Social Justice

Issues related to social injustices within the community

Recent Posts

Labour unrest about people, not unions or companies

By Robert Washburn

Labour unrest has arrived on the doorstep of West Northumberland. There are 160 employees locked out at Cobourg’s Horizon Plastics after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement following a marathon negotiating session last week. Then, there are office dispatchers and mechanics at First Student Transportation in Bowmanville who are scheduled to strike starting Tuesday, affecting thousands of students in 46 schools across the public and separate school boards. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Precarious employment needs to be addressed

By Robert Washburn

As Northumberland municipal leaders focus great energy these days trying to revitalize downtown businesses or retain manufacturers as part of local economic development, little is being done to make sure working people are getting the same attention. A study released earlier this week says about 60 per cent of adult workers in Toronto and Hamilton areas have permanent jobs. The other 40 per cent work in what is called precarious employment, meaning the jobs are temporary, part-time or contract. Because these jobs do not provide stable paycheques, it means these men and women are less likely to buy a house, have children or do many other things most people who have full-time work with benefits can do. The study, titled It’s More Than Poverty, was done for the United Way by researchers at McMaster University. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Funding loss cripples local agencies serving poor

By Deborah O’Connor

The last year has been a tumultuous one in Ontario for those caught in the welfare trap. Faced first by the austerity demands of the Drummond Report, then the final report from the Commission to Review Social Assistance, released after the legislature was already prorogued, the year ended with no clear direction in place but cuts to basic supports imposed regardless. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Community should rededicate itself to protecting women and children

By Robert Washburn

Each year a group of people gather near a sculpture on the east side of Church Street in Victoria Park on Dec. 6 at noon to remember women and children who are victim’s of violence. Every year in Canada, an estimated 382,000 children witness or experience family violence, according to a report done by the United Nations in 2006. On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Between January and August 2012, 25 women in Canada were murdered by a partner, according to Cornerstone, Northumberland’s family violence prevention centre. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Welfare reform report released in a vacuum

By Deborah O’Connor

The Commission for the Review of Social Assistance finally released its long awaited report, “Brighter Prospects: Transforming Social Assistance In Ontario”, today following a one-month delay. Too bad nobody is home at the Ontario Legislature to act on it. It’s not likely to make much difference anyway since many activists aren’t expecting anything positive from it. While the reforms designed to cut the welfare rolls and save money will no doubt be eagerly embraced, those who would improve the system and the lives of those affected are not welcoming it, if past government behaviors are any indication. The facts are while the Liberal government in Ontario added about 130 million to the welfare budget this year, corresponding cutbacks clawed away half of the rolls. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Analysis shows Ontario’s poor under fire despite political spin

By Deborah O’Connor

It’s been a tough year for the disadvantaged in Ontario. First, we had the Drummond Report recommending all sorts of drastic options for our public programs, including social assistance. And then, the 2012 budget took away with one hand more than twice what was given by the other. As if that wasn’t tough enough, the Social Assistance Review Commission is expected to release their own report in September, and all indications point to more pain for the poor. Meanwhile the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Market Report for Spring 2012 shows another drop in vacancy rates, down to just 2.3per cent across Ontario. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Poverty law as threatened as the poor by Ontario austerity measures

By Deborah O’Connor

Legal clinics, the seemingly silent side of Legal Aid Ontario, may be home to many idealistic, justice seeking lawyers, but they are still part of the government funded, and very official, legal system, subject to the same been counting instincts of administrators everywhere. Like so many other public services, they have grown bit-by-bit, region-by-region, until every geographic corner of Ontario has been covered, each clinic a unique entity. Perhaps grown complacent after years of steady funding, the clinics seem somewhat shocked that bean counters at head office are less impressed with their noble attributes than in the past and looking for radical change in how they conduct their business now. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,