• How postmodernism is infiltrating public life and policy

    People who produce facts – scientists, reporters, witnesses – do so from a particular social position… They rely on non-neutral methods… to communicate facts to people who receive, interpret and deploy them from their own social positions … Truth is not found, but made, and making truth means exercising power.” … The right has cottoned on to [these ideas] because they are useful, from a Machiavellian perspective.

  • Ontario’s Liberals take a big step to the left

    The Ontario government signalled its intention to move to the left over past weeks. Already they have announced: Capping class sizes in Grades 4 to 8 at 25 students a class. Significant new investments in hospitals, hard-pressed after a decade of austerity. Moving to expand rent controls, an unthinkable move just months ago. Fundamental reform of the Ontario Municipal Board, a lightning rod for controversy in land-use planning across the province. What is waiting in the wings is even more dramatic

  • Backed into a corner, Liberals seek compromise on parliamentary reform

    The government has narrowed the list of issues that it considers crucial — reforming question period to institute a Prime Minister’s Questions once a week; ensuring governments are forced to justify proroguing the House; ending the use of omnibus legislation; and, reform of the Estimates process to give MPs a better sense of what it is on which they are voting. What’s not to like in any of those if you are an opposition MP?

  • The dangers in a Liberal plan to ‘fix’ Parliament

    The imbalance in Canada’s Parliament is weighted entirely in favour of a majority government and its legislative agenda, not the other way around, as Mr. Trudeau’s party absurdly claims. That’s because MPs, who were once elected to form governments, and oversee them, now mostly serve the wishes of their parties. The neutering of MPs has been constant over the past 50 years, and it is the reason so many Canadians find Parliament to be irrelevant.

  • Policy-makers should pay attention to world happiness rankings

    That’s the whole purpose of the happiness report. To raise the awareness that there are these scientifically replicable measures of the quality of life that don’t give you the same answers as GDP and don’t invite the same policies that maximizing GDP would mean… If these numbers are taken seriously, it’s to raise the level of policy awareness and discussion.”

  • Trump threatens to derail Trudeau’s economic fairness agenda

    Trump’s vow to cut U.S. taxes “bigly” does make it more difficult for Canada to raise its levies on the well-to-do, which Morneau has also been contemplating. Last year, the finance minister announced plans to look at tax breaks, sometimes called tax expenditures, which cost the federal treasury billions. But the Liberals will find it more difficult to boost taxes on the wealthy if, as expected, Trump’s America is going in the opposite direction.

  • Cutting the fiscal fat, finance ministers find lot of baloney

    Every budget dollar is precommitted to: debt service (approximately 9 per cent), transfers for health, education etc. (24 per cent), guaranteed spending for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement etc. (17 per cent), and salaries and pensions for its own employees (29 per cent). When all the obligatory spending is sliced from the budget pie, every Canadian finance minister is left with about 20 cents of the budget dollar.

  • Alternative Federal Budget 2017: High Stakes, Clear Choices

    … we’re urging the federal government to table a budget that makes good on its promises to reduce income inequality and drive inclusive growth… the AFB proposes a federal budget that takes decisive action on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs, reducing income inequality, lowering poverty levels, closing unfair and expensive tax loopholes, and getting the economy moving.

  • For a progressive federal budget, Liberals must stick to their promises in the Trump era

    … the government has barely begun to act on its promises to bring about transformational change for First Nations communities through investments in education and basic infrastructure… Significant new revenues could, and should, be raised – by tackling tax loopholes for the most affluent… progressive policies, rather than a race to the bottom, will create not just a fairer society, but also a more productive and future-oriented economy.

  • The problem with $47 billion in unpaid taxes

    Think of what could be accomplished if that money was actually collected by the federal government; the programs it could fund, the benefits it could offer to citizens, the improvements to health care that would be possible. The federal deficit could be eliminated. Moreover, collecting this $47 billion would demonstrate to all Canadians the federal government is working hard to ensure everyone pays their fair share, no more and no less.