• Cutting off workers from benefits at 65 unconstitutional, human rights tribunal rules

    In 2006, Ontario passed a law that ended the ability of employers to terminate workers when they turned 65. But the province’s Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act still allow employers to cut workers off benefits when they turn 65, which the tribunal decision called a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision means employers will no longer be able to rely on the Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act to justify excluding workers over 65 from their benefits plans, and will make them vulnerable to lawsuits if they do.

  • Ontario’s political centre may have collapsed, but progressive values remain

    Ontarians still hew to centrist values when it comes to the big issues — the role of government, health care, immigration and so on… Ontarians are clearly fed up with the Liberals after 15 years and want a change at Queen’s Park. But they aren’t questioning the fundamental values that Ontarians (and indeed Canadians as a whole) have shared for decades, including a robust role for government in assuring the economic and social well-being of all citizens.

  • Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish

    … for decades the United States played by the rules; everyone grew richer and the United States grew richer faster than everyone else. In the postwar world, the United States’ support of free trade was a key – perhaps the key – to its rise to global economic leader. Nowadays, however, the game has changed. Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

  • Ontario has lost its political centre

    The political centre is collapsing in Ontario, polarizing between social democrats and populist conservatives… The knowledge economy centred in the Toronto-to-Waterloo corridor creates many new jobs, but dispossesses people with less education and more hands-on skills. Artificial intelligence will widen the gulf between winners and losers. In such an environment, why wouldn’t the losers lash out? In such a society, where is the appeal in moderation of any kind?

  • 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:

  • NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on

    The compelling reason that Canada signed onto NAFTA (and to the original free-trade agreement) in the first place was to shield our economy from this type of capricious protectionism. It largely – if not completely – worked for us for the better part of three decades… But now we are locked in a relationship with an unpredictable and (economically) aggressive partner. No amount of nostalgia or wishful thinking can change that.

  • 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.

  • Choosing none of the above in the Ontario election is a cop-out

    Ontario is far from a basket case. Its citizens enjoy as good a combination of health, wealth, safety and security, education and freedom as any place on earth. It isn’t as evenly distributed as it should be, and governments over the years have worked to lift up and support the most vulnerable… You can’t have it both ways, damning the leaders for what has gone wrong and not giving them credit for what has gone right.

  • Why don’t people want free money? The uncertainty around universal basic income

    The original idea, first introduced to the Canadian debate by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal in 2012, was that a guaranteed basic income would be a simpler, more effective and less intrusive way of getting help to both the unemployed and the working poor. But that’s not why so many people elsewhere are watching the Ontario pilot. They are responding to what at first seems an apocalyptic view of the future… [that] 47 per cent of U.S. jobs as liable to be automated in the next 20 years

  • Ontario divided: Anger, economics and the fault lines that could decide the election

    Over the past decade, Ontario has created 580,000 new positions, as measured by the increase in employed people. Metro Toronto, which accounts for less than half of the province’s population, nabbed 80 per cent of those jobs. Ottawa accounts for another 10 per cent. The rest of Ontario, with millions of people from Cornwall to Thunder Bay, accounts for the remaining 10 per cent.
    The situation is ripe for a populist to rip through the province and attract voters by exploiting the grievances of those who have been left out of the boom.