• Ottawa’s focus on data a good step in addressing gender-based violence

    An epidemic such as gender-based violence can’t be solved without first understanding who is affected and how… the Trudeau government’s sensible new strategy on gender-based violence, which was announced this week, will focus foremost on modernizing research and collecting up-to-date data. These are crucial steps in addressing a deep-rooted problem ignored by Ottawa for far too long.

  • Liberals’ reverse discrimination comes at a cost

    The government’s emphasis on equity and diversity is central to its branding. Its 50-50 cabinet has won universal praise. But now it has embarked on a campaign of reverse discrimination that deeply undermines the concepts of fairness and excellence… The new quotas for Canada Research Chairs are: 31 per cent women, 15 per cent visible minorities, 4 per cent disabled, 1 per cent aboriginal. And woe to you if you do not comply.

  • What will it take for Ottawa finally to tackle Indigenous child-welfare crisis?

    Last January, the Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Ottawa was failing in its legal duty to apply Jordan’s Principle, which says that no First Nations child should be denied welfare services due to jurisdictional disputes. Three months later, the tribunal found the feds still had not taken action and issued a compliance order. In October, it issued a second… The federal government has spent nearly $1 million defending itself against these tribunal complaints over the last year. It lost every time.

  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau vows to close ‘unfair’ tax loopholes

    “When people see that the tax system is stacked against them, they can get frustrated. We need to make sure that everyone — especially including the middle class, the large group of people who don’t have access to these sort of planning methodologies — feels that the system is working for them.” … The secrecy afforded to private corporations is a central concern in the fight against tax unfairness…

  • Don’t abandon impoverished people who need legal aid

    An independent audit released on Tuesday found little to criticize about how the organization has handled its budget. And Legal Aid itself has argued that the deficit is a result of increased demand for services. As a result, the provincial and federal governments must come up with the money to cover this year’s deficit so that impoverished people caught up in the court system are properly represented.

  • Why rich kids deserve free drugs from pharmacare

    … the rich don’t get a free ride either way. They pay more than their fair share in our (still) progressive tax system, for which they derive the same benefits as everyone else under medicare… Pharmacare isn’t charity, it’s efficiency. In future, as the private sector slowly rolls up drug benefits the way it has phased out pension plans, the pressure will increase on governments to pick up the slack.

  • To improve Indigenous health, change expectations

    We have created a state of perpetual crisis for many First Nations. Yet, in recent decades, we have become more benevolent; we have started responding to these crises, especially when things get so dire they pop up in the mainstream media, i.e. La Loche, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, etc. But all we’ve done really is become more efficient at responding to crises, not at fixing fundamental structural problems

  • Tribunal can’t enforce Indigenous child-welfare ruling, Ottawa says

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal does not have the power to ensure its rulings are followed or to dictate how public money is spent, the federal government has argued in response to accusations it has not met a tribunal demand to end the discriminatory underfunding of Indigenous child welfare… “the tribunal does not have the statutory authority to enforce its own orders.”

  • Ontario government unveils 3-year plan to battle racism

    Queen’s Park will introduce a framework for collecting race-based data across various institutions, including in the justice, education, health and child welfare sectors — a move that anti-racism activists have long called for. The directorate will also introduce an action plan for black youth and new legislation to “ensure future sustainability and accountability of the government’s anti-racism work.”

  • Black health needs to become a priority

    Black communities are disproportionately affected by health-related issues such as mental health, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, sickle cell, stroke and hypertension. But they have yet to be adequately addressed effectively within the Canadian health-care system… policy-makers need to recognize that racism and violence along with the social determinants of health play a role in the health outcomes of black communities in Canada.