• Ford’s government starts its misguided moves against safe injection sites

    Last year, nearly 4,000 Canadians died from opioid overdoses. And 1,100 of those deaths were in Ontario and over 300 of them in Toronto… Ford’s government hasn’t just stopped three urgently-needed facilities from opening, it seems all but ready to close existing sites and throw the province’s entire harm-reduction strategy out the window… Ford announced during the election campaign that he was “dead set” against the sites…

  • A buck-a-beer: the symbol of Ontario populism

    Populist politicians use sentimental yearnings for times past to strike a chord with people who are unsure about how to confront today’s intricate problems. Voters are discouraged by complexities and fearful about the future. The past seems like a safer place to be… Current models offer a more indirect and restrained form of governance, away from the bans and prohibitions of the past and toward more subtle incentives to encourage the right type of behaviour, from environmental compliance to health promotion.

  • Notes on a Butter Republic [Social Democracy]

    … a country can produce agricultural products, be “dependent” by most definitions, yet use that as the basis for permanent elevation into the first world. And in today’s world, Denmark manages to be very open to world trade, while having very low levels of inequality both before and after redistribution. Globalization need not be in conflict with social justice… Denmark, where tax receipts are 46 percent of GDP compared with 26 percent in the U.S., is arguably the most social-democratic country in the world.

  • What Are Capitalists Thinking?

    Back in the days when our economy just grew and grew, we had a government and a capitalist class that invested in our people and their future… And, funny thing, during all this time, socialism didn’t have much appeal. But ever since, the median income picture has been much spottier, hardly increasing at all in inflation-adjusted dollars over 18 long years. And those incomes at the top have shot to the heavens.

  • If Ontario won’t see sense, Ottawa should save the basic income pilot

    It’s possible that this project, costing $50 million a year, will actually save money by reducing health-care costs, enabling people to improve their education and ultimately get decent jobs, so they won’t need ongoing government support. But the fledgling Ford government has cancelled the program before we can find out. Promise broken… The Ford government itself barely seems to know why it decided to kill the pilot. In fact, the reasons given for the broken promise grow more absurd with every sitting of the legislature.

  • Have Mayor Tory and Council Delivered on Poverty Reduction?

    In sum, thousands more residents do have access to jobs, housing, transit, child care, recreation programs and others services as a result of council decisions over the past four years. However, these modest service expansions have hardly put a dent in long waiting lists, or in Toronto’s high levels of poverty levels and inequality.

  • Predicting Hurricane Doug’s path of destruction

    aving analyzed the fallout from the province’s last right-wing government, I expect the damage wrought by Hurricane Doug will be particularly harsh for two specific and often intersecting constituencies: urban progressives and women… Hurricane Doug begins with a simple, brazen focus on streamlining debate out of the political calculus. Urban citizens with a democratic vision live in the eye of a very dangerous storm.

  • Ford government vows basic-income pilot will receive ‘lengthy runway’ before cancellation

    “I have been very clear since last week that the basic-income research project will wind down and details will be forthcoming, but I have been clear that there will be a lengthy and compassionate runway,” Ms. MacLeod told reporters at Queen’s Park. She said she would “provide those details in the next week or two.”

  • Toronto can solve its affordable housing crisis. Here’s how

    The city’s housing affordability crisis acts as a fundamental limit on our future progress. The talent needed to fuel our economy can no longer afford to comfortably live here… Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians… With the prosperity our city is generating, we have the means and capacity to address this crisis. What we need are leaders with the political will to take it on and solve it. Nothing less that the future success of our city and the future well-being of all Torontonians is at stake.

  • Abandoning the red Tory tradition hurting the most vulnerable

    … something cruel and uncaring has developed in Canadian and especially Ontario politics, a new conservatism that has abandoned the paternalism of the red Tory tradition, and replaced it with harshness, division, and a disregard for those who are most in need of our concern and empathy. Whether it’s using dismissive language about migrants, cutting promised minimum wage and welfare increases, or ending guaranteed income schemes, it stinks of something almost Dickensian.