• Mental disabilities shouldn’t be accommodated with extra time on exams

    Provincial human rights commissions insist that these extra-time accommodations are necessary. These commissions are not neutral investigative bodies but advocacy agencies with expansive agendas and wide powers to interpret and apply human rights code provisions. On this subject, their directions are inconsistent with prevailing principles of human rights law.

  • Full-day kindergarten works, and should be extended across the country

    … two-year, full-day kindergarten are well-worth the initial investment. Here’s why: First, it found children in the two-year, full-day learning program scored higher on reading, writing and number knowledge than those in a half-day program, and remained ahead until the end of Grade 2. Second, the children also scored higher on self-regulation… “Existing research shows that self-control, an aspect of self-regulation, predicts long-term health, wealth and even a reduction in crime.”

  • On accessibility, Ontario needs less secrecy, more action

    They want to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to jobs, education, public services, restaurants and stores as anyone else in this province. They want buildings and bureaucracies alike to be designed with the challenges of living with a disability in mind. This is what the AODA promises to accomplish… If the government is sincere in that commitment, it should stop fighting… advocates and start working alongside them to ensure that this good law is being enforced

  • NAFTA needs an overhaul to improve workers’ rights

    In reality, NAFTA has been key to the transformation of Canada over the last two decades, enabling corporations to become ever more dominant economically and politically, while rendering our labour force increasingly vulnerable and insecure… NAFTA’s Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) mechanism… amazingly, allows foreign corporations to sue governments over laws that interfere with corporate profitability — even if those laws are aimed at protecting the public from, say, environmental or health risks.

  • England trials free talk therapy

    England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses. The rapidly growing initiative… offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health

  • Solo living is the new norm. Let’s learn to deal with it

    The main reason people live alone today is because they can afford it. Generations ago, few people had the means to go solo. Families formed to pool resources, which they used to feed, shelter and protect each other. But two things – the welfare state and the market economy – combined to generate unprecedented levels of personal security. And how did people use their new-found affluence? They got places of their own… The other major social change that makes living alone possible is the rising status of women.

  • Reforming child welfare first step toward reconciliation

    Currently, the federal government funds child welfare services for Indigenous children living on reserve. Through decisions made by bureaucrats in Ottawa about what is funded and what is not, it effectively makes policy unilaterally and sets the level of service. There is no clearer example of the “colonial systems of administration and governance”… It extends colonialism beyond the Indian Act system as the government cannot even be held to standards and rules set by Parliament.

  • A Renewed Voice for Social Canada

    The federal government’s promised poverty reduction strategy must be more than a one-time commitment. It must provide for independent continuing appraisal and reappraisal of where we are and where we need to be, as the economy and society change. This paper proposes that the Government of Canada, as part of its poverty reduction strategy, put in place a new ‘institution’ provisionally called the Canadian Council on Inclusion and Wellbeing.

  • The economic case for a higher minimum wage

    “The weight of evidence from the United States points to job loss effects that are statistically indistinguishable from zero.” … the growing group of minimum-wage earners, who currently comprise about 10 per cent of the workforce, spend a larger portion of their income than any other workers. When they make more, they spend more… higher wages improve businesses’ productivity by raising morale, reducing turnover and training costs and improving the quality of job applicants.

  • Andrew Scheer is wrong to propose a return to a partisan Senate

    … the primary purpose of our Senate is to offer its “sober second thought” on legislation, as a kind of counter balance to how legislation is created in the House of Commons, where partisanship is a necessary feature… new senators are not members of a political party and therefore do not take direction from a national party. The Senate’s political integrity is maintained and, arguably, enhanced with each new independent appointment.