Canada’s National Hometown Hero Award. She is a previous recipient of the Town of Oakville’s Spirit Award and Rotary’s Paul Harris Award for community service. Liz has helped found several environmental organizations and given the Organize To Win seminar to more than 15 community groups around the province.