Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ)

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2008 Update: Accomplishments and Activities

Posted by casjcanada on January 2, 2009

On Youth and Policing

1. The Ombudsman of Ontario released on Sept. 29, 2008 its report on the investigation of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on the latter’s handling of probes of cases of police officers in incidents involving the death or serious injury of civilians. The report was highly critical of the conduct of SIU in many cases, as it concluded that the SIU was biased in its investigations in favor of the police, and that it allowed the police to control its (SIU’s) investigations. CASJ was directly interviewed in this probe and CASJ submitted its case to the Ombudsman stating the SIU did not conduct a proper and fair investigation into the fatal shooting of Jeffrey Reodica by a Toronto Police officer in May 2004.

2. CASJ participated in a meeting called by Alok Mukherjee, Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, to provide its input into discussions related to the 2009 police budget planning. CASJ once again followed up on the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the jury in the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Jeffrey Reodica. Mukherjee said the community should ask Police Chief Bill Blair on how the implementation is being conducted and how the budget of $439,000 (for these recommendations) was spent. CASJ participated in the Inquest through its two legal counsels in 2006 and had its recommendations incorporated into the Jury’s 7 recommendations.

On the Live-In Caregiver Program Campaign

1. The CASJ position paper, “Respect and Dignity for Caregivers,” was directly submitted to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and to Liberal Leader Stephan Dion early this year in order to call their attention to the caregivers’ issues and their call for changes.

2. CASJ presented the same document to Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, last Dec. 12, during the annual gathering of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, in the presence of a number of government officials, publishers of various ethnic publications, and other guests. The Minister told the CASJ Board members present that he would like to sit down with the organization to discuss the caregiver issue. CASJ will prepare and pursue this discussion with Kenney.

3. CASJ leaders have also brought up the LCP demands in every occasion possible, as in discussions with the academic community at university forums. The LCP document was also submitted to the City of Toronto’s Access and Diversity Management office, which provided some grant funding which was used in the various consultation and advocacy training sessions on the LCP, and in the reproduction of the report.

4. It has also been presented to members of the ethnic media and mainstream media. An LCP forum discussing the issues was co-sponsored by CASJ and Philippine Press Club-Ontario where caregivers organized into the Caregiver Support Group, performed a theatre presentation depicting issues contained in the LCP document, “Respect and Dignity for Caregivers.” The group has also performed at the Workers Action Centre during the May Day celebration, at a North York Day Care Centre, and at a number of Filipino community events.

The same document has been used by migrant worker organizations such as the FMWM in mobilizing and organizing caregivers in various cities, including in Ontario.

5. CASJ participated in the campaigns Justice for Jocelyn Dulnuan and for the stay of the deportation order against Juana Tejada

On Access to Trades and Professions

1. A CASJ collaborative study with Dr. Philip Kelly of York University is now being completed, with its first draft being finalized for publication next year. The study, titled, “The Deprofessionalized Filipino,” documents the findings of a survey involving hundreds of Philippine-trained professionals and a series of focus groups with those in the Ontario regulated professions and those in the non-regulated professional sectors.

2. CASJ’s research studies have been presented in a symposium sponsored by OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) as a model for collaborative community-university research initiative.
It was also presented before graduate students at York University’s sociology department where it was discussed as an effective model of community engagement, community-university partnership, and the use of research as an effective advocacy and community mobilization tool. Highlighted in these research presentations were the actual results in terms of policy changes already achieved, such as police changes, in the case of CASJ’s research paper, “The Road to Empowerment in the Filipino Community in Toronto…” published by CERIS.

3. A review of “The Road to Empowerment…” was featured in The Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the ABS-CBN International News. It was earlier featured last year in a review/story published by the US-based Filipinas Magazine. It has been cited in a number of academic studies in Canada and other countries, and is used as reference in some Toronto universities.

Training and Planning for the Board and leaders of member organizations

1. On Leadership and Advocacy. Conducted by Arnold Minors, former Policy Development Officer of the City of Toronto and former member of the Toronto Police Services Board.

2. Strategic Planning. (August 16, 2008) Conducted by Gilmar Militar, Program Manager, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Peel Region. Two speakers were:
Uzma Shakir, Economic Justice Fellow of Atkinson Foundation and former Executive Director of Coalition of Agencies Serving South Asians; and filmmaker Malcolm Guy, President and co-founder of Productions Multi-Monde and a founder of Montreal-based Centre for Philippine Concerns.

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