Welcome

West Hill is a people, a place, and an idea. We are a community living out a progressive faith, striving to make a positive difference in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world.

Based in Scarborough Ontario, we have supporters as close as our neighbourhood and all over the world.  You belong with us! Connect with us in person, on the web, or here. We look forward to the journey with you.

Our mission:

Moved by a reverence for life to pursue justice for all, we inspire one another to seek truth, live fully, care deeply and make a difference.

Support West Hill!  Learn more or donate now through CanadaHelps.


The latest news, videos and perspectives from our community:

Want to contribute?  Email the webmaster.

Wednesday
May182016

Teach-In by the Peoples Climate Plan

"This is a once in a generation opportunity. If we all stand together, we can push the government towards a bold climate strategy that’s justice-based, respects the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples, aligns with climate science, and commits Canada to a 100% renewable energy economy."

Join the People’s Climate Plan (a broad-based collective of climate justice groups) at this teach-in to build strong community pressure for a meaningful and just national climate plan. 

Saturday June 4, 9:30-3:30 Sidney Smith Hall, University of Toronto

Plenary discussion featuring Myeengun Henry (Chippewas of the Thames FN), with Avi Lewis (Leap Manifesto), and others to be announced, followed by three workshops- each on a key pillar of the People's Climate Plan.
The teach-in will enable participants to access reliable, relevant information on key climate issues, as well as to pose questions, express doubts, and exchange views as we aim to advance three pillars for effective, grassroots action:

• A national climate plan that aligns with the science of climate change and ensures Canada meets its commitments to a 1.5°C world by keeping its fossil fuels reserves in the ground.
• A national plan that builds a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050, creating over a million clean, safe and rewarding jobs.
• A national plan that enshrines justice & reconciliation for Indigenous peoples, ensures no worker is left behind in the transition to a clean energy economy, and takes leadership from those hit hardest by the climate crisis.

A separate workshop will take up each of these themes. All workshops will be repeated three times, so participants can take part in each of them.

Agenda: 
9:30 Opening and welcome 
10:00 Plenary panel discussion
12:00 Lunch break ( lunch provided)
12:30 First set of workshops
1:30 Second set of workshops
2:30 Third set of workshops
3:30 Adjournment

For more information on the People's Climate Plan, visit: http://peoplesclimate.ca/

Tuesday
May172016

Open For Justice

The Open for Justice Campaign is a coalition of organizations including Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability (CNCA), Amnesty, Kairos and The United Church of Canada (UCC).  

The Justice and Global Issues Team need to help in ensuring that people harmed by the overseas operations of Canadian mining companies are able to access justice in Canada.  We need an extractive-sector ombudsperson as well as access to Canadian courts.

BACKGROUND
Canada is home to more than half of the world’s mining companies, with active projects in more than 100 countries. These companies are often viewed as representative of Canada abroad,  however human rights abuses, environmental damage, displacement and violations of basic labour rights are all too often associated with these projects.  

Here are just three examples:

Burkina Faso: 16,000 residents were relocated by a Canadian company to make way for an open pit gold mine in Burkina Faso (West Africa).  A human rights organization has reported that residents were relocated to areas without adequate sources of water or soil fertility.  Approximate net revenues of Canadian owned gold mines in Burkina Faso in 2013 alone: US$277.3 million. This in one of the poorest countries in the world (UN report).

Guatemala: In 2013, 7 men and youth were peacefully protesting outside a Canadian silver mine in Guatemala, when they were shot and injured by private security of the company. To date there has been no justice for the victims in Guatemala or Canada, nor any repercussions against the company for ordering violence to silence a community defending its rights.  
                                              
Philippines: The Cordillera Elders Assembly, meeting in Kalinga province (north Philippines) in 2011, agreed to oppose large scale mining on their ancestral territory under present political and militarized conditions.  Their rallying cry:  “Protect the land.”

