MTCSALC Staff Lawyer Vince Wong Published Op-Ed in Rabble - 'Canada will never end racism unless it dispels these three national myths first'
July 25, 2016 - We need to create a space in public discourse to talk about racism and racial inequities without all the baggage that the rose-coloured multicultural narrative brings with it. We need to be able to have a mature, evidence-based discussion about race which leads to concrete, sustainable, and effective government action. This can only occur when we shed these preconcieved myths, acknowledge that systemic racism is a real problem, and work together collectively and collaboratively to solve it.
Read the Rabble article here
MTCSALC Clinic Director Avvy Go Published Op-Ed in Toronto Star - 'Many communities are still waiting for results of 'Sunny Ways'
June 30, 2016 - While Prime Minister Trudeau has made gender parity and gender equality a central theme of his government, he has yet to demonstrate his commitment to racial equality as it affects peoples of colour in this country. This he can do by engaging all racialized communities in a full discussion around a revitalized CAPAR, and by adopting policies and programs to promote racial justice.
Read the Toronto Star article here
10th Anniversary of Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act Redress - Proclamation and Roundtable
Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, Chinese Canadian National Council - TO Chapter, Mayor John Tory, and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam invite you to...
10th Anniversary of Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act Redress
Redress Day Proclamation and Roundtable Discussion
Date: June 22, 2016
Location: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON
Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
4:30 pm - Proclamation of June 22nd as Chinese Head Tax & Exclusion Act Redress Day by Mayor John Tory at the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square
5:00 pm - Community Roundtable Discussion in Meeting Room B, 2nd Floor of City Hall
Join us to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Head Tax & Exclusion Acts Redress Campaign and to reflect on the historical contribution and sacrifices of Chinese Canadians in building our nation.
Mayor John Tory will proclaim June 22nd as Chinese Head Tax & Exclusion Act Redress Day. A Community Roundtable will follow to discuss the Redress Campaign, its historical roots, and how we can learn from its lessons moving forward.
Jenny Quan Wins J. Shirley Denison Award
On May 25, 2016, our community legal worker Jenny Quan was honoured by the Law Society of Upper Canada and received the J. Shirley Denison Award.
Jenny has worked at our clinic for over 28 years, and she has helped thousands of clients - many of whom are disadvantaged and suffer from mental illness and trauma. We could not be prouder of Jenny!
Job Opportunity: Staff Lawyer at MTCSALC
Deadline: June 30, 2016
Did you enter law school with the intention of using your law degree to help the most marginalized in our society? Are you currently able to fully realize these ideals? If not, and if you are among those who wish to turn that idealism into reality, consider a social justice career with us!
Funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC) is a dynamic community legal clinic which serves low income members of Toronto’s Chinese and Southeast Asian communities. Recognized for its advocacy work on behalf of disadvantaged communities, MTCSALC is a United Nations accredited NGO with ECOSOC consultative status.
MTCSALC is looking for a permanent staff lawyer to add to our dedicated and collegial team. The staff lawyer will conduct casework, summary legal advice, public legal education activities, as well as test case litigation and systemic advocacy both domestically and internationally. The staff lawyer will also be working in MTCSALC’s satellite offices at our community partners to provide services to clients living across the GTA.
If you are a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada, have basic competence in spoken Cantonese or Mandarin (additional competence in Vietnamese is an asset), have familiarity with one or more of the Clinic’s areas of practice (including immigration, social assistance and income maintenance, tenant rights, employment, human rights, and the Charter) and have experience working with disadvantaged communities, please send your application to us by June 30, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. at:
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1701, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1Z8.
Tel: (416) 971-9674. Fax: (416) 971-6780.
We thank all applicants but will only contact candidates shortlisted for interviews.
MTCSALC releases report: 'Sweet and Sour: The Struggle of Chinese Restaurant-Workers' documenting systemic employment standards violations
On April 25, 2016, the MTCSALC released the most comprehensive survey of Chinese restaurant-workers to date, which follows a similar study of the community conducted 30 years ago. The study, which surveyed over 180 workers, found rampant violations of the Employment Standards Act among restaurant workers of Chinese descent within the Greater Toronto Area.
Read the full report
Read the media release here
Read the Toronto Star article here
Read the CBC article here
If you or your organization would like to endorse the recommendations of the Sweet and Sour report and wish to help us advocate to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, please consider filling out our endorsement letter here
MTCSALC Staff Lawyer Vince Wong publishes blog on immigration detention reform on Rabble
Staff Lawyer Vince Wong published an article on rabble.ca in light of two recent deaths of immigration detainees in CBSA custody. The article critiques the current immigration detention system and advocates for a wholesale reform of the entire system from the ground up.
MTCSALC Paralegal Jenny Quan Wins Inaugural Law Society J. Shirley Denison Award
The Law Society of Upper Canada recently announced that the inaugural recipient of the J. Shirley Denison Award is our community legal worker and paralegal, Jenny Quan! The Denison Award is given to recipients who make a significant contribution in the area of access to justice and poverty.
Jenny has worked for more than 28 years at our clinic, and has helped thousands of clients, many of whom are low-income, disadvantaged, and face barriers in accessing justice. She is fluent in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. We are so proud of Jenny!
