• The Lion’s Share: Pension deficits and shareholder payments among Canada’s largest companies

    … 39 companies oversaw a $10.8 billion deficit in their pension plans in 2016, while increasing shareholder payouts from $31.9 billion in 2011 to $46.9 billion last year. This paper, co-published by the CCPA and the Canadian Labour Congress, details the extent to which DB pension plans among S&P/TSX 60 companies are underfunded, provides the cost to shareholders that eliminating the pension deficits would pose, and offers a series of recommendations for ensuring the security of retirees’ benefits.

  • Community capitalism: A path to prosperity for First Nations

    Community capitalism generates so-called “own-source revenues” (OSR) – money that First Nations earn for themselves rather than receive from government transfers. We estimate that the total amount of OSR is now in excess of $3-billion a year (some First Nations do not make public reports). That’s a significant amount compared with the roughly $5.5-billion transferred to the same First Nations by governments in fiscal 2015-16.

  • Liberal government urged to be more aggressive in tackling poverty

    The most recent international rankings of 41 developed nations shows Canada lags behind its peers in several areas related to poverty reduction. The UNICEF report placed Canada near the bottom in terms of global goals to end poverty in all its forms and ending hunger. Statistics Canada’s latest census data revealed that 1.2 million Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015, representing 17 per cent of all children.

  • Canada’s wealthy may have started a tax revolt, and Ontario is the first to notice

    The provincial update revealed that personal income tax revenues in the country’s largest province were downgraded to come in nearly $2 billion lower than forecast in the spring budget, despite an upgrade in projected economic growth. No explanation was offered for this unusual set of circumstances — tax revenues should rise in a growing economy — but the suspicion is that high-earning Canadians are fed up seeing more than 50 cents on every dollar they earn over $200,000 taken by the taxman.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    To be effective, apologies must acknowledge the offence and harms done. They must express remorse. They must undertake to learn from the experience and not repeat offensive behaviours. And they must make reparation… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology on behalf of Canadians… will be a welcome step toward a more just society.

  • You know, there’s a reason no one’s put in a guaranteed annual income yet

    The idea of a “guarantee” is uncontroversial enough: we’ve already accepted that Canadians are entitled to a certain minimal standard of living. Why not make that implicit guarantee an explicit one? … Unless you’re willing to advocate for a drastic increase in taxes, the responsible thing to do is abandon the impossible GAI dream and focus on what is possible with current levels of tax revenues.

  • Ottawa should finish the job on advocacy work by charities

    … giving charities a wider scope to speak out on public issues would bring with it a host of benefits. It would encourage experts associated with those groups to add their expertise to public debates. It would enlarge the pool of people participating in those debates, since charities often serve as a way for those without a strong voice to speak up. It would provide more opportunities for people interested in policy debates, but leery of traditional political parties, to get involved. Finally, it would help to tip the balance in debates in favour of those with the public interest in mind.

  • There is a prescription for poverty’s punishing impact on health in Ontario

    One of the reasons poverty is expensive is because people living in poverty have higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Children in low-income families are at higher risk of diagnosed mental health problems, nutritional deficiencies, asthma and injury… Aside from being inadequate, our social assistance programs are dysfunctional… With the cost of poverty at more than $32 billion per year in Ontario, we can’t afford to continue with the same flawed system…

  • What’s so scary about free speech on campus?

    The concept of words as weapons that can inflict damage on people’s equality rights is a staple of feminist legal thought. It is also widespread on campuses today… For all their talk about diversity and inclusion, universities have become monocultures of thought, where unpopular ideas are often regarded as downright toxic… “Universities are no longer places where ideas may freely circulate… if you even bring up the ‘wrong’ ideas, you are labelled as some sort of public enemy.”

  • Canadian tax hypocrisy that favours the rich must end: Broadbent

    Tax avoidance and evasion by the rich ultimately undermines democracy: it starves social programs and public services, increases after tax income and wealth inequality, and further concentrates economic resources in the hands of a few… Ordinary Canadians have a right to be angry that the very rich are being pampered by our political elites. The response should be broad-based, progressive tax reform to make the system much fairer and more transparent.