• Liberals unveil bill to end solitary confinement in federal prisons

    Bill C-83 would eliminate two forms of solitary confinement currently used in federal prisons – administrative segregation and disciplinary segregation – and replace them with specialized living units that would provide high-risk inmates at least four hours a day outside their cells and two hours a day of human interaction… judges in both B.C. and Ontario struck down pieces of the law governing solitary confinement in federal prisons.

  • How Canada became an international surrogacy destination

    Many people want to be parents and can’t do so without surrogacy, but they live in countries where surrogacy is either prohibited entirely, or prohibited for them… Canada is one of the few jurisdictions left in the world that both allows surrogacy and allows foreign participation in it… Canada… does not allow discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation… Canada is also fairly efficient about granting legal parental rights… A big question is whether Canadians need to think about recovering medical costs.

  • 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.

  • Some law schools are developing tools to improve access to justice

    Increasingly, Canadians go to court without a lawyer. Roughly 50 to 80 percent of family-law litigants and 30 to 40 percent of civil litigants represent themselves… some Canadian law schools are undertaking initiatives to improve access to justice. The NSRLP publishes on its website resources prepared specifically for self-represented litigants, or SRLs… Its most widely used resource is Coping with the Courtroom… the most intimidating part of the legal process: participating in a hearing.

  • Judicial appointments a process that can’t be rushed

    When I became minister I committed to creating a better judicial appointment process — one that would be open, transparent and ensured that the best possible candidates became judges. I also wanted a judiciary that more accurately reflected the country it served… Among the judges I have appointed or promoted to new roles, more than half are women, eight are Indigenous, 18 are members of visible minority communities, 12 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as people with disabilities.

  • 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.

  • Ontario shouldn’t open the door to ‘big-box’ child care

    … in a troubling regulation change last month, Premier Doug Ford’s government lifted the for-profit maximum thresholds, essentially opening the door to big-box corporate child care in Ontario. The government argues that lifting the cap will address shortages by allowing more daycares to open… The real concern was around international child-care chains. And that’s why the Ford government’s change is so troubling.

  • Policing society’s poor is unjust and ineffective

    … fines do nothing to change the behaviour of those who are targeted. Though clearly ineffective and inefficient, ticketing of the poor by police in Toronto has grown… The city should decide that fines and scarce police resources will not be used to police the poor, except in circumstances where public safety is at risk. More effective alternatives are available… It’s time for a public conversation.

  • Ottawa working hard on child care and early learning, minister says

    … last June’s agreement represented an important re-engagement by the federal government. It demonstrated that we understood the need for all Canadian families to have access to early learning and child care that is affordable, flexible and inclusive, as well as the important leadership role the federal government must play in helping Canadian children get the best possible start in life… the multilateral framework represents an aspirational goal, and is part of a long-term vision for early learning and child care that is coherent with universality.

  • Ford’s aim way off on gun crime strategy

    Consider our experience with mandatory minimum sentences. Gun sentences have tripled since significantly harsher mandatory minimums were introduced for gun crimes in 2008, yet these sentences have had no discernible impact on stemming gun violence… In addition, blanket opposition to bail is morally unfair and legally unconstitutional. It is antithetical to a justice system predicated on treating each distinctive case on its own merits and context.