• 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

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    To be effective, apologies must acknowledge the offence and harms done. They must express remorse. They must undertake to learn from the experience and not repeat offensive behaviours. And they must make reparation… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology on behalf of Canadians… will be a welcome step toward a more just society.

  • Ottawa should finish the job on advocacy work by charities

    … giving charities a wider scope to speak out on public issues would bring with it a host of benefits. It would encourage experts associated with those groups to add their expertise to public debates. It would enlarge the pool of people participating in those debates, since charities often serve as a way for those without a strong voice to speak up. It would provide more opportunities for people interested in policy debates, but leery of traditional political parties, to get involved. Finally, it would help to tip the balance in debates in favour of those with the public interest in mind.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    The record of how LGBTQ2 Canadians were treated by their own government, and the human pain and cost that resulted because of that treatment, is egregious… “People were watched, followed, interrogated and purged from their jobs” … Lives were lost to suicide… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.”

  • He’s worked legally in Canada for 37 years but the government considers him ‘temporary’

    The share of migrant workers in Canada’s agricultural workforce has doubled in the last decade as what was once seasonal need for harvesters has turned into a year-round labour market reality. The workers pay income tax and employment insurance, and contribute to the Canada Pension Plan. However, their precarious status in Canada makes it difficult for them to exercise their rights and protections under labour laws, making them easy prey for unscrupulous recruiters and bad employers.

  • Freeing our people: Updates from the long road to deinstitutionalization

    How can we expect any better from society when our own government continues to fund deeply segregated, dehumanizing and dangerous forms of support for people with intellectual disabilities? Out of sight, out of mind has hidden many disturbing facts about intellectual disability from the public for far too long… These wrongs must be righted and further abuse prevented. We need to bring the “left behind” forward if we are to become an inclusive and accessible country.

  • Hot!

    Mentally ill people need to be calmed down, not shot

    No one is suggesting that police stand there and allow themselves to be stabbed or beaten. De-escalation training teaches that not drawing a weapon in the first place can prevent the threats; offering help instead of screaming “drop the weapon,” can change an interaction… police forces now employ crisis intervention teams that include unarmed social workers, backed up by police who carry shields and tasers instead of guns.