We will be adding to this list as suggestions come in. If you have any resources you think we should include (anywhere in Ontario), please DM us on our socials or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday the Ontario government released new province wide lockdown measures, ramping up their stay-at-home orders which include the ability for law enforcement to stop Ontario residents and ask them to provide their home address and a reason for being out.
If residents do not give a sufficient reason, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said law enforcement can issue tickets for $750.
Ontario police will have the ability to stop anyone they like, whether they be in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot.
These measures will be in effect until at least May 20.
Immediately after the announcement, people across social media expressed their acute concerns about how this would affect racialized people and frontline workers.
Dozens of police departments across Ontario, including the Toronto Police Service, have tweeted that they will not enforce the new “arbitrary” or “random stop” powers granted to them by the Ontario government. This has been received as cold comfort from Black and POC community leaders, journalists, and civil society experts, expressing little faith in police pronouncements about their own restraint.
Indeed, on the first day of the new expanded police powers there have already been comments online indicating that racialized workers are being stopped on their way to work.
Under heavy scrutiny from healthcare professionals, the Ford Government has still not implemented paid sick leave for Ontario workers.
In a Twitter thread Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician and health justice advocate, said “...On the same day that ICUs were so full, more field hospitals were being built and our health experts were calling the 3rd wave of #COVID19 a "humanitarian catastrophe"...the Ontario government let us down. Instead of announcing policies that would actually help people (like workplace protections for essential workers, #PaidSickDays, paid time off for vaccination, access to PPE/N95s)...they announced more policing & enforcement.”
Meanwhile in federal Parliament, Liberal MP Kevin Lamoreaux has introduced a petition that would shield police from criticism by categorizing it as hate speech. The petition was authored by former Winnipeg Police officer Stan Tatryn. PressProgress revealed that Tataryn was paid thousands of dollars by Lamoreux’s office to be a “subject matter expert”.
We reached out to community leaders and Ontario residents and asked for their take:
Lorraine York, a Professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University and the Co-Director of Centre for Community Engaged Narrative Arts told The Hoser “what many have identified as incompetence in the Ford government’s handling of the pandemic is now revealed for what it is: outright aggression and harm directed to working people, to communities of Black and Indigenous people and people of colour, to homeless people. The callousness is breathtaking.”
“Last summer, when the CBC released The documentary ‘No Visible Trauma’ by Marc Serpa Franceour and Robinder Uppal, we got a glimpse of what happens when police operate above the law. We read all the books, from Cole and Maynard to Giroux and Klein, and we know that this is some neoliberal bull***t that devalues labour via sick days,” said a Black community member who preferred not to be named for this report. They went on to say “Didn’t we just mobilize against carding because it targets and violates us? Henry Giroux taught me that this is what happens when administrations have power but no ideas. This is a stale play that people know not to seek comfort in.”
Erika Shaker, director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said today, “Good policy can save lives. The absence of it risks making a crisis permanent. The clear solution to stopping the spread of the virus is paid sick days, not more policing. It makes no sense to ignore the science.”
Know Your Rights Workshop on April 23
Lawyer Danielle H. Morrison, a proud member of the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, is holding a free Know Your Rights workshop on Friday, April 23 from 5:30pm-8pm.
"You will learn the differences between being detained or arrested, how your rights change in each scenario, and how BIPOC, Newcomers to Canada, and minors may be uniquely impacted. Information about how to act as a legal observer is also included. This workshop does not provide legal advice, but will engage a question and answer period for clarification of any content delivered."
Check out the Eventbrite page here
Black Legal Action Centre (GTA and Ontario)
The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) provides free legal services to low and no income Black Ontarians.
From their Instagram: Black Ontarians can contact BLAC if they experience issues with police or are in need of legal services during this stay at home order.
The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ2S communities. A City of Toronto agency with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership, we strive to make a real difference in people’s lives, while working to promote inclusion, understanding and respect.
From their Instagram page “If you have been charged and/or ticketed and need legal assistance, please contact Justin Khan, Director of Public Interest and Legal Initiatives at JKhan@The519.org at any time. We will provide you with legal assistance through The 519 Legal Clinic and make appropriate referrals as needed.”
The Biking Lawyer
Anti-Racist Community Lawyer for cyclists, injured people, survivors of sexual assault & police violence.
