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.
Inclusion Delivery Systemposted April 27, 2017 / No Comments
TCHC recently announced that it will be closing about 400 units next year because it doesn’t have enough money to repair them. That’s on top of 600 units already slated to be shut down this year…. the TCHC has a decade-long, $2.6-billion repair plan. But… TCHC says it can only access about $82 million [next year]. So once again the city is looking to the province and to Ottawa to do their part.
Inclusion Policy Contextposted April 22, 2017 / No Comments
The upcoming national housing strategy looks to cut by 50 per cent the number of “chronic” homeless — many of whom won’t go to shelters and may be harder to reach through traditional support systems — and “episodic” homeless, those who find themselves on the street repeatedly… The Liberals’ second budget in March showed that they wanted to get money directly to cities and service providers without having to deal with provinces.
Inclusion Delivery Systemposted April 6, 2017 / No Comments
… the focus would be on supporting the most vulnerable Canadians, which in addition to people struggling with mental health, addictions and domestic abuse also includes seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans… The national strategy… will also include $3 billion dedicated towards strengthening the relationship between provinces and territories, targeted funding for northern communities and Indigenous communities… and increased funding to prevent and reduce homelessness.
Debatesposted April 2, 2017 / No Comments
… a wide body of sociological research shows how tied up work is with a sense of purpose and identity… Sociology also offers important lessons about poverty that economics alone does not… It’s relatively clear how a change in tax policy or an adjustment to interest rates can make the economy grow faster or slower. It’s less obvious what, if anything, government can do to change forces that are driven by the human psyche.
Social Security Policy Contextposted March 20, 2017 / No Comments
Here are five reasons why the portable housing benefit is a smart idea: 1. It is the most efficient way to help households in need and address homelessness… 2. It will reduce homelessness… 3. It will reduce poverty… 4. Its portability means it is tied to an individual, rather than a housing unit, giving people choice [and] … 5. It is already working.
Governance Debatesposted March 4, 2017 / No Comments
The government should… index the Canada Child Benefit to inflation, fix the EI system by creating fair and universal criteria for access, and pay for… affordable housing… [and] the $155 million in emergency relief it promised to First Nations children living on reserves… On the revenue side… it should continue to invest in tax compliance… [and] limit or scrap some of the many loopholes… that benefit the richest with no evident contribution to the public good.
Inclusion Debatesposted March 3, 2017 / No Comments
This isn’t a “First Nations issue” except inasmuch as First Nations, as a population, are disadvantaged relative to other Canadians on social indicators that predict a vast catalogue of bad outcomes, from going to jail to homelessness to dying in a fire or getting murdered. Individual white Anglo-Saxon Canadians so disadvantaged run similar risks; individual aboriginal Canadians who are not so disadvantaged do not… truly transformational change on this front will only come with transformational change on the most basic fronts: education, employment, income. That’s a massive job.
Debatesposted February 27, 2017 / No Comments
Mr. Morneau’s economic advisory council a few weeks ago pointed out that one of the surest way of boosting long-term economic growth is to grow the workforce, by encouraging seniors and near-seniors to remain in it… allowing the Baby Boom generation to continue to work, accumulate benefits and build up sheltered retirement savings for longer, if they want to…
Social Security Debatesposted February 18, 2017 / No Comments
… much more must be done to ensure EI reflects the shifting reality of work and is adequate to the current cost of living… Some 170,000 households are currently waiting for [public housing] units, with the average wait time at around four years… the day-care situation remains dire. This situation robs too many people, particularly mothers, of the opportunity to work or train… a refundable version of the [disability tax] credit… would be a far more effective tool for helping those with disabilities who need it the most.