City program aims to increase digital equity and access to affordable high-speed internet in Toronto
The City of Toronto is introducing ConnectTO – a City-driven collaborative program that aims to leverage the use of municipal resources and assets to help bridge the increasing digital divide by expanding access to affordable, high-speed internet to underserved Toronto residents.
City of Toronto’s Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan to provide enhanced support for Black Torontonians
Developed as part of the TO Supports: Targeted Equity Action Plan and in response to data released in late 2020 that revealed the highest rates of COVID-19 cases in Toronto (26 per cent) and vaccine hesitancy experienced by Canadians (about 30 per cent) were among Black people of African and Caribbean descent.
To help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and effectively address the issues around vaccine trust and confidence within Black communities, the City has partnered with community agencies to provide COVID-19 health and safety awareness in Black communities and work with experts to prepare for and support immunization.
The City of Edmonton is using social innovation to improve Edmonton’s Urban Wellness
The City has been working with residents, businesses, agencies and government to develop a ‘Recover’ approach to improve urban wellness. Urban wellness includes economy vitality, social capacity, physical and mental health, built and natural environments. Bringing all kinds of people together, from businesses to residents to talk about their lived experiences, is not easy;If we can ensure the right systems are in place, we can promote and sustain conditions for people and neighbourhoods to thrive.
We use a social innovation framework which allows for constant learning, testing and adapting ideas, while considering their cumulative impact. This isn’t about replacing existing strategies, programs or services. It’s about testing small solutions to improve urban wellness and finding ways to align and collaborate across different orders of government, agencies, local businesses and the community.
In Edmonton, outdoor library services set up for homeless
The Edmonton Public Library is taking some of its operations outside to give the city’s homeless a place to read books and magazines, use a laptop computer or participate in adult classes. Called EPL on the Square, the pilot project has three designated areas in Sir Winston Churchill Square for outdoor library services. The initiative is a collaboration between EPL and the City of Edmonton, was launched five days after the Edmonton EXPO Centre closed as a temporary drop-in day shelter. The city, social agencies and the province have been working on a plan to find hundreds of physically distanced spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic since the EXPO closed.
Toronto Public Library to offer free WiFi in two parks The city is teaming with the library to give residents free internet access in neighbourhoods hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic
The week-long pilot project Wi-Fi on Wheels begins on August 4. The Toronto Public Library’s bookmobile will travel to two parks in areas hit hard by the pandemic and provide free internet during the afternoon. Anyone can bring their own device to the park to connect or temporarily use a city device. City devices will be sanitized between use and staff will assess users to ensure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Toronto Public Health data shows that the northwest parts of the city are being most affected during the coronavirus pandemic. As of the weekend, the Jane and Finch and Rexdale areas had 511 and 496 cases, respectively.
Policy Recommendations: Race, Risk, and Workforce Equity in the Coronavirus Economy
To address the inequities highlighted in this analysis and lay the foundation for an equitable recovery, policymakers must protect workers by ensuring safe conditions and adequate protections and improving the pay and quality of low-wage jobs; supporting dislocated workers through direct supports and targeted job training and placement programs; and plan for a changed economic landscape in the wake of the pandemic downturn. Policy recommendations included here.
The All-In Cities Toolkit part of “All-In Cities initiative” of PolicyLink to accelerate the work of government leaders and community advocates to advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth
The All-In Cities Toolkit offers actionable strategies that advocates and policymakers can use to advance racial equity. Each tool contains information on important policy considerations, who can implement it, and examples of where it is working.
The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health collects COVID resources related to health equity and the social determinants of health that are of relevance to Canadian public health.
Updated regularly, this site includes links to webinars, organizations, publications and tools.
First Book Canada launches campaign to deliver 1 million books to low-income families during COVID-19 pandemic
Canadian publishers who have committed books to the program include Kids Can Press, Penguin Random House Canada, HarperCollins Canada, Breakwater Books, Simon & Schuster Canada and Inhabit Media. Donations are also being made by distributors like Raincoast Books and Publishers Group Canada and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
Hamilton to convert rec centres into COVID-19 self-isolation shelters for homeless residents
The City is also working to ensure existing drop-in spots have the resources necessary to stay open. The new “backstop” self-isolation sites will only accept homeless residents who are referred by shelter officials, doctors or hospital authorities. That means the city will not publicly release the rec centre locations.
Ruckify partners with United Way to connect vulnerable people with technology during COVID-19 pandemic
The Ottawa-based company is calling on the public to donate or rent out unused items like tablets, smartphones, webcams and laptops, so they can get into the hands of those who need them. Ruckify will provide pickup and delivery of the items. The items will be sanitized when picked up and dropped off, and it will be insured for damages in case something happens.
Guelph launches Supported Isolation Centre for homeless facing coronavirus
A group of community and health-care organizations opened the Supported Isolation Centre (SIC) in downtown Guelph. This particular model is not a medical model, meaning that the people who are there are not being medically monitored; they’re being supported to self-isolate.
Le travail inquiétant des femmes dans la pandémie COVID-19
Au Canada, les femmes sont nettement plus inquiètes que les hommes au sujet de la crise COVID-19. Par exemple, un récent sondage réalisé par Abacus Data a révélé que 49 % des femmes ont déclaré se sentir “très inquiètes” de l’épidémie, contre 33 % des hommes. Trente-sept pour cent des hommes ont déclaré qu’ils n’étaient “pas du tout inquiets” ou “peu inquiets” à propos de l’épidémie.
Gendered Impacts of Coronavirus
Any emergency or disaster is experienced differently by different genders, and it’s not just a matter of biology, infection rates, and severity of illness. The gendered experience of coronavirus is grounded in gender inequalities that impact all of us, every single day. Here are some interrelated gendered impacts to think about and act on.
The Assembly of First Nations declares a state of emergency
Calling for increased resources for First Nations on a “needs and equity basis,” with specific consideration for northern, remote and isolated communities.
COVID Disability-Related Resources for Families
Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) will be sharing disability-related resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic on this page, pulled together in one spot for families. New resources will be added as they are developed.
Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University holds a webinar on inclusive online engagement through an equity lens.
Creating safe and equitable spaces needs to happen online, just as much as it happens in-person (if not more so). How can we take an equity lens to our online convening? Cicely Belle Blain and Alia Ali, to discuss equity, safety and inclusion in online engagement. This webinar will explore the experience of minority communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore innovations and tips from different communities to create meaningful and respectful online engagement spaces. This interactive session will allow our guests and participants to share their good practices for building equity in online engagement. SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Gender and COVID-19 Working Group has developed a google doc of COVID-19 and Gender Resources and Articles
Compiled by Rosemary Morgan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health