From their Instagram: “We are deeply concerned that the Ontario Govt's (@fordnationdougford) gutless response to raging #covid19 rates and stressed ICUs is to give police broad powers! Our free legal support for Sex Workers and partnership with @maggiestoronto continues and our office hours extended to help those in need. We will also be providing @thebikebrigade riders with support letters so we can continue our deliveries for people in need without state interference.”
Offering casework and resources to homeless and otherwise disenfranchised peoples. Based in the Dufferin area.
From their Instagram: "Continuing to work with unhoused neighbours and anyone otherwise disenfranchised who may need legal & other resources (ID, food, potential housing, etc.)"
Fair Change Community Services
Fair Change is a student-run and lawyer-supervised pro bono legal clinic who supports street-involved individuals address their provincial offence tickets.
From their Instagram: Fair Change Community Services also helps low-income folks challenge and appeal their tickets!
Gladstone Mutual Aid Pod
Neighbours supporting, connecting to, & organizing with other neighbours on & around Gladstone between Queen & Bloor.
From their Instagram: "If you live on or near Gladstone and are worried about leaving your home due to the heightened police powers, please message us here, or email us at email@example.com. We will do our best to offer support with groceries, errands, check-ins, etc. Police in Ontario now have the authority to ask anyone outside of their residence to state their purpose for leaving their home and to provide their address. This includes stopping and potentially ticketing people walking, biking, or driving. This will undoubtedly prove ineffective and target members of groups that are already marginalized and disproportionately targeted by law enforcement."
Legal Aid Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help in English and French for financially eligible low‑income Ontarians in family law, refugee and immigration law, criminal law, mental health law, clinic law. [until further notice, Legal Aid Ontario has waived their eligibility requirements].
From Their website: The fastest way to get legal aid help is to call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1‑800‑668‑8258. You should always call them before visiting an office. Legal Aid Ontario accepts collect calls.
- Toronto: 416‑979‑1446
- Toll free: 1‑800‑668‑8258
- General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto
To strengthen the capacity of the Aboriginal community and its citizens to deals with justice issues and provide Aboriginal controlled and culturally based justice alternatives.
- 211 Yonge Street, Suite 500, Toronto, ON M5B 1M4
Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation
To promote creative community-based justice systems and to deliver on a wide range of law-related services including legal, paralegal, public legal education, and law reform services to members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. They also have offices in Fort William First Nation, Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and Timmins
- PHONE (807) 622-1413
- TOLL FREE 1-800-465-5581
CSSP Community Legal Clinic Organization: Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples
Deals primarily with employment rights, human rights, immigration, social assistance, refugees, tenant issues, Employment Insurance (EI) * law reform * funded by Legal Aid Ontario
The Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Community based legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario which provides free legal services to low income, non-English speaking clients from the Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian communities in Ontario.
- Toll free 1-844-971-9674
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Work with thousands of clients a year and also advocate for reforming laws that negatively impact our communities. Are the only clinic in all of Ontario (and Canada) that provides legal services in multiple South Asian languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Tamil, Kannada and Punjabi.
Noelle Sorrell, Paralegal:
From her Twitter: “If you are currently living in Ontario but do not have permanent resident status OR you do not have proof of your residency, please email me at email@example.com and I will swear an affidavit for you confirming your home address. for free. this shouldn’t be happening.”
Nana Yanful, Legal Director at the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) (currently on leave)
Nana Yanful has offered to swear affidavits for those who do not have proof of address or permanent residence.
Laura Wilson-Lewis, Entertainment Attorney
Laura Wilson-Lewis has offered to swear affidavits for those who do not have proof of address or permanent residence.
Here is an ongoing list of legal representatives offering their help. The list is being continuously updated by @whtvrrvr and @mc.Fearon:
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
From their Website: The clinic is run by a volunteer board of directors and we are funded by Legal Aid Ontario. All help is private and confidential. We serve low income residents from anywhere in the City of Hamilton, including the Mountain, Stoney Creek, Dundas, Ancaster, Waterdown, Flamborough, Mount Hope, Glanbrook and Winona.
- Tel: 905-527-4572
- Landmark Place, 100 Main St E (Corner of Main and Catharine), Suite 203 (2nd Floor), Hamilton, ON L8N 3W4
Caremongering Hamilton Facebook Group
From their Facebook: A group for sharing and organizing community resources in response to COVID-19. The goal of this group is to organize the local community on the grassroots level to ensure vulnerable community members have access to food, housing, healthcare, and other necessities.
