• 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

  • 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 word to the wise: Why wisdom might be ripe for rediscovery

    … modern scholarly definitions mention certain traits: compassion and prosocial attitudes that reflect concern for the common good; pragmatic knowledge of life; the use of one’s pragmatic knowledge to resolve personal and social problems; an ability to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty and to see multiple points of view; emotional stability and mastery of one’s feelings; a capacity for reflection and for dispassionate self-understanding.

  • Federal judge approves $875 million settlement for Indigenous ’60s scoop survivors

    The settlement includes $750 million for the survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous healing foundation and $75 million for legal fees. Last October, the federal government said the proposed settlement was for about 20,000 survivors who were moved between 1951 and 1991… [Justice Michel] Shore noted during his opening remarks that the hearing was not the place to share stories, but rather an opportunity for victims to weigh in on the proposed settlement.

  • How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

    The outcomes for kids in the child welfare system, Indigenous or not, are not good… For Indigenous youth, the issues are worse… Every province and territory makes its own decisions on child welfare, including for reserve communities. So how did they all end up with an overwhelming number of Indigenous children in care? Like every social issue facing Indigenous people in Canada, the origins date back to colonization.

  • Ontario must ensure public supports and services for everyone

    … If you compare provincial government program spending, Ontario spends less per capita than any other province. If you look at the size of the Ontario Public Service, it employed 25 per cent fewer full-time equivalent staff in March 2016 than in March 1991… This obsession with small government encourages us to think small, to reduce our expectation of public service. It disengages us from our responsibility as social citizens to ensure public supports and services are there for everyone.

  • “Public Option” Could Fill Gaps in Dental Coverage

    A universal single-payer dental insurance plan, or a public default plan that would cover everyone who doesn’t have an approved private plan, would ensure that no one would have to forgo urgently needed dental care for financial reasons. If properly managed, a public plan that anyone could use as an option would also put competitive pressure on private insurance, and indirectly on the dentists and allied professionals who supply the services.

  • Can Canada reinvent the plastic economy?

    Stop the irrational level of plastic waste; Systematically ensure reduction of unnecessary products; Ensure reuse and recycling – with thoughtful cradle-to-grave product design; Replace petroleum inputs with benign materials… Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has already called for the G7 to develop a “zero plastics waste charter,” and there is talk of a global treaty… there must be more than a photo op, a news release and a general call for global action.

  • Openness, not secrecy should rule the day in Ontario’s tribunals

    Ontario’s network of provincial tribunals rule on matters as important as human rights, workplace safety and police conduct, and they have been operating well outside the spirit and practice of an open court system for far too long… Tribunals were born of the court system and designed to hive off specialized matters and relieve overburdened courts. They were not created to drop a veil of secrecy over important matters of public interest.