• Canada’s constitution, and the contradiction that works

    … the preservation of provincial diversity and the promotion of national unity. The search for the right balance between those contradictory constitutional impulses has defined 150 years of Canadian constitutional law. Adding Indigenous jurisdictions to the equation will equally shape the next century. It is the contradiction between the unity and diversity inherent in Canada’s overlapping constitutional jurisdictions that creates the capacity for our intense national disagreements, but also the constitutional theory that makes Canada work.

  • The new Toronto megacourthouse is not for youth

    Evidence shows that the most effective way to support young people in conflict with the law, reduce recidivism, and ensure public safety is through community-based programs. Courts and legal services alone can neither address the underlying issues that lead young people into conflict with the law, nor support their rehabilitation. However, once in the system, the best way to treat adolescents appropriately is in separate, specialized youth courts.

  • “Public Option” Could Fill Gaps in Dental Coverage

    A universal single-payer dental insurance plan, or a public default plan that would cover everyone who doesn’t have an approved private plan, would ensure that no one would have to forgo urgently needed dental care for financial reasons. If properly managed, a public plan that anyone could use as an option would also put competitive pressure on private insurance, and indirectly on the dentists and allied professionals who supply the services.

  • Can Canada reinvent the plastic economy?

    Stop the irrational level of plastic waste; Systematically ensure reduction of unnecessary products; Ensure reuse and recycling – with thoughtful cradle-to-grave product design; Replace petroleum inputs with benign materials… Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has already called for the G7 to develop a “zero plastics waste charter,” and there is talk of a global treaty… there must be more than a photo op, a news release and a general call for global action.

  • Openness, not secrecy should rule the day in Ontario’s tribunals

    Ontario’s network of provincial tribunals rule on matters as important as human rights, workplace safety and police conduct, and they have been operating well outside the spirit and practice of an open court system for far too long… Tribunals were born of the court system and designed to hive off specialized matters and relieve overburdened courts. They were not created to drop a veil of secrecy over important matters of public interest.

  • Reforming Ontario’s income security programs to reduce poverty and expand opportunity

    To move forward in response to the advice and recommendations of the working groups, the incoming government should set both a near- and longer-term agenda for reform to address the shortcomings of the current system… Near-term actions: Move to a flat-rate benefit for social assistance that combines the current basic needs and shelter amounts into a single rate adjusted for household size… [and] create a new housing benefit that is not tied to social assistance eligibility

  • Why Trudeau may take a pass on universal pharmacare, despite his party’s wishes

    Canada spends more on prescription drugs, through a chaotic mix of public, private and individual payers, than nearly every other country on earth: $34 billion annually, or roughly $1,000 per capita — a third higher than the OECD average, and twice what countries like Denmark and the Netherlands pay. Yet an estimated 10 per cent of our people have no drug insurance — two to three times the rate in comparable countries — while another 10 per cent are classed as under-insured…

  • Comeau ruling about more than beer and the Supreme Court got it right

    … at any given point, one Canadian province or another will be leading the way on health, safety, energy-efficiency, or carbon standards. Thanks to Comeau, the innovators have a shield to protect their public-interest regulations from section 121 challenges. Otherwise, provinces with better standards would risk being dragged down to the lowest common denominator by those with lax or inexistent regulations.

  • Ontario’s basic income experiment would continue under Doug Ford

    Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives support Ontario’s basic income pilot project, a three-year experiment to determine whether regular, no-strings-attached payments improve health, education and housing outcomes for people living in poverty. “We look forward to seeing the results,” a party spokesperson said Monday about the Liberal government initiative launched a year ago today.

  • A measly $292.50 that could have changed it all

    “The Supreme Court failed to rule that Provinces have no right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. This is indeed unfortunate news for Canadian consumers, but a relief for provinces who have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice, for years. For the agrifood sector, the decision would have had tremendous significance.” … Some favorable to the current regime believe the Comeau ruling could have triggered a race to the bottom, in terms of health standards and food safety. Such an argument is nonsense. Risk management practices in the Canadian agrifood sector are exemplary.