JOB POSTING 
Outreach Worker to Indigenous Communities of North York

 

Willowdale Community Legal Services (WCLS) is a general service community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). WCLS serves low-income members of our community within the areas of poverty law that we practice.  We commit to service that is inclusive, equitable, fair and free from discrimination, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation and immigration status. 

 

WCLS is seeking a contract Outreach Worker who is Indigenous and/or has strong ties to Indigenous communities and organizations in North York in order to strengthen the connection between WCLS and Indigenous peoples of North York. This position will increase the clinic’s collaboration with Indigenous people and enhance participation and influence of Indigenous people at the clinic by:

  • developing strategies to connect with Indigenous people and organizations in North York;

  • assessing whether the services of WCLS reflect the needs of North York’s Indigenous peoples;

  • establishing ways to attract Indigenous people to become Board members and placement students; and,

  • identifying potential sources of funding to continue similar engagement projects.

The position involves engaging with community members, organizations and agencies that assist members of our community.

 

The duties of the position will be carried out through a combination of office and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The position requires some travel within Toronto and may require work to be performed outside of normal 8:30am to 4:30pm office hours.  The hired candidate must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

This is a contract position that ends March 31, 2022. The position is available immediately.  It is possible that the position could extend beyond March 31, 2022 subject to the availability of funding.

 

Qualifications for the position:

  • Relevant post-secondary education

  • Experience in community organizing and community outreach

  • Superior time management and planning skills

  • Excellence in communication and computer skills

  • Ability to work flexible hours

  • Assets include prior experience in a local community agency or legal clinic

 

Compensation: $20.00 / hour.

 

Applications must include a cover letter outlining relevant experience and a resume and are to be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 12, 2021.  Applications should be sent by email (resume and cover letter in a Word or PDF attachment) to the attention of Hiring Committee at l_zelaya@lao.on.ca.

Applications can also be submitted in person at the following address:

 

Willowdale Community Legal Services

106-245 Fairview Mall Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M2J 4T1

 

We encourage individuals from historically underrepresented communities to apply for the position.

 

Please note that, while we thank all applicants for their interest in the position, only the candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.  

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Legal Clinic champions Petition to make the Canada Child Benefit available to all children living in Canada

Toronto, ON – Tuesday June 15th, 2021 - Willowdale Community Legal Services (WCLS) obtained over 500 signatures urging the Government of Canada to provide the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) to all children, regardless of the immigration status of their parents. The petition was presented in the House of Commons today by MP Dong, who notes that, “No child should have to live in poverty. That’s why I’m proud to support WCLS and their desire to ensure all children residing in Canada receive equal access to the CCB. As the centre piece of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, we must ensure the CCB leaves no child behind. In Canada every child counts.”

 

Yet, as WCLS Board Member Kelsey Miki says, “thousands of children whose parents have precarious immigration status are being left in poverty. This unnecessarily perpetuates hardship in our Willowdale community as well as also across the country.”  

 

The CCB is a tax-free benefit provided to low and middle-income families to assist with the costs of raising children. In 2019, the CCB successfully lifted 278,000 children out of poverty. To qualify the primary parent must be, or be the spouse of, a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person, or a “temporary resident” who has lived in Canada for at least 18 months. Excluded are refugee claimants and other individuals with precarious status – even if they are legally working and paying taxes. In many cases, these families may have Canadian children.

 

“Child poverty is more prevalent in communities marginalized by race, gender, and their immigration status,” says Leila Sarangi, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. The rates of child poverty for immigrant children are an alarming 35% in comparison to the national average of 18.2%. “Access to this benefit for families with irregular status is a matter of equity and justice. Now is the time for the federal government to honours its human rights obligations and promises of child poverty reduction by providing children and families with precarious status immediate access to the CCB.”

 

The exclusions from the CCB regime affect many who are already vulnerable. In some cases, women suffering abuse are forced to stay with their abusive spouses who hold the required immigration status to be eligible for CCB in order to be able to feed their children.

 

Natalie Zhang fled domestic abuse with her two children. She stayed in a shelter while studying, working, and pursuing a refugee claim. Her access to the CCB was suspended and she was issued an overpayment for any benefits she received after she left her abuser. After spending all of her income on bills and legal fees, Natalie reflects that, “CCB could have provided my children with a box of strawberries rather than just cans from the food bank or sports shoes for my daughter’s school running club. My children’s little wishes were denied for almost two years because I did not receive CCB due to my immigration status. This must change.”

 

Members of the public are encouraged to sign up for the CCB Justice mailing list through the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic at tinyurl.com/CCBJustice

 

For more information, including interviews:


Gillian Reiss, Staff Lawyer / Managing Director, WCLS: (416) 492-2437 or reissgi@lao.on.ca

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