• Immigration critical to Canada’s future prosperity

    … a major new report released last week by the Conference Board of Canada… concluded that immigration levels need to rise steadily until they reach 408,000 annually by 2030 in order to help the growth of the labour force and generate higher economic growth. It even suggested Canada will need a population of 100 million by the end of the century to ensure economic health… a larger Canadian population cannot totally offset the effects of an aging population, but it can soften the impact.

  • Human Rights and Charity — Regulatory Challenges

    … a charity risks being labelled “political” – and thus non-charitable – if it pursues its mission either solely or even predominantly by advocating that governments behave (or not) in some particular way. The question for present purposes is how, if at all, things change when charities frame their advocacy as a defence of human rights… does human rights advocacy receive special treatment under the doctrine of political purposes?

  • Charter Challenge for Freedom of Expression Launched

    The question is, having accepted relief of poverty as a charitable purpose, is the government permitted, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to restrict our members from speaking out about the changes to laws and policies that are necessary for our purpose to be achieved,” Ms Farha stated. “We think that’s an infringement of freedom of expression and association for people living in poverty and that’s why we filed this case.”

  • Like unions and political parties, charities deserve freedom of speech

    An Ottawa-based charity recently filed suit to stop the CRA from stripping its tax-exempt status, on the ground it has been too politically active. Lawyers for Canada Without Poverty argue their client’s constitutional right to free expression is being violated unreasonably. They’re not wrong… Ottawa should drop the audits and modernize its outdated laws. Free speech should apply to all.

  • Canadians with disabilities need real work, real pay, real leadership

    A new national policy framework should help enable people with disabilities to attain postsecondary education, to participate in training and vocational rehabilitation and to obtain and hold gainful employment in inclusive workplaces, on an equal basis with other people. Greater attention is needed on workplace practices and the role of disability management, bolstered by federal investments through intergovernmental agreements, grants and tax measures.

  • Ombudsman Calls For Systemic Overhaul To Help Adults With Developmental Disabilities In Crisis

    In Nowhere to Turn, the Ombudsman reports on his office’s investigation of more than 1,400 complaints from families of adults with developmental disabilities who are in crisis situations, including being abandoned, abused, unnecessarily hospitalized and jailed… These “extreme and egregious cases” highlight a dire need for greater supports, services and more rigorous monitoring – and amount to “a modern-day version of institutionalization,” Mr. Dubé says in the report.

  • Inquests have become as lost as these seven aboriginal youths who left home and perished

    … the inquest system, once the purview of the medical doctors who serve as coroners, has morphed into a highly politicized process and a fine source of work and income for lawyers; that lawyers quite directly run the show; and that jurors are not expected to think for themselves… The bulk of the recommendations, via the lawyers to the jury, deal with sweeping changes to aboriginal education in this country. They would require truckloads of additional public money.

  • Liberals should reconsider this capital-gains oversight on donations

    In the United States, gifts of appreciated capital property are exempt from capital-gains taxes. Removal of this barrier would also help Canadians donate more, as our per-capita donations are one half of donations by Americans… All stakeholders strongly recommend the Liberals consider implementing this important measure in the 2017 budget.

  • At last, reconciliation with First Nations actually seems possible

    Paradoxically, given the news coming from communities like Attawapiskat, there is an optimism that change is actually coming… The shift will see First Nations granted far greater autonomy, allowing the government to concentrate on “problem” reserves through a more regional policy… At the very least, a more autonomous model of citizenship based on indigenous traditions, kinship systems and laws will leave no one else to blame if it doesn’t work… “That is empowerment, and to me, that creates hope.”

  • Supreme Court recognizes rights of Métis and non-status Indians

    The Supreme Court ruled that “Indians” in Sec. 91(24) of the Constitution Act of 1867 — which lists the areas over which the Canadian government has sole jurisdiction — does not just refer to First Nations with registered Indian status and Inuit peoples, but to all aboriginal peoples in Canada, including Métis and non-status Indians. There were 213,900 non-status Indians and 451,785 Métis people in Canada counted in the 2011 Census, but they have often been relegated to what Abella described as a “jurisdictional wasteland” between provinces and the federal government when it comes to the provision of services, or holding someone to account for their absence.