• Five ableist things I wish people would stop saying to me

    When people say “you seem normal,” it just sounds like they are afraid of neurodivergence and “crazy” people. It’s a veiled form of ableism… People want to see mental health and disability as an individual problem that individuals have and should solve on their own. Talking is often the first step, but what about steps two through 10? When we constantly redirect back to step one, it’s because we’re avoiding the responsibility that we have for helping people…

  • Census reminds us of importance of immigrants to Canada’s future

    Population growth is key to maintaining both the labour force and the sources of innovation and entrepreneurship we need for economic success. Open immigration policies, economic prospects and a still-strong social safety… our future prosperity likely depends on our keeping it that way. As our population ages, and our birth-rate declines, we must continue to welcome newcomers from all over the world, not only out of moral duty, but also economic necessity.

  • City wrong to choose roads over community housing

    Toronto Community Housing is planning to close 425 subsidized units this year because it can no longer afford to maintain them. TCH told the Star an additional 17,500 units — 30 per cent of the corporation’s total housing stock — are in critical disrepair… A 2014 report by the financial services firm KPMG rated Toronto as the most tax-competitive major city in the world… “The money is there if they want it to be, it just comes with trade-offs,”

  • We can end homelessness in Canada

    The report calls for a new federal/provincial/territorial framework agreement focused on community capacity, prevention, and “Housing First” for those now on the streets… Addressing issues of poverty and social justice are regular refrains for progressives; reducing spending while more efficiently using resources are a hallmark for fiscal conservatives. Being a contributing member of society and a full participant in the economy requires an address.

  • Tracking all homeless deaths is long overdue

    The efforts to track all homeless deaths… are an important step toward acknowledging the effects of homelessness and, hopefully, putting an end to it… not knowing how many homeless people die in Toronto each year means the city can downplay the problem and ignore the root causes, especially those of street deaths… Toronto’s wait list for subsidized housing stands at a disturbingly high 172,087, forcing some people onto the streets.

  • Don’t deny my right to celebrate Christmas

    … as we move to a more culturally diverse society, the controversial greeting, Merry Christmas is now replaced with Happy Holidays… I may not be Christian, but I am Canadian. And for me, the cultural sensitivity to which we’ve all been trying so hard to adhere has become overly sensitive. Diversity is about sharing. So I don’t mind if you share your Christmas with me.

  • A heritage language lost can become a culture gained

    Individuals, families and governments have to make choices about how to best use the resources – time, energy and money – available to them. My family chose to immigrate to Canada and is confident our lives are better for it. School boards are already struggling to help all students learn the basics in an official language… Cultures are unchanging only in memory. All evolve with the passage of time.

  • Change the tax laws to boost charitable giving

    The federal government should start to address that shortfall in its spring budget by bringing in a straightforward measure that could increase donations to Canadian charities by some $200 million a year.
    The measure involves broadening the tax exemption on capital gains for charitable donations.

  • Eight Solutions to Canada’s Housing Crisis

    The first step is the simple commitment to get it done. The federal government has opened the dialogue with its Let’s Talk Housing initiative and will be publishing a national housing strategy in 2017… Solution 1: Restrict foreign ownership and end tax evasion… Solution 2: Use municipal powers… to require developers to make 30 per cent, 50 per cent, or 100 per cent of new units of a development affordable and family-friendly, creating mixed-income communities.

  • The last liberals

    … though there are some misgivings, some 80% of Canadians think immigrants are good for the economy… Two linked factors bolster this pro-immigrant feeling. One is a matter of geography… The second is a matter of policy. Canada’s points system gives the government a way to admit only the sort of people it thinks the country needs. This ability to regulate the influx fosters public approval… Another reason why Canadians are not worried about immigration is that they feel less insecure… Poverty has fallen sharply since the mid-1990s.