The announcement of the federal election call and the news about the escalating crisis in Afghanistan occurred within hours of each other, the latter threatening to derail the former before the campaigns had even begun. Immigrant serving organizations, particularly those with refugee resettlement programs went on high alert, memories of six years ago- another campaign, another humanitarian crisis, all too fresh.
In the Field
As we approach mid-summer, the attention of non-profit sector leadership is turning to plans for return to work come September. There is great uncertainty still, as new variants of the COVID-19 virus appear, first vaccination uptake seems to be stalled, and there is talk from various sources about a possible fourth wave that may lead to renewed lockdowns.
The day began with the news that the statue of Egerton Ryerson, often lauded as the father of education, but more recently and more accurately known as a key architect of (Indian) Residential Schools, outside Ryerson University was torn down. The sculptured head was detached and dropped into the Toronto Harbour. A symbolic move, but one that resonated with many whose families experienced the violence of the residential school system.
The City of Toronto announced with great fanfare that its Toronto sign- the marker of a proud city that for some rivals the CN Tower as THE Toronto landmark - would be lit in bright red to mark the beginning of Asian Heritage Month. For Torontonians, this is par for the course as we celebrate our rich diversity of cultures and peoples from every corner of the globe. Then the sun rose …
It is with a heavy heart that we entered this month, with the news that OCASI’s long-term accountant Sylvia Draper-Fernandez had transitioned. A stalwart in Toronto’s non-profit sector, Sylvia, the owner and principal of Progressive Accounting (PAS) Services was the Council’s accountant since its inception almost forty-three years ago.