• One-handed applause for youth pharmacare plan

    … once a popular pharmacare scheme is in place, it will be politically difficult for any government to kill it. Fiscally, the Liberal drug plan has the advantage of being cheap — largely because younger people tend to be in good health. Officials say it will cost roughly $465 million a year, a relatively small amount for a government that spends more than $140 billion annually.

  • Residential school story becoming over-simplified, says chief Douglas Todd

    … it seems the further the reality of the schools fades into the past the more over-simplified the national narrative becomes. Partisanship, positioning and rhetoric seems to be taking precedence over “truth” or even “reconciliation.” … the vast majority of aboriginals, suggests Miller, are like Gosnell and Calder: They emerged intact from the schools and remain Christian, with many syncretistically mixing their faith in Jesus Christ with native spiritual traditions.

  • Canadian Human Rights Commission says children left behind on basic rights

    The report looked at issues such as child welfare services on First Nations reserves, the rights of transgender children, children with disabilities and migrant children locked up in detention centres alongside their parents as the system processes their cases… 60 per cent related to disability. Almost half the disability complaints dealt with mental health issues.

  • Ontario program targets child sex trafficking

    The province is in the midst of a sweeping overhaul of its child protection system. Part of that rebuilding includes money for six new youth transition workers aimed at helping keep youth in provincial care from becoming trapped in “The Game.” … The six new jobs that Ontario is funding, each at $70,000 a year, are located in the Greater Toronto Area, the Golden Horseshoe, Ottawa, Windsor, London and Thunder Bay — all areas the province describes as “hubs” of human trafficking.

  • It’s past time to protect the ‘precariat’

    Two new studies paint bleak portraits of the economic circumstances of young workers and others struggling to get by in the new economy. Together, they suggest that while governments may not want or be able to stop the evolution now underway, they must move quickly to address widening gaps in worker protections, lest the better part of a generation fall through the cracks… governments can’t and shouldn’t want to stop innovation. But neither are they powerless to shape it or to protect workers from its worst consequences.

  • Province boosts education funding to $24B for next school year

    Ontario is increasing education spending by almost 4 per cent to $23.8 billion in the next school year, with a focus on providing more special education support and reducing class sizes… The education funding includes money to hire hundreds more special education teachers and support workers based on local need, and capping class sizes in full-day kindergarten as well as grades 4 through 8.

  • Parents won’t have social assistance slashed if kids placed in temporary care

    The policy change by the Ministry of Community and Social Services lets these parents keep their full benefits until a court decides whether their children will be kept permanently in care. The benefits will only get reduced if the children are made Crown wards. The ministry will also reinstate full benefits to parents whose children are currently in temporary care…

  • The ‘inverted justice’ of Canada’s family courts and how they got this way

    … in the 1980s and ’90s, there was a perfect storm of change. Legal feminism was increasingly informed by radical feminism; divorce came to be seen as a source of women’s poverty; family law had blossomed as a proper branch of practice; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “opened the door to greater legal and judicial participation in the formation of social policy” … In that climate emerged a social policy aimed at reducing poverty by focusing on private responsibility.

  • Anti-Muslim hatred has no place in my Canada

    Like it or not, religious accommodation is the law, and the schools are devoted to inclusiveness. Our interest is to integrate new Canadians, not segregate them. We want their children to be educated in the public schools, not religious schools. So we’d better make sure the kids (and parents) feel comfortable there… We won’t always agree, especially over symbols that touch our deepest values. Let’s just hope we can keep finding ways to disagree politely.

  • Alcohol and assault: What all young women need to know

    … alcohol isn’t responsible for rape. Rapists are responsible for rape… But if you could do something to reduce the risk… wouldn’t you? There are many things we can do better to reduce sexual violence. We must teach more young men to have respect for women. We must also teach young men and young women alike to have respect for booze. That’s not blaming women – it’s empowering them to manage risk.