• Good Intentions, Not Enough Action in Indigenous Child Welfare Plan, Says Advocate

    … many of the prevention programs the government is now pledging to fund don’t currently exist. Additional funding will be needed for capital and start-up costs for new programming to keep kids with their families… “It’s taken us literally generations to get into the circumstances that have led to a severe overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare… So it’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re seeing really positive movement…”

  • The Next Four Years: An Ontario election post-mortem

    … Premier-designate Doug Ford… swept into power on a thin platform that was never fully costed. Economists estimate at least a $10 billion fiscal hole in the party’s promises. That means there will either be deep and painful cuts, a lot of unfulfilled promises, or both. Progressives who hoped Ontario was on the brink of a major expansion of social programs—universal dental care, pharmacare, child care, affordable housing—will now be tasked with turning that hope into resolve.

  • Young voters in Ontario should make sure their voice is heard this week

    The main issues go well beyond health care and taxes, the perennial ones that drive older, more established voters. This time, affordable housing and daycare, cheaper university tuition, free dental care and prescription drug coverage and a higher minimum wage – all issues that directly affect a younger voting demographic — are in play… Overall, voter turnout in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada… Among voters in the 18-24 age bracket it’s believed to be closer to 30 per cent…

  • MMIWG inquiry gets six-month deadline extension to finish its work

    … the extension will ensure more people can share their experiences with the inquiry, while still “underscoring the urgency” of its final report… extra money will depend on staffing and other costs that the inquiry will identify… The due date for the inquiry’s final report — meant to probe the “systemic causes” of violence against Indigenous women and girls and make recommendations to the government to address them — is now April 30, 2019.

  • A voter’s guide to the 2018 Ontario election

    The campaign of 2018 featured bold social policies for pharmacare, dental care and child care, though they may never come to pass. The bad news: The parties’ plans to pay for their promises don’t quite add up — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, were never made public as promised. The worst news: None of the above may matter, because this election is being fought mostly over personalities, not policies. For better or for worse, here’s how the major parties rank on five major issues facing the province in this election:

  • Ontario voters should back NDP to stop Doug Ford

    The NDP plan isn’t perfect; for example, we prefer the Liberals’ approach to child care. But overall it’s a program that would maintain Ontario’s progress toward a fairer and more prosperous society… The next government needs to pay greater attention to getting the province’s finances in order; we can’t assume the relatively good economic times will continue indefinitely… the majority of people in this province are fundamentally progressive. They want, and deserve, a government committed to openness, inclusivity and making sure our prosperity is more widely shared.

  • Hot!

    Two worlds collide [Ontario Election 2018]

    … governments that are afraid to raise taxes have two choices—go into deficit or sell off public assets. Part of Wynne’s unpopularity rests on this fundamental dilemma. She decided to both go into deficit and sell off public assets, namely the province’s majority shares in Hydro One. Outrageously high hydro bills ensued and Wynne is having trouble living that down… The moral of the story is that activist premiers may be capable of moving the needle on key social policies, but unless they’re equally progressive on the revenue side of the equation, it’s hard to strike a true balance.

  • Ontario Making Progress on Child Poverty

    Overall, the 2017 Annual Report underscores how critical it is for governments to develop and implement poverty reduction strategies with clear targets and timelines… The Ontario Child Benefit is an example of a policy that has had a major impact in reducing child poverty in Ontario: a clear reminder that good policies can make a real difference in the lives of people who are experiencing poverty.

  • A Prescription for Better Health for Canadians

    … helping families raising children, would have a much bigger impact on the average Canadian’s health than spending more on the health-care system would… The worse a person’s childhood is, the more risk there is of everything from obesity and diabetes to substance abuse and suicide. If we really want to get upstream and prevent illness, it means doing more to support people who are raising children. It would take pressure off the health-care system and save money, but only in the long term.

  • Liberals offer the best child care plan for Ontario

    Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals have proposed an achievable plan that does much, but not everything. Andrea Horwath’s NDP vastly over-promises what it can deliver. And Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives offer shiny trinkets instead of the services that are actually needed… By making daycare free for preschoolers — the most common age group in daycare — the $2.2-billion Liberal plan gets the most bang for the buck and, just as crucially, the necessary new spaces can realistically be rolled out within the three-year time-frame.