• Study urges Liberals to overhaul parental leave benefits

    [The IRPP] says the federal government should consider taking parental benefits out of the employment insurance system and give it a new federal program to ensure that more parents can qualify for benefits… As is… there is a cohort of those new parents, particularly mothers, who don’t qualify for benefits, or can’t qualify because they are self-employed or freelancers – a problem likely to increase with the widening of the “gig” economy.

  • Ontario child protection bill criticized for ‘weasel words’

    The review echoed at least 10 other reports in the past 20 years, including a scathing assessment by Elman’s office in February 2016… However, as written, the act fails to enshrine improvements to make group homes safer for youth and staff… “This continues to be a service system that has no laws about who can actually provide services”.

  • What do working German women have that Canadians don’t? Lots of help from above

    Women in Canada… are working about as much as they can under the limitations of the Canadian system… The amount of free or highly subsidized all-day child care remains extremely limited (except in Quebec). There are few incentives for companies to move women from part-time into full-time employment while maintaining family-friendly hours. The tax system remains more favourable toward one-income families. The pay gap between men and women remains astonishingly large…

  • It’s Time to Stop Subsidizing Canada’s Seniors

    … the days of this country’s senior citizens living in penury is over, and it has been for quite some time. The poverty rate for seniors in Canada is just 6.7 percent, a figure that’s lower than just about every other demographic—most of whom are asked to subsidize said seniors with their own tax dollars… One particularly ripe piece of low-hanging fruit is the age tax credit, which was established in 1972 to help low-income seniors pay their bills but now amounts to little more than a $3.4 billion annual giveaway.

  • 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.