• People With Disabilities in Poverty Trap, Says Report

    The median income for people with disabilities in Canada is nearly half that of those without disabilities, and 23 per cent of people with disabilities between 25 and 64 are living in poverty, according to the report. About 13.9 per cent of all Canadians live in poverty… Earlier this year Ottawa consulted the public as part of an initiative to develop legislation to improve accessibility for people with disabilities… anti-poverty organizations in the Chew on This! campaign to call for a national, rights-based anti-poverty plan.

  • Students are not fragile flowers – we must care about their mental health

    The Canadian Mental Health Association ‘s #b4stage4 campaign asks a thought-provoking question: What if we waited until Stage 4 to treat cancer? … We would never allow our medical system to wait that long to treat this disease. We fully expect to have preventive education, screening and early treatment. Now, imagine if the standard of treatment was equal for mental and physical health conditions.

  • Tribunal slams WSIB practice that cuts benefits to injured migrant workers

    A workers’ compensation board practice that slashes benefits to injured migrant farm workers by deeming them capable of finding alternative employment in Ontario is illegal, an independent tribunal has ruled… under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, employers can deport workers for “non-compliance, refusal to work, or any other sufficient reason.”

  • Three Ontario nursing homes ordered to stop new admissions because of substandard care

    Proper staffing of Ontario long-term care homes in general has long been a complaint among workers, families and the residents who suffer from lack of care… the government introduced legislation that, if passed, would create tougher enforcement against nursing homes. The legislation would include hefty fines for corporations, ranging from $200,000 for first time offence and $500,000 for subsequent offences.

  • Ontario’s correctional system needs overhaul, report says

    … across the country, and globally, correctional facilities “have put in place a range of measures to help facilitate family contact and support, including child-friendly play spaces, open visiting areas that allow for barrier-free interactions, private family visiting accommodations for longer stays, and mother-child programs that prevent the separation of mothers and young children.
    “Ontario’s correctional institutions offer almost none of these opportunities.

  • The War on Drugs has been lost. It’s time to try something else

    Portugal has not taken the logical next step of shouldering out the dealers and taking over controlled distribution of drugs itself. This is the path that Canada and the American states of Colorado and Oregon have embarked upon with marijuana… As it prepares the rules for marijuana sales and use, the federal government should examine the Portuguese model, as well as the disastrous drug war in the U.S.

  • How to Win a War on Drugs

    … let’s be clear on what Portugal did and didn’t do. First, it didn’t change laws on drug trafficking: Dealers still go to prison. And it didn’t quite legalize drug use, but rather made the purchase or possession of small quantities (up to a 10-day supply) not a crime but an administrative offense, like a traffic ticket. Offenders are summoned to a “Dissuasion Commission” hearing — an informal meeting at a conference table with social workers who try to prevent a casual user from becoming addicted.

  • Michelle Kungl’s incredible journey

    … her experience highlights the problem most people on social assistance face when they try to work or receive income from other sources. More than 900,000 Ontarians rely on social assistance, including more than 490,000 on ODSP. Barely 10 per cent of individuals receiving ODSP have employment income… the government has already increased the amount individuals and families can deduct from their earnings for disability-work related expenses from $300 to $1,000 a month.

  • Time to regulate occupational health and safety professionals

    … home inspectors, paramedics and human resources professionals are now regulated in some form in one or more provinces. In fact, provinces are increasingly regulating a suite of health professionals that may include everyone from dental hygienists to diagnostic sonographers, but not OHS professionals… Regulating OHS professionals as other countries have done would be a significant step forward in making Canada’s workplaces safer and healthier.

  • Why doesn’t Ontario want health-care workers to be accountable?

    No one knows for sure how many PSWs there are in Ontario, precisely because the field is so unregulated. Miranda Ferrier guesses there are about 135,000. About 30,000 belong to her association, and every one of them has to have an enhanced criminal record check and local police check — every year — and the association has in place a code of ethics, standards of practice and ongoing education. If these things were made mandatory… PSWs would have to be similarly checked out and there would be some accountability.