• 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

  • Prevent mental-health care crises on campus

    … demand for mental health services at Canadian post-secondary institutions has reached an all-time high. But schools don’t seem to be prepared to meet the growing need, a failure that can have grave consequences. While no university or college can meet the full spectrum of students’ mental health needs, schools can and must do more to improve existing supports.

  • 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.”

  • Aboriginals deserve a fair deal, but enough with us hating ourselves

    Despite the fact that many hundreds of billions of public dollars have been spent with constructive intent in Canada in this field since the Second World War, and for decades Canadian courts have generally been very sympathetic to the petitions and legal demands of native groups and individuals, it is not discernible that their condition, quality of life, or socio-economic levels of achievement have progressed much. Everyone regrets this and very few people claim to have much idea of what to do about 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.

  • NAFTA talks may threaten Canada’s steps toward universal pharmacare

    If Canada is to have universal pharmacare anytime in its future, NAFTA renegotiations must prioritize the protection of evidence-based coverage decision-making and price negotiations that will be essential to create a system that functions effectively and sustainably. Canadian negotiators must be ready to deflect the tired rhetoric of U.S. trade negotiators and the pharmaceutical industry lobby, who will likely claim that eliminating value assessments and price negotiations… will somehow magically “improve access.”

  • 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.

  • Elizabeth Wettlaufer murder inquiry must confront struggling long-term care system

    The key reason why no one suspected foul play, I suspect, is that nursing home patients are expected to die… The government’s political aim is to get eligible seniors off the waiting list and into long-term care beds as quickly as possible without spending too much… nursing homes face no financial loss if a resident dies. There are always people anxious to fill the beds of those who pass on… neither has a material incentive to look too closely if seemingly natural deaths do occur.

  • Toronto’s plan for tackling opioid crisis falls short

    One of the obvious recommendations, then, from Thursday’s meeting was to speed up the opening of the three supervised injection sites… A better idea comes from harm reduction workers at the sites who argue that while the centres are being renovated for supervised injection services, temporary or mobile sites should be opened now. Pop-up clinics like that would be in line with how the city responds to a flu outbreak.

  • Mines can create Indigenous middle class in Ring of Fire

    Finalizing a road into the Ring of Fire with community spurs will ignite the economic development and jobs that the impoverished Indigenous communities in the Ring of Fire desperately need… 150 years of government support has done little to create economic prosperity in their impoverished communities… sustainable mineral development of their resources can be the foundation of an Indigenous middle-class that they so rightly deserve.