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People with mental illness don’t need more talk

Monday, January 28th, 2019

It does no good to raise awareness if you have an underfunded mobile crisis team that only has the capacity to go out on calls for 12 hours a day, or if patients wait months for assessment, or if you can’t provide stable, supportive housing for those who need it so they can recover and carry on with happy and productive lives. Let’s talk about that.

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Removing caps on class sizes is a failure of both education and economics

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Research on the correlation between class size and student achievement… determined that children in classes with fewer than 20 students learn more, learn better and are less likely to fail… and that the investment required to maintain this ratio more than pays off in the reduction of remedial supports and student’s higher economic performance as adults… The educational case against the removal of caps is damning, but so too is the economic one.

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The new Canada’s Food Guide explained: Goodbye four food groups and serving sizes, hello hydration

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The new guide is distilled into one strikingly simple image: a plate of food filled with roughly half fruits and vegetables, and the remaining half divided into whole grains and proteins. The image is meant to convey a simple message, according to Health Canada: Eat a diet made up of roughly half fruits and vegetables, and half of the remaining two categories… the new version also includes specific warnings about what not to eat – namely, processed and prepared foods that are high in sodium, free sugars and saturated fats.

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First Nations to have more control over on-reserve education as Ottawa looks to close funding gap

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The new approach, which will take effect April 1, will not see Ottawa spend any additional money over what has previously been committed. The government says the gap core funding between the funding for provincially run schools and reserve schools has already closed in some provinces, is not far apart in others, and will cease to exist entirely over the next two years as a result of the investments that have already been committed in previous budgets. It also recognizes that there are additional gaps in needs that will be addressed separately.

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Changes to Ontario tuition are unfair and short-sighted

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Despite the superficial appeal of the tuition cut, the reality is that the families who will benefit the most from it are higher-income ones that currently do not qualify for any tuition fee grants… A 10-per-cent decrease in tuition fees is a drop in the bucket of the costs… less than 2 per cent of the estimated financial costs of attending college and university associated with attending college or university…

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Ontario Tories rolling back Liberal-era student-aid reform

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Ontario is reversing unexpectedly costly student financing initiatives, cutting tuition and allowing students to opt out of campus fees as part of a package of changes to postsecondary education funding that drew criticism from students and universities… The loss of tuition revenue for the schools will not be covered by the government, and universities and colleges will need to adjust their budgets. Ms Fullerton said the changes might mean a budget gap of 2 per cent to 4 per cent at most schools.

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For Indigenous kids’ welfare, our government knows better; it just needs to do better

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

The over-representation of First Nations children in care is a problem with a solution. There have been numerous reports over the years calling for the same things… Unless the public puts pressure on provincial, territorial and federal governments, the good solutions on the books will not be implemented. We must tell our politicians: literally thousands of children need our help.

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Sex-ed critics fear that it may ‘give kids ideas.’ But that would be a good thing.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

The fundamental complaint of those who oppose modernizing sex-ed seems to be that it will “give kids ideas” – in other words, that teaching about sexuality will lead to sexual experimentation… Parents absolutely have a right to inculcate values on their offspring. But that does not extend to imposing ignorance on others. That is especially true because we know that unawareness and naïveté do not prevent young people from having sex – it simply makes them more likely to make poor choices.

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Dealing with deadly donation bins only scratches poverty’s surface

Monday, January 14th, 2019

An estimated 30,000 Canadians remain homeless on any given night. The federal government’s ambitious 10-year, $40-billion Reaching Home strategy – a plan to cut chronic homelessness in half while building 100,000 units and repairing 300,000 more – won’t be launched until late spring. And we’re yet to learn how provinces, cities and community organizations will partner in its wake to produce meaningful change.

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Ontario government’s lawyer says teachers can use own judgment in sex-ed lessons

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

ETFO president Sam Hammond said he was surprised to hear the government’s position on using the 2015 curriculum as a resource… He said that if the government had told teachers that they were free to use their professional judgment and the 2015 curriculum as a resource in implementing the current curriculum, “we wouldn’t be here today, quite frankly.” Instead, Mr. Hammond said the government chose to publicly threaten teachers.

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