• Invictus Games are an opportunity to advocate for disability rights

    … Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough has yet to produce the legislation she was tasked with… Even provincially, the government has failed to keep its promise of enforcing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act… The Liberal government has even gone so far as to obstruct investigations by disability advocates. This does not seem like leadership “committed to building a more accessible Ontario

  • The experiment that turned popular gender theory on its head

    Gender warriors, please don’t shoot the messenger. Take the Hjernevask challenge and watch the documentary. If, after watching it, you still think social construction and discrimination account for the gender gap at Google, well, my advice is to not take ocean cruises lest you fall off the side of the world.

  • Canada wants ‘progressive’ trade deal with U.S., Mexico, Freeland says

    Canada seeks to make the updated deal more “progressive” through five key provisions including: stronger labour safeguards; strengthening environmental provisions to protect the right to address climate change; adding a new chapter on gender rights; adding an Indigenous chapter; and reforming the investor-state dispute settlement process to protect governments’ right to regulate “in the public interest.”

  • School fundraising report says amounts raised far outpace government grants for needy areas

    Ontario now ranks fifth in Canada in per-student spending… much of the additional money has been spent on class size reductions, and full-day kindergarten. Both of those initiatives have benefitted elementary teachers and created thousands of jobs. Overall, the report says whether special education, English-as-a-Second-Language students or school maintenance, these areas “have all been underfunded for two decades.”

  • 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.”

  • Stop dumping kids in care onto the street

    … 60 per cent of homeless youth have had some involvement with child protection services over their lifetime, a rate almost 200 times greater than that of the general population. Moreover, of those with a history in the child welfare system, almost two of every five respondents “aged out” of provincial or territorial care. That means they lost access to supports – such as financial or job programs – before they were ready.

  • 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

  • Focusing on rights can help us eliminate poverty

    Politicians and governments at all levels are not the only ones responsible for protecting rights. Businesses, non-profit and community organizations, and individuals all have a role to play. The recognition of our shared obligation to ensure all of our rights is at the heart of our social contract… In the language of human rights, we must work towards “progressive realization.” … we need to set effective and meaningful targets and measure if and how our efforts are having an impact.

  • Don’t outlaw hateful speech, counter it

    The right to free expression comes with a responsibility to counter bad and dangerous ideas, whether through a collective commitment to education or the use of the political bully pulpit. The state, and in particular our political leaders, must protect free speech, while also making sure to expose hate for what it is, and certainly never pandering to it… allowing hate in the public square carries risks, but more dangerous still is trying to bury it.

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.