• … Top 23 takeaways from the Ontario budget

    Ontario will become the first province to offer pharmacare to all young people, regardless of income, who are 24 and under. Some 4,400 prescription drugs will be covered… the abortion pill will provide an alternative to women seeing to end a pregnancy up to seven weeks… The province will spend $20 million to increase respite care for dementia patients and increase the number of seniors’ centres… From elementary schools to jails to seniors centres, the province is improving mental health services in many of its service areas…

  • Judge exposes how we criminalize mental illness

    From arrest to prosecution, conviction, sentencing, use of segregation, all stages of our criminal justice system are now consistently overrepresented by people who are suffering from psychosis, mania, mood disorders, depression, alcoholism and addiction, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders… While there is no panacea, the better way is to ensure people get help when they need it, before they are at risk of homelessness, unemployment, or conflict with law.

  • Ontario’s ‘basic income’ pilot helps defuse political anger that stems from economic exclusion

    Canada’s existing welfare programs are far too limited. In Ontario, for example, a single adult receives payouts equal to about 45 percent of the poverty line, or approximately $9,000. Existing programs also include dehumanizing micro-eligibility requirements that dilute self-respect, discourage work, and frustrate hardworking caseworkers. They trap people in poverty rather than providing them with a bridge to the economic mainstream.

  • A Stronger Safety Net

    … filing a tax return would automatically trigger a “no-­strings-attached” cash grant for anyone whose income falls below the poverty line. Less of the money earned above the $1,320 would be clawed back, providing a greater incentive for claimants to work, says Segal. The proposed program is far easier to administer, less paternalistic and allows people to spend their money as they choose…

  • Why free money is a hard sell in tough times

    The go-go growth of four decades ago was not an ideal incubator for an idealistic income support program. Critics might have said, back then (if not now): Get a job… Today it’s possible to get a job, but harder to keep a job, because jobs for life turned out to be short-lived… Pick your poison: globalization, automation, artificial intelligence or information technology… Against that backdrop, the guaranteed minimum payout has been rebranded a basic income.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s basic income plan is bread without circuses

    … it is not clear that it will do much more for the poor. The maximum basic income subsidies — $16,989 for singles and $24,027 for couples — represent just 38 per cent of median income in Ontario adjusted for family size… there is a sense of inevitability to all of this — a feeling that the world of work has changed to such an extent that nothing can be done to keep wages at a viable level and that the only way to avoid social chaos is to subsidize them.

  • Ottawa changes its mind on UNDRIP, but it is taking a risk

    Ms. Bennett says her government does not agree that “free, prior and informed consent” adds up to an Indigenous veto on development but, rather, that it is about “making decisions together.” “It means not putting some fully baked project in front of people and getting them to vote yes or no,” she said.

  • Ontario launches basic income pilot for 4,000 in Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Lindsay

    … single adults between the ages of 18 and 64 will receive up to $16,989 annually and couples will receive up to $24,027. People with disabilities will receive an additional $6,000. Single people would have to earn less than about $34,000 to qualify and the income cut-off for couples would be about $48,000… Those on social assistance will be able to keep their drug cards and other benefits. But Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments will be deducted from the basic income dollar for dollar.

  • Andrea Horwath’s pharmacare proposal makes good sense

    We are the only country in the world with universal health care that doesn’t also offer universal drug coverage, and for this we have suffered. Our existing hodgepodge of private drug plans and patchy public coverage puts too many Canadians at risk. At any given time, thousands face aggravated illness and needless suffering because they can’t afford the rising price of drugs

  • Three Ontario cities to test basic income in three-year pilot project

    Residents of Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay will be the first Ontarians to receive a guaranteed minimum income as part of a new provincial pilot project… Premier Kathleen Wynne… said the level of support starts at just under $17,000 a year for single people, and while that isn’t extravagant, she says it will make a real difference in people’s lives.