• Paving way for more women in workforce would boost economic growth, report says

    … the burden of unpaid care work, gender discrimination and violence, a lack of legal protection and reduced access to financial services… Removing those barriers could boost OECD growth by between 6 per cent and 20 per cent… “It’s about the sheer scope for growth — 6 per cent is what we arrived at for advanced economies; for emerging market countries it’s even higher… So why aren’t we going for it?”

  • Let’s hope Canadian courts see the true meaning of the niqab

    The higher value of “social cohesion” has twice guided rulings against challenges to niqab bans by the European Court of Human Rights, which noted that the religious duty for women to cover was “hard to reconcile” with the principle of gender equality. Let us hope that our judiciary agrees and rules accordingly.

  • Mentally-ill female inmates housed in male facility: report

    … Mr. Zinger focused on the conditions of confinement in Canada’s federal prisons, which “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.” … women with serious mental-health issues are more likely to be placed in maximum-security units, which are “far from therapeutic,” and noted nearly half the maximum-security population in women’s prisons is Indigenous… While Indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the total population, they comprise 26.4 per cent of the total federal inmate population,

  • We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeTo

    … is awareness actually the problem? Just how many hundreds of thousands of stories will it take to convince those who haven’t suffered sexual abuse that the issue is real and life altering? What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change… From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour.

  • Let’s not dismiss the painful pattern of microaggressions

    … Examples of microaggressions included: general condescension; intuiting that others expected their work to be inferior; or being treated as an intimidating presence… Some people who aren’t subject to microaggressions view them as small, unimportant experiences that are blown out of proportion. But BEP participants told us their effects are real and cumulative… anti-black racism is an especially stubborn force.

  • Census: Median income in four of five Indigenous communities below poverty line

    Statistics Canada reported a spike in income levels in 2015… Only 26 of the 503 of reserves with income data had higher median household incomes… research has shown that Indigenous Peoples regularly earn less than the median income. A 2014 study found they were almost as disadvantaged as in 2006 as they were 25 years earlier in 1981… income isn’t always tied to location, such as being in a remote community.

  • Ottawa is right to settle with Sixties Scoop victims

    Not only was the past program shameful, so was the government’s continuing defence of it. Now Ottawa has taken two other steps that should help in the healing process… $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to help the victims reclaim their identity… $75 million to pay the legal fees of the estimated 20,000 victims who are expected to receive $25,000 to $50,000 each… Now… it should set its sights on correcting other ongoing wrongs to Indigenous children.

  • Now is the time for Ottawa to create a path to progress with Indigenous people

    On this day in 2007, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which sets out minimum standards necessary “for the dignity, survival and well-being of Indigenous peoples,” was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Let this be the year that sees the leaders of all federal parties agree to work with each other and with Indigenous peoples to make the full and effective implementation of the declaration a priority.

  • Rising incomes aren’t being shared as widely as they should

    In fact, the share of Canadians living in low-income households actually increased slightly to 14.2 per cent (that’s 4.8 million people) from 14 per cent in 2005. Seniors fared the worst, with 14.5 per cent living in poverty, up from 12 per cent in the previous decade. And while the percentage of children living in poverty was down slightly to 17.8 from 18.8 per cent, the picture is still alarming.

  • Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment

    … acknowledging traditional lands… is beginning to emerge as a kind of accidental pledge of allegiance for Canada—a statement made before any undertaking with a national purpose…. the process of reconciliation between Canada and its First Nations has stalled, repeating the cycles of overpromising and underdelivering that have marred their relationship from the beginning… Nonetheless, the acknowledgment is spreading. No level of government has mandated the practice; it is spreading of its own accord.