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About Us

Many people feel that the Canadian society is on the verge of significant change. The foundations of the welfare state have been eroding. Canadians who depend on that system fear it will disappear. Others, who feel the system works only to marginalize them, see an opportunity to build something better.

If the welfare state is crumbling, what will take its place? How will changes affect society? How will we prepare for the transformation that seems already to have begun?

Philia is a group of Canadians looking for answers to these questions. We believe one answer lies in challenging communities to welcome and encourage the contributions of people who have traditionally been marginalized.

Historically, many people have faced formidable barriers to participation, leaving many at the mercy of the welfare system and government care agencies. But when everyone is welcomed into communities and given all the rights and responsibilities of full citizens, communities will be strengthened, neighbourhoods enlivened and social institutions revitalized. People with disabilities have valuable perspectives on community and citizenship to lend to the national discussion on social policy. Now, with the support of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, we are bringing those ideas to all Canadians.

Our Challenge

We seek a dialogue with individuals from all sectors of Canadian society to:

  • Discover and enliven the social, spiritual and economic life of our communities.
  • Encourage the full citizenship and participation of Canadians with disabilities.
  • Maximize the unique and under utilized contributions of Canadians with disabilities.

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