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Social Justice

Quick links to sections on this page:
Poverty Reduction | Poverty Advocate Registration | Resources | Staff

Poverty Reduction


The Social and Ecological Justice Commission comes to you with a request approved at the recent 2022 Shining Waters Regional Council Meeting held in May.

That motion requested that communities of faith in Shining Waters Regional Council:

  • engage in education and advocacy around the need for increased social assistance in the form of higher income rates and that these rates be indexed to the cost of inflation.
It also requested that each community of faith in Shining Waters Regional Council:
  • name a lead poverty advocate to connect with the Social and Ecological Justice Commission, this name to be provided as soon as possible – by the end of June if that can be achieved.

We were encouraged by the almost unanimous support we received from the delegates to the regional council meeting. Your representatives (clergy or lay) who attended the meeting can give you more details about the discussion that took place.

As well as calling on communities of faith to act, the Regional Council meeting also called on the Government of Ontario to immediately:

  • raise social assistance rates starting with an increase that would bring them to the Deep Poverty Threshold (that is 75% of the Market Basket Measure (MBM),
  • collapse the basic amount and shelter allowance into a standard Flat Rate benefit,
  • index OW and ODSP rates to inflation, and
  • initiate a multi-year plan to raise social assistance incomes above the Market Basket Measure of Poverty

and committed to take steps, working with other regional councils across Ontario, to create a social justice liaison position with the provincial government, with a report back to the next regional council meeting.

As we respond to the needs of our neighbours, we invite you to participate in our listening, support, advocacy, and justice work as we envision a world where none go hungry or are marginalized.

Poverty Advocates

Following our Annual Regional Council meeting in May, we began to build a contact list of poverty advocates to include all communities of faith in Shining Waters. That way information can be shared about regional actions and local initiatives.

If you have not already submitted a contact person, please register your community of faith’s Poverty Advocate:

Name of Poverty Advocate(Required)
Please include a general location, for example Trinity UC, Malton or Knox UC, Sutton.
Please let us know how your community of faith is responding to the needs of the less fortunate in your area. Do you have any questions for us? We want to know your thoughts.


Asian Heritage Month – May is celebrated as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. Please see this page of resources curated for use and exploration.

Black History Month – February is remembered as Black History Month in Canada. Please see this page of resources curated for use and exploration.

SEJC Little Library – Please see this page for a list of books and videos curated for your use and exploration.


Staff Support



Minister, Justice and Faith Formation

Phone: 416-231-7680  |  1-800-268-3781
Extension: 6773
Email: jdale@united-church.ca 

Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council and Canadian Shield Regional Council

Location: Teleworks and works in the Guthrie office

Role: Jeffrey encourages and connects communities of faith with matters of faith and justice and the regional council in youth and young adult ministry and matters of faith formation and liaises with the General Council in this regard.

Contact Jeffrey about: Affirming Ministry; Camping Ministries; Faith Formation; Guaranteed Income; Harm Reduction; Homelessness; Poverty; Social and Eco-justice; Worship and Music; Youth and Young Adult Ministry, United Church Women (UCW)



Executive Assistant and Administrative Support

Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781
Email: rhowes@united-church.ca 

Serves in: Shining Waters Regional Council and Canadian Shield Regional Council

Location: Works from the Main Office in Guthrie, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Role: Rachael provides administrative support to the Executive Minister, Regional Council Executive, and related Commissions.

Contact Rachael about: General Inquiries; Conference Call Booking; Copyright Information; Currents Newsletter; Family News; Incorporated Ministries; Minutes and Policies; Nominations; Regional Meeting.