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March 4, 2011
Symposium promotes new ideas to ease poverty, homelessness
New ideas to help alleviate poverty and homelessness were on the agenda today as some 200 representatives from the non-profit and private sectors and government gathered at Toronto City Hall to review the progress made since "In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness" was adopted by the Canadian Senate in 2010. The report was co-authored by Senator Art Eggleton, a former Toronto mayor, and Senator Hugh Segal.

Led by Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee, the symposium engaged business, community and government stakeholders on actions being taken to support the recommendations of "In From the Margins." The symposium also heard reports from Board of Trade President and CEO Carol Wilding, United Way President and CEO Susan McIsaac, and Senator Eggleton.

"It takes strong partnerships to power prosperity in our city," said Bailão. "That's what we saw today: people from every sector bringing their energy and creativity to bear on solutions to the issues of poverty, housing and homelessness."

“Neighbourhood decline and disinvestment is a great risk to the future prosperity of our city. And our efforts to address the most complex issues facing our communities will require collaboration and commitment from all of us,” said McIsaac. “We all have a role to play to reverse the growing trend of concentrated poverty to ensure all of our neighbourhoods are vital and strong.”

“This symposium keeps the momentum going as we work to strengthen the engagement of the federal government to adopt comprehensive strategies on poverty, housing and homelessness,” Senator Eggleton said. “It also shows how important it is to have all the players working together.”

The ideas and suggestions from today's event will be reported this spring to the Affordable Housing Committee. The committee will consider recommendations to be forwarded to City Council.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

City of Toronto - Gil Hardy, Affordable Housing Office, 416-397-4701,
United Way Toronto - Caitlin Stidwill, 416-777-1444, ext. 396,
Toronto Board of Trade - Scott Brownrigg, 416-862-4514, mobile 416-277-8847,



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