• He’s worked legally in Canada for 37 years but the government considers him ‘temporary’

    The share of migrant workers in Canada’s agricultural workforce has doubled in the last decade as what was once seasonal need for harvesters has turned into a year-round labour market reality. The workers pay income tax and employment insurance, and contribute to the Canada Pension Plan. However, their precarious status in Canada makes it difficult for them to exercise their rights and protections under labour laws, making them easy prey for unscrupulous recruiters and bad employers.

  • Unpacking the Social Innovation Strategies of Canadian Foundations

    the social innovation behaviours of foundations can offer insight into what actors that seek to do social innovation need, and what actors that seek to fund social innovation consider. We interviewed 38 staff and board members from 18 Canadian philanthropic foundations operating in all regions of Canada… to understand what foundations mean when they use the term social innovation and how, if at all, they are acting to promote it.

  • Michelle Kungl’s incredible journey

    … her experience highlights the problem most people on social assistance face when they try to work or receive income from other sources. More than 900,000 Ontarians rely on social assistance, including more than 490,000 on ODSP. Barely 10 per cent of individuals receiving ODSP have employment income… the government has already increased the amount individuals and families can deduct from their earnings for disability-work related expenses from $300 to $1,000 a month.

  • 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… These wrongs must be righted and further abuse prevented. We need to bring the “left behind” forward if we are to become an inclusive and accessible country.

  • There’s no cure for autism — my daughter is wonderful just the way she is

    My daughter doesn’t have a special talent or ability, and she isn’t a quirky genius. She may never live independently or hold down a successful career. But these are arbitrary measurements of success, and she doesn’t need to achieve them to be valuable and worthwhile. What she needs is the freedom to be herself — as flappy, happy and autistic as she may be.

  • Mentally ill people need to be calmed down, not shot

    No one is suggesting that police stand there and allow themselves to be stabbed or beaten. De-escalation training teaches that not drawing a weapon in the first place can prevent the threats; offering help instead of screaming “drop the weapon,” can change an interaction… police forces now employ crisis intervention teams that include unarmed social workers, backed up by police who carry shields and tasers instead of guns.

  • Invictus Games are an opportunity to advocate for disability rights

    … Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough has yet to produce the legislation she was tasked with… Even provincially, the government has failed to keep its promise of enforcing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act… The Liberal government has even gone so far as to obstruct investigations by disability advocates. This does not seem like leadership “committed to building a more accessible Ontario

  • On accessibility, Ontario needs less secrecy, more action

    They want to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to jobs, education, public services, restaurants and stores as anyone else in this province. They want buildings and bureaucracies alike to be designed with the challenges of living with a disability in mind. This is what the AODA promises to accomplish… If the government is sincere in that commitment, it should stop fighting… advocates and start working alongside them to ensure that this good law is being enforced

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.

  • Make data on homeless deaths public

    The city should release not just the number of homeless deaths, as it recently did for the first time, but other information it now collects, too, such as on gender, unofficial cause of death, and location of death… we know very little about how these people ended up on the street or how they died. Were these opiate overdoses, suicides, deaths by exposure? And therefore what are the policy responses we should be demanding of governments?