• Despite ‘deplorable’ conditions, police and health officials are ignoring residences that offer services to vulnerable residents

    The investigation confirmed hospital and community groups were making referrals to unlicensed homes because no other “proper housing” was available. “The alternative for these individuals is living in a shelter or on the street” … adding that the problem stems from the housing shortage in Greater Toronto.

  • Author of teen autism memoir grows up but can’t escape heartbreak

    … my parents were never in a state of denial about my autism, nor did they ever consign me to a “special needs” pigeonhole. They just strove to help me get better at doing the things I was good at… It seems to be not widely enough recognized that there are positives to be found in the neurologies of people with autism. If the world at large would take a deeper interest in how our brains work and research our uniquenesses — as opposed to focusing on our treatment and cure — we could take pride in our neuro-atypical natures.

  • Freeing our people: Updates from the long road to deinstitutionalization

    How can we expect any better from society when our own government continues to fund deeply segregated, dehumanizing and dangerous forms of support for people with intellectual disabilities? Out of sight, out of mind has hidden many disturbing facts about intellectual disability from the public for far too long. We can no longer say that we didn’t know any better. We can no longer say we can’t do any better.

  • The world is getting way, way better, despite what you hear on the news

    Just since 1990, more than 100 million children’s lives have been saved through vaccinations and improved nutrition and medical care. They’re no longer dying of malaria, diarrhea… There has been a stunning decline in extreme poverty, defined as less than about US$2 per person per day, adjusted for inflation. For most of history, probably more than 90 per cent of the world population lived in extreme poverty, plunging to fewer than 10 per cent today.

  • On Canada Day let us remind ourselves we have done well, even as we strive to do better

    Rather than endless existential agonizing over “who are we,” civic nationalism asks simply: what do we want to do together? What are the purposes we want to achieve, what are the ideals we want to stand for? … An element of self-criticism, such as we are now going through, is therefore very much in order. So is a sense of proportion. Like any society, Canada has many sins to its name; foremost among them is the historic treatment and present condition of aboriginal Canadians, which is rightly the source of so much shame at present. But it is not the whole of the Canadian story.

  • Why I will celebrate Canada Day

    We have long been a work in progress… Our highest court of appeal rested in Britain until 1949. Our Constitution was not patriated until 1982… By modern standards, Canada has not always acted in an enlightened fashion… Far too often its treatment of Indigenous peoples has been shameful. But not always. In recent decades, the courts in particular have been mindful of Indigenous rights. This is all part of our history. We have to recognize it and deal with it.

  • Celebrate the tepee protest. Demonstration improves social justice

    In fact, there’s nothing more Canadian than impolite party-crashing. Protest is in this country’s DNA, from the 19th-century pro-democracy rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada to the road blockades of Clayoquot Sound to the youth-fueled energy of Black Lives Matter and Idle No More… in Canada protesters – both individuals and those who come together in large groups – have led the way and improved social justice for us all.

  • Resistance to Innovation in the Social Sector, from 1992 to 2017

    … the sector is not so much facing crisis as it is emerging from hiding. Taking risks, innovating, and affecting systems change, are as elusive as ever… It is thus understandably difficult and rare to sustain a long-term campaign of change amidst shifting sands, political priorities, and turnover… The commitment to scaling and sustaining innovative programs requires boldness, vision, and a willingness to take risks based on short pilots.

  • It’s time to fix solitary confinement. Here’s how

    … here is the minimum that pan-Canadian standards must accomplish in order to be meaningful… “Solitary confinement,” or “segregation,” … is an amorphous concept in Canada… With a consistent definition and proper training, prison staff will be able to better track how long inmates are being kept in solitary… Stop putting mentally ill people in solitary… Require independent oversight… Legislation, not guidelines

  • A gift to Canada: Lifting people out of poverty benefits us all

    Pervasive poverty has a negative impact on us all – it affects children, their nutrition, and their ability to learn and grow; it makes our communities less inclusive; it drives up costs for health care and infrastructure; and it limits our country’s economic growth and competitiveness… We also believe in the critical importance of public policy as a driver of social change… strategy must address four key themes – prosperity, opportunity, inclusion and reconciliation.