There is no international system that currently governs resource extraction to protect human rights or the environment.  In many countries where extractive companies operate, protections do not exist or are not enforced; multilateral institutions are often weak or inaccessible; and there are barriers to seeking justice in Canada.

CALL FOR CANADIAN GOVERNMENT ACTION
The Canadian government must act to ensure that Canadian mining companies live up to international human rights, labour and environmental standards.      

Parliament needs to:

1.    Create an independent extractive-sector Ombudsperson in Canada, with the power to investigate complaints and make recommendations, including suspending or ending Canadian government support to companies that do not respect international standards.  Unlike the present federal CSR Counsellor’s Office, the Ombudsperson would be mandated to make its findings public, and to perform these functions regardless of a company’s willingness to participate; and

2.    Facilitate access to Canadian courts for people who have been seriously harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies.  
 

 

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Please consider the following:

1.   Write to your member of Parliament 
Ask them to call on the government to

  • ·         Establish an independent, impartial Ombudsperson for the Canadian extractive sector’s operations outside of Canada  
  •      Allow those who have been harmed by Canadian extractive companies' operations abroad, access to Canadian courts.

Here's a link to a sample letter (Word document) from The  United Church of Canada  website.  You can find your MP here by entering your postal code


2.   Promote the Open for Justice Reception with your MP
Request that your member of Parliament attend a reception on Parliament Hill to learn more about the Open for Justice Campaign.  The reception will take place on June 1, 2016 6-8 pm.  The Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability (CNCA) sent invitations to each MP in late April.

3.   Learn More
 Participate in the Canadian Mining Justice webinar offered by the United Church advocacy network United for Mining Justice.  The webinar will take place on June 8   1:30-3:30 pm EST.  

June 8 Canadian Mining Justice Webinar Click here for info/to register

Friday
May132016

Jesus: the Misunderstood Jew with Amy-Jill Levin

This unique conference begins in a synagogue and ends in a church, offering insight and dialogue on the scandal of a Jewish Jesus and how that might influence how we speak and act in the modern world.

Sponsored by College Street United Church, The Inter-Church, Interfaith Committee of Toronto Southeast Presbytery, The Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, The First Narayever Synagogue of Toronto.

The conference begins Friday June 3rd and runs through Sunday June 5th.

View the agenda HERETo register or for more information: chris.levan4@gmail.com

Cost: $110 per person

Special rates for groups of 5 or more: $90 per person and with every 5 registrations 1 complementary ticket

Students: $25

Satruday Evening lecture only: $25 

Thursday
May122016

The People's Climate Plan

The People’s Climate Plan has generously offered to present a webinar for people of faith planning to participate in their local climate townhalls. This free webinar will provide political and policy context, as well as information on ways you can get involved.
 
It will take place on
Friday, May 13, 2016
1:30–2:30 pm EDT

 

I hope you are able to join us! Please visit the EDGE website to register and find out more about our presenters.

The People’s Climate Plan is organizing at a grassroots level before, during, and after the national climate consultations.

For more information, see Speak Up in Support of a Bold National Climate Strategy.

Thursday
May122016

RE-EXAMINING CANADIAN GOVERNMENT POLICY on ISRAEL/PALESTINE

The October 19th election of a new Liberal government with a strong majority indicates that Canadians are looking for change. In international relations in general and Israel/Palestine issues in particular, the change many seek is for a return to actions based on principles of fairness, justice and respect for international law.

We can help achieve the needed change by meeting with our elected representatives and offering the following achievable objectives to help Canada change course.
 

 

1.  Adhere to Canadian policies that respect international law

2.  Deny preferential treatment to Israeli settlement products and require goods be properly labelled

3.  Restore Funding to UNRWA

 

The Justice and Global Issues Team of Toronto Southeast Presbytery would be pleased to work with you and others in your congregation in planning for such a meeting.

