• Historical redress for the Sixties Scoop

    … the $800-million agreement represents meagre compensation for the trauma suffered by aboriginal children who were ripped from their families… It is a worthwhile and significant gesture nonetheless, and a tangible attempt at rectifying a deep historical wrong… Minister Carolyn Bennett happens to agree that aboriginal child welfare, a shared jurisdiction, needs an overhaul… Money has been added in the system, and Ms. Bennett says she wants more of it to go to families and children.

  • Ottawa is right to settle with Sixties Scoop victims

    Not only was the past program shameful, so was the government’s continuing defence of it. Now Ottawa has taken two other steps that should help in the healing process… $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to help the victims reclaim their identity… $75 million to pay the legal fees of the estimated 20,000 victims who are expected to receive $25,000 to $50,000 each… Now… it should set its sights on correcting other ongoing wrongs to Indigenous children.

  • Students are not fragile flowers – we must care about their mental health

    The Canadian Mental Health Association ‘s #b4stage4 campaign asks a thought-provoking question: What if we waited until Stage 4 to treat cancer? … We would never allow our medical system to wait that long to treat this disease. We fully expect to have preventive education, screening and early treatment. Now, imagine if the standard of treatment was equal for mental and physical health conditions.

  • Give First Nations children an equal chance

    First Nations children are uniquely affected by federal underfunding of services on-reserve… Your government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation to resist full implementation of the tribunal’s decisions – a move that is incompatible with your pledged support for a new partnership with First Nations, and all Indigenous people in Canada and their governments… We are asking you to implement the tribunal’s decisions immediately…

  • Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Canadian incomes jump, Ontario residents hit by manufacturing downturn: Statistics Canada

    Canadian incomes have risen by more than 10 per cent over the last decade, fuelled by a booming resource sector, while the number living on low incomes is rising in Ontario where growth has been sluggish, Statistics Canada says… the downturn in the manufacturing sector slowed income growth and the proportion of low-income residents has been on the rise… Across Ontario, 14.4 per cent of residents — some 1.9 million people — were low income in 2015, an increase from 12.9 per cent in 2005.

  • If Wynne’s Liberals were committed to equality, they’d help fund independent schools

    Ontario should treat all schools equitably… we’re left with a divided system of education: a Catholic board that’s publicly-funded as a result of the special protections it’s afforded under the constitution, and no funding for other independent faith-based schools. A 1999 UN Human Rights Committee report classified this system as discriminatory.

  • Ontario school boards to collect detailed data on hiring, suspensions

    Ontario plans to revamp Grade 9 — with an eye to ending streaming in the first, “critical” year of high school — as part of its new equity plan that will also compel school boards to collect detailed data on everything from staff hires to student suspensions… The province’s three-year equity plan will, for the first time, have school boards collect data on race, ethnicity and other factors to determine if certain groups are disproportionately represented in areas such as suspensions or expulsions and work to address them.

  • End unjust and ineffective practice of academic streaming

    For nearly a quarter century, this policy has done nothing to advance the academic prospects of Ontario students while doing a great deal to reinforce the educational disadvantages experienced by low-income and Black kids. It’s high time to end it… The education system should be a tool for redressing inequities, not compounding them.

  • It’s time to rethink strategy for post-secondary education

    It is socially responsible as well as fiscally shrewd… There are a number of EU countries that offer free college to their residents, including Germany, France, and Sweden… In Canada, a strategy to invest in four more years of free education could see the government collecting added tax revenues for decades to come from a more educated workforce with higher incomes. This is a winning strategy.