• How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

    The outcomes for kids in the child welfare system, Indigenous or not, are not good… For Indigenous youth, the issues are worse… Every province and territory makes its own decisions on child welfare, including for reserve communities. So how did they all end up with an overwhelming number of Indigenous children in care? Like every social issue facing Indigenous people in Canada, the origins date back to colonization.

  • No equality without universal child care

    Today more than ever, it is evident that the lack of affordable child care remains a central barrier to equality for women with children… The first child care milestone dates back nearly 50 years, to when the Royal Commission on the Status of Women reported on its work… It’s now 2018, and women whose grandmothers greeted the Royal Commission’s report with high hopes still don’t have access to the affordable, high-quality child care it envisioned in 1970.

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    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.

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    Ontario’s stolen children still getting a raw deal as province deals with Motherisk scandal

    It’s pretty tough to overstate the gravity of what went on in this province’s children’s aid societies, in its courtrooms, and at the lucrative Motherisk lab at Sick Kids Hospital, since closed… The government stole your kid under false pretences; you’re grief-stricken, furious; but maybe your kid is in a wealthier or more stable environment than you can offer. It’s an impossible position that no one should ever be in.

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    Judge rules in favour of ’60s Scoop victims

    “Canada had a common law duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent on-reserve Indian children in Ontario, who had been placed in the care of non-aboriginal foster or adoptive parents, from losing their aboriginal identity. Canada breached this common law duty of care” … The next phase will now be to determine how much in damages the government owes the survivors, who were taken from their homes as children in the 1960s and 1970s and placed in non-indigenous care.

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    The world’s nicest, most law-abiding generation

    The past 50 years have been a watershed for attitudes toward everything from sexism and human rights to littering (now almost a capital offence). By almost any measure you can find, people across the developed world today are the least violent, most law-abiding, hardest-working and most tolerant generation who ever lived… The biggest measurable change is in violent crime… It’s also awfully hard to complain about kids today. Most are conscientious and well-behaved. They don’t rebel the way the boomers did.

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    At least 4,000 aboriginal children died in residential schools, commission finds

    Thousands of Canada’s aboriginal children died in residential schools that failed to keep them safe from fires, protected from abusers, and healthy from deadly disease, a commission into the saga has found…. Schools and the government would not pay to have bodies shipped back to their families. And so they were placed in coffins and buried near the schools… Often, their parents in far-away reserves were never told what happened.

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    Ontario must give Huronia survivors documents without delay

    … now that the government’s settlement promises access to childhood files, the province is creating roadblocks once again, telling some it can’t locate their documents and charging others fees to do a freedom-of-information request… The promise to produce childhood files was part of the legal agreement reached just as the case went to court in September. It allows for a maximum of $35 million in compensation to survivors — and an apology from Premier Kathleen Wynne.

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    Class-action settlement amounts to ‘hush money,’ says family of Huronia survivor

    It was a decision agonizingly made by their parents, after she proved too difficult to care for at home. Huronia was billed as a great place for kids. “They said, ‘Don’t think of it as an institution, think of it as a happy place . . .’ They played this up to be a wonderful place where your children would be safe,” said Turner. “That was just a promotional little ditty to try and stick kids in there. It was the furthest thing from the truth.”

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    Huronia: Settled, but not forgotten

    The 65,000 documents that will be released by the class-action lawsuit is expected to contain objective documentation of alleged abuses that happened at Huronia from police, witnesses and staff at the institution. But the documents will be held by the Archives of Ontario and only available by filing a freedom-of-information request. Material deemed to infringe on privacy or fall under one of the other numerous exceptions will be censored.