• … Top 23 takeaways from the Ontario budget

    Ontario will become the first province to offer pharmacare to all young people, regardless of income, who are 24 and under. Some 4,400 prescription drugs will be covered… the abortion pill will provide an alternative to women seeing to end a pregnancy up to seven weeks… The province will spend $20 million to increase respite care for dementia patients and increase the number of seniors’ centres… From elementary schools to jails to seniors centres, the province is improving mental health services in many of its service areas…

  • Ottawa changes its mind on UNDRIP, but it is taking a risk

    Ms. Bennett says her government does not agree that “free, prior and informed consent” adds up to an Indigenous veto on development but, rather, that it is about “making decisions together.” “It means not putting some fully baked project in front of people and getting them to vote yes or no,” she said.

  • The other Canadian anniversary: 100 years of income tax

    The one constant in all of this change is growing revenue from the personal income tax. In terms of per-person federal personal income taxes, the burden has increased from roughly $14 a person in 1918 (in 2016 dollars) to roughly $4,120 in 2017, an almost 300-fold increase.

  • Reverse tax cuts to fund health care

    When was the last year you remember that there weren’t any cuts to hospitals and health care, education, pools, rinks and all other public-sector services, not to mention the infrastructure deficit with our sewers, water, roads, bridges and hydro system? How much of the federal deficit, since 1981, has been caused by corporate tax cuts and tax cuts that mostly went to the top one per cent?

  • 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

  • Ottawa has even more reason to fix security law

    The government has run out of reasons for delay on Bill C-51. It should move as quickly as possible to fix this bad law. So it turns out that this country’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), may not actually need the additional powers the Harper Conservatives gave it back in 2015… CSIS has suspended use of the most controversial powers to disrupt threats of terrorism that were contained in the Conservatives’ Anti-Terrorism Act

  • Police oversight isn’t broken, it was built this way

    Thanks to Justice Michael Tulloch, who led the review and published his report last week, we have new clarity on the strategic dysfunction that is the SIU. Tulloch has made 129 recommendations for better police oversight, including dozens for the SIU. Many of Tulloch’s recommendations are painfully obvious… The tradition of having former police investigate current ones helps to explain why more than 97 per cent of all SIU investigations end without an officer being criminally charged.

  • Radical tax reform is in the wind — here’s how to make it efficient and fair

    The bedrock principle of an efficient tax system is neutrality: the system should neither reward nor penalize any particular thing or activity, but should rather apply as evenly and as uniformly as possible: tax everything, and tax it at the same rate… A personal consumption tax, and a corporate cash-flow tax, are essentially mirror images of each other. Together they would make a fine pair of reforms, addressing critical weaknesses in the present system without adding their own.

  • 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.