• We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeTo

    … is awareness actually the problem? Just how many hundreds of thousands of stories will it take to convince those who haven’t suffered sexual abuse that the issue is real and life altering? What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change… From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour.

  • College strikes a symptom of broken business model

    … an inordinate number of teachers are part-timers with partial loads who are paid an hourly wage that doesn’t cover time spent marking papers or preparing lectures. They don’t know from one semester to the next who or what they’ll be teaching… The dirty little secret of higher education is that working conditions have hit rock bottom. OPSEU, the union representing college teachers, wants half of teaching staff hired as full-timers. That hardly seems excessive.

  • Election reform is coming to Canada — somewhere, somehow, and soon

    Justin Trudeau may have put the issue on ice at the federal level, having quite spectacularly reneged on his 2015 campaign promise to make that the last election to be held under first past the post. But elsewhere change is very much in the air. Ontario has passed legislation allowing the province’s municipalities, if they choose, to use ranked ballots for their elections… B.C., too, voted by a majority to switch to a form of PR…

  • He’s worked legally in Canada for 37 years but the government considers him ‘temporary’

    The share of migrant workers in Canada’s agricultural workforce has doubled in the last decade as what was once seasonal need for harvesters has turned into a year-round labour market reality. The workers pay income tax and employment insurance, and contribute to the Canada Pension Plan. However, their precarious status in Canada makes it difficult for them to exercise their rights and protections under labour laws, making them easy prey for unscrupulous recruiters and bad employers.

  • Doctors deserve a better deal, not tax dodges

    … physicians (like lawyers) can access tens of thousands of dollars in RRSP tax shelters beyond the reach of most workers. The lack of physician pensions is a choice they made collectively a half-century ago, when they adamantly refused to be deemed government employees despite earning virtually all their income from public funds in a now archaic fee-for-service model. That income anachronism is debilitating for all sides — patients, doctors and the government.

  • Price tag on national pharmacare will dissuade Ottawa

    A national pharmacare program could save $4.2-billion a year, according to a new report by the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer… But the 93-page report is math-heavy and politics-light… No government in its right mind is going to take on $20-billion a year in additional costs – especially when it involves the federal government absorbing $13-billion in provincial expenses… If Canada is, like most other Western countries, going to embrace pharmacare, it’s going to have to be a national program, not a federal one.

  • Law society’s new policy compels speech, crossing line that must not be crossed

    This policy crosses a line that should not be crossed. It is not enough that we obey. Now we must also agree and actively promote… “The source of the most insidious peril… is not evil wrongdoers seeking to do harm, but parochial bureaucrats seeking to do good.” I suspect Borovoy would be shocked that his warning would apply so acutely to the governing body of the legal profession.

  • How do governments come up with good public policy when an issue has polarized the public? There are some basic guidelines that can help.

    In a post-fact era, when reasoned arguments are not always sufficient to secure support, the perception of a government’s presumed motive is critical and sensitive policy changes must be presented without an overtly political agenda. Voters do not always have the time or inclination to study complicated policy frameworks; if they believe the government is acting for good reason, or has good intentions, that trust can provide an effective shortcut to policy acceptance.

  • What minimum-wage critics don’t want you to know

    The most that any of these studies can claim is that employment will grow more slowly under higher minimum wages than in their absence. None predict that employment will decline… I am going out on a limb to predict that employment in all three provinces will increase with higher minimum wages – not because of them, of course, but because of factors (such as economic growth, population and aggregate demand) that matter most to employment. This is the perfect time to redirect growth so more benefit reaches those who need it most.

  • Most small businesses go nowhere, why tilt the tax system in their favour?

    The best way to stimulate productivity isn’t by subsidizing the creation of a lot of tiny, uncompetitive firms with no hope of going anywhere. It’s by opening the economy to competition and market disruption. Only we’re not terribly keen on either. We don’t need a pro-small business tax policy in this country. We need a pro-growth policy. And the starting point is to get rid of the small business deduction.