• Canada Without Poverty, the UN and Human Rights

    In March-April 2017, Canada will be reviewed for its compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Canada ratified the Convention in 2010 which makes this the first review cycle that applies to Canada… The first step is to provide a written submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For NGOs, the written submission details ongoing issues and concerns about the state’s human rights record.

  • Growing number of migrants renouncing Canadian immigrant status

    A large number of these are so-called astronaut parents, who work offshore while their spouses and school-attending children remain in Canada, usually in urban centres… “Some have bought multiple properties. By renouncing their permanent resident status they can stay below the radar and avoid Canadian taxes… “They can visit Canada whenever they want on a 10-year visa. Why would they want anything else?”

  • Time to recognize Indigenous people as one of Canada’s founders

    As we celebrate the 150th year of Confederation surely it is time to recognize that Aboriginal Peoples are intrinsic to what we are as a country. It would be a symbolic gesture but it would go a long way to recognizing and embracing the idea that First Nations have always been much more than refugees in their own country.

  • Canadian foundation donates $12-million to support Indigenous people

    The Slaight Family Foundation has committed to providing that money over the next five years to 15 non-profit organizations that are engaged with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis on a wide range of initiatives, from health and education to cultural activities and preventing violence against Indigenous women.

  • The Liberals’ First Nations agenda encounters reality

    This isn’t a “First Nations issue” except inasmuch as First Nations, as a population, are disadvantaged relative to other Canadians on social indicators that predict a vast catalogue of bad outcomes, from going to jail to homelessness to dying in a fire or getting murdered. Individual white Anglo-Saxon Canadians so disadvantaged run similar risks; individual aboriginal Canadians who are not so disadvantaged do not… truly transformational change on this front will only come with transformational change on the most basic fronts: education, employment, income. That’s a massive job.

  • Canadian citizenship must be a constitutional right

    Particularly heinous is the untold number of Indigenous Canadians that are currently stateless because their parents never registered their births, rightfully fearing their children would be sent to a residential school. Now adults, these Canadians have no rights or benefits. They are citizens of nowhere, unable to legally work, marry, attend school, buy a home, get a loan, drive a car or even take a bus, train or plane without identification.

  • Learning black history makes Canadians better

    With black Canadians at just three per cent of the population, we’ve heard the argument that Black History Month is less relevant than commemorating the larger Indigenous or South Asian community’s respective histories. But Black History Month doesn’t come at the expense of others. In fact, learning about the black Canadian experience builds empathy; it doesn’t divide it.

  • John Tory’s Valentine’s budget lacks heart

    Mayor and Council could ask the average homeowner to pay an additional $8 a month in property tax in 2017, allowing the city to fund child care subsidies for up to 1,000 more children, rent supplements for 2,000 more families, and affordable rental housing for 500 additional families — all big steps toward addressing the unacceptably long wait-lists for these supports… Or… reintroduce a $60 vehicle registration tax — at a far lower cost to drivers — which could fund a reduction in TTC fares

  • Five ableist things I wish people would stop saying to me

    When people say “you seem normal,” it just sounds like they are afraid of neurodivergence and “crazy” people. It’s a veiled form of ableism… People want to see mental health and disability as an individual problem that individuals have and should solve on their own. Talking is often the first step, but what about steps two through 10? When we constantly redirect back to step one, it’s because we’re avoiding the responsibility that we have for helping people…

  • Canadians are generous, but government spending on charities is not

    The key problem for charities is not a decline in the generosity of individual Canadians, which has been quite steady in the context of a soft economy, but the general retrenchment of government social spending… the Trudeau government has promised to develop a “social innovation” strategy and to increase investment in “social infrastructure.” … a strong charitable and not-for-profit sector also requires strong public financial support.