• Ottawa should fix perversely punitive pardon policy

    … the pardon policy has created an unjust cycle of disadvantage without yielding any apparent benefits. Released offenders often require a pardon before they can travel, get a job or find housing. By denying the rehabilitated their earned right to re-enter society, the new pardon rules inevitably increase the burden on the welfare system, not to mention the likelihood of recidivism.

  • Liberals set homeless reduction targets ahead of provincial talks

    The upcoming national housing strategy looks to cut by 50 per cent the number of “chronic” homeless — many of whom won’t go to shelters and may be harder to reach through traditional support systems — and “episodic” homeless, those who find themselves on the street repeatedly… The Liberals’ second budget in March showed that they wanted to get money directly to cities and service providers without having to deal with provinces.

  • It’s past time to protect the ‘precariat’

    Two new studies paint bleak portraits of the economic circumstances of young workers and others struggling to get by in the new economy. Together, they suggest that while governments may not want or be able to stop the evolution now underway, they must move quickly to address widening gaps in worker protections, lest the better part of a generation fall through the cracks… governments can’t and shouldn’t want to stop innovation. But neither are they powerless to shape it or to protect workers from its worst consequences.

  • How Ontario traps those with disabilities in lives of poverty

    … restrictions on assets and gifts serve as an ironclad poverty trap that keep many people with disabilities in a state of profound uncertainty and crisis. They also prevent them from successfully transitioning to employment and planning for the future. This is why over the past few months, a coalition of disability, mental health, poverty and community organizations have come together to ask the Ontario government to make a simple regulatory change: To raise the asset cap from $5,000 to $100,000 and eliminate the current gift limit of $6,000 for those receiving disability supports.

  • $5B housing pledge aims to help most vulnerable National Housing

    … the focus would be on supporting the most vulnerable Canadians, which in addition to people struggling with mental health, addictions and domestic abuse also includes seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans… The national strategy… will also include $3 billion dedicated towards strengthening the relationship between provinces and territories, targeted funding for northern communities and Indigenous communities… and increased funding to prevent and reduce homelessness.

  • Anti-Muslim hatred has no place in my Canada

    Like it or not, religious accommodation is the law, and the schools are devoted to inclusiveness. Our interest is to integrate new Canadians, not segregate them. We want their children to be educated in the public schools, not religious schools. So we’d better make sure the kids (and parents) feel comfortable there… We won’t always agree, especially over symbols that touch our deepest values. Let’s just hope we can keep finding ways to disagree politely.

  • Strike at the Canadian Hearing Society is about culture, not costs

    People who are culturally deaf believe the role of the CHS should be to facilitate their ability to live barrier-free in a world where audism and ableism are rampant – for example, by providing sign-language-interpretation services… the deaf and hard-of-hearing community is changing and the CHS has to adapt to meet its needs. In an aging world, hearing loss is more common, and more deaf and hard-of-hearing people are in mainstream schools and jobs, thanks to technology.

  • The Case Against Policy Advocacy Deregulation

    There are certainly cases in which charities have played a productive role in changing public policy for the better — successful campaigns to combat smoking and drunk driving come readily to mind. And though these contributions have produced clearly beneficial results, it does not necessarily follow that the general regulatory framework should be relaxed or amended to allow charities to engage more actively in public policymaking.

  • Safeguard Disability Rights – Sign The Un Protocol

    With great fanfare in 2010, the Harper government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). However, it never took the next step of ratifying its Optional Protocol, which is essential for holding Canada accountable for its commitment… Over 26,000 Canadians are looking forward to having Prime Minister Trudeau safeguard disability rights by signing and ratifying the Protocol by the end of 2017.

  • Canada Without Poverty, the UN and Human Rights

    In March-April 2017, Canada will be reviewed for its compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Canada ratified the Convention in 2010 which makes this the first review cycle that applies to Canada… The first step is to provide a written submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For NGOs, the written submission details ongoing issues and concerns about the state’s human rights record.