We Don’t Talk About Class with Deborah Dundas and Ricardo Tranjan

Thursday September 28, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Holiday Inn, Islandview Room (tickets $0-$20)

Buy tickets here: https://kwfunbound.ca/events/

Rich, poor, working class, tenant class. We know these phrases, but North Americans often discount how class, and the inherent machinations of capitalism impact the lives people can live. When we ignore these realities, what, and who, are we omitting? Join Deborah Dundas and Ricardo Tranjan for a conversation about class: of who controls the narrative, and why this must change.

Deborah Dundas

Deborah Dundas is a writer, television producer, book editor of the Toronto Star and a journalist with over 18 years of experience. Her work has appeared in numerous publications in Canada, the UK and Ireland including Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Canadian Notes and Queries, The Belfast Telegraph and The Sunday Independent. Deborah grew up poor and almost didn’t make it to university. In her book On Class, she talks to writers, activists, those who work with the poor and those who are poor about what happens when we don’t talk about poverty or class—and what will happen when we do.

Author Heather O’Neill praises the book, saying “I really enjoyed Deborah Dundas’s small and brave book On Class. She addresses the need to speak about the different classes in Canada, and the ways it is almost impossible to cross their divides.” Open Book calls it “urgent and wise, written with Dundas’ trademark wit and crisp prose. Raw and smart, it urges readers not to look away from the complexity of issues affecting the poor and working class, especially in a time of constant political, economic, and social turmoil.”

Deborah attended York University for English and Political Science and has an MFA in Creative Non-fiction from the University of King’s College. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter and their loving, grumpy cat Jumper.

Ricardo Tranjan

“It is a part of our culture in Canada and in other Anglo-Saxon countries. We have equated homeownership with success, with security, with making it,” says Ricardo Tranjan. “I think this fixation on homeownership and the stigma attached to renting prevents us from having a better conversation about the different options to achieve housing security.” Ricardo Tranjan is a professor, political economist, and senior researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He managed Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and, in his early academic work, focused on economic development and participatory democracy in Brazil, his native country. In his book The Tenant Class, Ricardo poses the provocative question – what if there is no housing crisis, but instead a housing market working exactly as intended? Author Leslie Kern says, “this book explodes entrenched myths about renters and landlords and will change the way many people understand the injustice of the housing system.” Ricardo has a PhD from the University of Waterloo, where he was a Vanier Scholar. A frequent media commentator in English and French, he lives in Ottawa. 

The PC-JPIC is a community partner for this event at the Kingston Writersfest.

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YGK Housing Newsletter!

The Providence Centre has launched a weekly newsletter in Kingston that is all about housing called YGK Housing News. The newsletter includes events, analysis, reports and other news focused on helping us understand and take action on the affordable housing crisis in Kingston and beyond. To subscribe, email sayyida.jaffer (at) chco.ca and write “subscribe” in the subject of the email.

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Raise the Rates Interfaith Fast November 14 – 18, 2022

For many years, ISARC (Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition) has monitored the level of social assistance support provided to vulnerable Ontarians who are unemployed, underemployed or living with disabilities.

A single adult on OW (Ontario Works) has a monthly income of $733, which amounts to only 56% of the deep poverty threshold.

ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Programs), designed for those who have barriers to employment, provides only a slightly higher income level. In June 2022, the current Ontario Government committed to raising ODSP rates by 5%.

The “social safety net,” as it is referred to, is supposed to provide the means by which someone can provide basic food and shelter for themselves and their family and live as a member of the community. Yet, it is estimated that more than 900,000 Ontarians seek to survive on social assistance incomes that leave them in deep poverty. Many of them are children.

We invite you to join us for our Raise The Rates Interfaith Fast – an intentional time of prayer and fasting between Monday, November 14 and Friday, November 18. Justice, equity, and compassion are at the heart of many faiths, and it’s important for us as an interfaith community to support our most vulnerable neighbours.

This event will lead into our annual Religious Leader’s Forum on Wednesday, November 23, with a focus on the importance of raising social assistance rates for those who survive by relying on these incomes.



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