• A clear call to move Canadian research forward

    Because of research, the average life expectancy of a Canadian born today is double what it was when the country was created 150 years ago. The social, health and economic benefits are so pervasive that it is sometimes difficult to see how important fundamental research has become to our lives… the landmark report… by … David Naylor should be compulsory reading

  • 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

  • Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment

    Housing Minister Chris Ballard, responsible for Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, says basic income “has captured people’s imaginations.” “It’s a rare opportunity to make some real change… There has been so much talk, so much written. A little bit of study here, a little bit of study there. A lot of theory. We’re going to have an opportunity to do a rock-solid pilot that is either going to prove or disprove it.”

  • A short history of the poverty-busting power of basic income

    The idea of a minimum or basic income has been around for almost 500 years… But, now it’s the international darling once again. Pilot projects are planned or underway in almost a dozen countries in both the developed and underdeveloped world in response to concern that globalization and technological advances are leaving large swaths of the population behind.

  • Benefits of basic income will be felt by everyone

    Public resistance to basic income is largely rooted in the notion people who are paid to “do nothing” won’t be motivated to get a job, a supposition Segal says is completely unsupported. “There’s not a scintilla of evidence to back that up,” he told CBC’s The Current in November. Rather, freeing people from the unremitting stress and “time poverty” of constantly scrambling to make ends meet can give them a chance to better their situation — whether through employment, or upgrading their skills — without constantly proving their eligibility for benefits.

  • It’s past time to protect the ‘precariat’

    Two new studies paint bleak portraits of the economic circumstances of young workers and others struggling to get by in the new economy. Together, they suggest that while governments may not want or be able to stop the evolution now underway, they must move quickly to address widening gaps in worker protections, lest the better part of a generation fall through the cracks… governments can’t and shouldn’t want to stop innovation. But neither are they powerless to shape it or to protect workers from its worst consequences.

  • Guaranteed minimum incomes could be an election issue in Nova Scotia

    A guaranteed annual income has been defined as a single, cash payment that would replace all current social programs, such as welfare and employment insurance. It would create a minimum income below which no Canadian would fall. Statistics Canada now sets a “low-income line” at about $22,200 for a single person and $47,000 for a family with three children. Sen. Segal contends that such a policy would be affordable because it would be funded with the dollars available from the elimination of other social programs and the savings from avoiding poverty’s immense costs.

  • A guaranteed basic income? Humbug!

    … what if the owning and renting classes simply view a BI as another source to be scarfed up through higher rents, charges, privatized highways etc., so it ends up merely expanding the gulf between the rich and the rest? Would I vote for it? Maybe, as a desperate stopgap measure. People have to survive. But I wouldn’t stop skulking around, conniving and contriving a way to contest power, not just gratefully accept its ambiguous droppings.

  • Child benefits cut tax rate for families in Canada, OECD report finds

    At the turn of the century, a single-income family with two children in Canada had an effective tax rate of 14.2 per cent. That rate fell below 10 per cent after the Great Recession and dropped dramatically over the past two years… Over the same period, the net personal average tax rate for a single worker remained above 20 per cent.

  • 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.