After over a decade of pushing the Progressive Conservative government, advocacy groups finally see the Alberta government scrap the part of its medical services billing codes that classified gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered patients as suffering from mental disorders. Read more at Yahoo News.
The New Brunswick government will invest $62 million over the next three years to improve inclusive education. Autism advocate and Fredericton lawyer Harold Doherty is questioning the education department’s plans around autism by pointing out that some children with autism cannot function properly in a mainstream classrooms. “It’s a philosophy, it’s not an evidence based approach READ MORE
Saskatoon joins a number of other Canadian cities in passing a bylaw allowing seniors on fixed incomes to defer increases to property taxes enabling them to stay in their homes longer. Read more at News Talk 650.
There is a move afoot to have several First Nations languages, those covering large territories and populations, to be recognized under the Official Languages Act. Official recognition would likely result in additional long-term funding to incorporate indigenous languages into school curriculum. So far the government seems unwilling to concede; “news reports revealed that documents obtained READ MORE
Enlisting architects, animators and more importantly residents, an NFB film titled One Millionth Tower , provides ideas for revitalizing Toronto’s aging highrises. Some of the ideas include eliminating first floor apartments to make room for cafes and businesses, creating a marketspace, and networks and paths linking to the towers to parks and community gardens. Residents featured in the documentary READ MORE
As the Conservatives are getting ready to pass their omnibus crime bill, a report released by the Canadian Psychiatric Association reveals that more than 1 in 10 male inmates and nearly one in three female inmates held in federal penitentiaries have mental illness. The number has climbed steadily alongside the closure of mental institutions across READ MORE
During the past four years the city of Surrey has greatly reduced criminal activity by employing a variety of strategies: increasing police presence at hotspots for crime, creating more affordable housing, neighbourhood beautification and increasing community and school programs for youth. Surrey’s innovative crime reduction program is the result of “community partnerships, innovative programs and READ MORE
The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, with support from Vancouver Coastal Health, runs a program that teaches new immigrants how to cycle in Vancouver. A similar program, called “Culture Link”, is being launched in Toronto this June. The programs both aim to reduce stress among newcomers and engage them in new social situations. Read the full READ MORE
Ontario’s government raised minimum wage by 75 cents, to $10.25 an hour. This is now the highest minimum in Canada, and far surpasses BC’s $8 minimum. Average wages have grown 4% in the last 3 years, which is the best wage performance for Canadian workers since the 1970s. Read the full story in The Globe and Mail .
“How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada compares quality of life in Canada with peer countries, and publishes comparisons in a report card that measures the following categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society. In the most recent report, Canada received one “B”, 2 “C”s and 9 “D”s. Countries with the READ MORE
In July 2008 the BC government privately signed a new order that will deny access to services (such as housing) to developmentally disabled people with an IQ above 70. In 2007 a BC Court of Appeal ruled that the government did not have the authority to deny services based on IQ and this July 2008 READ MORE