• Judge exposes how we criminalize mental illness

    From arrest to prosecution, conviction, sentencing, use of segregation, all stages of our criminal justice system are now consistently overrepresented by people who are suffering from psychosis, mania, mood disorders, depression, alcoholism and addiction, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders… While there is no panacea, the better way is to ensure people get help when they need it, before they are at risk of homelessness, unemployment, or conflict with law.

  • Don’t make ‘basic income’ an excuse for inaction

    The stark reality of that is shoddy housing, bad health, poor nutrition, social exclusion and petty crime — all the social ills that come with entrenched poverty. The government doesn’t need a five-year project to figure that out… “basic income” could be a game-changer — if it is designed properly”… In this area, the devil really is in the details… it could lead to a more generous, more efficient and more modern system. Or it could result in its opposite — a meaner, more constrained approach that puts public services at the mercy of the marketplace.

  • A short history of the poverty-busting power of basic income

    The idea of a minimum or basic income has been around for almost 500 years… But, now it’s the international darling once again. Pilot projects are planned or underway in almost a dozen countries in both the developed and underdeveloped world in response to concern that globalization and technological advances are leaving large swaths of the population behind.

  • Ottawa has even more reason to fix security law

    The government has run out of reasons for delay on Bill C-51. It should move as quickly as possible to fix this bad law. So it turns out that this country’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), may not actually need the additional powers the Harper Conservatives gave it back in 2015… CSIS has suspended use of the most controversial powers to disrupt threats of terrorism that were contained in the Conservatives’ Anti-Terrorism Act

  • Ontario program targets child sex trafficking

    The province is in the midst of a sweeping overhaul of its child protection system. Part of that rebuilding includes money for six new youth transition workers aimed at helping keep youth in provincial care from becoming trapped in “The Game.” … The six new jobs that Ontario is funding, each at $70,000 a year, are located in the Greater Toronto Area, the Golden Horseshoe, Ottawa, Windsor, London and Thunder Bay — all areas the province describes as “hubs” of human trafficking.

  • Police oversight isn’t broken, it was built this way

    Thanks to Justice Michael Tulloch, who led the review and published his report last week, we have new clarity on the strategic dysfunction that is the SIU. Tulloch has made 129 recommendations for better police oversight, including dozens for the SIU. Many of Tulloch’s recommendations are painfully obvious… The tradition of having former police investigate current ones helps to explain why more than 97 per cent of all SIU investigations end without an officer being criminally charged.

  • Why stop with pot? Let’s decriminalize all drugs

    The war on drugs has been an abject failure on many levels and none more so than the fact that, in our society, there is much more abuse of drug users than there is abuse of drugs. That needs to stop, for economic and health reasons. Decriminalization is not, as some contend, giving up on people. On the contrary, it is about giving them responsibility along with rights.

  • Alcohol and assault: What all young women need to know

    … alcohol isn’t responsible for rape. Rapists are responsible for rape… But if you could do something to reduce the risk… wouldn’t you? There are many things we can do better to reduce sexual violence. We must teach more young men to have respect for women. We must also teach young men and young women alike to have respect for booze. That’s not blaming women – it’s empowering them to manage risk.

  • Why trolls love to pick on women

    Are trolls just hardcore misogynists? Not quite. “They’re like schoolyard bullies. They seek out people they think are weaker than themselves. They’re looking for someone who’s more submissive and maybe they feel deserves to be degraded in some way. I think a lot of them have problems with women” … Troll behaviour is highly associated with what are known as the “dark” personality traits, which are also far more common in men.

  • Meet the grandma who lost 3 grandkids over a home that needed repairs

    When a child protection worker walked into Marlene’s home in Toronto, two things were immediately obvious: the love between Marlene and her grandchildren was profound, and her broken-down home was unsafe… The repairs cost her $3,000, a debt she is slowly trying to repay while falling further behind in her property tax payments. A contractor would have charged more, but nowhere near what it cost Ontario taxpayers to keep Marlene’s three grandchildren in foster care for a year — about $50,000.