• 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.

  • Hot!

    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.

  • Reforming child welfare first step toward reconciliation

    Currently, the federal government funds child welfare services for Indigenous children living on reserve. Through decisions made by bureaucrats in Ottawa about what is funded and what is not, it effectively makes policy unilaterally and sets the level of service. There is no clearer example of the “colonial systems of administration and governance”… It extends colonialism beyond the Indian Act system as the government cannot even be held to standards and rules set by Parliament.

  • Presentations and caveats on minimum wage hike

    when wages go up, people spend more thus helping businesses and the economy in general. Secondly, if the only way you can run a business is by paying poverty wages then perhaps you shouldn’t be running a business… the proposed changes to Ontario’s labour laws increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2019, introducing paid sick days and increasing vacation pay for experienced workers is “. . . good for child-care workers, good for children and good for families.”

  • Hot!

    Wynne government should dump cruel panhandling ban

    If the government is concerned about the threat to public safety posed by homelessness and poverty, the Safe Streets Act is precisely the wrong approach. The money wasted enforcing this unfair and ineffective law would be much better spent on, say, affordable housing or mental health services or other chronically underfunded social programs that seek to address the root causes of homelessness.