• Wynne government promises much-needed investment in child care

    This funding promises to help 24,000 kids access daycare, addressing an urgent funding shortfall. Right now some 15,400 kids are on the waitlist for subsidized care, while at the same time more than 4,000 spaces sit vacant because parents can’t afford fees that run as high as $20,000 a year… Funding subsidized spaces… will help some women back into the work force, improving the family’s bottom line while boosting the economy and the tax base.

  • A pre-pre-election budget to bolster Liberal fortunes

    Free pharmaceuticals for young people (a blessing). Transit breaks for old people (a sop). Cheaper child care for young parents (long overdue). Free tuition for most college students (already announced but still worthy and worth repeating). Rent control for everyone (a reprise). Hefty discounts off everyone’s hydro bills (a perennial). And the first balanced budget after a decade of deficits (about time). Which clears the way for its more progressive measures, notably phased pharmacare.

  • … Top 23 takeaways from the Ontario budget

    Ontario will become the first province to offer pharmacare to all young people, regardless of income, who are 24 and under. Some 4,400 prescription drugs will be covered… the abortion pill will provide an alternative to women seeing to end a pregnancy up to seven weeks… The province will spend $20 million to increase respite care for dementia patients and increase the number of seniors’ centres… From elementary schools to jails to seniors centres, the province is improving mental health services in many of its service areas…

  • Liberal budget’s child-care funding commendable, but won’t help families any time soon

    The first four years amount to about half a billion dollars each to be added to an annual system which, even in its current woeful state, costs provinces $4.2-billion… Child-care experts estimate that it would actually cost closer to $12-billion a year – from all governments – to run a system which, to quote Ottawa’s current buzzwords, would be “accessible, affordable and flexible.” … “The resources will have the most impact if we start with those who are most vulnerable.

  • Parents won’t have social assistance slashed if kids placed in temporary care

    The policy change by the Ministry of Community and Social Services lets these parents keep their full benefits until a court decides whether their children will be kept permanently in care. The benefits will only get reduced if the children are made Crown wards. The ministry will also reinstate full benefits to parents whose children are currently in temporary care…

  • Parents battle for son’s right to autism services in school

    If successful, it could pave the way to school boards providing better supports for the 20,000 autistic students in Ontario… The Skrts argue the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is violating Jack’s rights by failing to provide him with accommodations he is legally entitled to receive as a result of his disability. “This amounts to discrimination,” says the application, which is seeking a tribunal order requiring Ontario school boards to ensure ABA is available to students with autism.

  • Liberals look to target child-care funding to ‘vulnerable’ families

    the Liberals want to target the promised funds to single parent households, or children with mental health issues and not only at low-income families. Mathieu Filion said the government wants to help the “most vulnerable in our society,” believing the spending could have a positive influence these children later in life.

  • The ‘inverted justice’ of Canada’s family courts and how they got this way

    … in the 1980s and ’90s, there was a perfect storm of change. Legal feminism was increasingly informed by radical feminism; divorce came to be seen as a source of women’s poverty; family law had blossomed as a proper branch of practice; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “opened the door to greater legal and judicial participation in the formation of social policy” … In that climate emerged a social policy aimed at reducing poverty by focusing on private responsibility.

  • Ontario’s stolen children still getting a raw deal as province deals with Motherisk scandal

    It’s pretty tough to overstate the gravity of what went on in this province’s children’s aid societies, in its courtrooms, and at the lucrative Motherisk lab at Sick Kids Hospital, since closed… The government stole your kid under false pretences; you’re grief-stricken, furious; but maybe your kid is in a wealthier or more stable environment than you can offer. It’s an impossible position that no one should ever be in.

  • The new Liberal budget will send money for ‘children’ right to the wealthy and the bureaucrats

    Currently only about 15 per cent of Canadian children 0-5 are in daycare centres. Statistics Canada reports that higher-income families are more likely to use this arrangement. Taxpayers are funding higher-income families with huge subsidies for institutional child care at the expense of lower income families — including single parents — who prioritize parental child care… To efficiently fund child care we should fund children, not spaces and their massive related system costs. We could do this by increasing the federal government’s child benefit.