 

 

 

Read the entire letter to congregations at:
https://torontoconference.ca/torontosoutheast/downloads/committees-justice-global-letter-congregations.pdf


and the associated AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL public statement of April 12, 2016 at:https://torontoconference.ca/torontosoutheast/downloads/committees-justice-global-amnesty-international-public-statement.pdf

 

 

George Bartlett, Secretary
Justice & Global Issues Team
Toronto Southeast Presbytery

 
Thursday
May122016

News from the Greenbelt

The province has announced its proposed changes to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans as part of the Coordinated Review. There is a lot to share, and below you can find out how to take action and stay informed. Here are the key points from the government's changes:

A bigger, stronger Greenbelt.

A commitment to curb urban sprawl and grow our communities smartly.

 Greater support for agriculture and local food.

We are encouraged by the proposal to grow the Greenbelt to include 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands, bringing the Greenbelt into cities and towns with over 6 million residents.

The province also added four parcels of protected countryside in the City of Hamilton and Niagara Region. But we were disappointed that the widely supported initiative to expand the Greenbelt and protect a ‘
Bluebelt’ of vulnerable water resources was left out of the amendments. We hear that the province plans to start a process to identify such areas in the coming months, and will be working hard with our partners and supporters like you to hold them to their word.

Join us during the open houses to call on the province to move quickly and decisively to grow the Greenbelt further and protect these vital water resources. 

Big changes to the Growth Plan should help curb urban sprawl and encourage the development of compact, livable communities, by directing 50% more growth to existing urban areas, and increasing density targets for projects on undeveloped green space from 50 to 80 people and jobs per hectare. Not only will this help us accommodate almost 3 million more people by 2031, it will make better use of the $31 billion in provincial transit spending over the coming decade, and help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.

The 5,500 Greenbelt farms will also benefit from the proposed changes, which enable farmers to be entrepreneurial by placing fewer restrictions on what they can do or build on their farms. A viable farming sector requires more than just a land base to thrive - the Plans will also identify and protect an agricultural system for the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe, that builds on the Greenbelt to ensure that the $11 billion industry continues to grow and provide us with healthy, fresh local food.  

Take Action. Stay Informed.

How will the proposed changes affect my community?  

Download the Province's Discussion Document to find out.

 

The government wants your input. Want to get involved?

a) Attend a public open house in May and June 2016 

b) Submit a comment online or through the  Environmental Registry before Sept. 30, 2016


 Want to stay up to date with the Review?

Visit the Greenbelt website for news and updates.

Wednesday
May112016

New Date for the WHU Spring Clean-up

The building and grounds at West Hill will be given our TLC on June 4th and we'd love for you to join us in the gardens! All hands, hearts, gardening tools and supplies would be greatly appreciated as we get set to tidy, weed and plant for the coming warm weather. Donations of bulbs, plant cuttings and yard waste bags would be wonderful!

9AM-3PM

 Pot luck lunch planned!


If you'd prefer to lend a hand inside, we'd also appreciate help sorting and organizing some storage areas, and possibly an office or two. 

Please sign up in the lobby or contact he office if you'd like to lend a hand.


 

Thursday
May052016

Fair Trade Fair

Thursday
May052016

Medically Assisted Dying

Thursday
Apr282016

Women's Groups Forming

In syn●the●sis, women gather to celebrate life, 
explore its many beautiful but often ravaged elements 
and weave them together into a whole. 
Creating an atmosphere of intimacy and support, 
syn●the●sis encourages engagement on many levels, 
bringing to the fore the layered depths of our being 
that sometimes take a back seat to the many demands on our time. Here, we can unwind, discover, share, create, consider, 
and become known – 
to ourselves as much as to the others gathered with us.

Getting it all together is a start.
Keeping it together is an art.

syn●the●sis provides a place where wholeness can happen.

To indicate your interest,
please email our Administrator and rank what time works best for you

– morning, afternoon, or evening
We plan to create a group for each time as interest is indicated.