• Ottawa should name a children’s advocate

    … according to UNICEF our children are falling behind those in other affluent countries in four key areas: income, health, education and life satisfaction… Campaign 2000, which measures child poverty annually, found it had actually gone up to 18.3 per cent in 2016 from the level of 15.8 per cent it was at back in 1989.

  • Don’t let seniors’ care become a private equity money maker

    Research shows that the typical business model for such arrangements is associated with offering a high return on capital and maximizing cash extraction. The property assets owned by the private equity firm are separated from the daily operations of providing resident care… The evidence is clear: Large-scale private equity investments in nursing home facilities too often jeopardize the quality of care and put seniors’ health at risk.

  • Needle exchanges in federal prisons can save money and lives

    It is simply unfeasible for CSC to lock down a prison to such a degree that no drugs will ever get inside… The problem is that inmates using injectable drugs share the limited number of contraband needles and syringes available to them. People in federal prisons are consequently far more likely to acquire AIDS/HIV or hepatitis C than the general population. They arrive in prison healthy and leave with chronic diseases that cost society millions of dollars to treat. Sometimes, they die.

  • Ontario introduces ‘historic’ changes to child-protection laws

    The proposed new Child, Youth and Family Services Act, tabled in the legislature Thursday, would replace existing legislation with a modern, child-centred act, that will strengthen the rights of children and youth… It will affirm the rights of children through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion and the need to continue to address systemic racism… “For too long, the system has focused on problems facing children and youth and not enough on their voice, their opinions, their thoughts and their goals”

  • Ontario pledges $24M for adoptive families, including an education grant

    … “living and learning grants” will give more adopted youth the chance to pursue higher education by providing $500 a month if they are a full-time post-secondary student. There is also one-time financial assistance of up to $5,000 for First Nations families that adopt an indigenous child who is in need of protection under what is known as a customary care placement. Other financial help for families adopting Crown wards includes drug and dental benefits, mentorship and parent resources, and specialized training for parents who adopt through children’s aid societies.

  • Governments must restrict use of prison ‘segregation’

    On August 14, 2016, there were 361 offenders held in segregation, down from 775 on April 13, 2014. And, contrary to its own predictions, CSC did not lose control of its prisons… every day that goes by without government action is another day that prisoners across the country are thrown into segregation cells when other alternatives might be just as safe — and more humane — for them and their fellow inmates.

  • Ontario same-sex couples no longer have to adopt their own children – The All Families Are Equal Act

    … legislation introduced [today will] give same-sex parents in Ontario who aren’t biologically related to their children the same legal rights as heterosexual moms and dads. Nor will people who are not legally considered parents have to live in fear they cannot make medical and other decisions about their children if a spouse becomes incapacitated… the money and energy LGBTQ families were expending on paperwork and worrying should be going toward diapers and play time.

  • INSIDE OUT: The decline of parole and the fundamentals of Canada’s penal system

    … those who work with ex-offenders, insist it is time for a massive rethink… “Maybe we should go with a more structured statutory-release mechanism,” says Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society. That is: Scrap parole, save $57-million on the annual administration of the parole board, and try something like the format used on youth offenders – for every two days served in prison, one day spent under community supervision.

  • Are the police in Ontario laying too many charges?

    Justice ministry officials have argued… that separating the investigative role of police from the prosecutorial role of the Crown provides a system of checks and balances. Perhaps. But better police-prosecutor co-operation has clearly reduced the number of unnecessary charges in Quebec and B.C. At the same time, there’s no sign the approach has led to undercharging of actual offenders. It’s time Ontario took a serious look at how criminal charges are laid.

  • Payments will erode under Liberal’s new child benefit program, watchdog says

    The original three benefits that were replaced by the new system — the universal child care benefit, the Canada child tax benefit and the national child benefit supplement — were all indexed to inflation. The changes that ushered in the Canada Child Benefit removed that index, meaning that over time, inflation will reduce the buying power, or so-called “real value,” of the monthly payments… The PBO predicts that by 2025, the new Liberal benefit will cost less than the three programs it replaced, including the universal child care benefit.