Housing Advocates Deliver New UN Report on Canada’s Troubled Human Rights Record to Finance Minister Ahead of the Federal Budget

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Toronto (March 7, 2016) – After the Supreme Court ruled that homeless Canadians could not present their evidence in court, a group of affordable housing advocates recently took their concerns about Canada’s failed housing policies to a United Nations committee. These advocates will be making comments to the media about the UN report being released today as they deliver it in person to the Finance Minister’s office.

The United Nations reviewed Canada on February 24th and 25th on its compliance as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and will be releasing its concluding observations to the Canadian government this afternoon. The last review by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), held in 2006, had recommended that Canada address homelessness and inadequate housing as a national emergency, but advocates say Canada has repeatedly failed to do this.

“For some time, Canada’s international reputation has been in serious decline and we’ve really gone from being a beacon of human rights globally to a country whose reputation is very much in question,” said University of Toronto senior researcher Emily Paradis, who presented Canada’s record on housing to the UN committee in 2006. “I would certainly hope that this review offers an opportunity for Canada to redeem itself if our new government is serious about its international human rights obligations.”

The Right to Housing Coalition, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, Working for Change, ODSP Action Coalition, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, and Colour of Povery – Colour of Change will be delivering the concluding observations of the CESCR to the office of Finance Minister Bill Morneau, two weeks ahead of the federal budget. Most of these groups went to Geneva last month to address the CESCR and made detailed written submissions about Canada’s housing and homelessness crisis. After delivering the UN report to the Minister’s office, representatives of the groups will give statements to the media and answer questions.

Where: Outside Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office, 430 Parliament Street, Toronto

When: Monday, March 7th at 2:00pm

Why: To provide an expert overview of the CESCR’s concluding observations about Canada’s housing and homelessness crisis

The CESCR’s concluding observations may be found here after 12:00pm ET.

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Official press release can be found here.

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