• Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Why the Nordic social democratic model can’t be implemented from Ottawa

    … the Nordic countries… are all unitary nations without provinces, states or territories. Canada is a federation with powers constitutionally divided between two levels of government… The Nordic model isn’t just a capitalist-run economy with social programs and a progressive tax system wrapped around it. The economies of Nordic social democracies are run by a social partnership between employers and labour that by its nature creates greater equality.

  • Solo living is the new norm. Let’s learn to deal with it

    The main reason people live alone today is because they can afford it. Generations ago, few people had the means to go solo. Families formed to pool resources, which they used to feed, shelter and protect each other. But two things – the welfare state and the market economy – combined to generate unprecedented levels of personal security. And how did people use their new-found affluence? They got places of their own… The other major social change that makes living alone possible is the rising status of women.

  • The unspoken problem in Pikangikum

    The question that needs asking is, how do you reconcile the right of Indigenous people to live on their ancestral lands with the undeniable fact that, in some remote, fly-in communities, there is no viable economy to support them? … Other communities in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), a loose organization of First Nations communities in Northern Ontario, have social problems too, including high suicide rates. But most are much smaller in size. And many have better, if still struggling, local economies.

  • 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