To request supplies, please call/email or (preferably) fill out this form: https://linktr.ee/HamOntCare
- 289 768 3170
Community Legal Services of Ottawa
Our legal clinic provides free legal services for persons with low income, living in Ottawa. Telephone interpretation available in over 200 languages. Call them, tell them your language and they will get an interpreter on the phone.
- 1355, rue Bank Street pièce/Suite 406, Ottawa, ON KlH 8K7
- Tel. 613-733-0140
- 1, rue Nicholas Street, pièce/Suite 422, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
- Tel. 613-241-7008
- 1299, chemin Richmond Road, Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y4
- Tel. 613-596-1641
Champlain Healthline Community Legal Services
Community legal services that provide legal advice, representation, resources, and education.
CHCLS Downtown Office
- 1 Nicholas St, Suite 422, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
CHCLS South Office
- 1355 Bank St, Suite 406, Ottawa, ON K1H 8K7
CHCLS West Office
- 1299 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2B 8L2
Vanier Community Centre Legal Services (In French Only)
Offering legal advice and assistance.
Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic - Thunder Bay Office
Legal advice and assistance to residents of the District of Thunder Bay, particularly Aboriginal people, who need assistance with poverty law issues.
- 86 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2V3
Lakehead University Community Legal Services - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law - Lakehead University - Free Legal Clinic
A free legal clinic located in Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law building (PACI) at 401 Red River Road in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
- 401 Red River Rd, Suite PA1001, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 0B2
Legal Aid Ontario - Northwestern Ontario - Thunder Bay District Office
Law students (caseworkers) supervised by licensed lawyers, providing free legal advice and representation to low-income members of the public who cannot afford to pay for legal services (income eligibility is set by Legal Aid Ontario).
- 114 Centennial Square, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1H3
Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation - Thunder Bay - Cumberland St S
Providing legal, paralegal, public legal education, and law reform services for members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
- 86 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2V3
Aboriginal People’s Alliance of Northern Ontario (community + family programs)
APANO’s mission is to support individuals and communities through healthy mental, physical and spiritual development, and preserve traditional and cultural lifestyles. Although APANO is an Aboriginal organization, we value diversity; welcoming and encouraging the involvement and participation of all people in support of cross-cultural understanding, acceptance and awareness.
Support for trans people and their families in Northern Ontario through peer support, informal discussion, or assistance in finding you professional services. All communications are held to the strictest of confidence.
Métis Nation of Ontario, Programs and Services
Mental Health and Addictions, Victim Services, Justice Programs, Community Wellness Worker Program, Community Support Services Program, and more. They have offices across Ontario, including Northern Ontario.
SUDBURY AND SURROUNDING AREA
Housing, Shelters, Meals:
Their website includes many links to resources for unhoused residents of Sudbury (housing supports, emergency housing, referral to community services, suicide intervention, transportation to essential services, emergency housing and basic needs, immediate first aid).
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI)
Offers financial assistance, help to those at risk of homelessness, facing eviction, unsafe living environment, disconnection of utilities.
Shelters & Emergency Outreach
If you are homeless and require support, please contact the Homelessness Network:
- Housing Support to connect you with services to return to permanent housing: 705-618-8810
- Intake to register you with services provided by the Homelessness Network: 705-280-7888 or 705-673-9576
Support for Indigenous Individuals and Communities:
Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre - Traditional Programs, Community Programs, Primary Care
The Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre is an Aboriginal Health Access Centre that is dedicated to balanced and healthy lifestyles through quality, holistic, culturally-relevant health services to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals and their families in the Greater City of Sudbury and partnering First Nation Communities. It engages in clinical, social, economic and cultural initiatives that will promote the health of all Aboriginal people. It also promotes community building through partnerships, education and advocacy.
- 161 Applegrove Street, Sudbury, ON P3C 1N2
N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre
N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre is commited to preserving language and culture, enhancing quality of life and empowering family and community by providing supports, services and partnerships for the Aboriginal community in urban setting. Legal services, health services, family wellness programs, homelessness & housing support, employment & training supports, addiction supports.
- 110 Elm Street, Sudbury, ON, P3C 1T5
- (705) 674-2128
Noojmowin Teg Health Centre (Manitoulin and surrounding First Nations and Anishnabek Populations)
Primary and clinical care services, cultural support services, social work services, counselling, food sovereignty program, mental health and addictions counselling, sexual & domestic violence services.
