Webinar: Responses to Homelessness in the Time of COVID19
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 12PM EDT
Register on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l5OIO1fuTAmSJvdI1nPyZg
Registration is Free. Recommended donation is $20.
Please send donations to Jur-Ed Foundation @ https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/jur-ed-foundation/ Donations will be applied toward legal education (including covering the costs of this webinar) and homelessness advocacy.
Lawyers who attend may use this webinar as one substantive hour towards their Continuing Professional Development requirements.
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Join Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights, Jur-Ed Foundation, and the Law Union of Ontario for a one hour webinar discussing the impact of COVID19 on homeless populations in Canada and what is being done to hold governments accountable for pandemic-related human rights violations.
Leilani Farha, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, will discuss the recently developed National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada and its potential to encourage governments to move away from criminalization and forced evictions and towards meaningful engagement with encampment residents as rights holders.
Sanctuary Ministries’ outreach worker, Greg Cook and Goldblatt Partners lawyer, Jessica Orkin will discuss the recent lawsuit filed against the City of Toronto by a coalition of public interest groups demanding appropriate distancing and sanitation standards in shelters and a swifter, broader plan to relocate residents to vacant hotels and alternative housing.
Together these speakers and moderator Jesse Gutman, host of Jur-Ed and CLAIHR Board member, will explain the disproportionate impact of COVID19 on already vulnerable homeless people and the need for stable, long-term, and affordable housing solutions moving forward.
See below for more information on our panelists and moderator.
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (June 2014 – April 2020)
Leilani brought a dynamic energy to the role of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing; energy she will need to reach her goal of prompting and facilitating an international paradigm shift in how housing is approached.
During her time as Special Rapporteur, Leilani presented reports to the UN on homelessness, the connection between the right to housing and the right to life, and the financialization of housing. She has traveled on official missions to Serbia and Kosovo, India and most recently to Chile, amongst others, to investigate and comment on the state of the right to housing.
In addition to her requisite work, Leilani has used her platform to start The Shift, a global movement to reclaim and realize the right to housing, which calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right, not a commodity.
A lawyer by training, Leilani assumed the role of Special Rapporteur in 2014, but she has been tirelessly advocating for the realization of the right to housing throughout her career. She is the current executive director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty.
In her previous role as Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, she was instrumental in launching a historic challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness.
She has been a member of the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions for UN Habitat, and was a founding member of ESCR-Net, an international network of actors committed to economic, social and cultural rights.
Outreach Worker, Sanctuary Ministries
Greg Cook is an Outreach Worker at Sanctuary Ministries in Toronto. Sanctuary is a healthy, welcoming community in which people who are poor and excluded are particularly valued. Sanctuary was the named plaintiff organization in the recent civil claim injunction against the City of Toronto to maintain proper social distancing in the Municipal shelter system.
Partner, Goldblatt Partners
Jessica Orkin has a broad litigation practice including criminal, civil and administrative law matters, with an emphasis on constitutional, human rights, Aboriginal rights and access to information law matters.
Jessica appears at all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She is also a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars. She has been named in Best Lawyers as a leading aboriginal law practitioner.
Jessica received her law degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds an M.Phil. degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor of arts and sciences from McMaster University. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006, after clerking at the Federal Court of Appeal.
Jesse Isaac Gutman
President, Jur-Ed Foundation and Board Member, CLAIHR
Jesse Gutman is a 2013 call Union-side Labour lawyer in Toronto, practicing in English and French. He is the President of the Jur-Ed Foundation and the host/producer of its podcast of the same name. Jesse was previously a high school teacher in Quebec and is a part-time Klezmer musician. He is passionate about human rights and international solidarity.