• Ontario’s child protection system fails children, again

    Just yanking kids from their homes, especially when they are placed into a system that has repeatedly proven incapable of dealing with their complex needs, isn’t a solution. The panel was struck by how often these kids were classified as “safe with intervention.” The tragedy is that they were far from safe because they didn’t get the constructive intervention they needed.

  • Ont. teachers take legal action on sex ed

    One of Ontario’s largest teacher’s union has launched a legal challenge against the government’s decision to repeal a modernized version of the province’s sexual-education curriculum… ETFO President Sam Hammond said the government’s changes to the curriculum are reckless and put students at risk. He said the union’s legal action is vital to ensure that educators and school boards can continue to protect the safety and health of students. “It also seeks to stop the operation of this unnecessary and counterproductive complaint or snitch line”

  • Delving into the health data shows that Canadian kids aren’t all right

    it is worth underscoring that the single biggest danger in a Canadian child’s life is the car… Unintentional injuries – almost all of them preventable – are the No. 1 killer of children and youth, with motor vehicles posing the greatest risk, followed by falls and drowning… Number two is suicide. In 2016, 35 children under the age of 14 took their own lives, as did another 203 aged 15-19… Poverty invariably means living in substandard housing and wrestling with food insecurity.

  • The critics are right: Campus life is not what it used to be

    It is the university administrators who are advocating on behalf of students, motivated by a mix of genuine concern for students’ well-being and enlightened self-interest… The incentives to retain students are compounded, especially in Ontario, by provincial government funding formulas… University administrators are also keenly concerned with their institution’s reputation, because reputation drives student numbers, faculty recruitment and retention, donations, the ability to attract research funds and more.

  • Pathways to Education lowers barriers to achievement for poor kids

    … the dropout rate in low-income communities across the country ranges from 30 to 50 per cent as a result of barriers to education… for every dollar invested in Pathways to Education, there is a return on investment of $24 — a cumulative lifetime benefit to society of $600,000 for every graduate, when you consider factors like higher taxes paid, better life expectancy and health outcomes, and reduced government transfer payments.

  • All children should feel like they belong at school

    Unfortunately, Ontario’s current approach to “special education” is premised on exclusion. It labels students with disabilities as “exceptions” before meeting their needs. Ironically, the “exceptional” label excludes many common mental health, intellectual and learning disabilities altogether, making it even harder for students to get help. Families find the process for identifying and supporting students with disabilities bureaucratic, confusing, alienating, unnecessarily adversarial and exhausting.

  • Should Canada have an inheritance tax?

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in its report called “Born to Win,” says a Canadian inheritance tax “could go a long way to curbing the tendency of Canada’s tax system to heighten socially, politically and economically harmful levels of wealth concentration in Canada.” … the average net worth of Canada’s 87 wealthiest families rose by 37 per cent between 2012 and 2016 … while the net worth of middle class families increased by only 16 per cent… over the same period.

  • Indigenous issues can’t be fixed by statues and holidays alone

    The disturbing truth is more Indigenous children are being taken from their homes and communities today than at the height of the residential school system. In 2016, more than 14,000 Indigenous children were placed in foster care, often far from home. And routinely for family problems that are rooted in poverty. Indigenous children made up just 7 per cent of all the children in Canada but accounted for over half the kids taken into care.

  • We can no longer afford to whitewash our history

    The headlines about the residential schools was the catalyst that made the government admit that the history we’ve been taught has been whitewashed. All Canadian children need to know that their culture has made contributions to Canadian society… Writing workshops were scheduled this summer to update the curriculum…. But one month after the Ontario election, just before the legislature resumed, these workshops, years in the making, were suddenly cancelled.

  • Ontario families to launch human-rights challenge against sex-ed curriculum rollback

    Six families plan to file a case with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in the next week, noting that the old version of the curriculum makes no mention of issues such as gender diversity or the rights of LGBTQ students… The government’s decision to repeal the modernized curriculum violates the province’s human rights code and should be declared unlawful, their lawyers said… a parent from Guelph, Ont., credits the 2015 curriculum for making his daughter’s gender transition almost “seamless.”