• Black and Indigenous children over-represented in Ontario child-welfare system: report

    The review by the province’s human rights commission finds a “staggering” number of Indigenous children in care across Canada — more now than there were in residential schools at the height of their use — and Ontario is part of the dismal situation. “The proportion of Indigenous children admitted into care (in Ontario) was 2.6 times higher than their proportion in the child population,” the report states. “The proportion of black children admitted into care was 2.2 times higher than their proportion in the child population.”

  • Ontario Liberals promise $300-million to support special education

    Premier Kathleen Wynne called the increased funding a significant and permanent investment in the province’s special education system. It will go toward hiring about 2,000 new workers in schools, including psychologists, speech and language pathologists and educational assistants, and eliminating the wait list to have children’s special education needs assessed. One in six children in Ontario needs special support, Ms. Wynne said.

  • Hot!

    The mounting case for a single public-school system in Ontario

    It is unequal: Jewish or Hindu or Muslim schools don’t get government funding. How is that fair…? It is expensive: running two giant school systems side by side… It is increasingly awkward: the values of Catholic authorities are bound to clash with changing views in the world… Most of all, it is backward… It is time to embrace that new reality and wind up the separate school system.

  • Kathleen Wynne announces $2.1B in new mental health funding over four years

    The new money is over and above the $3.8 billion spent annually on mental health services… The new funding will mean every secondary school in the province will have access to additional mental health professionals with 400 positions created over the next two years. Next year, 12,000 more young people will have community-based therapy and counselling, jumping to 46,000 by 2021-22. There will also be as many as 15 new “youth wellness hubs” over the next four years to help those aged 12 to 25.

  • Time to eliminate publicly funded Catholic schooling in Ontario

    Apart from the ongoing inequity of letting a powerful religious group have unequal benefit of the law in one of our most important government services, shaping children’s minds, the time for a change is now more than ever… In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee declared Ontario’s practice of funding Catholic education to the exclusion of other religions discriminatory. The UN’s power is limited to persuasion. Nothing changed.

  • The law has done its job, but there must be justice for Tina Fontaine

    Outrage at her death in 2014 was a crucial factor in prompting the Trudeau government to set up the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) two years later… its success will be measured… in how effective it is in sparking real change. The inquiry… has compiled 1,200 recommendations to address the problems it is looking at. The issue isn’t more recommendations — it’s whether they are put into action.

  • Guilt over Aboriginals can lead to teaching children untruths. It’s happening in Canada

    Much of what is said and done in the name of native reconciliation in Canada today amounts to a troubling misrepresentation of historical facts… History is no longer the collection of facts bequeathed to us by those who went before. Today it is whatever story satisfies current sensitivities, regardless of what actually happened.

  • The Catholic funding debate needs to be schooled by facts

    … this exposes the ridiculousness in 2018 of maintaining four distinct publicly funded school systems in Ontario – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. Most school boards are dysfunctional enough, embroiled as they are in petty politics, without giving trustees any added incentive to dream up ways of stealing students from rival boards. Not that any politician will touch this issue with a 10-foot pole.

  • It’s time to let Indigenous communities manage native child welfare

    Ottawa should start funding aboriginal communities who either have, or are in the midst of developing, their own child-welfare laws. As aboriginal child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock says, “Fix it now. We can always argue later.” Of course, reforming child welfare is just the start. Knowing that children are safe and, wherever possible, living in their home community are minimum standards that shouldn’t take years to meet. But it is only one of many needed fixes. Too many remote reserves still lack clean drinking water, adequate food and decent housing

  • Ottawa to begin fully funding Indigenous child-welfare agencies

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its order on Thursday, saying Ottawa was not complying with a 2016 ruling that found it discriminates against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. In a statement, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Thursday said… that Ottawa would immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, along with legal fees and building repairs, with reimbursement retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.