• Good Intentions, Not Enough Action in Indigenous Child Welfare Plan, Says Advocate

    … many of the prevention programs the government is now pledging to fund don’t currently exist. Additional funding will be needed for capital and start-up costs for new programming to keep kids with their families… “It’s taken us literally generations to get into the circumstances that have led to a severe overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare… So it’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re seeing really positive movement…”

  • What the 2018 election results mean for Ontario’s professors and academic librarians

    The Ontario PC platform was silent on almost all postsecondary issues, and did not provide a plan for postsecondary education in Ontario. It did not include any reference to addressing underfunding for postsecondary education or the need for a faculty renewal strategy in the province. However, the platform statement did emphasize the PC party’s belief that Ontario has a “spending problem”. Such a statement should be of grave concern when it comes to public funding for all public services, including postsecondary education.

  • MMIWG inquiry gets six-month deadline extension to finish its work

    … the extension will ensure more people can share their experiences with the inquiry, while still “underscoring the urgency” of its final report… extra money will depend on staffing and other costs that the inquiry will identify… The due date for the inquiry’s final report — meant to probe the “systemic causes” of violence against Indigenous women and girls and make recommendations to the government to address them — is now April 30, 2019.

  • Cutting off workers from benefits at 65 unconstitutional, human rights tribunal rules

    In 2006, Ontario passed a law that ended the ability of employers to terminate workers when they turned 65. But the province’s Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act still allow employers to cut workers off benefits when they turn 65, which the tribunal decision called a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision means employers will no longer be able to rely on the Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act to justify excluding workers over 65 from their benefits plans, and will make them vulnerable to lawsuits if they do.

  • Federal judge approves $875 million settlement for Indigenous ’60s scoop survivors

    The settlement includes $750 million for the survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous healing foundation and $75 million for legal fees. Last October, the federal government said the proposed settlement was for about 20,000 survivors who were moved between 1951 and 1991… [Justice Michel] Shore noted during his opening remarks that the hearing was not the place to share stories, but rather an opportunity for victims to weigh in on the proposed settlement.

  • How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

    The outcomes for kids in the child welfare system, Indigenous or not, are not good… For Indigenous youth, the issues are worse… Every province and territory makes its own decisions on child welfare, including for reserve communities. So how did they all end up with an overwhelming number of Indigenous children in care? Like every social issue facing Indigenous people in Canada, the origins date back to colonization.

  • A nurse just lost her freedom to criticize health care. That’s bad for everyone

    The alleged harm was to the sensibilities of some nurses in the Macklin nursing home. (We note the irony that, while no one has contested Strom’s assertion that her grandfather received substandard care, his alleged harm was of no relevance to the hearing or the decision.) There should be a much higher bar for finding someone guilty of professional misconduct where the alleged victims are not members of the public, but peers, and where the nature of the offence is speech.

  • Offshore tax havens set to overtake Canada in corporate transparency

    Britain’s House of Commons passed legislation that will lift generations of corporate secrecy in its offshore territories by compelling company owners registered on the islands to reveal themselves in public databases. That kind of transparency is only an idea in Canada, where corporate owners can mask their identity behind lawyers and “figurehead” directors. There is no requirement for real company owners — or “beneficial” owners — to list their names in provincial or federal registries.

  • Openness, not secrecy should rule the day in Ontario’s tribunals

    Ontario’s network of provincial tribunals rule on matters as important as human rights, workplace safety and police conduct, and they have been operating well outside the spirit and practice of an open court system for far too long… Tribunals were born of the court system and designed to hive off specialized matters and relieve overburdened courts. They were not created to drop a veil of secrecy over important matters of public interest.

  • Legal ‘reforms’ punish people Supreme Court sought to protect

    Bill C-75 misses the court’s point. That decision didn’t seek to cut down on trial delays in order to appease police, prosecutors, judges, and complainants. The point was to vindicate the Charter rights of defendants to a fair trial within a reasonable time. Yet parts of this new federal bill does the opposite. In too many ways, they’ve managed to set back due process rights of those presumed innocent until proven guilty.