Forget a guaranteed basic income. There’s a better way to make sure Canadians have enough money after COVID-19

Posted on September 19, 2020 in Policy Context

Source: — Authors:

We already have many well-entrenched programs serving many parts of the population quite well… To replace many of them with a single cheque would not only be legally difficult, but would also give the federal government a blunt instrument to deal with the complex and ever-changing problems of poverty, low income and inequality… It’s become painfully obvious that ensuring that there are enough affordable, high-quality child-care spaces is essential for a recovery.

Read More > >

Child & Family

Opportunity for a privacy law that works for consumers, businesses

Source: — Authors:

While a modern privacy framework respects privacy through meaningful consent, it is also practical and realistic. It allows for certain business practices without consent, when individuals can reasonably expect them as part and parcel of what they signed up for, subject to appropriate conditions and regulatory oversight… This is an important time to pursue a new private-sector privacy law for Ontario.


It’s time to get rid of civil juries

Source: — Authors:

The Ontario government should take steps to effect much-needed changes to the civil jury system. It is possible to provide injury victims with timely and fair access to the civil courts, while decreasing the civil case backlog. The right to a civil jury should be reserved for a small subset of cases, such as those that trigger the public interest or where community values are at stake.


Education

Online classes will impoverish the university experience for students

Source: — Authors:

Students come to university because they want to change: to become something or someone they are not yet. This transformation involves looking at the world in a new way and interacting with people who have a variety of world views and experiences. This is so much harder to accomplish virtually than face-to-face. Online education is effective for a small set of students: those who are highly motivated, mature, and who already possess considerable experience learning online. Most undergraduates do not fall into this category.


Orwell’s Warning on Speaking Freely

Source: — Authors:

… speaking freely is in danger… from liberal elites who, when tested, lack the courage of their liberal convictions; from so-called progressives whose core convictions were never liberal to begin with; from administrative types at nonprofits and corporations who, with only vague convictions of their own, don’t want to be on the wrong side of a P.R. headache.


Employment

Forget a guaranteed basic income. There’s a better way to make sure Canadians have enough money after COVID-19

Source: — Authors:

We already have many well-entrenched programs serving many parts of the population quite well… To replace many of them with a single cheque would not only be legally difficult, but would also give the federal government a blunt instrument to deal with the complex and ever-changing problems of poverty, low income and inequality… It’s become painfully obvious that ensuring that there are enough affordable, high-quality child-care spaces is essential for a recovery.


Liberals are considering a universal basic income, but economists have tough questions for its proponents

Source: — Authors:

“What we’re really talking about is not ensuring everyone receives a cheque but ensuring there’s a minimum floor below which no Canadian ought to fall. So it really is a conversation about rethinking and reinventing our social safety net”… But the program won’t be popular with everyone… Problem 1: The Cost… Problem 2: The Incentives… Problem 3: The Cuts…


Equality

Freeland prepares to take us down a self-defeating path

Source: — Authors:

The problem with putting government-influenced distribution of wealth ahead of wealth creation as a public policy goal is that it tends to create a national economy that is a zero-sum game — i.e., stagnant — and pursues a socioeconomic goal in which wealth is taken from those who have earned it and given to those who have not, in the name of social justice and in implicit exchange for their votes. This ultimately leads to massive discontent, corruption and a failed economy.


‘Billionaire wealth has bounced back’: Canada’s 20 richest people saw their fortunes grow by $37 billion during COVID-19, study says

Source: — Authors:

The proceeds of a wealth tax could “create ongoing revenue streams” to fund important social policy initiatives… “That includes areas such as health care, building a universal child-care system, addressing the housing crisis that exists in so many parts of the country, and addressing the next looming crisis on the horizon in climate change.”


Health

Long-term care operators call on Ontario government to address severe staffing shortage

Source: — Authors:

Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, is so frustrated with the government’s lack of action, she announced on July 31 that she will not reopen the VIANurse program if the province is hit with a second wave of the virus… “Nursing home residents deserve permanent solutions… We are done with Band-Aid solutions.” … The B.C. government unveiled a new program last week that will train up to 7,000 people to work as health care aides in long-term care homes. The government will pay the tuition costs.


B.C. moves to dramatically increase access to safe alternatives to illicit drugs

Source: — Authors:

… the province significantly expands access to a “safer supply” to combat record overdose deaths caused by toxic street drugs…. the changes are the first step in undoing decades of harm caused by bad drug policy, and show that policy makers are listening to people on the ground. “Now the work begins on what drugs are available, what drugs we can access… we cannot continue to give drug users the least-sought-after drugs and expect them not to access the contaminated supply.”


Inclusion

Helping Others or Helping Yourself? The COVID-19 Pandemic and WE Charity Scandal Have Forced a Long Overdue Discussion About Volunteering in Canada

Source: — Authors:

The [2001] Accord between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector was meant as a first step in forging a deeper relationship between Ottawa and the charitable sector. It featured a commitment by the government to engage the sector in issues of legislation and the development of policies and programs, to help build its capacity, and give it a seat at the ministerial table… it’s time to revisit the accord and consider reforms like a government ministry for the sector and a joint apparatus for government and the voluntary sector to work together.


Strengthening Canada’s disability community in a post-pandemic world

Source: — Authors: , ,

COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on our society, comparable to that of the Second World War and the population explosion of the 1960s. Following those historic events, Canada responded with ambitious and innovative social legislation designed to meet the needs of a changing world. Those innovations gave birth to the broad social, health and education supports that Canadians enjoy today. The current crisis demands similarly bold solutions.


Social Security

Basic income would be the biggest reordering of public finance in a generation

Source: — Authors:

… the question of how it would be paid for (the UBI Works page on suggested tax increases to fund a UBI is eye-opening, in multiple senses of the phrase). One point that is worth dwelling on early in the discussion is what a UBI would mean for a pretty fundamental element of Canadian politics: the balance between federal and provincial spending.


Canada needs a national income program for people with disabilities

Source: — Authors:

With [CERB], imbalances and biases in income security decisions were starkly exposed. Governments clearly expected people with disabilities to live on disability income benefits (such as the Canada Pension Plan Disability and provincial social assistance) of an amount… of half or less than the $2,000 a month provided by the CERB… If anything, should those people not receive slightly more than their peers?


Governance

With the pandemic war still on, can we afford a postpandemic Throne Speech?

Source: — Authors:

Team Trudeau’s original 2015 idea of using that extra borrowing to pay for a temporary surge in long-term investment fell by the wayside. There’s a strong hint it might be revived later this month. Would that make sense? The only fair answer is: It depends on what the money is being spent on… If it’s permanent, how will it be paid for?


For Canada to truly recover economically, we need new thinking around access to justice

Source: — Authors:

… while legal aid organizations across the country play a crucial role in access to justice, there is so much more that can be done. The expansion of specialized courts such as drug courts, mental health courts, Indigenous courts and so on provide off-ramps for those for whom traditional justice measures are costly and wouldn’t be effective.