• Province needs strategy to fund ‘systemic’ housing crisis for vulnerable seniors

    TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorials – Ontario’s government has ignored “systemic” problem of dangerous, unlicensed senior care homes. It needs a strategy to provide proper care and […]

  • Thousands of under-65 adults with physical disabilities are being forced into Ontario nursing homes: Ministry data

    More than 90,000 people spent time in “long-stay” beds in Ontario long-term care homes last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care… including… more than 2,300 people in their 50s, and about 500 in their 40s. Doctors and residents say they have seen people as young as 21 entering nursing homes, to live with people older than their grandparents. “Essentially it’s a default scenario because there is nowhere that a young person can go for long-term care, except a nursing home,”

  • Caring for vulnerable children starts with caring for parents

    … the government’s flawed information on homeless births is not only a problem of inadequate data collection. It is also a symptom of a greater issue: the stigma attached to homelessness which impedes pregnant, homeless women from disclosing their status and seeking support… To address the root of this issue the province should make access to housing support more readily available to pregnant women and integrate such services within the health care system to encourage women to reach out rather than conceal their challenges.

  • Freeing our people: Updates from the long road to deinstitutionalization

    How can we expect any better from society when our own government continues to fund deeply segregated, dehumanizing and dangerous forms of support for people with intellectual disabilities? Out of sight, out of mind has hidden many disturbing facts about intellectual disability from the public for far too long. We can no longer say that we didn’t know any better. We can no longer say we can’t do any better.

  • Wynne government should dump cruel panhandling ban

    If the government is concerned about the threat to public safety posed by homelessness and poverty, the Safe Streets Act is precisely the wrong approach. The money wasted enforcing this unfair and ineffective law would be much better spent on, say, affordable housing or mental health services or other chronically underfunded social programs that seek to address the root causes of homelessness.

  • To solve Canada’s social housing problem, we should look to Britain’s privatization schemes

    … the needy would be able to rent newly-built, city-owned houses at subsidized rates for a fixed period of 10 to 15 years. The houses would then be offered for sale at a discount, with the tenants having first dibs at becoming owners of their own homes — something that is beyond reach for most renters… tenants will be likely to set aside the money they’ll need for the ultimate down payment 10 or 15 years hence, invest in their property’s upkeep, and develop a commitment to the safety of the neighbourhoods

  • Tory should commit city money to fixing the social housing problem, then ask the province for help

    “The time for action is now. In fact it was before now, because repairing social housing is a moral, economic and social imperative,” Tory said last week. Really? Why, then, do you not increase the city’s allocation of funds to repair the damaged buildings? Why are you promoting a freeze in property taxes instead of a dedicated 1 or 2 per cent increase to build a fund that stops the closures?

  • Don’t let social housing crumble

    … allowing the corporation’s units to keep deteriorating and be shut down would lead to higher health-care spending, rising crime and a host of other social costs… investing in repairs would create thousands of jobs, spur private investment, and generate billions of extra dollars in federal and provincial taxes. For both social and economic reasons, the provincial and federal governments must commit money for much-needed repairs before this crisis deepens.

  • Bad policy has played a role in Canada’s housing crisis

    We ought to remove existing distortions such as favourable treatment of capital gains on real estate, provincial ownership subsidies, taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages, low residential property taxes and restrictive zoning. These policies encourage businesses and individuals to focus on real estate instead of other economic activity, exacerbate price volatility and fail to improve affordability. What better time to cut back these subsidies than when the market is soaring of its own accord and does not need artificial support?

  • A pre-pre-election budget to bolster Liberal fortunes

    Free pharmaceuticals for young people (a blessing). Transit breaks for old people (a sop). Cheaper child care for young parents (long overdue). Free tuition for most college students (already announced but still worthy and worth repeating). Rent control for everyone (a reprise). Hefty discounts off everyone’s hydro bills (a perennial). And the first balanced budget after a decade of deficits (about time). Which clears the way for its more progressive measures, notably phased pharmacare.