• The new Toronto megacourthouse is not for youth

    Evidence shows that the most effective way to support young people in conflict with the law, reduce recidivism, and ensure public safety is through community-based programs. Courts and legal services alone can neither address the underlying issues that lead young people into conflict with the law, nor support their rehabilitation. However, once in the system, the best way to treat adolescents appropriately is in separate, specialized youth courts.

  • Community justice hubs to offer addiction, mental health support under same roof as courts

    In the present model, “the judge will say, ‘You need a treatment plan and can you just get on the streetcar and go down the street to CAMH?’ And people walk out the door and they are gone.” Instead, at a justice centre, the “accused actually has access to a social worker, someone they can point to, and say, ‘You need to go talk to that person who is sitting at the back of the courtroom and they are going to help you put together a plan to deal with all the issues you are facing.’ ”

  • Ontario Human Rights Tribunal gains steam as alternative route for sexual assault cases

    Victims of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace are winning higher awards than ever before from the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, establishing a faster, less formal alternative to the civil courts… They don’t enforce the rules of evidence as strictly. It’s a kinder arena in which to litigate. It’s gentler on the claimants overall… Human-rights tribunals, unlike civil courts, cannot award punitive damages. But they can award damages for loss of dignity and self-worth and emotional suffering, and for lost income.

  • Child care all but forgotten in Ottawa’s gender budget

    When queried by reporters on Tuesday about child care, Morneau pointed to last year’s 10-year, $7 billion budget commitment and the Canada child benefit, a monthly payment of up to $6,400 a year for kids under age 6 and up to $5,400 for those between the ages of 6 and 18. But neither advocates nor parents were impressed — especially since cash payments to families do nothing to create licensed child care spaces.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.