• NDP’s Andrea Horwath finds her footing on progressive platform

    While Horwath may gain traction with soaring rhetoric, her platform remains slippery in spots — brimming with good ideas on caring, but burdened by a black hole on hydro promises that sound too good to be true. Like the Liberals with their ambitious budgetary spending, the New Democrats stress caring while downplaying paying for it… The NDP fiscal plan calls for a budget deficit of roughly half the $6.7 billion projected in the Liberal budget in 2018-19, thanks to higher taxes on the rich and corporations

  • NDP promises $12-a-day child care and lower deficits if elected

    The New Democrats’ fiscal plan, signed off on as “reasonable” by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, is bolstered by higher taxes. An NDP government would raise the corporate tax rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent, close big business loopholes, and increase personal income tax on amounts earned more than $220,000 by one percentage point and on earnings more than $300,000 by two percentage points.

  • Unmuzzle Bob Delaney, prophet of fiscal irresponsibility

    “I’d argue that it’s fiscally irresponsible not to go into debt for benefits like health care, public schools, mental health or debt-free tuition.” What kind of monster would choose to balance a budget over having those things? Haven’t these people heard of mortgages? … What comfort are your kids supposed to get from being homeless (or badly homed)? … What kind of parents will they make if they’ve been badly housed and educated, or unhealthy?

  • Privacy laws should apply to political parties

    The privacy laws also mandate that government and private companies protect personal data and that breaches be met with financial penalties. Yet political parties, which are free from such consequences, have not always been careful in their handling of their sizable stores of sensitive data… To the extent that micro-targeting happens without voters’ knowing about it or agreeing to it, the practice is manipulative in a way that distorts democracy. Data-hungry political parties are the last entities that should be exempt from privacy laws.

  • Addressing delay in the courts: Flirting with transformative change

    The preliminary inquiry historically served the central purpose of weeding out non-viable cases. But it is a resource- and time-intensive procedure. And with the evolution of professional policing, constantly improving investigative standards, talented and spirited defence-bar oversight and pro-active case-vetting by prosecutors, the preliminary inquiry as a screening mechanism has been in a death spiral for years… the costs and delays to maintain it system-wide are no longer broadly justifiable.

  • Minister delivers much-needed kick in the pants to justice system

    … “the aspirations are fine,” particularly the legislation’s big push to reduce the administration-of-justice offences, which account for a quarter of all cases in court… These clog the courts and make criminals out of those on the margins — the poor, the Indigenous, the mentally ill, people of colour… Probably fully 80 per cent of the poor buggers before the courts don’t belong there. Their so-called “crimes” are too minor; their vulnerabilities are too great; they need help, not jail.

  • Too many Canadian governments are borrowing too much money

    Now that good times have returned, provincial and federal politicians are still piling on debt. This week’s Ontario budget crystalized the fact. A province with a strong economy and a small budget surplus, but the country’s fourth-highest net debt-to-GDP ratio, plunged itself back into deficit for the foreseeable future… social democrats have as much reason as conservatives to be appalled by heavy government debt. That’s because, far from being a reliable source of government revenue, debt quickly begins biting into government spending.

  • Liberal budget asks voters to trust they’ll keep their nerve

    … the social benefits from the Liberals’ proposed spending plans outweigh the initial monetary costs… voters are willing to tolerate budget deficits if they think the money is being well spent… Ontario’s debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is predicted to rise slightly over the next three years. But if the Liberals keep their nerve, this is a small price to pay for a path-breaking agenda.

  • Doug Ford’s false fiscal promises

    Ford won’t find $6 billion in waste, just as he and his brother did not find the promised efficiencies at city hall. Instead, he will have to raise the money the old-fashioned way: taxes, debt or cuts to services. And given his outspoken disdain for taxes and debt, it’s no great mystery what path he would pursue… Ford is asking us to play a sort of austerity lottery. Because Ford won’t tell us, we can’t know which jobs will be lost, which programs deep-sixed, which services cut.

  • Why is Ottawa stalling on its promised election reforms?

    the Trudeau Liberals promised during the 2015 campaign to end the first-past-the-post voting system for federal elections and then decided, once in power, not to bother. It was a cynical reversal designed to preserve the Liberals’ chances of winning a second majority. The only thing more cynical was the promise itself, made purely to attract younger voters but never seriously considered… Bill C-33. Introduced by the Liberals in late 2016… But the government has sat on the bill since introducing it.