• Toronto can solve its affordable housing crisis. Here’s how

    The city’s housing affordability crisis acts as a fundamental limit on our future progress. The talent needed to fuel our economy can no longer afford to comfortably live here… Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians… With the prosperity our city is generating, we have the means and capacity to address this crisis. What we need are leaders with the political will to take it on and solve it. Nothing less that the future success of our city and the future well-being of all Torontonians is at stake.

  • ‘I may end up homeless again’: Six Ontarians talk about their life before, after and, once again, without basic income

    Close to 1,000 Hamiltonians are being left in the lurch after the new Progressive Conservative government announced it is scrapping a basic income pilot program less than one year after it launched… The Hamilton Spectator spoke to six people enrolled in the basic income program, which cost $50 million a year, and heard from several others about what the project meant to them… [and] what’s next?

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    … Toronto wound up with an affordable housing program that doesn’t actually produce much affordable rental housing. Instead, it results in housing that’s pegged to the city’s average market rents. Certainly, that’s not bad housing and it fills a need. But it does not fill the needs of Toronto’s low-income tenants as the city is so keen to suggest it does.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    In a city like Toronto the cost of housing has risen far faster than incomes, making the average market rent calculation meaningless when it comes to defining affordability. That’s why the city has an affordable housing crisis that sees low-income residents living in homeless shelters; waiting for years to get into social housing where rents are affordable; and struggling to make monthly paycheques stretch to cover the rent and still put food on the table.

  • 30 years later, child poverty remains a national disgrace

    Despite Canada being one of the world’s richest countries, 4.8 million people live in poverty — 1.2 million are children. More than 850,000 Canadians rely on food banks — and those numbers are growing — and more than 250,000 Canadians experience some form of homelessness annually… Instead of cutting poverty over the last three decades, we’ve seen tax and program cuts, the steady growth of precarious work and insufficient investments in our social safety net.

  • Ontario’s cities need a new approach to homelessness

    The system seems to simply move from crisis to crisis with minimal evidence of strategic or long-term thinking… Under this model, Ontario government would issue a call for proposals to its municipal partners and flow new funding based on bids by municipal governments to achieve real measurable outcomes… fewer people in core-housing need, fewer people on the waiting lists for social housing, and a reduction and ultimate elimination of homelessness.

  • The law has done its job, but there must be justice for Tina Fontaine

    Outrage at her death in 2014 was a crucial factor in prompting the Trudeau government to set up the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) two years later… its success will be measured… in how effective it is in sparking real change. The inquiry… has compiled 1,200 recommendations to address the problems it is looking at. The issue isn’t more recommendations — it’s whether they are put into action.

  • We need to focus more on mental-health care

    … access to appropriate, effective mental-health care needs to be seen as a basic human right and component of a publicly funded health-care system. / People suffering mental illness were deinstitutionalized without necessary community supports, to be managed by law enforcement and ER staff who lack the skills and facilities to respond respectfully. / The article understates real-world factors (marginalization, social determinants, and access to competent help) that can thwart the potential impacts of even the most cutting-edge research.

  • Homeless shelter crisis reveals unabashed attempt to legitimize inequality

    What we have here is an unabashed attempt to legitimize inequality; the rich are rich because they deserve to be, because they’re superior. “Ordinary people,” by contrast, are inferior, and, therefore, deserving of poverty. Their very ordinariness condemns them to minimum wages and unpaid breaks. The homeless, at the bottom of the barrel, are wholly undeserving… The notion that taxes could be a means of redistributing wealth is now considered a socialist heresy.

  • Biting cold exposes deeper rot in Toronto’s attitudes to poverty

    … fixing short-term inadequacies will have to be paired with a more sweeping strategy involving all three levels of government to improve income security, strengthen mental health, addiction, and overdose prevention services, and make affordable housing the national priority it used to be. None of these things can or will happen until we acknowledge that the austerity consensus in public policy has been a failure; that real efficiency means actually meeting human needs rather than perpetually looking for and inventing new ways to cut public spending