• John Tory presses premier to address daycare crisis

    Tory urges… the following measures: Fund at least 4,918 new subsidies for low-income parents to help reduce the city’s subsidized child-care wait list of more than 18,000 children… make the services affordable for families, and… Embed child care as part of early learning and give kids in care the same opportunities and supports as kids in the elementary school system; also fund school boards directly for the cost of space used for early-years programs and care before and after school.

  • Why are police calling so many sexual-assault complaints ‘unfounded’?

    … police classify an average of 5,500 sexual-assault complaints as unfounded every year. That means these cases are not included in statistics about sexual assault… Experts blame inconsistent police training for the discrepancies… Unfairly dismissing their complaints as unfounded only adds to the sense that the system is weighted against sexual-assault victims from the start.

  • We are failing the community of sexual assault victims

    … the independence, detachment and consistency that are core virtues of the justice system are at the same time the root causes of one of the justice system’s most profound failures: its dramatic inability to deliver justice to survivors of sexual violence. We in the justice system value precedent, which means we tend to stick to the same old ways for far too long… we decline to listen deeply to constituent groups like sexual assault survivors because we convince ourselves they are ill-informed laypersons with suspicious agendas.

  • Once again, our prison system fails. And this time it’s the victims of crime who suffer

    When a prison fails to keep peace, order and good government inside, and fails to rehabilitate offenders, it hurts both inmates and society. And when criminals are ordered released early, not for good behaviour but as a form of compensation for the state’s bad behaviour, the justice system fails crime’s victims.

  • Howard Sapers to head segregation review

    An independent review of segregation in Ontario jails will be headed by Howard Sapers, who has served as Canada’s correctional investigator and inmate ombudsman for more than a decade… Sapers will not only look at solitary confinement, but also how to improve the correctional system overall… Alternatives to segregation can include a “more therapeutic environment,” additional time spent outside of the cell and fewer restrictions on an inmate’s movement.

  • Homelessness: Family about to lose their homes can avoid shelters, a London project proves

    Moms or dads will often call a shelter like Rotholme to say they’re about to lose their apartment or a relationship is breaking up and they will need a place to stay… “Knowing that people contact the shelter creates an opportunity. Instead of saying, ‘Yes come down in three days or next week, what if the dialogue changed to say, ‘What can we actually do to prevent this from happening?’ ”

  • Toronto’s rising murder rate is no reason to panic

    Like many other largely safe cities, Toronto contains neighbourhoods beset by profound, often socially rooted problems… like many across North America, is grappling with the rising “propensity to use firearms”… The problems of crime and violence are best addressed with the community, not against it… much-needed modernization will be rooted in three principles – “trust, accountability and transparency.”

  • Quebec better at keeping poor families afloat

    The slashing of Ontario Works or disability benefits does indeed force parents into deeper poverty and can limit their chances to get their kids back if they have faced the deep misfortune of having them apprehended… Imagine what would take place if large numbers of Ontarians demanded a kinder and more just system of fair and stable employment, more affordable housing options and an affordable daycare system? The time for citizens to demand positive change is now.

  • New indigenous court system could set precedents across the country

    Imagine a legal system where the goal wasn’t punishment, but to “restore relationships and harmony in the community.” … a court system with that very purpose has been operating in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne since Aug. 12… the Justice Department is holding talks between the federal, Ontario and Quebec governments to draft a framework to recognize the new legal system… The court could set a good precedent for other indigenous communities and there is much that federal and provincial courts could learn from it.

  • Government must act to end racism in children’s aid system

    … four in 10 children in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto are black in a city where only 8 per cent of children are. Worse, the problem is not just in Toronto, but throughout the province… Ontario’s children’s minister, Michael Coteau, refused to promise any funding to implement the report’s 18 important recommendations to address issues of racism in the system. This is unacceptable.