Law Reform Projects
West Scarborough Community Legal Services prioritizes community development and law reform.
“Community development is as critical to anti-poverty work today as it was 39 years ago when the first community legal clinic was created. Community development remains an important tool for clinics to use in building the capacity of low income people to be involved in the legal and political processes that affect them.”
– Legal Clinics: History and Role of Community Development (www.opicco.org)
Fix EI Campaign
West Scarborough Community Legal Services is part of the “Good Jobs for All – EI Working Group.”
We support and advocate the Working Groups recommendations that are as follows:
- Increase access by reducing qualifying hours to 360 hours in all regions of Canada.
- Increase duration to at least 50 weeks in all regions and provide an extra year Special Extension when national unemployment exceeds 6.5%, paid from federal general revenues. Provide EI income benefits so long as a worker is in approved training.
- Increase benefits to at least 60% of earnings using workers’ 12 best weeks and raise the maximum benefit.
- Eliminate the allocation of severance pay and 2-week waiting period.
- Improve access to the EI system especially for precarious and vulnerable workers.
Rooming House Campaign
One of the major areas of our work is helping tenants with housing issues. WSCLS currently is working on a campaign along with other housing advocates and organizations.
A rooming house is a dwelling where four or more people share a bathroom or a kitchen as tenants. Rooming houses have always provided affordable housing to many people in the City of Toronto. In Scarborough, East York and North York, present zoning by-laws are such that rooming houses are not permitted. This is a human rights issue and also affects many low income tenants, therefore members of WSCLS and tenants and the Voices of Scarborough are working together to legalize rooming houses across the city.
West Scarborough Community Legal Services (WSCLS) and Voices of Scarborough have been organizing the Scarborough community to advocate for better legislation for Ontario workers and to increase the minimum wage. Members of our leadership group were able to make oral submissions at the public consultations of the Changing the Workplace Review. WSCLS also submitted written submissions to the Ministry of Labour regarding changes to the ESA and continues to advocate for better workplace laws.