• Ontario’s plan for ‘universal’ and ‘affordable’ day care won’t be universal and it sure isn’t affordable

    Subsidies will only be available to low- and middle-income families, and this is a good thing… Government-run day care is simply uneconomical… by increased levels of unionization among child-care workers — both those at public centres and those offering home-based day care. With Ontario’s new labour-law proposals, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and allow for easier private sector unionization, the cost increases could be even more dramatic.

  • The Brass Tax: Busting Myths about Overtaxed Canadians

    … the average tax rate reflects disproportionately the tax rate of the highest-paid… typical Canadians, smack in the middle of the income spectrum, earn incomes of roughly $50,500 and pay about $7,000 in income taxes; their effective tax rate was roughly 14%. The table also shows that only 20% of working Canadians pay more than 20% of their income as income taxes… Canada’s highest earners have an effective income tax rate of only 26%.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s precarious workplace reforms fall painfully short

    … she has failed to deal adequately with two aspects of the modern workplace that contribute to job insecurity. One is the growing tendency of firms to pretend that their workers are self-employed contractors. This fiction allows unscrupulous bosses to avoid shelling out for statutory benefits, such as employment insurance and vacation pay. The other is an antiquated labour relations regime that, in an economy no longer dominated by factories, makes it impossibly difficult for unions to organize.

  • Tory should commit city money to fixing the social housing problem, then ask the province for help

    “The time for action is now. In fact it was before now, because repairing social housing is a moral, economic and social imperative,” Tory said last week. Really? Why, then, do you not increase the city’s allocation of funds to repair the damaged buildings? Why are you promoting a freeze in property taxes instead of a dedicated 1 or 2 per cent increase to build a fund that stops the closures?

  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau vows to close ‘unfair’ tax loopholes

    “When people see that the tax system is stacked against them, they can get frustrated. We need to make sure that everyone — especially including the middle class, the large group of people who don’t have access to these sort of planning methodologies — feels that the system is working for them.” … The secrecy afforded to private corporations is a central concern in the fight against tax unfairness…

  • Basic income reform would need more taxes: OECD

    Welfare reforms that would introduce public payment of an unconditional basic income to everyone of working age are worth exploring but would do little to combat poverty if not financed by extra tax, the OECD said… if existing benefit systems were abolished and the funds used to pay an unconditional, flat-rate payment for all of working age, the payout would be lower than many welfare beneficiaries currently receive.

  • Ottawa shouldn’t ignore hunger for tax fairness

    … the government is well aware of the popular appeal of economic justice. The Liberals’ obsession with “the middle class and those who aspire to join it” defined their successful election campaign. Once in office, Morneau vowed to restore fairness to a tax system that has in many ways contributed to, rather than mitigated, deepening economic inequality… Yet despite Morneau’s repeated mentions of tax fairness, the budget left intact all of the most egregious loopholes, offering only a few marginal reforms.

  • Bad policy has played a role in Canada’s housing crisis

    We ought to remove existing distortions such as favourable treatment of capital gains on real estate, provincial ownership subsidies, taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages, low residential property taxes and restrictive zoning. These policies encourage businesses and individuals to focus on real estate instead of other economic activity, exacerbate price volatility and fail to improve affordability. What better time to cut back these subsidies than when the market is soaring of its own accord and does not need artificial support?

  • The elephant in the classroom amid school closings

    Our one province is blessed with four distinct school systems, divided along religious and language lines, which cut the pedagogical pie into smaller and less sustainable schools… Instead of pointless overspending, or painful streamlining, surely amalgamating school boards — on geographical rather than religious grounds — is the answer.

  • I ran a charity for years. Joe Oliver is wrong about the damage his government did

    … advocating for a change in law or policy is not the same thing as political activism … at all… If a senior citizens’ charity decided to run a public campaign urging for crosswalks to be replaced with traffic lights at crossings near seniors’ homes, that would also be considered a political activity… How can charities make the world a better place if they’re not able to identify laws and policies that should be changed?