Senate must finish the job it started to help Canada’s kids

The Senate has delayed for eight months its final vote on restrictions to food marketing to children

Senate must finish the job it started to help Canada’s kidsBy Peter Mansbridge and Yves Savoie “Delay always breeds danger; and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.” Miguel de Cervantes put this astute observation in the mouth of his most famous literary character, Don Quixote. Though written more than 400 years ago, the lesson applies very well right now to the…

We’re letting Canadian kids eat themselves sick

A bill that would protect children is languishing in the Senate. We need it to tackle childhood obesity and chronic diseases

We’re letting Canadian kids eat themselves sickIf you’ve ever watched the hit TV series Mad Men, you’ll remember that everybody smoked. Everyone. Everywhere. It was a great show, in part, because it was like a trip back in time, showing us what life was like in the American advertising industry in the early 1960s. Smoking was just a part of normal…

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their children

No child should die a preventable death. It's time Canada had a national vaccine framework

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their childrenBy Sen. Raymonde Gagné and Sen. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia “As an infectious disease specialist, there is nothing sadder than standing at the bedside of a parent in an ICU with a child who’s got a vaccine preventable disease who is dying.” That’s what Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University, told us at a…

Pro-life, pro-choice? Prove it

It’s time for advocates on both sides of the abortion divide to be true to their preferred monikers

Pro-life, pro-choice? Prove itThere’s perhaps no more contentious topic of discussion in Canada than abortion. Even Canadian lawmakers are hesitant to debate the subject. As a high school teacher of a class called Social Justice 12, I can’t ignore the topic. And my code of ethics requires that I facilitate legitimate research and respectful discussion, all the while…

Tim Hortons launches youth camp campaign

Organization hopes to surpass the $13.1 million raised on Camp Day last year to help disadvantaged youth

Tim Hortons launches youth camp campaignTim Hortons has once again launched its annual campaign to help the lives of youth from disadvantaged circumstances. June 5 is Tim Hortons Camp Day, where participating restaurants donate 100 per cent of proceeds from every brewed coffee purchased in Canada to Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. Also, from now to June 5, customers can donate…

Well-rested kids are healthier, happier and more successful

Poor sleep is associated with suicide risks, drug use, obesity and other serious health concerns. We can help these children sleep – and live better

Well-rested kids are healthier, happier and more successfulResearch says well-rested children and youth do better in school. Healthy sleep improves memory and attention, so kids are better able to learn. Well-rested children also have improved executive functioning, so they’re better able to plan and can perform difficult tasks with greater accuracy and speed. Well-rested children are also less irritable and impulsive, so…

Bringing sleep, and precious peace, to parents and children

Shan Roth of Jammy Time Sleep Solutions talks about helping parents feel confident and on top of their game

Bringing sleep, and precious peace, to parents and childrenShan Roth is a local pediatric sleep expert and founder of Jammy Time Sleep Solutions. What is Jammy Time Sleep Solutions? Roth: Jammy Time Sleep Solutions is a paediatric sleep consultancy – basically, I help parents teach their children how to sleep through the night and take long naps during the day. Many parents think…

Lack of vaping product marketing regulations endangers kids

Vaping comes with serious health risks, just like other tobacco products, but the Ontario government doesn't seem to care

Lack of vaping product marketing regulations endangers kidsAs a clinician and researcher in the field of tobacco control, what I see happening with vaping marketing and promotion is déjà vu of the very worst kind. It’s pervasive and insidious. And in Ontario, we’re failing our youth by permitting it. Over the last 30 years, we have fought many policy battles with the…

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect children

How Canada's upper house can work across party lines and stop the marketing of junk food to kids

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect childrenBy Tom Warshawski and Yves Savoie The crops grown by Canadian farmers and the livestock they raise are of the highest quality. In many cases, however, when these healthy foods are industrially processed, harmful amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat are added. Consumption of excessive quantities of these nutrients of concern are known to…

The thrilling days of cliff-hanger serials

From Congo Bill to Zorro, they were fertile ground for a youngster's imagination as we waited for next week's derring-do

The thrilling days of cliff-hanger serialsBecause my lifelong affair with the movies began at the tail end of the film serial era, I missed most of what’s been described as the genre’s golden age. But I did experience the thrill of watching a story evolve week to week. It was great stuff, or at least that’s how it appeared at…

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand

With early intervention and the right supports, children with autism can learn and thrive. But too many doors are closed to these children

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand“As soon as I mentioned the ‘A’ word, I knew she would not be calling me back.” This was what one of the parents I met at my preschool told me it was like trying to register her son with autism in a non-specialized local community program. Once the registrar heard the word autism, they…

Ontario offers a new direction in child-care funding

It will make care more affordable, recognize that parents have a right to choose and be relatively cost-effective

Ontario offers a new direction in child-care fundingThe tug of war over child-care funding in Canada is entering a new chapter, thanks largely to Ontario’s latest provincial budget. The province announced new tax rebates for child-care costs – almost irrespective of the type of care chosen. While the policy may not be perfect, its implementation will signify an important shift in the…

Kidoodle offers safe alternatives for family viewing

President Neil Gruninger wants to create a YouTube alternative for families, content producers and family brands

Kidoodle offers safe alternatives for family viewingNeil Gruninger is president and chief product officer of Kidoodle TV. What is Kidoodle TV? Gruninger: Kidoodle.TV is a Safe Streaming video service for children that delivers thousands of hours of vetted children's programs to Internet-connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, personal computers, Roku, Apple TV and many others. How, when and why…

Don’t let the Senate kill the food labelling bill

Let’s make industry’s job of marketing to kids easier by not letting them do it in the first place

Don’t let the Senate kill the food labelling billI was as happy as anyone with the release of the revised Canada’s Food Guide last month. There wasn’t much to complain about and, in fact, much to praise. This is as true for what was in the guide – sensible guidance around cooking more and consuming less processed food – as well as what…

It’s time the Senate worked efficiently, for all Canadians

The health of our children is at stake. Bill S-228 should be brought to a vote in the upper chamber

It’s time the Senate worked efficiently, for all CanadiansThe Senate of Canada has several key roles and makes important contributions to the development of the country’s most pivotal public policy initiatives. But lately, several key government and private members’ bills have suffered the consequences of political theatre as we enter into the throes of an election year. In recent months, we’ve seen a…
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