• How Canada can actually fix the migration mess on its borders

    The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom. This is the heart of the Convention and it does not demand much beyond that fundamental obligation. It does not require any state to accept refugees. It does not tell states how to adjudicate claims. It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters. It does not condone illegal entry unless the individual enters the asylum country direct from the country of persecution. It does not include people who are internally displaced in their own country.

  • Now is the time to clarify the rules governing ‘political activity’ by charities

    The current set of limits on political activities by charities guard against an ill-defined risk at great cost. They prevent charities from using a crucial tool to further their charitable purposes – working to develop and advance public policy solutions that could relieve poverty, advance education and serve our communities. They are out of keeping with the realities of policy decision-making, which often call for public-facing engagement as well as direct participation in parliamentary or other government processes.

  • Charity laws must evolve with the times

    The just-released Ontario Superior Court decision squashes the notion that charities cannot fully engage in political activities. The charity Canada Without Poverty took the Canada Revenue Agency to court over its ruling that the group should lose its charitable status… In this case, the purpose of relieving poverty is with the sharing of ideas, not nutrition.

  • The CRA makes life more difficult for people with disabilities

    … in a report titled Breaking Down Barriers. The senators make some sensible recommendations about fixing the DTC [Disability Tax Credit] and related programs, and even about the treatment of people with disabilities more generally. The two most important suggestions are that the DTC become a refundable (as opposed to a non-refundable) tax credit so it would benefit the most needy… [and] that everyone in a provincial program for people with disabilities be enrolled automatically in the registered disability savings program.

  • 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.