Compass Boussole Akii-Izhinoogan
Child and youth mental health services, with video and telephone counselling.
- 62 Frood Road, Suite 100, Sudbury, ON P3C 4Z3 (Door Access on Evergreen Street)
Mental Health and Crisis Support
Health Sciences North Crisis Intervention Services (in-person/telephone)
Crisis Services are free for people living or visiting in the Sudbury & Manitoulin Districts. We work with individuals of all ages and with your family and other supports if you agree to have them involved. We will help you find solutions to the issues you face and provide brief counselling and referral to other programs or agencies than can help you.
HSNCIS 127 Cedar St, Sudbury
- 705.675.4760 (24 hour hotline—365 days/year)
- Toll free: 1.877.841.1101
- Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (no appointment necessary) 7 days per week
HSNCIS Mobile Crisis Team, City of Greater Sudbury
Our Mobile Crisis Team can visit you in the community at a safe location (City of Greater Sudbury only). Call them to arrange an outreach visit
- 705.675.4760 (24 hour hotline- 365 days/year)
- Toll free: 1.877.841.1101
- Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 7 days a week (Last dispatch is at 8:30 p.m.)
HSNCIS Manitoulin Island
- 11 Meredith Street, Little Current, ON
- Crisis Line: 705.368.0756
- Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- After hours phone support is provided by calling the Toll free: 1.877.841.1101 (24 hour hotline-365 days/year)
Canadian Mental Health Association Sudbury/Manitoulin
The branch is mandated to provide services to individuals with mental health issues or a diagnosis of a mental illness (though it is not required) within the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. Our purpose is to support healthy people and communities through advocacy and the provision of safe, inclusive and accessible mental health and addictions services.
- Manitoulin Satellite, Box 666, 11 Meredith St., Little Current, ON P0P 1K0
- 705-368-0756 x 237
Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA)
Mental health organization for peer support, occupational/vocational programs & training, creative programming.
- Peer Support and Mental health Helpline (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm): 705-222-6472
- Peer Support Warm Line (6pm-midnight seven days/week): 1-866-856-9276
Voices for Women: Sudbury Sexual Assault Centre
Free community-based service for women experiencing violence; phone counselling and intake.
Sudbury Community Legal Clinic
Free legal services for low income residents of the District of Sudbury. Services available in French and English. Telephone interpretation available in 200 languages. Please let them know if you have any accessibility needs related to meeting with them.
- Fill out this form to contact them by email: https://www.sudburylegalclinic.com/contact-us/
Fierté Sudbury Pride
A not for profit community based organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ population of the City of Greater Sudbury.
Black Lives Matter – Sudbury (BLMS) is an organization that is committed to fighting systemic racism in all of its forms, demanding that society and all levels of government address and fix the root causes of racism in all social institutions.
- Links to regional and national resources: http://blmsudbury.ca/resources-2/
Niki Lundquist, Lawyer
Niki Lundquist has offered to swear affidavits for those who do not have proof of address or permanent residence in the Whitby/Durham Region.
Durham Black Accountability Coalition
Advocating and ensuring change within the Durham Region against anti-Black racism.
Womxn of Colour Durham Collective
WOCDC is a youth-led community organization in Durham Region that is run by, for and with Black, Indigenous and other self-identified womxn of colour from the ages of 16-29+ with the purpose of making space for support and community.
Women's Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
The Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham Region is a Registered Charitable Organization, dedicated to provide specialized counselling and support to women of all ages and their families, from diverse backgrounds, to eradicate violence, to re-build their lives, and to enable them to become contributing and valued members of society.
- Fill out this form on their website to email them: https://wmrcc.org/contact/
- 905.427.7849 or 1.877.454.4035
Durham Community Legal Clinic
Give people living on a low income in Durham Region free legal services for certain problems. The can give you legal advice, help you fill out forms, represent you at some tribunals and courts, refer you to other agencies when they can’t help. They also give legal information sessions for members of the public and other community agencies. And we always work to improve the laws that affect low income people in Ontario with our community partners.
- Fill out this form to email them: https://www.durhamcommunitylegalclinic.ca/contact-us/
- 905-728-7321 Toll Free: 1-888-297-2202
We will be adding to this list as suggestions come in. If you have any resources you think we should include, please DM us on our socials.
This list was a team effort. Thank you to all the folks who populated the list of resources and other impactful contributions. This agile, participatory approach to journalism is what we’re all about at The Hoser.