• Filling the Cavities in Canada’s Dental Coverage

    A straightforward way of creating universality would be to gradually expand and merge existing public plans until everyone in the population was covered. However, universality does not necessarily mean that everyone must be insured through the same plan. As an alternative, we explore a mixed model with competition between private and public insurance in our recent C.D. Howe Institute report.

  • How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare

    The outcomes for kids in the child welfare system, Indigenous or not, are not good… For Indigenous youth, the issues are worse… Every province and territory makes its own decisions on child welfare, including for reserve communities. So how did they all end up with an overwhelming number of Indigenous children in care? Like every social issue facing Indigenous people in Canada, the origins date back to colonization.

  • 2018 Ontario Election Kit for Faith Communities

    ISARC has prepared a toolkit for faith communities to discuss issues and deliberate on electoral choices. As faith communities we have an obligation to care for those most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities… The ISARC Election Kit focuses on Income Security, Housing, and Employment Justice.

  • “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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Canada can afford a guaranteed basic income. But should it?

    the Parliamentary Budget Office pegged the net annual cost of implementing Ontario’s “negative income-tax“ plan nationally (more than seven-million people would qualify) at $43.1 billion. The figure was reached by calculating the total cost ($76 billion) and subtracting the federal benefits it would replace. The net increase of $43.1 billion is a lot of money, but it represents just two per cent of GDP and 5.6 per cent of consolidated federal and provincial expenditures…

  • Community justice hubs to offer addiction, mental health support under same roof as courts

    In the present model, “the judge will say, ‘You need a treatment plan and can you just get on the streetcar and go down the street to CAMH?’ And people walk out the door and they are gone.” Instead, at a justice centre, the “accused actually has access to a social worker, someone they can point to, and say, ‘You need to go talk to that person who is sitting at the back of the courtroom and they are going to help you put together a plan to deal with all the issues you are facing.’ ”

  • Pitfalls for Ford’s mimimum wage tax-break plan

    The first issue is who will benefit. Is it only minimum-wage workers, or will it include part-time workers with the same annual earnings? What about those who make slightly more than the minimum wage? This is an important detail, as poorly designed policy can make taxpayers face what is known by economists as the welfare cliff… A simpler way is to raise the basic minimum exemption (the amount every person isn’t taxed on) to what an average minimum wage worker earns.

  • 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.