• Canada committed to improving mental health in Indigenous communities

    Preventing suicide requires achieving social equity. We have already taken important steps by investing in key social determinants of health, such as housing, education and the environment. While these are first steps, our intent is to continue investing in all areas in pursuit of social equity… Promoting life and preventing suicide requires respect for Indigenous knowledge and practices…

  • Covering drugs for young people isn’t the best way to fill gaps in health care

    In an international health survey, about 11 per cent of Ontarians said they may not fill a drug prescription due to cost, but roughly three times that many say they skip dental services for that reason. Further, far too many young people end up in emergency rooms for severe mental health issues; others walk around with improper prescription eyeglasses or rely heavily on family caregivers for home support.

  • Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers

    It’s “like a huge warning bell to anyone who is concerned about (work) conditions and low wages and precariousness,” said Deena Ladd of the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre. “I think it’s a huge indication that corporations are shifting their responsibility to a third party for employment…” … “We seem to be growing into a society where agencies are proliferating, and these people are getting a little piece of everybody’s paycheques,” said Labour Minister Kevin Flynn

  • How severe, ongoing stress can affect a child’s brain

    … researchers are discovering… that ongoing stress during early childhood — from grinding poverty, neglect, parents’ substance abuse and other adversity — can smolder beneath the skin, harming kids’ brains and other body systems. And research suggests that can lead to some of the major causes of death and disease in adulthood, including heart attacks and diabetes… pediatricians, mental health specialists, educators and community leaders are increasingly adopting what is called “trauma-informed” care.

  • Caring for vulnerable children starts with caring for parents

    … the government’s flawed information on homeless births is not only a problem of inadequate data collection. It is also a symptom of a greater issue: the stigma attached to homelessness which impedes pregnant, homeless women from disclosing their status and seeking support… To address the root of this issue the province should make access to housing support more readily available to pregnant women and integrate such services within the health care system to encourage women to reach out rather than conceal their challenges.

  • Who Do We Think Of as Poor?

    … media professionals tend to portray poverty as if it is rare for anyone but black Americans… [which] can suggest that black suffering is a natural fact rather than a manufactured problem we should correct… it fosters resentment against communities of color from economically struggling whites, who have some reason to feel their hardship is played down. And this all creates a political problem: the obliteration of the common ground that being poor can help illuminate across racial lines

  • It’s time to tear down the “welfare wall” for persons with disabilities

    … plenty can be done by both the federal and provincial/territorial governments to tear down the “welfare wall.” … Ottawa could assume responsibility for income security for persons with disabilities, whether they are working or not… The shift to federal authority would result in a windfall savings to provinces and territories… [which] would help Ottawa achieve its twin goals of poverty reduction and inclusive growth.

  • Freeing our people: Updates from the long road to deinstitutionalization

    How can we expect any better from society when our own government continues to fund deeply segregated, dehumanizing and dangerous forms of support for people with intellectual disabilities? Out of sight, out of mind has hidden many disturbing facts about intellectual disability from the public for far too long. We can no longer say that we didn’t know any better. We can no longer say we can’t do any better.

  • Canada’s big cities are feeling the pressure of income inequality

    Rising inequality is not just pervasive in our cities; it is almost exclusive to our cities. Yet, municipalities cannot address this challenge on their own… middle class and middle income are not necessarily one and the same… The reality is that middle-income Canadians living in cities such as those are likely the ones feeling the effects of rising inequality the most.

  • Niagara school makes the grade for at-risk students trying to attend college, university

    Though the plan at first was to cater to low-income students only, that proved controversial so the focus became “first generation” students blazing post-secondary paths in their families… The school opened with just 124 students, and this fall will have 450 elementary and secondary students… the higher-level academic is the only offering and, in Grade 11, college and university-level classes… All grads are getting a small bursary and laptop as graduation presents, thanks to community sponsorships.