• Who’s playing identity politics? Everyone

    Diversity is not our strength. Unity is our strength. What makes Canada strong is our ability to unite people of diverse backgrounds with a shared set of goals and values. That is what we’re good at… there’s plenty of evidence that our highly selective immigration system – which shows no sign of changing – is quite good at identifying people who will integrate and do well. The real test of any immigration policy is: How will the kids do? And so far as I can see, most of the the kids are doing fine.

  • An Apology for Multiculturalism

    Not long ago we assumed globalization, with its intensity of interactions, would breed tolerance for others. Instead, we must fight for that ideal, even if flawed, now more than ever… We should fight for multiculturalism not because it’s easy but because it’s hard. Open societies are rare; they call to each other over the great nightmare of history, candles in windy darknesses. And yet openness to the other has always been an essential element of basic human decency.

  • We can no longer afford to whitewash our history

    The headlines about the residential schools was the catalyst that made the government admit that the history we’ve been taught has been whitewashed. All Canadian children need to know that their culture has made contributions to Canadian society… Writing workshops were scheduled this summer to update the curriculum…. But one month after the Ontario election, just before the legislature resumed, these workshops, years in the making, were suddenly cancelled.

  • Have Mayor Tory and Council Delivered on Poverty Reduction?

    In sum, thousands more residents do have access to jobs, housing, transit, child care, recreation programs and others services as a result of council decisions over the past four years. However, these modest service expansions have hardly put a dent in long waiting lists, or in Toronto’s high levels of poverty levels and inequality.

  • Toronto can solve its affordable housing crisis. Here’s how

    The city’s housing affordability crisis acts as a fundamental limit on our future progress. The talent needed to fuel our economy can no longer afford to comfortably live here… Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians… With the prosperity our city is generating, we have the means and capacity to address this crisis. What we need are leaders with the political will to take it on and solve it. Nothing less that the future success of our city and the future well-being of all Torontonians is at stake.

  • How Canada can actually fix the migration mess on its borders

    The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom. This is the heart of the Convention and it does not demand much beyond that fundamental obligation. It does not require any state to accept refugees. It does not tell states how to adjudicate claims. It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters. It does not condone illegal entry unless the individual enters the asylum country direct from the country of persecution. It does not include people who are internally displaced in their own country.

  • Now is the time to clarify the rules governing ‘political activity’ by charities

    The current set of limits on political activities by charities guard against an ill-defined risk at great cost. They prevent charities from using a crucial tool to further their charitable purposes – working to develop and advance public policy solutions that could relieve poverty, advance education and serve our communities. They are out of keeping with the realities of policy decision-making, which often call for public-facing engagement as well as direct participation in parliamentary or other government processes.

  • Canada Can Benefit Economically from the Asylum Seeker Surge

    Canada’s support for refugee seekers can be more than just a humanitarian stand. It can lead to an economic benefit to host provinces. How? According to Statistics Canada, job vacancies (unadjusted for seasonality) increased by 19.3 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to more than 462,000 in the first quarter of 2018… Remarkably, a sizable share of these available jobs did not require previous work experience or a minimum education level.

  • Charity laws must evolve with the times

    The just-released Ontario Superior Court decision squashes the notion that charities cannot fully engage in political activities. The charity Canada Without Poverty took the Canada Revenue Agency to court over its ruling that the group should lose its charitable status… In this case, the purpose of relieving poverty is with the sharing of ideas, not nutrition.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    … Toronto wound up with an affordable housing program that doesn’t actually produce much affordable rental housing. Instead, it results in housing that’s pegged to the city’s average market rents. Certainly, that’s not bad housing and it fills a need. But it does not fill the needs of Toronto’s low-income tenants as the city is so keen to suggest it does.