• 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.

  • Census reminds us of importance of immigrants to Canada’s future

    Population growth is key to maintaining both the labour force and the sources of innovation and entrepreneurship we need for economic success. Open immigration policies, economic prospects and a still-strong social safety… our future prosperity likely depends on our keeping it that way. As our population ages, and our birth-rate declines, we must continue to welcome newcomers from all over the world, not only out of moral duty, but also economic necessity.

  • City wrong to choose roads over community housing

    Toronto Community Housing is planning to close 425 subsidized units this year because it can no longer afford to maintain them. TCH told the Star an additional 17,500 units — 30 per cent of the corporation’s total housing stock — are in critical disrepair… A 2014 report by the financial services firm KPMG rated Toronto as the most tax-competitive major city in the world… “The money is there if they want it to be, it just comes with trade-offs,”

  • Ontario should expand legal aid, not cut it

    At the moment, a single person with no dependents must have an income of about $13,000 a year or less to qualify for legal aid. That’s an absurdly low level, considering that Statistics Canada calculates the low-income cut-off for a single individual in a large city as closer to $25,000… Now, sadly, with the cuts to service because of the agency’s deficit, access to legal aid has gotten even worse for the poorest of the poor.

  • We can end homelessness in Canada

    The report calls for a new federal/provincial/territorial framework agreement focused on community capacity, prevention, and “Housing First” for those now on the streets… Addressing issues of poverty and social justice are regular refrains for progressives; reducing spending while more efficiently using resources are a hallmark for fiscal conservatives. Being a contributing member of society and a full participant in the economy requires an address.

  • Tracking all homeless deaths is long overdue

    The efforts to track all homeless deaths… are an important step toward acknowledging the effects of homelessness and, hopefully, putting an end to it… not knowing how many homeless people die in Toronto each year means the city can downplay the problem and ignore the root causes, especially those of street deaths… Toronto’s wait list for subsidized housing stands at a disturbingly high 172,087, forcing some people onto the streets.

  • Don’t deny my right to celebrate Christmas

    … as we move to a more culturally diverse society, the controversial greeting, Merry Christmas is now replaced with Happy Holidays… I may not be Christian, but I am Canadian. And for me, the cultural sensitivity to which we’ve all been trying so hard to adhere has become overly sensitive. Diversity is about sharing. So I don’t mind if you share your Christmas with me.

  • A heritage language lost can become a culture gained

    Individuals, families and governments have to make choices about how to best use the resources – time, energy and money – available to them. My family chose to immigrate to Canada and is confident our lives are better for it. School boards are already struggling to help all students learn the basics in an official language… Cultures are unchanging only in memory. All evolve with the passage of time.

  • Find emergency shelters for the homeless

    The city has known there is a shortage of shelters for the homeless for years. A 2013 survey found there were 5,000 homeless people in the city, but currently there are only 4,300 beds. And Toronto’s wait list for subsidized housing stands at a stunning 172,087, forcing some people onto the streets… the city’s shelters for women, youth and families [were] all filled past their capacity last Thursday… Shelters for families were completely full.