• Province to include adult children with disabilities in child support law

    Ontario has introduced an amendment to the Family Law Act that would make all adult children with disabilities — including those whose parents were never married — eligible for child support… “The proposed change would update Ontario’s Family Law Act to more closely align Ontario’s child support legislation with the Federal Divorce Act as well as with the child support laws in the majority of other Canadian provinces and territories,”

  • New family care policies provide more flexibility, but for whom?

    … because they continue to be based on the Employment Insurance (EI) system, the benefits may actually not be affordable to many… these levels of payments may actually not be a living wage and therefore may only benefit people at the higher income levels. In best practice Nordic countries, people get around 80 per cent of wages while on leave… most Canadians will not truly benefit from the greater flexibility provided.

  • Mr. Trudeau, stop the residential school to solitary confinement pipeline

    Canadian prisons are filled with people who carry the deepest of traumas from a young age. Many of the incarcerated are disproportionately Indigenous people, and about a third of all prisoners who are isolated in segregation cells are Indigenous… Justin Trudeau’s government speaks of reconciliation for past wrongs, but doesn’t seem to recognize its responsibility for the traumatic legacy it actively perpetuates within its own prisons.

  • To solve the opioid crisis, stick to harm reduction

    Stiff trafficking penalties already exist and clearly aren’t working – an outcome supported by research. One summary of the findings by experts at the University of Toronto in 2014 concluded that “crime is not deterred, generally, by harsher sentences.” In contrast, harm-reduction strategies such as legalization, opiate substitution (or prescription) and supervised injection have proven their effectiveness

  • Ontario has a roadmap for prison reform. It should follow it

    The prisons aren’t as crowded as they once were. The number held in the province’s correctional system has dropped to 7,673 this year from 8,806 in 2013. But the abuses continue… prisoners whose rights are ignored at best and abused at worst, whether it’s how strip searches are conducted or how inmates are deprived of opportunities to connect with families and friends.

  • Ontario’s correctional system needs overhaul, report says

    … across the country, and globally, correctional facilities “have put in place a range of measures to help facilitate family contact and support, including child-friendly play spaces, open visiting areas that allow for barrier-free interactions, private family visiting accommodations for longer stays, and mother-child programs that prevent the separation of mothers and young children.
    “Ontario’s correctional institutions offer almost none of these opportunities.

  • The War on Drugs has been lost. It’s time to try something else

    Portugal has not taken the logical next step of shouldering out the dealers and taking over controlled distribution of drugs itself. This is the path that Canada and the American states of Colorado and Oregon have embarked upon with marijuana… As it prepares the rules for marijuana sales and use, the federal government should examine the Portuguese model, as well as the disastrous drug war in the U.S.

  • How to Win a War on Drugs

    … let’s be clear on what Portugal did and didn’t do. First, it didn’t change laws on drug trafficking: Dealers still go to prison. And it didn’t quite legalize drug use, but rather made the purchase or possession of small quantities (up to a 10-day supply) not a crime but an administrative offense, like a traffic ticket. Offenders are summoned to a “Dissuasion Commission” hearing — an informal meeting at a conference table with social workers who try to prevent a casual user from becoming addicted.

  • The Trudeau government should not delay on sentencing reforms

    The Harper government’s crackdown on crime, even as crime continued its steady, decades-long decline, drove up the cost of the criminal justice system by billions of dollars and increased the federal prison population by 25 per cent… They have clogged our prisons, drained the public coffers, unnecessarily criminalized minor offenders and contributed to a national crisis of court delays that profoundly undermines both justice and public safety.

  • Stop dumping kids in care onto the street

    … 60 per cent of homeless youth have had some involvement with child protection services over their lifetime, a rate almost 200 times greater than that of the general population. Moreover, of those with a history in the child welfare system, almost two of every five respondents “aged out” of provincial or territorial care. That means they lost access to supports – such as financial or job programs – before they were ready.