• The world is getting way, way better, despite what you hear on the news

    Just since 1990, more than 100 million children’s lives have been saved through vaccinations and improved nutrition and medical care. They’re no longer dying of malaria, diarrhea… There has been a stunning decline in extreme poverty, defined as less than about US$2 per person per day, adjusted for inflation. For most of history, probably more than 90 per cent of the world population lived in extreme poverty, plunging to fewer than 10 per cent today.

  • Tory should commit city money to fixing the social housing problem, then ask the province for help

    “The time for action is now. In fact it was before now, because repairing social housing is a moral, economic and social imperative,” Tory said last week. Really? Why, then, do you not increase the city’s allocation of funds to repair the damaged buildings? Why are you promoting a freeze in property taxes instead of a dedicated 1 or 2 per cent increase to build a fund that stops the closures?

  • I ran a charity for years. Joe Oliver is wrong about the damage his government did

    … advocating for a change in law or policy is not the same thing as political activism … at all… If a senior citizens’ charity decided to run a public campaign urging for crosswalks to be replaced with traffic lights at crossings near seniors’ homes, that would also be considered a political activity… How can charities make the world a better place if they’re not able to identify laws and policies that should be changed?

  • A welcome end to charity audits

    The announcement came last week in response to a panel report that recommended the audits, initiated by the Harper government, be suspended immediately. That will give the government time to make recommended administrative and legislative changes aimed at giving charities more freedom to speak out on public policy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.