• How to make ‘nation to nation’ relationship genuine

    … a simple five-point plan for addressing a challenge to Canada… 1. Adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples… 2. Make the chief of the Assembly of First Nations a de facto member of cabinet… 3. Make the use of select First Nations languages in Parliament a right… 4. Make the completion of a course in aboriginal studies a mandatory requirement to matriculate from high school… 5. Create and enforce a commons law uniting trails, reserves and national parks.

  • America’s Sorry State Is No Accident

    America is a mess. The world’s sole superpower seems cleaved by race, income disparity and social divisions. Worse, a disturbing number of Americans subscribe to beliefs that are ill-informed, insane or just plain wrong… The only plausible explanation for such aberrant American public opinion is that people in the U.S. are exposed to a vastly different worldview. A misinformation campaign of a scale enormous enough to account for the enfeebled U.S. zeitgeist speaks to how much some special interests gain in investing in and promoting such systemic ignorance.

  • Who Knew the Nordics Were Individualist Romantics? [ The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life ]

    Far from being docile servants of nanny states… the Nordics are bloody-minded individualists – because they can afford to be. That personal autonomy… means that no one has to stay in an abusive marriage (and risk death) because they need the abuser’s income. No one has to borrow from the Bank of Mom and Pop for the down payment on a condo, because everyone leaves post-secondary debt-free. And when Mom and Pop grow old, the kids don’t have to bear the brunt of caring for them: the whole society does that.

  • Self-regulation is no regulation

    … Doctors who sexually assault their own patients not only entirely, unbelievably, escape criminal charges, which would normally apply for any other citizen committing such crimes should a sex assault or rape occur anywhere except in a private office. And they are actually allowed to continue on as usual in their medical professions with a very few and limited restrictions. Seriously? They get to keep working? In the same field? With no police involvement?

  • By ignoring parental rights, Ontario puts our daughter’s welfare at risk

    Ontario led much of the world in recognizing equal marriage. It has fallen shockingly behind by failing to recognize equal parenting, and equal families. Parental equality will only be achieved when the rights of all parents are taken into account. The morality is clear. When families like mine are excluded from systems of birth registration and parental recognition, then parents just like us are told that we are not good enough and we do not count, and that our rights are somehow precarious, while our friends’ and neighbours’ rights are not.

  • Shameful Neglect Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada

    This report calculates child poverty rates in Canada, and includes the rates on reserves and in territories—something never before examined. The report also disaggregates the statistics and identifies three tiers of poverty for children in Canada, finding the worst poverty experienced by status First Nation children (51%, rising to 60% for children on reserve)… The authors… recommend a poverty reduction plan for reserves that would: report poverty rates on reserves and in the territories; improve direct income support; improve employment prospects on reserves; and begin to implement longer-term solutions.

  • Native child welfare, yes; judicial overstretch, no

    … it is for the government’s budget to allocate spending, if the House of Commons approves it. That is a fundamental convention of the unwritten constitution, going back for many centuries… But last week, the CHRT said that the government hadn’t done enough to fulfill the tribunal’s remedial order. The CHRT is not a court, and its 15 members are not judges. They are appointed for fixed terms, and have a history of pushing and ever torquing the boundaries of human rights law.

  • The bills for treatment of aboriginal people are coming due

    For many decades, the federal and provincial governments have refused responsibility for two of the most disadvantaged groups in the country – the 451,000 Métis people and roughly 214,000 non-status Indians. That left them, as Justice Rosalie Abella wrote this week on behalf of a unanimous court, in a “jurisdictional wasteland with significant and obvious disadvantaging consequences.” … Those costs should not feared… If they are in a better position to contribute, all of Canada will benefit.

  • Constitutional Jurisdiction over the Métis: The question now is what to do with it

    … in numerous examples involving treaties, legislation, residential schools, and other government programs – for good and bad – the evidence disclosed the reality that the federal government often considered Métis, non-status Indians, and persons of mixed ancestry as constitutional “Indians” when it was convenient and expedient to do so, just as it oscillated back and forth in internal legal memorandums about the scope of its constitutional jurisdiction.

  • Poorest children in Canada falling even further behind

    The global report, “UNICEF’s Report Card 13: Fairness for Children,” focused on what is called “bottom-end inequality” — how far the poorest children are allowed to fall behind the average of their peers.
    It looked at the difference in four key areas — income, health, education and life satisfaction — between those children at the bottom 10 per cent of family income and those in the middle… In this latest study, Canada is 26th out of 35 nations.