• Federal government looks to provinces for billions to support housing plan

    The main new initiative announced on Wednesday is a $4-billion Canada Housing Benefit, which would provide rent support for about 300,000 low-income households and would begin in 2020. Ottawa expects the provinces to cover half of the cost… Ottawa is also responding to one of the most pressing concerns raised by Canada’s cities, offering $4.8-billion to address the fact that many long-standing social-housing agreements with Ottawa were scheduled to expire over the coming years.

  • 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

  • Neither Wilfrid Laurier University’s methods nor teaching assistant’s debate helped trans people

    The considerable opposition to attempts to carve out a space to define people left out by a language founded on rigidly held ideas of two genders is indicative of the scope of oppression facing trans people… Perhaps this debate cut too close to the bone, making it not just an intellectual exercise on the finer points of grammar, but an intensely personal existential discussion… The best societies seek to protect their vulnerable, even when their people bumble their way through a new awareness of how to do things right.

  • 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.

  • I’m begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks

    … if you feel your coworkers or students need something spherical and tactile in order to fire their benevolent instincts, then by all means hold a food drive, and remind people to stick to the always-needed staples like peanut butter and canned fish. But if you’re a pragmatist just looking to vanquish as much poverty as possible with your disposable income… key in your credit card number and enter the glorious world of anonymous, non-glamourous philanthropy.

  • Religion is still an instrument of colonialism

    Non-Indigenous religious groups understand how traumatizing it is when their places of worship are assaulted, when sites meant to be spaces of prayer and sanctuary are turned into spaces of violence and loss… that the ongoing desecration of sacred Indigenous sites fails to attract similar censure and solidarity is a sign of spiritual colonialism’s enduring power.

  • A wise approach on immigration

    It starts by increasing Canada’s immigration target just a bit next year to 310,000, then to 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020… The government needs to follow through with concrete measures to attract well-educated, well-motivated people to Canada. It has already taken positive steps in this direction by streamlining visa applications and work permits for high-demand international employees. Immigration has always been key to Canada’s success.