• I’m begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks

    … if you feel your coworkers or students need something spherical and tactile in order to fire their benevolent instincts, then by all means hold a food drive, and remind people to stick to the always-needed staples like peanut butter and canned fish. But if you’re a pragmatist just looking to vanquish as much poverty as possible with your disposable income… key in your credit card number and enter the glorious world of anonymous, non-glamourous philanthropy.

  • Religion is still an instrument of colonialism

    Non-Indigenous religious groups understand how traumatizing it is when their places of worship are assaulted, when sites meant to be spaces of prayer and sanctuary are turned into spaces of violence and loss… that the ongoing desecration of sacred Indigenous sites fails to attract similar censure and solidarity is a sign of spiritual colonialism’s enduring power.

  • Why the history of poverty keeps repeating itself

    Allocating too much money for welfare risks antagonizing other voters who fret about waste or dependency. And who want their own needs and entitlements taken care of first — like hydro rate reductions, child-care subsidies, or middle class tax cuts… Logic (and humanity) demands a single, simple, basic income program that consolidates the tangle of existing rules into a more coherent and cost-effective form of social support, now being tested in a pilot program in parts of the province.

  • Paradise Papers tell a troubling story about money and power

    The Paradise Papers are doing nothing to soothe those who worry about the unseemly intertwining of money and power in politics or about the extent to which the economy is rigged by the few against the many. The government can do something about that. It can, for instance, close unfair and ineffective tax loopholes and collect what’s owed. Or it can sit back, defend the current arrangements and watch the cynicism grow.

  • Paradise Papers show Ottawa must crack down on offshore tax havens

    … these revelations promise to deepen the longstanding problems of distrust and cynicism that inhibit needed tax reform and corrode our democracy… more than 3,000 Canadians are among those who made use of byzantine tax-avoidance schemes chronicled in the leaked documents. Most of these schemes are ethically dubious, some possibly illegal, and many might have been avoided had the government listened to the experts.

  • Housing to Health helps clients turn place to live into a home

    Housing to Health (H2H), the first housing initiative in York Region that aims to secure housing for the chronically homeless… succeeded in housing 30 of its hardest to house community members… H2H focuses mainly on ensuring participants remain housed. “We try to wrap supports around the individual” … given that many participants have a history of trauma, addiction, and mental health struggles, “we try to help maintain a good relationship,”

  • Universities should not smother uncomfortable debates

    Universities, at their best, have always provided space for those who would challenge conventional wisdom. In this way, the academy has played a vital role in our social and cultural evolution… In these polarized times, this age-old struggle has become increasingly combative and dangerously divisive, with some on campus railing against political correctness to justify their hate and others imposing purity tests that chill rather than enable debate.

  • College students and striking faculty face same challenges with precarious work

    In this strike, we are not neutral. We support our faculty… We know the reality of precarious work… Delivering quality education is difficult when you’re working from one four-month contract to the next, have few or no benefits, and aren’t given adequate time to prepare for the courses you’re teaching. Yet these are the working conditions of contract instructors at our colleges, who now make up more than 70 per cent of all faculty.

  • The War on Drugs has been lost. It’s time to try something else

    Portugal has not taken the logical next step of shouldering out the dealers and taking over controlled distribution of drugs itself. This is the path that Canada and the American states of Colorado and Oregon have embarked upon with marijuana… As it prepares the rules for marijuana sales and use, the federal government should examine the Portuguese model, as well as the disastrous drug war in the U.S.

  • 7 things the Census teaches us about income inequality

    Ontario is becoming more polarized. The labour market might be rewarding families in the upper end of the income spectrum, but the bottom half of families raising children in Ontario saw its share of earnings fall to 19 per cent of the income pie… While income inequality hasn’t gotten dramatically worse since the Great Recession of 2008-09 — most of the damage happened between 1976-2006 — it’s not magically reversing on its own. It will take public policies to help close the gap.