• It’s past time to improve our charity laws

    Government policy‑making is heavily influenced by for‑profit corporate interests. Companies are free to do anything, as long as their political activities are aimed at increasing profit, and they get to deduct their political advertising and lobbying expenses from their taxable income. Charities, on the other hand, are restricted to using less than 10 per cent of their resources on political activities. This constrains the ability of charities to advocate publicly for policy and legal reform that benefit the public interest.

  • Ottawa pits ‘traditional knowledge’ against ‘science’, and then walks away

    Ottawa’s recently introduced legislation to amend the federal environmental impact assessment process so that it “takes into account scientific information, traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and community knowledge.” … Asking for the term “traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada” to be defined, and for ways to evaluate it, is a good idea. Doing so doesn’t devalue traditional knowledge; in fact, a strong definition will only serve to give it more value.

  • Human rights case hopes to give disabled people the freedom to live in small group homes

    A groundbreaking human rights case set to begin on Monday could help hundreds of Nova Scotians with disabilities move out of institutions and into small group homes, says a lawyer who has led a three-year-long effort to bring the cases before a formal hearing.

  • Words are powerful but LGBTQ2 equality requires more than a Trudeau apology

    … additional reforms are needed to tackle the problems of income inequality, sexual harassment at work, reproductive rights, the lack of affordable housing, bullying in schools, equal access to health care, and the intersection of multiple systems of oppression along racial and cultural lines which continue to bear down on LGBTQ2 people in unique and often subtle ways.

  • Ottawa starts healing process with LGBTQ apology

    Over our history, laws and policies enacted by the government led to the legitimization of much more than inequality – they legitimized hatred and violence, and brought shame to those targeted,” the Prime Minister said. “The state orchestrated a culture of stigma and fear around LGBTQ2 communities. And in doing so, destroyed people’s lives.

  • Trudeau’s LGBTQ apology: A Globe guide to how we got here

    The apology process showed more signs of progress by the spring and summer of 2017, by which point Britain had issued its own apology and Germany promised compensation for gays and lesbians who had been discriminated against. Earlier this month, the Trudeau government officially set a date, Nov. 28, and then a sum of money: $145-million, the largest amount pledged by any national government to compensate sexual minorities.

  • Federal Government Back with Big Dollars for Housing ‘This is very significant.’

    Canada signed and ratified the 1976 United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which recognizes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.” However, the right to housing has not been replicated in Canadian law and cannot be enforced. The strategy said the federal government will “introduce a bill to enable new legislation that promotes a human rights-based approach to housing.”

  • Ottawa’s housing plan will create 100,000 new housing units nationally

    The measures… include: $2 billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit to provide funding directly to low-income families and individuals… $2.2 billion to expand and extend the homelessness partnering strategy… New legislation to require future federal governments to maintain a national housing strategy… The federal government also recognizes that housing is a human right, for the first time.

  • It’s been wrong for Canada to separate families

    Under section 38(1)c of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Immigration Canada can refuse any applicant who might “cause excessive demand on health or social services.” Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Wednesday that the government will be looking at how to let go of the excessive demand provision. “From a principled perspective, the current excessive demand provision policy simply does not align with our country’s values of inclusion of person with disabilities in Canadian society.”

  • The problem with trying to protect pronouns

    What is slightly lost in this affair is the question of whether or not someone can in fact be sanctioned by the state for refusing to use someone’s preferred pronoun… The OHRC says, unhelpfully, that “the law is unsettled” about whether or not a person can insist on their own particular pronoun, or must settle for a generic compromise, such as “they.” … The OHRC also acknowledges that universities and the media have great leeway when addressing the issue as part of a public debate