• Good Intentions, Not Enough Action in Indigenous Child Welfare Plan, Says Advocate

    … many of the prevention programs the government is now pledging to fund don’t currently exist. Additional funding will be needed for capital and start-up costs for new programming to keep kids with their families… “It’s taken us literally generations to get into the circumstances that have led to a severe overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare… So it’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re seeing really positive movement…”

  • A Prescription for Better Health for Canadians

    If you exercise, eat well, get good sleep and manage your stress, you are going to be healthier than if you didn’t do those things. The point is that across the population some people are much more likely, and able, to make those healthier choices than others are. There’s a need for public policy that doesn’t just tell people to make better choices, but that helps create the conditions and provide the resources that enable individuals to make those healthy choices.

  • To be a reformer, Trudeau must focus less on the middle class and more on the poor

    We should demand a pan-Canadian strategy to address the needs of the millions of Canadians living in poverty. And, unlike what happened in 1989, this should include specific benchmarks and timelines for child poverty so that subsequent governments can be held accountable. There should be an annual report to Parliament on its implementation… With the federal government leading the way through targets and provision of the needed key investments, the provinces, First Nations and Indigenous communities should be brought in as participating partners.

  • The real reason jobs left America

    … the part of the U.S. that specialized in assembly-line manufacturing, and assembly lines are the easiest things in the world to automate… The data that strongly suggested we were heading for a mostly jobless future was available years ago, but most people ignored it. It was too hard to deal with… Most of the attempts to future-proof our politics are currently focused on developing various versions of a guaranteed basic income (Ontario’s pilot program being the biggest and boldest).

  • Ontario’s political centre may have collapsed, but progressive values remain

    Ontarians still hew to centrist values when it comes to the big issues — the role of government, health care, immigration and so on… Ontarians are clearly fed up with the Liberals after 15 years and want a change at Queen’s Park. But they aren’t questioning the fundamental values that Ontarians (and indeed Canadians as a whole) have shared for decades, including a robust role for government in assuring the economic and social well-being of all citizens.

  • A voter’s guide to the 2018 Ontario election

    The campaign of 2018 featured bold social policies for pharmacare, dental care and child care, though they may never come to pass. The bad news: The parties’ plans to pay for their promises don’t quite add up — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, were never made public as promised. The worst news: None of the above may matter, because this election is being fought mostly over personalities, not policies. For better or for worse, here’s how the major parties rank on five major issues facing the province in this election:

  • Choosing none of the above in the Ontario election is a cop-out

    Ontario is far from a basket case. Its citizens enjoy as good a combination of health, wealth, safety and security, education and freedom as any place on earth. It isn’t as evenly distributed as it should be, and governments over the years have worked to lift up and support the most vulnerable… You can’t have it both ways, damning the leaders for what has gone wrong and not giving them credit for what has gone right.

  • Why don’t people want free money? The uncertainty around universal basic income

    The original idea, first introduced to the Canadian debate by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal in 2012, was that a guaranteed basic income would be a simpler, more effective and less intrusive way of getting help to both the unemployed and the working poor. But that’s not why so many people elsewhere are watching the Ontario pilot. They are responding to what at first seems an apocalyptic view of the future… [that] 47 per cent of U.S. jobs as liable to be automated in the next 20 years

  • Ontario Making Progress on Child Poverty

    Overall, the 2017 Annual Report underscores how critical it is for governments to develop and implement poverty reduction strategies with clear targets and timelines… The Ontario Child Benefit is an example of a policy that has had a major impact in reducing child poverty in Ontario: a clear reminder that good policies can make a real difference in the lives of people who are experiencing poverty.

  • A Prescription for Better Health for Canadians

    … helping families raising children, would have a much bigger impact on the average Canadian’s health than spending more on the health-care system would… The worse a person’s childhood is, the more risk there is of everything from obesity and diabetes to substance abuse and suicide. If we really want to get upstream and prevent illness, it means doing more to support people who are raising children. It would take pressure off the health-care system and save money, but only in the long term.