• Three points on the GST, to end poverty? Guaranteed income sounds like a good deal

    The income guarantee in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, the province notes, is set at 75 per cent of Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure; combined with “other broadly available tax credits and benefits,” it would be enough to pay for basic household needs. Indeed, it is not far off the low income thresholds defined by StatsCan’s Market Basket Measure. Three points on the GST, to end poverty. I can’t think of a better way to spend public funds.

  • Income security should be at the centre of Ontario’s election

    Our existing income security system is failing to meet Ontario’s needs. It is falling short on adequacy, design, and delivery. It is burdensome for governments to administer and for recipients to navigate. It undermines the economic growth of the province. In the long term, the costs of maintaining this status quo are far greater than the costs of improving the system… It’s time for our party leaders to be open, honest, and ambitious on income security.

  • Liberal budget asks voters to trust they’ll keep their nerve

    … the social benefits from the Liberals’ proposed spending plans outweigh the initial monetary costs… voters are willing to tolerate budget deficits if they think the money is being well spent… Ontario’s debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is predicted to rise slightly over the next three years. But if the Liberals keep their nerve, this is a small price to pay for a path-breaking agenda.

  • Highlights of the Ontario budget

    - $822 million extra to hospitals, funding more cardiac and cancer surgeries, chemotherapy, MRIs and other services; – $575 million to make drugs completely free for seniors; – $800 million over two years for drug and dental coverage for people without insurance (up to $400 for singles, $600 for couples, $50 for each child); – $2.1 billion over four years for mental health care; – $2.2 billion over three years, providing some parents free child care; – $1 billion over three years for a seniors home-care benefit of $750 a year…

  • Ottawa takes an important first step on Inuit welfare

    The federal government’s promise, announced last week, that it will eradicate tuberculosis from Inuit communities by 2030 (and reduce its occurrence by 50 per cent by 2025) shows a welcome and overdue seriousness about a tragic problem that has for too long been ignored. But to succeed the government will have to make a real dent in socio-economic problems on which it has often talked big but failed to deliver.

  • Doctors have no idea how much drugs cost — a Toronto physician wants to change that

    About 1.7 million Canadians didn’t fill prescriptions because they couldn’t afford them. As a result of that, 303,000 people reported seeing their family doctor, 93,000 ended up in emergency, and 26,000 were admitted to hospital… A Toronto MD is urging the province to mandate drug cost transparency by having prices pop up in the electronic medical record, so when doctors write prescriptions they can talk about affordability with patients.

  • Why the left and right should embrace a universal basic income

    What the evidence from the Ontario pilot suggests is that from a social perspective, a basic income improves mental and physical health, which in turn encourages recipients to find more gainful employment… From an economic point of view, as the global economy continues to change more quickly and drastically than ever before – and government looks at how to ease the economic disruption it will cause – a basic income has the ability to act as a stabilizer.

  • Federal Budget a Disappointment for Poverty Fighters

    Ottawa has been called upon to create a national child care strategy and a poverty reduction strategy to honour a number of international agreements… there’s little dedicated spending to chip away at poverty in the country and no concrete plan, such as one based in human rights, backed by legislation, with rigorous time lines and a promise of federal poverty advocate.

  • The federal budget is out. How does it measure up?

    This year’s budget takes some positive steps forward on gender equality and science funding, but comes up short on the bold policy moves that will make a real difference for Canadians—universal child care, pharmacare, health care, and tax fairness… when it comes to substantive action to advance a truly feminist agenda, we’re still waiting for the big investments required to build a more equitable and inclusive economy. Here’s some of what was missing from Budget 2018…

  • How to make Ontario’s Budget 2018 the Income Security Budget

    Budget 2018 can deliver greater prosperity by increasing support to low-income workers, unpaid family carers, and those excluded from the labour market. In particular, Maytree offers recommendations in four areas: Modernizing Ontario’s response to working poverty… Protecting the poorest from falling further behind… Delivering housing affordability by investing in supply and demand… renewing investment in care and carers