• Ontario’s child care election promises win praise from B.C. finance minister

    The Wynne government’s recent $2.2 billion budget initiative is coupled with its 2016 commitment to create 100,000 new licensed spots for kids under age 4 within five years. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last week vowed to “do better” in her election platform… “When you look at demographics . . . when you have the Governor of the Bank of Canada speaking in favour of child care as a recruitment and retention issue, getting women back into the workforce is critical,”

  • The intolerance industry is working overtime in Canada

    Should we split each other into a bunch of identity groups squabbling over the spoils? Or should we stress our common values and do our best to make sure that everybody has a fair shot? Must we claim, as lots of people do, that Canada is rotten with every kind of “ism” and phobia? Or can we acknowledge that we really are a pretty fair and just society that’s trying to do better? … I believe the way forward should be rooted in pride and confidence, not accusations and shame.

  • The long, slow drive to equal gender pay in Ontario

    The Liberals’ move to redress the gender wage gap is inexplicably late in its tabling, vague in its constitution, and painfully slow in its proposed enactment… the wage gap in Ontario remains stuck at 30 per cent on average “and over the past 10 years has remained largely unchanged.” Averages always conceal. In this case what you don’t see is the 57-per-cent wage gap for Indigenous women; the 39-per-cent wage gap for immigrant women.

  • Ontario has reshaped the national child care debate

    At a conjuncture when confidence in governments seems to be faltering, Ontario’s bold announcement that only good public policy can create the services that families need is visionary, and changes the social and political conversation. It underscores that Canadians are citizens, not merely consumers or taxpayers. It is a long overdue acknowledgment that mothers, children, and today’s families have a rightful claim to social support.

  • Ontario budget to fund free child care for preschoolers as part of $2.2B plan

    Premier Kathleen Wynne has unveiled free child care for preschoolers in a $2.2 billion budget boost that is the cornerstone of the Liberals’ spring re-election platform… “If we don’t do something to give more women the choice to return to work after having kids and do it on their own terms then we will never achieve gender equality.” The government will also introduce a provincial wage grid for chronically low-paid child-care workers by 2020 to bring early childhood educator wages up to the level of those in the school system.

  • Why women’s votes matter now

    … women have so many concerns – gender violence, pay equity, the lack of and the cost of childcare, job insecurity, the state of schools, to name just a few. Because we experience these issues on a personal level, we don’t always connect them to political decisions. But we need to do that, and here are three reasons why: Budgets matter… Representation matters… Women’s Power matters…

  • A civil election campaign is vital to encourage women in politics

    History has shown that it’s quite possible – maybe even easier — to get elected by appealing to selected sections of the electorate and exploiting humanity’s worst instincts. But it’s impossible to govern effectively that way, to build anything that endures, to use high office in the service of our best selves. It would stand as an impressive first act of leadership if all would-be premiers said, in their first statements, that they will run, and will demand from their own supporters, campaigns of civility and respect.

  • Justin Trudeau should not glibly dismiss universal programs

    There are understandable reasons to balk at the prospect of creating new universal programs. The start-up costs can be daunting and if Ottawa is to share the burden with the provinces, as it must, then it will have to wade into the forbidding fed-prov morass. Still, at least in the case of pharmacare, and arguably for daycare, too, the evidence is clear that both the public and the economics support a universal program. So why the opposition?

  • No equality without universal child care

    Today more than ever, it is evident that the lack of affordable child care remains a central barrier to equality for women with children… The first child care milestone dates back nearly 50 years, to when the Royal Commission on the Status of Women reported on its work… It’s now 2018, and women whose grandmothers greeted the Royal Commission’s report with high hopes still don’t have access to the affordable, high-quality child care it envisioned in 1970.

  • What does the federal budget mean for low-income Canadians?

    Perhaps the most significant aspect of the budget in terms of poverty reduction was the announcement that the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) would become the more generous Canada Workers Benefit (CWB). This change… works by topping up the incomes of working people… once wages exceed a certain threshold the amount decreases with each dollar earned until it reaches zero.