Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ACORN Canada

I received an email from the SAN list bringing attention to the relatively new ACORN Canada organization. ACORN is a U.S.-based membership organizing that does innovative door-to-door community organizing in low-income neighbourhoods...I don't know a ton about them, but what I've heard about the U.S. parent organization is positive, so it's good to hear that a Canadian affiliate is now doing its thing in Toronto and Vancouver, and preparing to be more intensively active and visible over the next little while.

Here are the basics from their homepage:

In June 2004, ACORN Canada was created as an independent non-profit organization affiliated with ACORN USA -- that country's largest membership organization representing low- and moderate-income people. Over the last 35 years, ACORN USA has been winning progressive change and now has more than 175,000 members in 80 cities. And like our sister organization, it is ACORN Canada's goal to be the most powerful membership organization representing low- and moderate-income Canadians on the critical issues of social and economic justice.

ACORN Canada believes that transforming the conditions that adversely affect millions of Canadians can best be achieved with an active national membership – members deeply invested in their organization and focused clearly on lasting change. Already in Toronto, hundreds of ACORN members and the elected leaders of our first local chapters are working with their neighbours to address issues that span a wide range of concerns, including tenants' rights, youth unemployment and predatory lending. With so many Canadians working harder and slipping incrementally into increasingly precarious socio-economic conditions, the time is right for ACORN Canada – a truly grassroots, community-driven organization.

ACORN Canada Campaigns

Payday Lending

Our first national campaign flows directly from our members’ concerns about the criminal interest rates charged by the unregulated payday lending industry. In an effort to give voice to these concerns, we issued a report in November that continues to cause a stir across the country (the report Protecting Canadians’ Interest: Reining in the Payday Lending Industry can be downloaded by clicking here). We’re holding peaceful protests at payday loan shops and we’re working with all three levels of government to try to resolve the challenges posed by this rogue industry.

We’ve also launched precedent-setting legal action at the provincial court level in British Columbia and we’re planning a similar action in Ontario in coming months. The purpose of these actions is to underscore the criminality of the industry as it is now practised, and leverage negotiations and government action.

Tenants’ Rights in Toronto

Under the leadership of our first Toronto chapters, ACORN Canada has already had a significant impact on the lives of tenants and ACORN members living in Toronto. In public meetings, protests, and in working with the Mayor’s office our members’ demands for decent living conditions are being heard and answered.

Check out the site for more information!


James said...

If you are looking for tenant info you should check out Ontario Tenants Rights.

ACORN Canada said...

ACORN Canada's now grown to 15000 members across 19 chapters in 3 cities across Canada! learn more at