• 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.”

  • 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.

  • Solo living is the new norm. Let’s learn to deal with it

    The main reason people live alone today is because they can afford it. Generations ago, few people had the means to go solo. Families formed to pool resources, which they used to feed, shelter and protect each other. But two things – the welfare state and the market economy – combined to generate unprecedented levels of personal security. And how did people use their new-found affluence? They got places of their own… The other major social change that makes living alone possible is the rising status of women.

  • How severe, ongoing stress can affect a child’s brain

    … researchers are discovering… that ongoing stress during early childhood — from grinding poverty, neglect, parents’ substance abuse and other adversity — can smolder beneath the skin, harming kids’ brains and other body systems. And research suggests that can lead to some of the major causes of death and disease in adulthood, including heart attacks and diabetes… pediatricians, mental health specialists, educators and community leaders are increasingly adopting what is called “trauma-informed” care.

  • Canada’s crime rate is falling — but drug charges are rising

    The police-reported crime rate peaked in 1991 and had been declining ever since. Not so the police-reported rate of drug-related offences. They grew by 52 per cent from 1991 to 2013, according to a Statistics Canada report into drug-related offences… In roughly half of completed cases in youth and adult courts involving marijuana, the marijuana charge was the only charge. Marijuana cases across the country were “more commonly stayed or withdrawn (55 per cent) than cases involving other types of drugs (38 per cent),”

  • How the Toronto police have kept unfounded rates low

    The problem with decisions being guided by instinct is that instinct can be influenced by subconscious beliefs that have been affected by long-held societal opinions about sexual assault. Instead, when it comes to sexual-assault investigations, officers must have tangible evidence or an admission from the victim before marking a case as unfounded.

  • We must do better for sexual assault survivors. The answer isn’t rocket science

    Really addressing sexual violence means education on the meaning of consent. And that’s where it starts to become complicated: Sure it’s serious training for all the actors in the criminal justice system: police officers, prosecutors, and judges. But it also means transformational sex education. It means changing society’s understanding of the meaning of consent, sex and sexuality.

  • Abolish solitary confinement for Ontario’s children and youth

    “… whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique,” UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez told the UN General Assembly in 2011… It doesn’t matter if you call it solitary confinement, administrative segregation, secure de-escalation, or anything else. Let’s just call it something we used to do, that we don’t do anymore.