• Access to early childhood education services varies widely across Canada

    “As more children participate in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, child care is left to top and tail the school day and fill in during holidays,” the report says. “This is a poor model that leaves too many families on wait lists for child care, destabilizes child care operators and creates split-shift, precarious jobs for early childhood educators.”

  • It’s time to let Indigenous communities manage native child welfare

    Ottawa should start funding aboriginal communities who either have, or are in the midst of developing, their own child-welfare laws. As aboriginal child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock says, “Fix it now. We can always argue later.” Of course, reforming child welfare is just the start. Knowing that children are safe and, wherever possible, living in their home community are minimum standards that shouldn’t take years to meet. But it is only one of many needed fixes. Too many remote reserves still lack clean drinking water, adequate food and decent housing

  • Ottawa to begin fully funding Indigenous child-welfare agencies

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its order on Thursday, saying Ottawa was not complying with a 2016 ruling that found it discriminates against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. In a statement, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Thursday said… that Ottawa would immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, along with legal fees and building repairs, with reimbursement retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.

  • Judge rules poverty not a reason to take child away

    An impoverished Halifax-area couple have regained custody of their toddler daughter, after a judge declared: “There is a difference between parents who are poor, and poor parents.” The province took the little girl into care in June 2016 because of her parents’ multiple challenges, including mental-health issues, interpersonal conflict and unstable living circumstances brought on by poverty… “It’s in the context of the parents’ accommodations that their poverty is conflated with being poor parents,” said the judge.

  • Why the Soulpepper Four skipped the cops and went after Albert Schultz in civil court

    While many a criminal case has floundered trying to overcome the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, civil plaintiffs need only prove their case on a balance of probabilities – more-likely-than-not. Civil cases almost never go to trial, dramatically increasing the prospects that these women will see some sort of negotiated settlement rather than the winner-take-it-all conclusion that is more common in criminal cases.

  • A broken system is harming those with mental illness

    The SIU is investigating how a man suffering from schizophrenia was killed at a police station. “They have absolutely no tools and no awareness to deal with people with mental disability…” … This pattern of racialized, mentally ill men dying at the hands of police and corrections officers must stop. Our elected officials must be held to account for a broken system that releases to us our most vulnerable in body bags.

  • Treatment of women in Canadian prisons a human rights travesty

    “… CSC’s tool to assign women offenders to security levels was designed to assess men, not women. CSC also used this tool to refer women offenders to correctional programs, which is problematic since the tool was not designed for this purpose.” … “being classified as maximum security… limits your access to programs and services… It makes the experience of punishment more onerous and more punitive than it should be.”

  • Why can’t Canada keep up on child care?

    According to OECD recommendations, Ottawa should be spending 1 per cent of Canada’s GDP on child care. Our government currently invests only 0.25 per cent. By quadrupling our federal investment, we would both make child care more affordable and improve the quality of programs through supporting the education and training of early childhood educators. It would improve pay and benefits to the child care workforce – those compassionate people who care lovingly, creatively and professionally for children and who are so instrumental in their development.

  • For foster kids to succeed, they need more than just care

    … when the system parents 17,000 individuals in Ontario (and about 70,000 nationwide), and channels them on the same bleak life trajectory, the issue is systemic… Our system has stagnated in the “activity trap” by focusing on activities and outputs rather than outcomes or impact measurement on youth who have gone through the protection system. In Ontario, and most Canadian jurisdictions, youth outcomes after care have never been tracked.

  • Why Sexual-Assault Survivors Look Outside the Criminal System for Justice

    For survivors who want monetary compensation—perhaps to help rebuild their lives—another option is criminal-injury compensation, such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in Ontario… Sometimes, claimants will be required to attend a hearing, but if the claim can be assessed on written evidence alone, there’s no need for one… the CICB is also important because it gives survivors a forum to have their harm heard and acknowledged in an official capacity.