• An Apology for Multiculturalism

    Not long ago we assumed globalization, with its intensity of interactions, would breed tolerance for others. Instead, we must fight for that ideal, even if flawed, now more than ever… We should fight for multiculturalism not because it’s easy but because it’s hard. Open societies are rare; they call to each other over the great nightmare of history, candles in windy darknesses. And yet openness to the other has always been an essential element of basic human decency.

  • A buck-a-beer: the symbol of Ontario populism

    Populist politicians use sentimental yearnings for times past to strike a chord with people who are unsure about how to confront today’s intricate problems. Voters are discouraged by complexities and fearful about the future. The past seems like a safer place to be… Current models offer a more indirect and restrained form of governance, away from the bans and prohibitions of the past and toward more subtle incentives to encourage the right type of behaviour, from environmental compliance to health promotion.

  • What Are Capitalists Thinking?

    Back in the days when our economy just grew and grew, we had a government and a capitalist class that invested in our people and their future… And, funny thing, during all this time, socialism didn’t have much appeal. But ever since, the median income picture has been much spottier, hardly increasing at all in inflation-adjusted dollars over 18 long years. And those incomes at the top have shot to the heavens.

  • We can no longer afford to whitewash our history

    The headlines about the residential schools was the catalyst that made the government admit that the history we’ve been taught has been whitewashed. All Canadian children need to know that their culture has made contributions to Canadian society… Writing workshops were scheduled this summer to update the curriculum…. But one month after the Ontario election, just before the legislature resumed, these workshops, years in the making, were suddenly cancelled.

  • Have Mayor Tory and Council Delivered on Poverty Reduction?

    In sum, thousands more residents do have access to jobs, housing, transit, child care, recreation programs and others services as a result of council decisions over the past four years. However, these modest service expansions have hardly put a dent in long waiting lists, or in Toronto’s high levels of poverty levels and inequality.

  • Ontario families to launch human-rights challenge against sex-ed curriculum rollback

    Six families plan to file a case with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in the next week, noting that the old version of the curriculum makes no mention of issues such as gender diversity or the rights of LGBTQ students… The government’s decision to repeal the modernized curriculum violates the province’s human rights code and should be declared unlawful, their lawyers said… a parent from Guelph, Ont., credits the 2015 curriculum for making his daughter’s gender transition almost “seamless.”

  • Why the Ontario Progessive Conservatives aren’t ‘progressive’

    … today’s Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is most certainly “conservative,” but not even remotely “progressive.” … Naturally, there are Red Tories, or left-leaning Conservatives, like Segal, former Ontario Premier Bill Davis and Toronto Mayor John Tory. These individuals promote progressive values, such as social justice, support for a welfare state, and maintaining significant amounts of public funding for social services. Nevertheless, this isn’t what most Ontario Conservatives think, or have ever thought, about political conservatism. To equate one with the other is wrong.

  • Predicting Hurricane Doug’s path of destruction

    aving analyzed the fallout from the province’s last right-wing government, I expect the damage wrought by Hurricane Doug will be particularly harsh for two specific and often intersecting constituencies: urban progressives and women… Hurricane Doug begins with a simple, brazen focus on streamlining debate out of the political calculus. Urban citizens with a democratic vision live in the eye of a very dangerous storm.

  • Doug Ford’s brutal, rapid-fire approach to governing

    It’s a rapid-fire approach to governing that keeps people off balance, largely uninformed and unable to participate in what little public discourse there is. If you explode six political files in rapid succession people are so shell-shocked they can barely remember the first three, let alone what they might have thought about them. And with so much back-to-back turmoil the standard for what constitutes reasonable government behaviour starts to change. One only needs to look at the United States under President Donald Trump to know that.

  • Save Ontario’s basic income pilot, advocates urge Ottawa

    MacLeod said she killed the project because it isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Ford government’s focus on moving people on welfare into jobs. However, 70 per cent of participants were already working when they enrolled, but earned too little to pay rent and buy food… One of the research goals was to see what happens when low-wage, precarious workers receive a financial top-up. That’s information any government concerned about vulnerable populations should value, Regehr said. “Poverty, insecurity, precarious employment don’t stop at provincial and territorial borders,” she said. “This matters hugely. This isn’t just about Ontario.”