• 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.

  • With new solitary rules, Canada gets smarter on crime

    Prison is a paradox. In a civilized society, the goal of putting people behind bars is to prepare them to be released, and to equip them to live successfully on the outside. That’s what Canada’s federal prison system says its about, and it should go doubly for the provincial prison systems… most people behind bars in Canada are getting out – soon… The use of solitary confinement for anything other than short periods of time doesn’t further that objective. Even relatively short spells in isolation can harm mental health.

  • Senate report offers valuable roadmap to tackling court delays

    “Delaying Justice is Denying Justice” makes 50 recommendations for how to address the crisis… governments would be better served tackling the roots of the crisis… introducing technologies “that facilitate cooperation, permit increased information sharing and improve efficiency.”… that judges be given better training on case management… [and that] incarceration should be a last resort and that less punitive and costly alternatives should be given priority.

  • Senate report on court delays gets at big truths about criminal justice system

    … if a country is smart on community safety, the first order of business is to acknowledge that most offenders don’t belong in prison except for those who commit violent crime — convicted murderers, rapists, child abusers, etc. The committee never explicitly says that prison should be for the few, not the many, but it’s that principle that drives its cry for reform – for better ways to handle impaired driving offences, for more restorative justice, for alternatives to jail.

  • Liberal child-care plan smacks of ticking boxes as opposed to meaningful reform

    … Ottawa currently spends $23 billion on family support through the Canada Child Benefit; a further $1.4 billion through the Canada Social Transfer to provinces and territories; and $1.1 billion through the Child Care Expense Deduction. Add the $500 million a year for the child care deal and you hit $26 billion… since we’re already spending far more than at any time in Canadian history, why the need to spend even more in an area of provincial jurisdiction?

  • Ontario’s imperfect move in the right direction on child care

    … a TD Bank study found that for every $1 invested, provincial and federal governments receive $1.50 in increased tax revenues. It’s discouraging, then, that the provincial government did not set out new affordable fees for subsidized child care in this week’s framework… 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 lack of immediate fee relief for parents is a disappointing shortcoming

  • Ontario makes bold promise on autism treatment

    The new Ontario autism program will give all children under 18 years of age diagnosed with the developmental disorder access to the treatment they require when they need it… The age, severity of autism symptoms and the presence of coexisting diagnoses will no longer affect the eligibility for therapy… Each child’s treatment needs will be determined by a licensed clinician, not cold and blunt program guidelines or funding availability… parents will be able to hire qualified therapists or choose government services.

  • Ontario’s plan for ‘universal’ and ‘affordable’ day care won’t be universal and it sure isn’t affordable

    Subsidies will only be available to low- and middle-income families, and this is a good thing… Government-run day care is simply uneconomical… by increased levels of unionization among child-care workers — both those at public centres and those offering home-based day care. With Ontario’s new labour-law proposals, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and allow for easier private sector unionization, the cost increases could be even more dramatic.

  • Dear Ontario: Licensing daycares won’t fix the real problems

    While workers in child-care centres have been promised a $2 hourly wage increase (some day), there’s no plan to help the home daycare providers caring for thousands of Ontario kids take more money home. The only real promise made to home daycare providers was to eliminate the fees charged by private agencies, which then inspect and approve them on behalf of the province… Even though licensing will be free (by 2022 or so), it’s not going to be made mandatory

  • National Child Data Strategy: Results of a Feasibility Study

    While ‘strategy’ may be too broad, key informants identified strong support for continued work on child data so long as it is clearly defined, does not duplicate existing efforts and is shaped by key players in the field. Next steps include: mapping key data initiatives, creating opportunities for conversation, creating opportunities for learning, supporting data collection, and supporting engagement and knowledge translation.