• Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on sex assault cases: ‘No one has the right to a particular verdict’

    … while the system seems focused on the accused, “complainants and victims are also part of the process,” and the integrity of the system demands that they be taken seriously and that their interests be reconciled with the rights of the accused… The justice system can achieve a “fine but crucial balance” between protecting the right of the accused and the dignity of complainants, but “we must not divide ourselves into warring camps shouting at each other…

  • We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeTo

    … is awareness actually the problem? Just how many hundreds of thousands of stories will it take to convince those who haven’t suffered sexual abuse that the issue is real and life altering? What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change… From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour.

  • CPP, subsidizing survivor pensions, not fair — to a point

    The fundamental problem with CPP is that it serves two masters: it’s designed to serve as a self-funding aid to financial security in retirement and to alleviate the plight of impoverished single seniors, most of whom are women… Is CPP fair? No. But it’s also not fair that far too many older single women live in poverty. Subsidizing child-rearing years and paying survivors’ pensions may not be fair, but it’s the right thing to do.

  • Get sexist language out of the Indian Act

    … the Liberal government is insisting on passing a law that fails to fully address sex discrimination in the Indian Act. It is defending a version of the bill that goes only part way and will be vulnerable to a court challenge as soon as it is passed… members of the newly feisty Senate… are insisting that Bill S-3, the law in question, be amended to remove all vestiges of sexist language that affects who qualifies to be legally regarded as a status Indian.

  • Doctors and pharmacists must step up to help women access abortion pill

    … confusion reigns over how women can access a drug that Health Canada approved for use in this country a full two years ago. That’s plain wrong. Health Canada, the province and doctors and pharmacists must work together to clear away the obstacles preventing women from accessing this legal drug. Anything less is unacceptable.

  • How to overhaul child care in Ontario: A road map for revolution

    This child-care institution needs a tear down, not a renovation. With wait-lists, poorly compensated early childhood educators, a separate market of unlicensed child-care operators and parents who either essentially work to pay daycare bills or put careers on hold to stay home and look after their children becoming part of the rule, not the exception, it’s clear several structural problems plague the current system.

  • 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.”

  • Ontario to cover cost of abortion pill starting Aug. 10

    The abortion pill Mifegymiso will be dispensed for free to patients across the province starting Aug. 10, Ontario’s Minister of the Status of Women said Thursday. The drug, known internationally as RU-486, currently costs $300. Eliminating the fee for the drug is “about fairness, it’s about safety, and it’s the right thing to do,” … Although the drug will now be dispensed without cost, patients will still need a prescription.

  • 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.

  • In cases of sexual violence, justice can come from outside the courts

    The evidence is clear. Many survivors of sexual violence experience the criminal justice system — with the intense public scrutiny and victim blaming that often come with it — as causing them further trauma…. Given the limitations of the system, survivors should be given access to meaningful alternatives to criminal justice so they can make an informed choice about which process is right for them. One option is “restorative justice,” which is increasingly being offered in sexual violence cases across the country.