• Either invest or face more turmoil at Ontario’s colleges and universities

    Canada has actually cut its public funding since 2008, and now we rank in the bottom half of advanced economies, spending well below what Denmark, Norway, and Sweden invest in their public post-secondary teaching, research, and innovation. The picture is the same in Ontario, where the provincial government has reduced public funding for universities and colleges and now ranks last in public per-student funding in Canada.

  • Canada may be entering ‘sweet part’ of business cycle, Stephen Poloz says

    The Canada Child Benefit has had a “pretty significant” impact on the economy, Poloz said, adding it could be one of the reasons the country has seen rising labour-force participation. “What it did is put a floor under some folks,” Poloz said, adding it may have allowed formerly stay-at-home parents to afford child care or a second car and therefore more easily re-enter the workforce.

  • College strikes a symptom of broken business model

    … an inordinate number of teachers are part-timers with partial loads who are paid an hourly wage that doesn’t cover time spent marking papers or preparing lectures. They don’t know from one semester to the next who or what they’ll be teaching… The dirty little secret of higher education is that working conditions have hit rock bottom. OPSEU, the union representing college teachers, wants half of teaching staff hired as full-timers. That hardly seems excessive.

  • Time to follow America’s lead on minimum wage

    … Even if business scaremongering about a wage hike were remotely true (at the margins), the reality is that a rapid increase in interest rates would have far more impact, as would a collapse in the housing market… the politicians… are merely playing catch-up… the heavy lifting happened outside Ontario, with Alberta’s NDP government leading the way to a $15 target in Canada.

  • Census: Median income in four of five Indigenous communities below poverty line

    Statistics Canada reported a spike in income levels in 2015… Only 26 of the 503 of reserves with income data had higher median household incomes… research has shown that Indigenous Peoples regularly earn less than the median income. A 2014 study found they were almost as disadvantaged as in 2006 as they were 25 years earlier in 1981… income isn’t always tied to location, such as being in a remote community.

  • Ottawa is right to settle with Sixties Scoop victims

    Not only was the past program shameful, so was the government’s continuing defence of it. Now Ottawa has taken two other steps that should help in the healing process… $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to help the victims reclaim their identity… $75 million to pay the legal fees of the estimated 20,000 victims who are expected to receive $25,000 to $50,000 each… Now… it should set its sights on correcting other ongoing wrongs to Indigenous children.

  • Students are not fragile flowers – we must care about their mental health

    The Canadian Mental Health Association ‘s #b4stage4 campaign asks a thought-provoking question: What if we waited until Stage 4 to treat cancer? … We would never allow our medical system to wait that long to treat this disease. We fully expect to have preventive education, screening and early treatment. Now, imagine if the standard of treatment was equal for mental and physical health conditions.

  • It’s time for a smarter approach to drugs

    The harm-reduction approach cannot fully succeed until we stop treating people addicted to drugs as criminals… The war on drugs has driven up the cost of policing, contributed to a national crisis of court delays, compounded racial and class inequities and unnecessarily criminalized people living with physical and mental illness. All that, without delivering any of the promised benefits for public health or public safety.

  • Ontario’s basic income pilot project enrols 400 people, so far

    About 30 per cent of the initial group are on social assistance and the rest the working poor… efforts are being made to sign up participants because the pilot is “such a paradigm shift from what people are used to … it really is taking a lot of outreach in the community, a lot of one-on-one answering of questions so people understand what it is they could sign up for.”

  • A good day for press freedom

    … Members of Parliament passed the Journalistic Source Protection Act, which originated as a private member’s bill in the Senate, marking a major step forward for press freedom. We will finally be joining the United States, Britain, France and others in providing a legal safeguard for the privileged relationship between source and reporter.