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Mind Bending Politics: Behaviour Experts Call Wynne’s Autism Policy Destructive

Toronto, April 20, 2016 – The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has declared that as of May 1, Ontario will no longer provide Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) to children of five years and older. A group of nine Board Certified Behavior Analysts™ (BCBAs), who are practitioners and advocates for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Behaviour Experts Call Wynne’s Autism Policy Destructive

Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Damascene Moment

In the Book of Luke, Jesus is reported to have said the following:I tell you that … there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.In Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s conversion… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Andrea’s Damascene Moment

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals With Special Needs Weighs In On Ontario’s New Autism Policy

  The Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals With Special Needs (OASIS) has just weighed in on the new Ontario Autism Policy. In a media release David Barber, President at OASIS stated: This new policy, if implemented the way it stands, sets children and their families back Barber went on to stay: Early intervention is crucial for […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals With Special Needs Weighs In On Ontario’s New Autism Policy

Mind Bending Politics: Child Advocates Call Autism Policy A New Low For Ontario Political Ethics

TORONTO, April 12, 2016 /CNW/ – We should all aspire to a province where a child in need receives what they need, when and where they need it. We are not there yet. This has been clear in the government’s recent announcement to address wait-times for children with autism requiring critical service. I am aware that […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Child Advocates Call Autism Policy A New Low For Ontario Political Ethics

Mind Bending Politics: Annoyed Ontario Liberals and Wynne’s Autism Echo Chamber:

This blog will be dedicated moving forward to following the conversations and policy discussions about Ontario’s new autism policy. The discussions going on right now are a national ethical and moral issue and those across Canada should be kept up to date as much as possible. On Tuesday there was a very emotional rally at our provincial legislature […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Annoyed Ontario Liberals and Wynne’s Autism Echo Chamber:

Mind Bending Politics: Experts Question Ontario’s New Autism Policy In Scathing Letter

(Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services Tracy MacCharles Feeling The Heat On New Autism Policy) The Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA) issued a scathing letter to Tracy MacCharles who is Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services over the latest policy to strip intensive behavioural therapy from thousands of Ontario kids over 5. […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Experts Question Ontario’s New Autism Policy In Scathing Letter

Mind Bending Politics: Kathleen Wynne’s All Out Assault on Autistic Kids Continues With New Developments

(Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Decisions on Autism Services Politics Not Evidence Based Experts Say) There has been very strong reaction to Kathleen Wynne’s decision to de-fund therapy for kids with Autism, from experts to advocates to politicians. Wynne looks to have picked a fight with the wrong crowd, and there are developments that the situation is getting […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Kathleen Wynne’s All Out Assault on Autistic Kids Continues With New Developments

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Set To Terminate Needed Therapy for a Vast Swath of Autistic Kids

(Parents Upset At Recent Changes To Autism Services In Ontario) The Ontario government recently announced changes it is going to make to the services autistic kids receive in the province. The Ontario government is looking at terminating intensive behavioral intervention therapy (IBI) for kids 5 and over, and pump more money into the controversial applied […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Set To Terminate Needed Therapy for a Vast Swath of Autistic Kids

Mind Bending Politics: Parent’s Plea To Stop The Bullying In Her Child’s School Goes Viral

(York Region District School Board Still Plagued With Accountability and Bullying Issues Seven Years After High Profile Rally)   Back in 2009, over 400 students walked out of their classrooms denouncing staff at Keswick High School’s decision to wrongfully suspend an Asian student who was the subject of bullying. This incident in 2009 took the […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Parent’s Plea To Stop The Bullying In Her Child’s School Goes Viral

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Ombudsman: A Watch Dog That Isn’t Watching PT.1

(Ontario’s Watch Dog Caught Not Watching)   The Ontario Ombudsman’s office recently got new powers to investigate school boards, municipalities and universities. The early months of these new expanded powers has seen this office more run like a customer service wing of government rather than one with investigative powers to resolve issues. In fact, the […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Ontario Ombudsman: A Watch Dog That Isn’t Watching PT.1

Mind Bending Politics: No Accountability on Provincial Funds, As Ontario’s Finances Are in Major Trouble

The Liberal Party in Ontario has been in power for over a decade. Most governments regardless of party get a little bit too comfy in their positions to actually govern and show up for work when called upon. In the last election, the people of Ontario rejected the far right position of austerity (many still […] . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: No Accountability on Provincial Funds, As Ontario’s Finances Are in Major Trouble

BigCityLib Strikes Back: On PCPO Leader Patrick Brown: A Brief Note

If this whole “Premier of Ontario” gig fails to materialize he could do gay porn.  Because he’s in bang-up shape, and this seems to matter far more in gay porn.  Whereas a lot of guys on the straight side of the biz show cellulite. . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: On PCPO Leader Patrick Brown: A Brief Note

Alberta Politics: Is it good news or bad news for the Conservatives if Stephen Harper trumps Trump tonight?

PHOTOS: Stephen Harper, as imagined during tonight’s TV debate. (Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore.) Below: The real Mr. Harper and another shot of the real Mr. Trump. Now, about that debate tonight, the big question has to be whether it will help the Conservatives or hurt them when Canadian voters tune into the […]

The post Is it good news or bad news for the Conservatives if Stephen Harper trumps Trump tonight? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Politics and its Discontents: The Luddites of Education

Throughout my career as a high school teacher, I believed, as I still do, that education is one of the prime tools by which society can be bettered and critical thinking cultivated. And yet there are Luddites among us who would severely circumscribe the use of this all-important mechanism, preferring that we limit access to ideas and thinking that they find personally objectionable. Two stories from my experiences sadly attest to this reality.

