• What the Wilfrid Laurier professors got wrong about Bill C-16 and gender identity discrimination

    C-16 added gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this applies to people employed by or receiving services from federally-regulated industries, such as banks or the public service… Universities instead fall under provincial codes — but the Ontario Human Rights Code has included gender identity and expression for five years now, long before Peterson gained fame for his arguments.

  • Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • Don’t link mental illness with violent crime

    We concluded, as have others before us, that public fears of the mentally ill greatly exceed the actual risk of violence posed by such persons. A small number of people may pose an increased risk to others, but this risk is a result of acute symptoms that can respond to treatment. Policies of social inclusion, stigma reduction and providing people with care are the most important steps to advance the well-being of individuals with mental illness; this may facilitate an even lower risk of violence to others.

  • Paradise Papers tell a troubling story about money and power

    The Paradise Papers are doing nothing to soothe those who worry about the unseemly intertwining of money and power in politics or about the extent to which the economy is rigged by the few against the many. The government can do something about that. It can, for instance, close unfair and ineffective tax loopholes and collect what’s owed. Or it can sit back, defend the current arrangements and watch the cynicism grow.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Paradise Papers show Ottawa must crack down on offshore tax havens

    … these revelations promise to deepen the longstanding problems of distrust and cynicism that inhibit needed tax reform and corrode our democracy… more than 3,000 Canadians are among those who made use of byzantine tax-avoidance schemes chronicled in the leaked documents. Most of these schemes are ethically dubious, some possibly illegal, and many might have been avoided had the government listened to the experts.

  • What to do about the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prisons

    Between 2007 and 2016, while the overall federal prison population increased by less than 5 per cent, the number of Indigenous prisoners rose by 39 per cent… In fact, for the last three decades, there has been an increase every single year in the federal incarceration rates for Indigenous people. While they make up less than 5 per cent of the Canadian population, today they represent 26.4 per cent of all federal inmates.

  • Ontario policing reforms will mean officers can be suspended without pay

    The creation of an inspector general to monitor police services, penalties for officers who fail to co-operate in police watchdog investigations, and the ability to suspend officers without pay were part of an announcement Thursday to revamp policing and the police oversight system in Ontario…. Other proposed changes include: Greater SIU powers of investigation… Expanded SIU powers to lay criminal charges… Penalties for non-cooperation…

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.

  • Mentally-ill female inmates housed in male facility: report

    … Mr. Zinger focused on the conditions of confinement in Canada’s federal prisons, which “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.” … women with serious mental-health issues are more likely to be placed in maximum-security units, which are “far from therapeutic,” and noted nearly half the maximum-security population in women’s prisons is Indigenous… While Indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the total population, they comprise 26.4 per cent of the total federal inmate population,