• Liberal government withdraws court case on First Nations health care

    An agreement has now been reached… saying there is a legitimate role for clinical case conferences – discussions related to the delivery of services involving professionals… when “reasonably necessary” to understand a First Nation’s child’s clinical needs so professionals can access more information on a case. The agreement also says decisions on service delivery made within a 48-hour window may not always not be in the child’s best interests.

  • What the Wilfrid Laurier professors got wrong about Bill C-16 and gender identity discrimination

    C-16 added gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this applies to people employed by or receiving services from federally-regulated industries, such as banks or the public service… Universities instead fall under provincial codes — but the Ontario Human Rights Code has included gender identity and expression for five years now, long before Peterson gained fame for his arguments.

  • Province to include adult children with disabilities in child support law

    Ontario has introduced an amendment to the Family Law Act that would make all adult children with disabilities — including those whose parents were never married — eligible for child support… “The proposed change would update Ontario’s Family Law Act to more closely align Ontario’s child support legislation with the Federal Divorce Act as well as with the child support laws in the majority of other Canadian provinces and territories,”

  • New family care policies provide more flexibility, but for whom?

    … because they continue to be based on the Employment Insurance (EI) system, the benefits may actually not be affordable to many… these levels of payments may actually not be a living wage and therefore may only benefit people at the higher income levels. In best practice Nordic countries, people get around 80 per cent of wages while on leave… most Canadians will not truly benefit from the greater flexibility provided.

  • Ottawa should do better on improving parental leave

    It’s difficult enough to sustain a household for 12 months under the current rules; doing without a full income for even longer will be a struggle for many… Second, it’s still extraordinarily difficult for parents who are working part-time or in other precarious work to access the EI parental leave program… third… Ottawa amended the Canada Labour Code for federally regulated workplaces… But that covers only 8 per cent of workers.

  • It’s time for Canada to measure up on kids with disabilities

    “What gets measured gets done.” Better information on the nature and needs of children and youth with disability is essential for policymakers to predict and plan for improved provision of efficient, equitable and inclusive services and supports. Better data will also allow for a deeper understanding of the education and employment requirements, how these influence important outcomes such as income, as well as challenges in accessing services for those with disability.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Bloated bureaucracy the real enemy of Indigenous reconciliation

    Two of the most vital measures of Indigenous reconciliation, the gap in child welfare funding and the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, have returned to centre stage this week… This government may have its heart in the right place when it comes to Indigenous reconciliation. But muscling aside an entrenched bureaucracy that slows, rather than speeds, action, will take more than that.

  • Philpott calls emergency meeting with provinces on Indigenous child welfare

    “To me, this is arguably the most pressing priority of my new department,” Philpott said in an interview. There is no cohesive plan to examine how to get children back into Indigenous communities, she said, suggesting it is necessary to get everyone together who has a role to play, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit leaders, child and family services agencies and groups such as the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.