Archive for the ‘Child & Family’ Category

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Why Canada needs a ‘Children’s Charter’

Friday, September 21st, 2018

… infant mortality rates are approximately five times higher in Nunavut than they are in British Columbia. Childhood poverty rates are 50 per cent higher in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick than they are in Alberta. As health, education and social programs generally fall under provincial jurisdiction, without federal standards geographic disparities are likely to persist. Children First Canada has called for the implementation of a Canadian Children’s Charter. It has also called for the establishment of an independent national commission for children and youth to advocate for children’s rights within the federal government.

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Some law schools are developing tools to improve access to justice

Friday, September 21st, 2018

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.

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Judicial appointments a process that can’t be rushed

Monday, September 17th, 2018

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.

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Delving into the health data shows that Canadian kids aren’t all right

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

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.

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

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

… 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.

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Policing society’s poor is unjust and ineffective

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

… 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.

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

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

… 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.

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Ford’s aim way off on gun crime strategy

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

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.

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Gun violence a ‘significant concern’ for Canadians and government must deal with it, Bill Blair says

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Bill Blair is acknowledging that the latest rash of shootings – most recently in Toronto – has touched off a sense of urgency among the public for the government to do more to keep deadly firearms out of the wrong hands… the prime minister has asked me to… look at every aspect in every ministry so that we address all of the issues related to gun violence and that will enable us to take effective action in addressing it”

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Ford opposes handgun ban as he pledges funds to fight gun violence

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Ruling out new funding for community programs aimed at curbing violence, Mr. Ford said the province would send $18-million to Toronto police to buy new digital and investigative tools, while allocating $7.6-million to staff seven of Toronto’s courthouses with a legal team dedicated to denying bail to people accused of gun crimes… Mr. Ford said certain city councillors, “activists,” “so-called experts” and “special interests” had used shootings to demand spending on what the Premier called “layers of bureaucracy” and “handouts,” instead of on policing.

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