• Liberal government withdraws court case on First Nations health care

    An agreement has now been reached… saying there is a legitimate role for clinical case conferences – discussions related to the delivery of services involving professionals… when “reasonably necessary” to understand a First Nation’s child’s clinical needs so professionals can access more information on a case. The agreement also says decisions on service delivery made within a 48-hour window may not always not be in the child’s best interests.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Bloated bureaucracy the real enemy of Indigenous reconciliation

    Two of the most vital measures of Indigenous reconciliation, the gap in child welfare funding and the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, have returned to centre stage this week… This government may have its heart in the right place when it comes to Indigenous reconciliation. But muscling aside an entrenched bureaucracy that slows, rather than speeds, action, will take more than that.

  • Philpott calls emergency meeting with provinces on Indigenous child welfare

    “To me, this is arguably the most pressing priority of my new department,” Philpott said in an interview. There is no cohesive plan to examine how to get children back into Indigenous communities, she said, suggesting it is necessary to get everyone together who has a role to play, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit leaders, child and family services agencies and groups such as the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.

  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on sex assault cases: ‘No one has the right to a particular verdict’

    … while the system seems focused on the accused, “complainants and victims are also part of the process,” and the integrity of the system demands that they be taken seriously and that their interests be reconciled with the rights of the accused… The justice system can achieve a “fine but crucial balance” between protecting the right of the accused and the dignity of complainants, but “we must not divide ourselves into warring camps shouting at each other…

  • Ontario’s Early Years Centres opening 100 new locations, will be rebranded

    The province on Tuesday announced that it will be opening the new “EarlyON” sites over the next three years, and renaming existing sites, spending $140 million a year. Like the current Ontario Early Years parenting and literacy centres — which can be located in local schools — families will be able to access programs for young children and parenting supports… “Our new EarlyON centres will be innovative hubs for early years programs and services for families”

  • Ontario’s jails can’t even count their dead, review finds

    “If the purpose of corrections is to contribute to a peaceful and just society by assisting those in conflict with the law to learn to live within it, then the work of corrections must be done in a way that models ethical, legal and fair behaviour,” Sapers says. Ontario’s corrections work doesn’t. It models slop, neglect and randomness.

  • Top court’s time-limits ruling has hit legal aid hard, lawyers say

    Provinces have mostly ignored legal aid as they increase resources to meet strict time limits imposed in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling, the head of the Criminal Lawyers Association says… You can have all the judges in the world, you can have all the prosecutors in the world. But if you don’t have defence counsel that are properly trained, properly skilled, those cases are not going to run smoothly.”

  • How to overhaul child care in Ontario: A road map for revolution

    This child-care institution needs a tear down, not a renovation. With wait-lists, poorly compensated early childhood educators, a separate market of unlicensed child-care operators and parents who either essentially work to pay daycare bills or put careers on hold to stay home and look after their children becoming part of the rule, not the exception, it’s clear several structural problems plague the current system.