• Public and social services jobs: the economic lifeline in communities across Ontario

    To sum up: public and social service jobs are not only one in four jobs in the province, but also the jobs more likely, on average, to provide a middle-class lifestyle akin to what manufacturing jobs offered previous generations. They are Ontario’s last reservoir of middle-class jobs… And if individuals and families rely on public and social sector jobs to secure decent income, so do communities. Twenty-six percent is the average proportion of public and social sector jobs in Ontario.

  • All children should feel like they belong at school

    Unfortunately, Ontario’s current approach to “special education” is premised on exclusion. It labels students with disabilities as “exceptions” before meeting their needs. Ironically, the “exceptional” label excludes many common mental health, intellectual and learning disabilities altogether, making it even harder for students to get help. Families find the process for identifying and supporting students with disabilities bureaucratic, confusing, alienating, unnecessarily adversarial and exhausting.

  • It’s time to take consultations with First Nations seriously

    Justice Eleanor Dawson wrote: “Meaningful consultation is not intended simply to allow Indigenous peoples ‘to blow off steam’ before the Crown proceeds to do what it always intended to do. Consultation is meaningless when it excludes from the outset any form of accommodation.” … In sum, consultation needs to be done when Indigenous rights are affected by a development. Consultation must include the possibility of accommodation. Each affected First Nation is entitled to its own consultations, particular to their own circumstances.

  • Crazy rich Canadians: How to tax the 1%

    … federal and provincial governments have pursued the wrong strategy by pushing up rates above 50 per cent. Instead, a far better approach would have been to broaden tax bases that would have mitigated rather increased the scope for tax avoidance and, at the same time simplify, reduce distortions and improve fairness… it’s time to have a serious effort at reviewing the tax system to grow the economy and make taxes fair.

  • Canada must seize the moment to get pharmacare right

    … the new provincial government has announced the cancellation of OHIP+, which provided prescription drug coverage for seniors and people under 25. This announcement turns back efforts to provide greater access to prescription drugs for Ontarians. Without a national pharmacare program, Ontarians will see greater costs and fewer benefits… Failure to take medication as prescribed can greatly reduce health outcomes and put lives at risk. It also adds strain and cost to a health-care system that is already overburdened.

  • Ontario tells colleges, universities to develop free speech policies or face funding cuts

    The government said all university and college policies must include a definition of freedom of speech and adhere to principles based on the University of Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression. That document says colleges and university are places for open and free discussion, institutions should not shield students from ideas they disagree with or find offensive, and university or college community members cannot obstruct the freedom of others to share their views.

  • Stop hate at its root — economic injustice

    … if we really want to stop hate, we need to do more than just call it out. We need to recognize that it is growing economic inequality that creates the conditions for hate to fester… There is no excuse for inaction in the face of economic injustice. It’s time to implement real solutions. Solutions like universal pharmacare, which economists say is more than feasible and will save us billions of dollars… Solutions like universal child care… Solutions like an immediate federal investment in housing…

  • How a universal basic income benefits society

    Receiving a basic income turned my life around. I’ve left unhealthy housing, re-entered the workforce and started repaying debts and retraining. Basic income works. It’s also essential in our automated, outsourced world of scarce employment. One universal basic income program would end poverty, reduce health-care spending and replace broken Ontario Works, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and ODSP systems. It would save taxpayers billions.

  • What’s good and what can be improved in the national poverty strategy

    … there is still a lot that can be improved in the new strategy. First, there is no new money for any existing or new policies included… Clearly more money around issues such as housing is desperately needed… we also need strategies for important sections of the population, including Indigenous peoples, that are made together with them as partners… We have to keep updating the LIM so we can compare ourselves to other countries…

  • Hamilton photographer puts a face to people hurt by cancellation of Ontario’s basic income pilot project

    “The Basic Income pilot allowed me to have the psychological and financial freedom to explore where I could be the most effective in society. I wasn’t using it to survive, I was using it to thrive,” … “It (the pilot) is an investment in people.