• How to put Indigenous children first

    Step one: Establish the office of a Children’s Ombudsperson that is independent of government with order making powers to initiate investigations and ensure government departments are in compliance with their obligations to ensure full access of services… Canada will never be the nation it was meant to be until we understand that the greatest wealth in our nation is not the gold, the oil or the diamonds — it is the potential of children.

  • Ottawa’s focus on data a good step in addressing gender-based violence

    An epidemic such as gender-based violence can’t be solved without first understanding who is affected and how… the Trudeau government’s sensible new strategy on gender-based violence, which was announced this week, will focus foremost on modernizing research and collecting up-to-date data. These are crucial steps in addressing a deep-rooted problem ignored by Ottawa for far too long.

  • Ontario makes bold promise on autism treatment

    The new Ontario autism program will give all children under 18 years of age diagnosed with the developmental disorder access to the treatment they require when they need it… The age, severity of autism symptoms and the presence of coexisting diagnoses will no longer affect the eligibility for therapy… Each child’s treatment needs will be determined by a licensed clinician, not cold and blunt program guidelines or funding availability… parents will be able to hire qualified therapists or choose government services.

  • National Child Data Strategy: Results of a Feasibility Study

    While ‘strategy’ may be too broad, key informants identified strong support for continued work on child data so long as it is clearly defined, does not duplicate existing efforts and is shaped by key players in the field. Next steps include: mapping key data initiatives, creating opportunities for conversation, creating opportunities for learning, supporting data collection, and supporting engagement and knowledge translation.

  • Grassroots group plans legal challenge against separate school funding

    The group wants to bring the issue to the forefront at a time when school closures are causing havoc in many regions, arguing that taxpayer-funded Catholic schools are no longer fair or affordable in a society of many religions and cultures… “We believe there should be one non-denominational two-language public school system.”

  • Ottawa continues to fail Indigenous children

    Between 1870 and 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were shipped off to residential schools as the centrepiece of a policy of “aggressive assimilation” of Indigenous peoples. A more accurate description is state-sanctioned cultural genocide. Somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 children sent to residential schools died, and many more were victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

  • Province must bridge gap between affluent and needy schools

    One of the biggest barriers to equity, the group found, is fundraising. As the study points out, schools from richer neighbourhoods have a huge advantage with some able to raise up to $200,000 a year while others in poorer neighbourhoods couldn’t raise anything… Forty-eight per cent of elementary schools reported fundraising for learning resources such as computers, art supplies or other products or upgrades that clearly tilt the educational playing field.

  • Demand for youth mental health services is exploding. How universities and business are scrambling to react

    … it should not be the responsibility of post-secondary institutions to provide mental health services. It is their job is to provide education… The province this month announced $6 million in additional annual funding to support mental health services at Ontario’s colleges and universities… But with 44 post-secondary institutions… experts say it’s not enough. One-time funding for interventions isn’t a long-term fix

  • Why has Ontario’s health system abandoned our kids?

    The Ontario government must invest in: Early detection and prevention programs; More psychiatrists and health-care professionals; Specialized residential treatment programs; Post-residential treatment programs; Support for families; Navigation tools to help match people with available treatments; Public awareness in schools, the work place and the community… This is our cry for help and call to action to the government of Ontario.

  • How to end Canada’s biggest public health emergency

    In 2015, more Canadians were killed by opioid-related overdoses than lost their lives at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic… no effort to confront or assuage the opioid epidemic can succeed without knowing who is prescribing what, to whom, and in what quantities… Given the scope and depth of the human catastrophe at hand, the lack of surveillance data is frankly shocking… this big of an emergency demands big, course-changing action.