Drawing on rich traditions to nourish our children

Poor nutrition in Indigenous children, starting with colonization, through residential schools, continues today. It must stop

Drawing on rich traditions to nourish our childrenIndigenous peoples are inuwak, peoples of the land. We have a spiritual relationship with our mother earth; our food is from the land and is intrinsically related to our cultural and spiritual way of life. Food not only nourishes us physically, it impacts our mental attitude and is an essential part of many of our…

Quest for equality must first address poverty, childcare

Too many people are one job loss, one illness, one retirement or one calamity away from disaster. We need income security

Quest for equality must first address poverty, childcareWhen I was an economics student years ago, the last living student of John Maynard Keynes, noted economist Joan Robinson, gave a lecture to a packed hall. During the question period, one smart aleck student asked, “Why should anyone study economics?” After a prolonged pause, her answer was simple, “So you know when economists are…

The folly of embracing universal daycare

Quebec’s experience with government-subsidized daycare should serve as a warning for B.C.

The folly of embracing universal daycareThe recent British Columbia provincial budget makes it clear that the government is forging ahead with plans to pursue universal government-subsidized daycare. But B.C. is not the first to go down this path and there are lessons to be learned. While the 2018 budget didn’t explicitly call for $10-a-daycare – a key plank in the NDP’s…

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep price

No amount of funding plans or reorganization can solve this problem as long as alcohol and drug abuse persists in First Nations communities

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep priceWe want simple answers. But, sometimes, there aren’t any. Take Manitoba’s child welfare system, for example. We want to find a solution to a problem that has plagued us for generations: What to do about the huge numbers of Indigenous children taken into the care of child welfare agencies each year? Meetings are held in…

Pay equity laws alone won’t close the gap

Canadian families need affordable, accessible child care to effectively address gender equity issues

Pay equity laws alone won’t close the gapThere were a lot of old ghosts haunting the Liberal government when it tabled its budget on Feb. 27. But have these spectres brought change to women’s lives in the wake of the recent International Women’s Day? Not likely. The budget announced proactive pay equity for workers in federally regulated sectors (banking, communication, transportation, Crown…

Not just a fluffy tale about the Easter Bunny

Children's aid society removed children from care because the foster parents wouldn't lie about the Easter Bunny

Not just a fluffy tale about the Easter BunnyMuch of the media coverage of the legal decision involving Derek and Frances Baars and the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton has treated it as a quirky story about a Christian family versus the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. In fact, the 61-page decision by Justice A.J. Goodman is a blistering critique of the aid…

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequality

Food banks remain a symptom of bigger problems – poverty and social inequality. We need systemic change to fix those bigger problems

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequalityWe’ve just emerged from the season when everyone wants to help support their local food bank initiatives. But ‘sharing the season’ always poses a tough question for me: How do we help our neighbours when, according to Canada Without Poverty, there are 4.9 million neighbours to help? The number of Canadians in need only seems…

Children with disabilities data out of date

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

Children with disabilities data out of dateBy Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker University of Calgary “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF.…

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

Canada must invest in better emergency care for children

A program based in Manitoba is working to share the vast knowledge and evidence produced at children’s hospitals across the country

Canada must invest in better emergency care for childrenWhen a child is sick or injured, our health system usually delivers excellent care. Yet the adage that “children are not small adults” – and have specific medical needs – reflects the challenge still facing most Canadian emergency departments. Each year in Canada, approximately 1.8 million acutely ill and injured children will visit an emergency…