• Ontario’s child support law faces constitutional challenge

    … under the federal Divorce Act, disabled adult children are eligible for child support whether or not they are still in school. But Ontario’s Family Law Act, which covers child support for unmarried parents, makes no provision for adult disabled children. “If children of divorced parents can claim support for both education and disability beyond age 18, then children born to parents who were never married should enjoy the same rights”

  • Getting to the root of Ontario’s family law mess

    … Ontario’s family law system is utterly broken… How is it that these courts remain the expensive, convoluted, soul-crushing places they have become and how is that the players have allowed it to become normalized? … the lawyers involved, who have a duty to act in the best interests of the child and so often don’t. And judges ostensibly have control of their courtrooms; why won’t they exert it?

  • Preliminary inquiries: Let judges make the call

    The intelligent compromise is this: since they have limited residual utility, there should be no preliminary inquiries unless whoever wants one first convinces a judge it is necessary in the interests of justice, following which it cannot be taken away. Judges know best when their courtroom is used well or poorly. Given the chance, judges will manage courtroom time effectively.

  • Increase funding for a national child care program

    Experts say Ottawa is planning to spend $500 million a year for the next 10 years to build a child care network across the country. As much as that is, it’s far from the 1 per cent of GDP experts say is necessary to build a quality system… while three-quarters of mothers of young children are in the workforce, there are licensed spots available for less than a quarter of children under 5. And those that are available are incredibly expensive.

  • Study urges Liberals to overhaul parental leave benefits

    [The IRPP] says the federal government should consider taking parental benefits out of the employment insurance system and give it a new federal program to ensure that more parents can qualify for benefits… As is… there is a cohort of those new parents, particularly mothers, who don’t qualify for benefits, or can’t qualify because they are self-employed or freelancers – a problem likely to increase with the widening of the “gig” economy.

  • A leader to improve our legal system

    In addition to expanding the role of paralegals, the government could transfer many basic legal issues such as employment and motor vehicle claims from the courts to speedier and more efficient administrative tribunals. It could review legislation to reduce reliance on lawyers altogether through proven innovations such as expanding no-fault compensation for accident victims and installing default safeguards in real estate and testamentary transactions.

  • Paralegals in family courts ‘not the solution,’ Toronto judge says

    As complexity and demand have gone up, resources, especially legal aid, have gone down… this environment has led people to be prepared to expect to come to court without a lawyer and represent themselves because there’s no reasonable cost alternative. “We need a properly funded legal aid plan and that’s always been the answer.”

  • Ontario child protection bill criticized for ‘weasel words’

    The review echoed at least 10 other reports in the past 20 years, including a scathing assessment by Elman’s office in February 2016… However, as written, the act fails to enshrine improvements to make group homes safer for youth and staff… “This continues to be a service system that has no laws about who can actually provide services”.

  • Meet the grandma who lost 3 grandkids over a home that needed repairs

    When a child protection worker walked into Marlene’s home in Toronto, two things were immediately obvious: the love between Marlene and her grandchildren was profound, and her broken-down home was unsafe… The repairs cost her $3,000, a debt she is slowly trying to repay while falling further behind in her property tax payments. A contractor would have charged more, but nowhere near what it cost Ontario taxpayers to keep Marlene’s three grandchildren in foster care for a year — about $50,000.

  • What do working German women have that Canadians don’t? Lots of help from above

    Women in Canada… are working about as much as they can under the limitations of the Canadian system… The amount of free or highly subsidized all-day child care remains extremely limited (except in Quebec). There are few incentives for companies to move women from part-time into full-time employment while maintaining family-friendly hours. The tax system remains more favourable toward one-income families. The pay gap between men and women remains astonishingly large…