• CMHA Ontario welcomes implementation of Police Records Check Reform Act

    … police are not permitted to disclose non-conviction mental health records, including those that stem from apprehensions under the Mental Health Act… non-conviction mental health records will no longer appear on police record checks… People have been turned down for volunteer work, jobs, school placements and cross-border travel because authorities shared non-conviction records and personal mental health information showed up on police record checks.

  • OCUFA submits recommendations on Bill 47, calls for reinstatement of fair labour laws

    Rolling back equal pay, options for consolidating bargaining units, fairer rules for joining unions, and other basic rights represent a major step backwards in efforts to address precarious work across the province… Workers on university campuses and in communities across the province are counting on these modest but important labour law improvements to support themselves and their families

  • New federal law creates official definition of poverty line

    The six-page bill sets targets of reducing poverty to 20 per cent below 2015 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030. The target is based on a measure that lists 4.2 million Canadians as low income in 2015. Until now, discussions of poverty reduction have focused on three different ways of measuring poverty. Tuesday’s bill selects one of those – the market-basket measure – as Canada’s official poverty line… A third element of the legislation creates a national advisory council on poverty.

  • Fixing solitary isn’t enough. Canada’s prisons need to be reformed top to bottom

    … progress on the issue of reducing solitary confinement is halting at best, in spite of heightened public attention… the broader question of getting Canada’s prison system back on its intended course – that is, rehabilitating convicted criminals and preparing them for their eventual and in most cases inevitable release – has not been addressed. The overuse of solitary confinement is, in fact, a symptom of a larger problem.

  • New report Welfare in Canada, 2017 looks at latest welfare rates and how they compare to poverty measures

    the latest update of a yearly series showing the total income households on social assistance would have received (i.e., their income from social assistance alongside tax credits and child benefits). The report looks at how welfare incomes varied across every province and territory for four example households in 2017… the report describes the components of welfare incomes, how they have changed from previous years, and how they compared to low income thresholds. The amounts vary in every province and territory

  • Bureaucracy should not stand in the way of a dignified death

    … under Canada’s MAiD rules, to be eligible a patient must have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” their death must be “reasonably foreseeable,” they must be capable of informed consent, they must have the approval of two independent physicians (or nurse-practitioners), make the request in writing in the presence of two witnesses, have an unofficial cooling-off period to be sure their decision is final and then give “late-stage consent” just prior to the injection of the drug cocktail that will hasten death.

  • Labour leader says Pay Equity Act should also address income disparity in minorities, disabled

    … research shows that visible minorities – the term Statscan uses – earn almost 20 per cent less, on average, than Canadians who are not visible minorities. That gap widens further for women of colour, who earned, on average, 70 per cent of what a man who is not a visible minority earned… research considered factors such as education, experience and hours worked. “After controlling for all characteristics that may drive earning gaps, we still see some gaps that then we can say that’s discrimination”…

  • What Ontario can learn from the UK on reforming social assistance

    Over the past decade, the UK embarked on a series of welfare reforms with similar aims — to cut red tape while getting more long-term welfare recipients into sustained work. This paper summarizes the assessments of independent reviewers and auditors on the impact of those reforms and their value for money. It aims to identify lessons for Ontario as it pursues the same goals.

  • No sign minimum wage hike was ‘job killer’ Doug Ford says it was

    Now that Premier Doug Ford’s government is scrapping nearly every change the Liberals made to the employment laws and freezing the minimum wage until October 2020, it’s time to assess whether the claims that it’s killing jobs and devastating the economy are true. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce predicted (in what it called an independent economic analysis) that the reforms would put 185,000 jobs at risk. The fact is Ontario’s unemployment rate over the past year is as good as it has been this century.

  • Ministry of Labour puts hold on proactive workplace inspections, internal memo says

    Employment standards inspections deal with basic workplace issues such as unpaid wages and overtime. Proactive inspections, which are initiated at the behest of the ministry, are far more effective at recovering unpaid wages, including public holiday pay and overtime, than when individual workers file complaints, according to the ministry’s own data… the move is motivated by a significant backlog of employment standards claims filed by workers — exacerbated by a “discretionary spending freeze and subsequent suspension of recruitment” at the ministry.