• First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy

    The AFN’s rebuke on what they believed to be “co-development” of environmental legislation illustrates the significant challenges the Liberals face as they look to put those principles in practice. Rather than insist on the right to free, prior and information consent, the Liberals’ principles for relations with Indigenous people says the government “aims to secure” their consent “when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.” Mr. Carr said last week that the government must strike a balance among interests when assessing major projects like pipelines and mines.

  • Is Canadian health care choosing wisely?

    The Canadian Institute for Health Information estimates that 30 per cent of health care, or nearly 1 million tests and treatments annually, is unnecessary… Choosing Wisely hopes to achieve its goals through grassroots advocacy by publishing a series of practice recommendations for physicians based on international peer-reviewed research… In the past, the medical community has experienced the perils of ignoring large segments of the population in its research initiatives.

  • Either invest or face more turmoil at Ontario’s colleges and universities

    Canada has actually cut its public funding since 2008, and now we rank in the bottom half of advanced economies, spending well below what Denmark, Norway, and Sweden invest in their public post-secondary teaching, research, and innovation. The picture is the same in Ontario, where the provincial government has reduced public funding for universities and colleges and now ranks last in public per-student funding in Canada.

  • Canada may be entering ‘sweet part’ of business cycle, Stephen Poloz says

    The Canada Child Benefit has had a “pretty significant” impact on the economy, Poloz said, adding it could be one of the reasons the country has seen rising labour-force participation. “What it did is put a floor under some folks,” Poloz said, adding it may have allowed formerly stay-at-home parents to afford child care or a second car and therefore more easily re-enter the workforce.

  • College strikes a symptom of broken business model

    … an inordinate number of teachers are part-timers with partial loads who are paid an hourly wage that doesn’t cover time spent marking papers or preparing lectures. They don’t know from one semester to the next who or what they’ll be teaching… The dirty little secret of higher education is that working conditions have hit rock bottom. OPSEU, the union representing college teachers, wants half of teaching staff hired as full-timers. That hardly seems excessive.

  • People With Disabilities in Poverty Trap, Says Report

    The median income for people with disabilities in Canada is nearly half that of those without disabilities, and 23 per cent of people with disabilities between 25 and 64 are living in poverty, according to the report. About 13.9 per cent of all Canadians live in poverty… Earlier this year Ottawa consulted the public as part of an initiative to develop legislation to improve accessibility for people with disabilities… anti-poverty organizations in the Chew on This! campaign to call for a national, rights-based anti-poverty plan.

  • Time to follow America’s lead on minimum wage

    … Even if business scaremongering about a wage hike were remotely true (at the margins), the reality is that a rapid increase in interest rates would have far more impact, as would a collapse in the housing market… the politicians… are merely playing catch-up… the heavy lifting happened outside Ontario, with Alberta’s NDP government leading the way to a $15 target in Canada.

  • Census: Median income in four of five Indigenous communities below poverty line

    Statistics Canada reported a spike in income levels in 2015… Only 26 of the 503 of reserves with income data had higher median household incomes… research has shown that Indigenous Peoples regularly earn less than the median income. A 2014 study found they were almost as disadvantaged as in 2006 as they were 25 years earlier in 1981… income isn’t always tied to location, such as being in a remote community.

  • Ottawa is right to settle with Sixties Scoop victims

    Not only was the past program shameful, so was the government’s continuing defence of it. Now Ottawa has taken two other steps that should help in the healing process… $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to help the victims reclaim their identity… $75 million to pay the legal fees of the estimated 20,000 victims who are expected to receive $25,000 to $50,000 each… Now… it should set its sights on correcting other ongoing wrongs to Indigenous children.

  • Election reform is coming to Canada — somewhere, somehow, and soon

    Justin Trudeau may have put the issue on ice at the federal level, having quite spectacularly reneged on his 2015 campaign promise to make that the last election to be held under first past the post. But elsewhere change is very much in the air. Ontario has passed legislation allowing the province’s municipalities, if they choose, to use ranked ballots for their elections… B.C., too, voted by a majority to switch to a form of PR…