• Supervised injection sites are imperfect – and better than the alternative

    In a perfect world, no one would be abusing intravenous drugs. But in the messier reality we inhabit, people are overdosing and dying in disturbing numbers while communities are degraded by the consequences of a look-away, not-my-problem approach to drug use… Supervised injections sites won’t make drug abuse disappear. They may not even cut addiction rates. But they promise to cut the number of overdoses and deaths while reducing broader social and medical problems

  • Child-care proposals come up short

    What happened to that commitment to “a system of responsive, safe, high quality and accessible child care and early years programs and services will support parents and families, and will contribute to the healthy development of children”? … unsafe daycare environments and insufficient caring centres… oblige parents to sacrifice their careers and salaries in order to compensate for the inadequacy of provincial policy.

  • Ontario budget leaves Ontario’s poorest children behind

    There was no money for affordable child care… There was no money for Ontario’s 47 children’s aid societies… There was a miserable 1.5-per-cent increase in social assistance rates for Ontario’s poorest families… There was no funding to alleviate the massive backlog in the province’s courts… it is hard to square Sousa’s talk about “a more compassionate Ontario” with the fact that 550,000 children in this province live in poverty.

  • The Trafficked: It’s time to end the attitude of entitlement

    The issue of sex trafficking of indigenous and vulnerable women and girls is part of a broader issue of women’s inequality and violence against women. In Canada, we continue to turn a blind eye to attitudes of entitlement that allow the buying and selling of women and girls. We have an obligation to recognize the fundamental evil facts and act on them… We need to ask ourselves who is buying women and girls and end this practice, because without demand, there is no crime.

  • Why does drunk driving get more attention than FASD?

    In Canada there are more than 300,000 children with this disease. The lifetime cost for each child is five million dollars. So in Canada the cost to taxpayers of caring for those with FASD is in the millions. How can this medical and social tragedy be solved? … All social agencies agree prevention is the logical and cheapest one… Remember it’s not the government who is paying these bills, it’s you.

  • The explosive science of genetics

    Now we know from twin studies that both autism and schizophrenia have a strong genetic component, as do learning disabilities… The effects of family socialization on your children’s personalities… “are not large, not prominent and not pronounced.” What you do (or don’t do) to your kids has no influence on their innate intelligence, their temperament and personality traits, or their interests… Intelligence, one of the most heritable behavioural traits, is also an important factor in class differences.

  • When despair reigns, violence follows

    … there are indigenous communities that are thriving, where the rates of violence, suicide and substance abuse are average or below average. What distinguishes them is what social scientists call “cultural continuity,” meaning that, collectively, people have self-determination, and, individually, a sense of belonging… In short, having control over local institutions, and a collective sense of history and culture, helps shield vulnerable members, such as young people.

  • Hot!

    Why men commit suicide

    Firstly, suicide in men may be linked to occupational stress. Men continue to make up the overwhelming proportion of people working in the most dangerous and dirty occupations… Secondly, male suicide has been associated with specific life events, which particularly affect middle-aged men. Divorce is an event that may have a particularly deleterious effect… Thirdly, dominant notions of masculinity may affect suicide rates.

  • Where is the leader with the vision to match the refugee crisis?

    … we should seek as much immigration… as this vast and underpopulated country can accommodate, with a preference for legitimate fugitives from oppression. In 1912, Canada… accepted 402,000 immigrants… This would be like admitting two million immigrants to Canada in one year now. Instead of a national vision… we have paranoid xenophobia and tokenistic militarism from the government

  • At last, child care on the election agenda

    The NDP’s big play caused both the Conservatives and the Liberals to increase their focus on parents and children, and now all three parties have so called plans. Which is best? … The NDP plan is the most intriguing. It’s new social policy, like medicare was in its day. The Liberal proposal is most progressive as it helps those who need it most, but neither it or the Conservative family allowance program address the lack of quality affordable care.