Archive for the ‘Child & Family’ Category

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Ontario’s cuts to legal aid will hurt the poorest

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

It’s hard to fathom the fallout from the Ford government’s short-sighted decision to slash Legal Aid Ontario’s already inadequate budget by 30 per cent. The agency, established to provide legal services to the province’s most vulnerable citizens, was struggling to meet the need even before this. Its budget was so squeezed, in fact, that it could represent only people who are making less than about $17,000 a year. That’s far below the poverty line.
Even then, coverage was limited.

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Thumbs up for Ontario’s new Childcare Plan

Friday, April 19th, 2019

The new Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, initially estimated to cost around $400 million, will incentivize thousands of stay-at-home parents (mostly mothers) to join the workforce, generating additional taxable employment income and boosting tax revenues in the long run. The credit is targeted, mostly, at low- to modest-income families, where gaps from the current childcare expense tax deduction are the greatest… The CARE refundable tax credit will fill this gap, refunding up to 75 percent of the cost.

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With a looming aging crisis, who is helping the caregivers?

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

“The cost and consequences of caring for an aging family member are high, and higher for women than they are for men, and higher still if there are no workplace, community or family supports to assist them”… the problem with women’s eldercare is that it is ultimately a problem of unpaid work that persists throughout women’s lives, from child care to household chores to emotional labour to end-of-life care… “We will all be caregivers and care receivers at some point in time. We need to figure out how to do this well.”

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New parental-leave benefit inches us ever closer toward gender equality

Monday, April 1st, 2019

… women who take a longer maternity leave are seen as less committed to their jobs by co-workers and managers. This is a foundational fact in the chronic underrepresentation of women in upper management. Reducing mothers’ time away from work by shifting more child-care responsibilities on to fathers could play a major role in correcting this problem.

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After the latest court ruling, solitary confinement’s days are numbered

Monday, April 1st, 2019

Finally, a Canadian court has reached a conclusion that long seemed inevitable: putting a prison inmate in solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Not only did the Ontario Court of Appeal make this landmark ruling last week, it also gave Correctional Service Canada an April 13 deadline to bring the new limit into effect.

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Autism layoffs ‘premature,’ says Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Her ministry will hold consultations through the summer to determine how to move forward on more needs-based funding… Taylor accused the Ford government’s plan of putting families “in crisis, and we have a complete disaster of an autism program right now in the province because the minister failed to communicate before she put the policy in place.”

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Changes to Ontario’s (still) flawed autism program show Ford government can be pushed back

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

… these announced “enhancements,”… don’t truly fix this flawed program. This still amounts to a $331-million plan that does not meet the needs, especially for those on the high-needs end of the spectrum and girls who are who are often diagnosed later than boys so doubly suffer under the government’s age discrimination, which provides far less funding for kids over the age of six. But the changes are a sign that the Ford government is movable and open, albeit belatedly, to listening to experts.

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New Zealand’s gun ban shows the way. Will Canada be as bold?

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Will Canada be as brave as New Zealand, and ban the types of guns that facilitate mass killing of humans? It would take an enormous act of political will. It would take a critical mass of people of to advocate against the weapons. It would involve standing up to the country’s vocal gun lobby… before the next tragedy has people sending their thoughts and prayers. It can be done. New Zealand has shown the way.

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Don’t balance Ontario’s budget on the backs of vulnerable kids

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

First he cut a planned welfare increase in half. He ended a guaranteed annual income pilot program halfway through its mandate. Then he ditched a planned $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage. Now his government is putting the province’s most vulnerable children in danger by putting budgetary pressures on children’s aid societies by changing up their funding formulas. So far that’s resulted in 26 child protection workers being laid off in the Brantford area.

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Parents rally against Ford government’s autism changes

Friday, March 8th, 2019

the government is boosting spending to clear a wait list of 23,000 children and giving families limited budgets to choose the services they want. Depending on their income, parents will be eligible for up to $20,000 a year for children under 6, with a lifetime maximum of $140,000. Children older than that can access up to $5,000 a year up to age 18, to a lifetime maximum of $55,000. Critics have said those amounts fall far short, as children with severe needs can require up to $80,000 a year in therapy.

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