• An Apology for Multiculturalism

    Not long ago we assumed globalization, with its intensity of interactions, would breed tolerance for others. Instead, we must fight for that ideal, even if flawed, now more than ever… We should fight for multiculturalism not because it’s easy but because it’s hard. Open societies are rare; they call to each other over the great nightmare of history, candles in windy darknesses. And yet openness to the other has always been an essential element of basic human decency.

  • Notes on a Butter Republic [Social Democracy]

    … a country can produce agricultural products, be “dependent” by most definitions, yet use that as the basis for permanent elevation into the first world. And in today’s world, Denmark manages to be very open to world trade, while having very low levels of inequality both before and after redistribution. Globalization need not be in conflict with social justice… Denmark, where tax receipts are 46 percent of GDP compared with 26 percent in the U.S., is arguably the most social-democratic country in the world.

  • How Canada can actually fix the migration mess on its borders

    The core principle is that a genuine refugee can not be returned to a country that presents a threat to his life or freedom. This is the heart of the Convention and it does not demand much beyond that fundamental obligation. It does not require any state to accept refugees. It does not tell states how to adjudicate claims. It does not include in its definition people fleeing war or natural disasters. It does not condone illegal entry unless the individual enters the asylum country direct from the country of persecution. It does not include people who are internally displaced in their own country.

  • Canada Can Benefit Economically from the Asylum Seeker Surge

    Canada’s support for refugee seekers can be more than just a humanitarian stand. It can lead to an economic benefit to host provinces. How? According to Statistics Canada, job vacancies (unadjusted for seasonality) increased by 19.3 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to more than 462,000 in the first quarter of 2018… Remarkably, a sizable share of these available jobs did not require previous work experience or a minimum education level.

  • The Localist Revolution

    Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things… But under localism, the crucial power center is at the tip of the shovel, where the actual work is being done. Expertise is not in the think tanks but among those who have local knowledge, those with a feel for how things work in a specific place and an awareness of who gets stuff done. Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.

  • Labour force participation, immigration headline OECD’s Canada report

    … the OECD recommended, among other things, that Canada invest more in affordable child care, raise its retirement age and do a better job matching immigration applicants’ qualifications and experience to specific skills needs… “Get people to work longer or retire later, increasing female participation – that kind of thing has a bigger effect than changes in feasible amounts of immigration,”

  • After legalizing pot, is decriminalizing other drugs the logical next step?

    … Public-health officials have long recognized a reality that elected politicians are only belatedly appreciating: Drug use and dependency are best addressed with the tools of health policy, not those of criminal justice… decriminalization… upholds worthwhile social norms – that making, smuggling and trafficking illegal drugs is wrong – while acknowledging that those in the grip of dependency are ill.

  • The refugee ‘crisis’ originates far from our borders

    … in 2017 just over 50,000 asylum claims — irregular or otherwise — were processed. Yet somehow a population that is less than one per cent of Canada’s population has come to constitute a “crisis.” If there is any crisis, it is one of political will and compassionate policy.

  • Unequal partners: A breakdown of how many hold how much of Canada’s wealth

    … across the countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the top 10 per cent of households own 52 per cent of wealth. In terms of income, the top group accounts for 24 per cent. On the lower rungs of the ladder, 60 per cent hold about 12 per cent of household wealth… At the country level, here’s a look at the various groups at the top… [and] among the less fortunate in 28 countries:

  • What does progressive trade policy look like?

    Existing democratic mechanisms are proving inadequate to channel popular discontent in positive, evidence-based directions. Instead, ugly and increasingly dangerous forms of right-wing populism are capitalizing on discontent, creating a platform for inconsistent, arbitrary and ultimately destructive policy responses… Into this ferment, progressives must inject an ambitious, honest and pragmatic vision of how to manage international trade, capital and human flows in ways that protect and enhance living standards, equality and the environment.