• Time to recognize Indigenous people as one of Canada’s founders

    As we celebrate the 150th year of Confederation surely it is time to recognize that Aboriginal Peoples are intrinsic to what we are as a country. It would be a symbolic gesture but it would go a long way to recognizing and embracing the idea that First Nations have always been much more than refugees in their own country.

  • Learning black history makes Canadians better

    With black Canadians at just three per cent of the population, we’ve heard the argument that Black History Month is less relevant than commemorating the larger Indigenous or South Asian community’s respective histories. But Black History Month doesn’t come at the expense of others. In fact, learning about the black Canadian experience builds empathy; it doesn’t divide it.

  • Why Canada has avoided an anti-trade, anti-immigration backlash

    If declining incomes fuel anti-globalization… then what sets Canada apart is its recent income gains… More than 70 per cent of men aged 55 to 64 had full-time jobs in 1976; 20 years later, that ratio had fallen to less than 50 per cent. The only bright spot was provided by women. Even though their incomes were (and are) still less than men’s, they did see some income growth… enough to offset men’s losses

  • Residential schools report challenges us all

    The report records the voices of 6,000 courageous witnesses and the history of their suffering, stubborn resilience and later struggles, plus historical background data and context. While Sinclair released his main findings earlier this year… the final report contains the searing evidentiary base that shaped his findings… Trudeau promised to work for a “total renewal” of the nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and 1.4 million indigenous peoples. He thanked Sinclair for charting “a way forward.”

  • Back When Ottawa Created a Housing Agency for All Canadians

    … CMHC… played a historic post-war role housing tens of thousands of new families, and then a generation later more or less invented social housing to shelter Canada’s neediest… CMHC provided financial backing, mortgage subsidies and operating assistance to hundreds of co-operatives and a wide-range of social housing projects from coast to coast. Most of those agreements are still in place, although the current Conservative government has served notice it will let them expire over the coming years.

  • We closed our doors to the world

    Since 2008 it has become harder to get into Canada, to stay here permanently, and to become a citizen. This is due to a steady stream of changes by the federal government that affect virtually all aspects of our immigration and refugee policy. Many of the changes came without public discussion or debate, often buried in “omnibus” bills… In 2014 refugees represented less than 9 per cent of the immigration flow to Canada (as compared to 14 per cent in 2005), while the economic class rose to 63.4 per cent and is targeted to reach 70 per cent.

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    A remarkable 20-year struggle for disabled rights

    TheStar.com – Opinion/Commentary – How a one-hour meeting sparked a two-decade movement responsible for key accessibility laws in Ontario. Nov 26 2014.   By: Bob […]

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    Canada’s unheard aboriginal narrative

    … aboriginal peoples have been making a remarkable recovery and are now on the verge of taking a prominent place in this country… There’s a new aboriginal elite. We have Inuit and Cree corporations. Supreme Court victories are giving aboriginals more control over the commodity-rich lands of the North. Climate change is playing to their agenda. The aboriginal population is rapidly increasing, as is aboriginal youth enrolment in universities and colleges.

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    Premier Kathleen Wynne’s apology to Huronia survivors offers fresh start

    This was a signature moment for the former residents, many of whom suffered at the hands of caregivers and other residents… “unchecked physical and emotional abuse by some staff and residents.” Former residents carry those scars to this day. And that made for an emotional scene in the legislature… An apology cannot change the past. But hopefully, Wynne’s gesture will help heal the hurt and allow Huronia’s former residents to move on.

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    Newly released case files reveal details of Huronia Regional Centre children

    The two children arrived in the institution a month apart. They died a month and one day apart. Each of their stories, as documented in letters, medical notes and admissions records… provide a window into how Ontario treated people with developmental disabilities for more than 100 years… a $35-million settlement… promise[s] to disclose 65,000 documents such as police reports, witness testimony and internal incident reports.