Once, many years ago, one of my students had chosen Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business for independent reading. Early in the novel, a Baptist minister’s wife is struck (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Connecting The Dots?

Here in Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s decision to sell off 60% of Hydro One, the very profitable public utility that generated a pre-tax income of $803 million in 2013, is causing quite a storm of outrage. Despite her promise to put all profits from the sale toward transportation structure, the fact that the sale will yield a mere $4 billion after taxpayer money pays off Hydro’s long-standing debt means the sale makes almost no sense. And, one might ask, why a sale of 60%, a proportion that will put hydro squarely in private sector’s control?

Operation Maple has put up (Read more…)

reeves report: Unreleased government report shows no benefits to neonic use

A honey bee collecting pollin.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth Canada are calling on the Ontario government to implement an outright ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides after a leaked government report shows no positive economic gains from the pesticide’s use.

Draft findings from Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) were leaked today before the final report was made public, showing farmers who use the pesticide receive only a 0.4 per cent yield benefit from coated soy seeds and a 3.4 per cent yield benefit for corn.

“Arguably, based on the findings of PMRA’s draft value assessment, Ontario (Read more…)

reeves report: Ontario Anti-Fracking Bill Passes Second Reading

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

A PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL from Toronto-area NDP MPP Peter Tabuns to ban fracking in the province passed second reading Thursday by a 29-18 vote with support from the governing Liberals.

“Water or gas — that’s our choice,” Tabuns explained to the House. “We can’t have both.”

Threats to groundwater contamination as found in Pennsylvania this month; links to triggering earthquakes in Ohio and Alberta; questions over the perilous, ponzi-like investment structuresupporting the fracking industry. It all led Tabuns to believe the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: And Speaking Of Fanatics

While right-wing religious zealots like Pat Robertson and Gordon Klingenschmitt are the two crazed evangelicals I most frequently highlight in my blog, we would all be very naive to believe we lack home grown examples of the corrupting influence the bully pulpit can bestow. Here in Ontario, for example, the ‘Rev.’ Charles McVety is a leading exemplar of such madness.

Yesterday, McVety was in his glory at a rally held outside of the Ontario legislature to protest the revamped Ontario sex-ed curriculum which, despite widespread consultation, doesn’t sit well with some.

Many of the protesters were new Canadians, some (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Ontario’s brave new cap and trade program

The Globe and Mail just broke the story on what will likely be the defining component of Kathleen Wynne’s legacy: The Ontario Liberals are introducing a big cap and trade plan. Details are sparse as yet, but it looks like they will be joining the Quebec/California regime. This is huge news, especially given Ontario’s relative prominence in Canada’s economy.

While BC (under the Liberals as well, incidentally) were moving forward with their carbon tax, Ontario Liberals had made big moves on the green energy file. With cap and trade, they are now tackling the greenhouse gas production side of the (Read more…)

reeves report: Opposition Bill Wants Ontario to Ban Fracking

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

New Democratic MPP Peter Tabuns introduced a private member’s bill Wednesday encouraging the Liberals to adopt a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the province.

Tabuns, a former executive director of Greenpeace Canada and his party’s Environment and Climate Change critic, said the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne should follow the lead of Ontario’s neighbours, many of whom — Quebec and New York state, in addition to the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — have already outlawed the disputed oil and gas extraction procedure.

“There (Read more…)

Aaron Manton: On Last Night’s News: My thoughts on the TTC fare increase

I appeared on Global News Toronto last night on behalf of TTC Riders to offer a few comments on the TTC fare increase coming into effect this weekend. Even though they spelled my name wrong, I was happy to have some good quotes make it into the online and broadcast versions of the story: “I […]

Politics and its Discontents: Why Has Accepting Scientific Fact Become A Matter Of Choice?

Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. They speak different languages and use different powers of the brain.

-Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Great Partnership

As the quotation above suggests, the schism between scientific fact and religious belief is, in fact, one that shouldn’t exist. Yet, given the kinds of absolutist thinking that permeate the world today, demagogues and zealots suggest the two are mutually exclusive, an invalid proposition if one’s belief in transcendent truth manages to rise above seeing the narratives of the world’s religions as literal truths.

It (Read more…)

350 or bust: Ontario Government Launches Climate Change Discussion Paper

* Citizen-based lobby group applauds Ontario Government’s public engagement on greening the economy Hundreds of citizen climate lobbyists to participate in new discussion paper to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (Sudbury, ON) – Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) applauds the government of Ontario for initiating public discussion on plans to transition Canada’s largest province […]

reeves report: Environmental Groups Pin Slim Hopes for Rouge Park Changes to Senate

Rouge Park in autumn.

Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park Act began second reading in the Senate earlier this week after sailing through the House of Commons is just six months.

Tobias C. Enverga Jr., a Stephen Harper appointed Senator for Ontario, is acting as the bill’s sponsor in the Senate.

On Monday this week, Enverga Jr. spoke on the bill, urging all Senators to offer their support. “One hundred years from now I am confident that the decision to preserve this remarkable place as our country’s first national urban park will be viewed as one of the most (Read more…)

reeves report: Ontario’s endangered species get their day in court

Endangered American Eel.

LAWYERS ACTING ON BEHALF of the Ontario government told the courts last month that Ontario’s endangered species legislation is now only concerned with the most dire of species listed under the law.

The Woodland Caribou; the American Eel; the Blanding’s Turtle — these and more than 150 other species currently listed as endangered in Ontario will only receive the full weight of government support when they teeter on the brink of local extinction.

So much for our “gold standard” Endangered Species Act.

In September 2013, lawyers from Ecojustice announced Ontario Nature and CPAWS Wildlands League were suing (Read more…)