• Pathways to Education lowers barriers to achievement for poor kids

    … the dropout rate in low-income communities across the country ranges from 30 to 50 per cent as a result of barriers to education… for every dollar invested in Pathways to Education, there is a return on investment of $24 — a cumulative lifetime benefit to society of $600,000 for every graduate, when you consider factors like higher taxes paid, better life expectancy and health outcomes, and reduced government transfer payments.

  • Canada must seize the moment to get pharmacare right

    … the new provincial government has announced the cancellation of OHIP+, which provided prescription drug coverage for seniors and people under 25. This announcement turns back efforts to provide greater access to prescription drugs for Ontarians. Without a national pharmacare program, Ontarians will see greater costs and fewer benefits… Failure to take medication as prescribed can greatly reduce health outcomes and put lives at risk. It also adds strain and cost to a health-care system that is already overburdened.

  • Business group calls for ‘full repeal’ of Ontario’s new workplace protections

    The umbrella body representing 60,000 Ontario small business owners is calling on the provincial government to fully repeal the most sweeping changes to workplace protections in decades — including a higher minimum wage, equal pay protections for temporary workers, and paid emergency leave days… The legislation introduced under Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne last year was aimed at strengthening protections for vulnerable workers…

  • Stop hate at its root — economic injustice

    … if we really want to stop hate, we need to do more than just call it out. We need to recognize that it is growing economic inequality that creates the conditions for hate to fester… There is no excuse for inaction in the face of economic injustice. It’s time to implement real solutions. Solutions like universal pharmacare, which economists say is more than feasible and will save us billions of dollars… Solutions like universal child care… Solutions like an immediate federal investment in housing…

  • How a universal basic income benefits society

    Receiving a basic income turned my life around. I’ve left unhealthy housing, re-entered the workforce and started repaying debts and retraining. Basic income works. It’s also essential in our automated, outsourced world of scarce employment. One universal basic income program would end poverty, reduce health-care spending and replace broken Ontario Works, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and ODSP systems. It would save taxpayers billions.

  • Ford picks up class war where Mike Harris left off

    Now, in Ontario, we’re back to a full-frontal embrace of inequality… What makes this revival particularly insidious is that Ford didn’t campaign on it; he refused to reveal where he’d wield the knife to produce $6 billion in spending cuts, and specifically denied he would end the Basic Income Pilot Project… Another clear signal… was its decision last month to cut in half the scheduled increase in benefits for social assistance recipients, including those with disabilities.

  • What’s good and what can be improved in the national poverty strategy

    … there is still a lot that can be improved in the new strategy. First, there is no new money for any existing or new policies included… Clearly more money around issues such as housing is desperately needed… we also need strategies for important sections of the population, including Indigenous peoples, that are made together with them as partners… We have to keep updating the LIM so we can compare ourselves to other countries…

  • Hamilton photographer puts a face to people hurt by cancellation of Ontario’s basic income pilot project

    “The Basic Income pilot allowed me to have the psychological and financial freedom to explore where I could be the most effective in society. I wasn’t using it to survive, I was using it to thrive,” … “It (the pilot) is an investment in people.

  • Canada’s poverty strategy stitched together existing policies and called it a new plan

    The strategy basically pulls together all the government’s previously announced programs to reduce poverty. There are no new policies and no new funding commitments to improve or speed up current programs… There is a new $12 million investment over five years but that’s earmarked for gaps in poverty measurements.

  • The benefits to raising Ontario’s minimum wage are tangible

    Increasing the minimum wage is one of the most effective means we have of assisting the economically disadvantaged. It puts a new, higher floor under all wages, including those earned by millions of Ontarians living just above the poverty line. The benefits are tangible: higher household incomes; increased consumer spending; lower workplace turnover and absenteeism. The few studies claiming to show job loss from minimum wage increases have been debunked.