Sunday, 30 June 2013

TorontotheBetter joins global protest of Gap and Walmart rejection of Banagladesh anti-sweatshop accord

TorontotheBetter representatives joined protestors outside Gap stores on Queen Street and Bloor Street on June 29, 2013 and thousands worldwide outraged at the recent garment factory disaster in Bangladesh where 1,000 workers died and 1,000 more were injured. We heard from Bangladeshi speakers about the conditions of garment workers earning mere cents hourly in factories without basic health and safety standards making wearables for globalized garment companies with stores in Toronto and across Canada. While some companies, including H&M and others, have now agreed to join an accord legislating health and safety inspections for Bangladesh garment factories (over 75% of the global garment industry), others, most notably Walmart and Gap, have not. Public pressure must ensure they do. 

A better economy means a better society for all and sweatshops are not part of either. An injury to one is an injury to all. For more information about Gap and sweatshop  issues worlwide see:   

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Upcoming TorontotheBetter Pay What You Can Events - July/August, 2013

* Wednesday July 17 -  7pm at Good Times, Bad Times Tea Shop, 1421 Bloor St. West [West of Lansdowne]                                                                     Walmart: The High Price of Low Cost. Discussion, Movie, Action.                            
Recent Walmart news includes a possible store near Toronto’s Kensington Market (there goes the neighbourhood?) and the company’s actual refusal, after the horrific factory collapse in Bangladesh, that recently killed over 1100 garment workers and injured 1000 more, to sign an Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (what makes a company refuse to sign a safety accord that will save workers lives?). What are we really paying, and buying,  when we shop at the most successful (financially, anyway) store in North America? How about human lives and community disruption? Join TorontotheBetter  and partners Good Times Bad Times as we review the record and consider what concerned citizens should do.  

* Sunday August 18. DonArea Co-op Homes [DACHI], 255 Carlton St. 12 noon-6pm. [Food will be served]                                                     DemocraticBusiness/Social Enterprise: A Do It Yourself workshop.                              Want to do something that means something to you as a person and improves our community? Fed up working for the “man”? Learn the hows of social enterprise from a panels of TorontotheBetter entrepreneurs who have been there and done that. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Greetings to The Hispanic Development Council on its 35th year of service to Toronto's Hispanic Latino community

On June 24, 2013 TorontotheBetter was pleased to accept an invitation attend the 35th Annual General Meeting of the Hispanic Development Council at the North York Civic Centre with whom we are partnering on a Jane-Finch community sports facility initiative. The audience learned that Spanish is now the most common language of Toronto's new immigrants and speakers like City of Toronto Councillor Joe Mihevic outlined important new Sanctuary City and Right to Vote initiatives at City Hall that will assist new immigrants to Toronto to engage in our community. TorontotheBetter sends best wishes to HDC in its future endeavours to help many of  those most vulnerable in the City.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

TorontotheBetter sends solidarity greetings to Two Row Society and ILPS Indigenous Commission project in Sioux Lookout

Following our screening of Mamwi (Together), in support of Algonquin First Nation, last fall, we were recently pleased to receive news about a brave project in traditional territory at Sioux Lookout. We encourage TorontotheBetter blog readers to send their support and share the message below. We recognize that our Toronto occupies First Nations land. 
Dear friends,

I write to you from Sioux Lookout, where Two Row Society and ILPS Indigenous Commission members travelled to, from the Biimadasahwin  cabin build in the bush, to share and prepare an update on the finances of our trip so far, and to launch a new video and fundraising campaign.

Biimadasahwin means "life" in Ojibway. It is the name that Darlene Necan, the head trapper of her family's trap line has given to a project jointly undertaken by her, the Two Row Society and the ILPS - Indigenous Commission, to build homes and return to their traditional territory.

We want to sincerely thank you again for all of your support so far. It is truly a beautiful thing that this grassroots project was able to get off the ground because we had the support of so many people who helped us meet our initial online fundraising goal. When we can pause by the lake after a hard day's work, we always reflect on that fact.

We are now launching a new fundraising campaign in order to ensure that this project continues, and to share an updated video shot this morning from the cabin build site and Sioux Lookout. 

Here is a video where Darlene and I break down the costs of the trip so far, and the costs to come:

You can follow the project at:
Twitter: @TwoRowSociety

Thank you all.

Love and solidarity.
Laura Lepper
(on behalf of Two Row Society and ILPS Commission in Support of Indigenous People's Struggles)

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Best wishes to Wychwood Barns...and an accessibility idea

A couple of TorontotheBetter workers were pleased to be part of the crowd at the well attended Wychwood Barns fundraiser on Sunday June 2nd but we encourage Wychwood and other social enterprise supporters to make themselves more accessible to more people by adopting Pay What You Can pricing. A minimum $30 ticket like the one at the fundraiser is an awful lot for many would-be brothers and sisters.