See full LSUC award recipient list below:
UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Slams Canada's Position on Growing Racial Inequality
On March 7, 2016, the UN CESCR released its Concluding Observations for Canada's 10 year review at the 57th Session of the CESCR, which took place on February 24th and 25th, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Concerned about the socio-economic disparities and disadvantages of racialized communities in general, a coalition of NGOs, including the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic called on the Government of Canada to address growing racial inequities throughout the country.
In its Concluding Observations, the UN CESCR adopted a number of key recommendations advanced by the coalition.
To read the Media Release, click here
To read the full CESCR report, click here
To read the Staff Lawyer Vincent Wong's Blog on the UN experience, click here
MTCSALC Will Be Appearing Before The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, February 22-24, 2016
A coalition of community organizations representing immigrant services including MTCSALC are appearing before the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) from Feb. 22-24, 2016 to draw attention to the growing inequities and disparities facing peoples of colour, immigrants and migrants in Canada. Our staff lawyer, Vincent Wong, will be providing updates from the CESCR meeting on Twitter (@mcsalegalclinic) and Facebook.
For more information, please see our press release.
MTCSALC and Other Community Groups Welcome Province's Announcement on Anti-Racism Directorate
February 16, 2016 - Community organizations working to advance racial equity and justice in Ontario welcome the announcement made by Premier Kathleen Wynne on her plan to establish an Anti-Racism Directorate to combat racism in Ontario.
See full press release here
MTCSALC and Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change Network make Submissions to UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The MTCSALC along with NGO partners from the Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change Network has submitted a Shadow Report regarding Canada's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR).
The report touches on 4 major issues facing Canada today:
1. Income and Employment Disparities Facing Racialized Communities and Racialization of Poverty;
2. Migrant Workers’ Rights;
3. Family Reunification and Conditional Permanent Resident Status for Sponsored Spouses; and
4. Support for Community Organizations.
The full report can be viewed here
Media Release on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
October 17 is the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The Colour of Poverty-Colour of Change Network is calling on all political parties in Canada to make the elimination of poverty their priority when forming the next government. COPC is also calling on all Canadians to cast a vote for racial justice. For more information, please read the COPC press release at:
The Canada Poverty Policy Audit - Election 2015
The Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change Network participated in a poverty policy audit undertaken by the Canadian chapter of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), in the run up to the October 19 Canadian Federal Election. ASAP is a group of academics and students who work to synthesize and distribute expertise about poverty reduction or eradication, with a view to increasing the impact of expertise on policy makers and the public.
Read the report here:
Restaurant Owners Liable for over $600,000 in Unpaid Wages and Statutory Pays
August 4, 2015
After more than a year of investigation, the Ontario Ministry of Labour found the former directors of Regal Restaurants liable to its former employees for a total amount of $676,693.79 in unpaid wages, minimum wage pay, termination pay, public holiday pay and vacation pay. To read the full press release, please click here: Press_Release_Regal_Restaurant_-_FINAL.docx
For a summary of the findings of the Ministry of Labour, go to: Summary_of_MOL_Findings_June_2015.docx
Changes to Guaranteed Income Supplement for sponsored parents and grandparents
As part of the Omnibus Budget Bill, the Canadian Government has proposed changes to the Old Age Security system so that parents and grandparents who are sponsored to Canada and are subject to a 20-year sponsorship period will have to wait 20 years before they could apply for Guaranteed Income Supplement, among other government benefits. MTCSALC made submissions to the Senate to express our concerns about these changes. To learn more about the changes and our position on this issue, please read:
Challenging Canada’s Human Rights Record at the UN
On April 29, 2013, join us at a special panel presentation on human rights advocacy before the United Nations and learn about the UN’s Universal Periodic Review of Canada. For more information please click:
Canadian Delegations on Human Rights
The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Legal Clinic is joining several other Canadian NGOs on a mission to the United Nations to review Canada’s record on human rights.
Universal Periodic Review of Canada
The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and the Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change recently attended a pre-meeting session of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. MTCSALC and COPC presented the following fact sheets to the Human Rights Council with respect to Canada’s current human rights issues:
UN Universal Periodic Review of Canada
The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and the Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change made a joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the second Universal Periodic Review about Canada’s compliance with international human rights. To read the full report, please click:
Changes in Human Rights System and Alliance's Analysis
- The Ontario Government has released the report on the Review of the Human Rights System in Ontario. The report makes a number of recommendations to change the system. This link will provide the full report.
- The AODA Alliance has done a detailed analysis of the Review Report. This link provide the Alliance’s analysis.
Clinic celebrates 25th anniversary in 2012
The Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. To mark this important occasion, we organized a conference on October 15, 2012 at the Law Society of Upper Canada, entitled “Championing Equality: Progress or Peril?” which examined the state of (in)equality in Canada 30 years after the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The conference video can be viewed here:
First Interview with Carol Goar and R. Roy McMurtry:
David Lepofsky's Speech:
Grace Edwards Galabuzi's Presentation:
May Lui's Speech:
Avvy Go's Speech:
Panel Questions and Answers:
Second Interview with Carol Goar and Susan Eng: