Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

The Canadian Press

Report on child poverty urges $18B in spending

Canadian Press, May. 4, 2004, The Toronto Star and various other newspapers

OTTAWA - One million children across Canada are growing up poor despite years of Liberal promises to help, says a new study to be released tomorrow.

Campaign 2000, a coalition of groups fighting child poverty, says the rate has held steady at about 15 per cent.

It blames reduced access to employment insurance, lack of affordable housing, the high cost of child care and tax policies that penalize welfare families.

Real progress will cost Ottawa an extra $18 billion a year, it says.

It's not an outlandish request in an era of successive budget surpluses, says Laurel Rothman, national co-ordinator of the coalition.

The cash represents 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product, the value of home-grown goods and services. It would build a solid base of crucial social supports, says Pathways to Progress: Structural Solutions to Address Child Poverty.

Prime Minister Paul Martin must back up lofty goals with action, says Rothman.

"He said in 1998 that we should establish the elimination of child poverty as a national objective, not unlike we did with the deficit.''

Social Development Minister Liza Frulla agreed that more must be done.

"They're right,'' she said todaysday outside the Commons.

But she stressed that Ottawa spent about $8 billion last year for National Child Benefit payments to help working-poor families. The Liberals also committed $2 billion over six years to build more affordable housing and upgrade shelters, she said.

These efforts, like the $950-million federal push for a national child care program, can only work if provinces sign on, Frulla said.

The Campaign 2000 report calls for:

  • More generous employment insurance access.
  • Increased child tax benefits that aren't clawed back from welfare families.
  • A universal, national, child-care program.
  • Higher payments to the provinces specifically for social programs.
  • More cash for affordable housing.

The report measures hardship using Statistics Canada's low-income cut-offs. By those standards, a family of four is deemed to be in ``straitened circumstances'' if its before-tax income is less than $37,253 in a major city and less than $25,744 in a rural area.

Conservative groups like the Fraser Institute argue that such gauges overstate the extent of true poverty. The real child poverty rate is around 10 per cent if only the most basic housing, food, clothing and medical needs are considered, the institute reported in 2001.

But social advocates say an explosion in the use of food banks in the last 10 years shows how social spending cuts by Ottawa and the provinces have played out.

Mainichi Daily News| Woman who cut off her newborn son's genitals handed 5-year prison term

Woman who cut off her newborn son's private parts handed 5-year prison term

Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006

SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.

The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.

"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun logo

Mom's death dance


Toronto Sun
September 29, 2004

SINGLE MOM Clara DaSilva admitted yesterday she danced the night away while her 2-year-daughter was dying of dehydration in a sweltering apartment. Tiny toddler Adrianna Maria DaSilva was abandoned for at least 33 hours in a 35C room before her mom discovered her dead on Sept. 9, 2002.

Clara DaSilva, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Justice David Watt will sentence her shortly after Jan. 17 following a five-day trial with one contested fact -- the allegation that her purse, with keys and cash, was stolen at a club the day of her child's death.   Read More ..

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.

Associated Press logo

Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Mothers Who Kill Their Children
Canadian Press - Mother child abuse - sentenced 16 years in jail

Ontario woman convicted of son's starvation death granted full parole

Canadian Press
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002

KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.

Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.

But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.

Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.

"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.