• Judge rules poverty not a reason to take child away

    An impoverished Halifax-area couple have regained custody of their toddler daughter, after a judge declared: “There is a difference between parents who are poor, and poor parents.” The province took the little girl into care in June 2016 because of her parents’ multiple challenges, including mental-health issues, interpersonal conflict and unstable living circumstances brought on by poverty… “It’s in the context of the parents’ accommodations that their poverty is conflated with being poor parents,” said the judge.

  • Access to early childhood programs is as important as primary education

    The most important dimensions for policy makers to tackle are enrolment rates and the duration that children receive ECE programming. These are key factors tied to better future academic scores, and they are the areas where Canada falls well below the standards in other advanced countries… Ensuring all Canadian children aged 3 to 5 have access to full-day education would come at a cost… However, the economic benefit derived from this investment would exceed the outlay… as high as $6 for every dollar invested.

  • It’s time to invest more in universal child care

    Studies of the Quebec model have shown it pays for itself with economic benefits. In fact, 40 per cent of the cost is recovered in income and payroll taxes alone… the OECD ranked Canada, which overall spends about 0.34 per cent of GDP on child care programs (a figure, let’s not forget, that is boosted by Quebec’s investment), dead last out of 25 countries for quality and accessibility… It’s time Canada joined Quebec and other OECD countries in prioritizing the care of our most precious resource: children.

  • What the Wilfrid Laurier professors got wrong about Bill C-16 and gender identity discrimination

    C-16 added gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this applies to people employed by or receiving services from federally-regulated industries, such as banks or the public service… Universities instead fall under provincial codes — but the Ontario Human Rights Code has included gender identity and expression for five years now, long before Peterson gained fame for his arguments.

  • 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.