‘Humans are suffering’: Axing of basic income pilot project leaves trail of broken dreams

Posted on in Social Security Debates

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The Star and other media organizations have documented how participants have been able to eat healthier food, buy warm clothing, move into stable housing and enrol in college… In addition to the court challenge, mayors of the pilot communities, international researchers, the Hamilton and Thunder Bay Chambers of Commerce, 900 medical professionals and the CEOs of 120 Canadian companies have called on both Queen’s Park and Ottawa to continue the research project the remaining two years.

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Child & Family

Ottawa Wins from Ontario’s Proposed Childcare Rebate

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The newly elected government in Ontario pledged in its electoral platform to implement a childcare rebate program, which would reimburse up to 75 percent of the childcare expenses of low-income families, with the childcare subsidy rate gradually declining as family income grows… Over the first few years, we expect about 60,000 stay-at-home mothers to enter the workforce.


Canada’s Two-Parent Tax Trap and How to Fix It

In 2017, about 9 percent of employed parents contemplating earning a few extra dollars, and about 13 percent of stay-at-home parents contemplating getting a job, faced an effective tax rate higher than 50 percent. Prohibitive effective tax rates matter because they may discourage work, particularly for the lower-earning parent in a family. Beyond not adding to the problem by piling on new income-tested benefits on top of existing ones, governments can help fix this


Education

Ford government cuts student aid under cover of tuition cuts

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The government has no plans to compensate universities and colleges for the $440 million they will lose once the reduced tuition fees take effect. They’re on their own to figure that out… Ontario colleges… receive about $2,000 less per student from the government than those in other provinces. And universities have among the lowest levels of per-student funding in the country, while revenues from tuition and operating grants combined have been flat since 2010.


Ontario’s buck-a-beer playbook is coming to a campus near you — with tuition discounts too good to be true

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… you don’t need a university degree to know that discounted tuition comes at a cost… This isn’t the first government to promise reduced post-secondary costs. The difference is the Tories won’t be making up the difference — because the money will come straight off the bottom line of Ontario’s cash-strapped colleges and universities.


Employment

Why BC’s Carbon Tax Worked

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If we’re ever going to get to a carbon neutral or carbon negative economy, placing a price on carbon is going to be a necessary part of that effort… Fortunately, there is a proven solution that facilitates the carbon dioxide emission reductions that carbon taxes are intended to achieve while also taking into account the burden these taxes impose upon society. Simply make the carbon tax revenue neutral, taking special care to use the money it generates to prioritize tax reductions for the poor, middle class and rural residents affected most.


The Case for a Mixed Economy

… there’s no reason to think the private sector does these things better than the public. Private insurers don’t obviously provide a service that couldn’t be provided, probably more cheaply, by national health insurance. Private hospitals aren’t obviously either better or more efficient than public. For-profit education is actually a disaster area. So you could imagine an economy in which the bulk of education, health, and social assistance currently in the private sector became public, with most people at least as well off as they are now.


Equality

First Nations to have more control over on-reserve education as Ottawa looks to close funding gap

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The new approach, which will take effect April 1, will not see Ottawa spend any additional money over what has previously been committed. The government says the gap core funding between the funding for provincially run schools and reserve schools has already closed in some provinces, is not far apart in others, and will cease to exist entirely over the next two years as a result of the investments that have already been committed in previous budgets. It also recognizes that there are additional gaps in needs that will be addressed separately.


For Indigenous kids’ welfare, our government knows better; it just needs to do better

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The over-representation of First Nations children in care is a problem with a solution. There have been numerous reports over the years calling for the same things… Unless the public puts pressure on provincial, territorial and federal governments, the good solutions on the books will not be implemented. We must tell our politicians: literally thousands of children need our help.


Health

The new Canada’s Food Guide explained: Goodbye four food groups and serving sizes, hello hydration

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The new guide is distilled into one strikingly simple image: a plate of food filled with roughly half fruits and vegetables, and the remaining half divided into whole grains and proteins. The image is meant to convey a simple message, according to Health Canada: Eat a diet made up of roughly half fruits and vegetables, and half of the remaining two categories… the new version also includes specific warnings about what not to eat – namely, processed and prepared foods that are high in sodium, free sugars and saturated fats.


Let’s make 2019 the year Canada finally gets pharmacare (2)

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Canada’s dysfunctional non-system of non-universal drug insurance goes into the ring with one big advantage: It’s the status quo. It exists, through hundreds of government programs and thousands of workplace arrangements and collective agreements. Canadians will have to be persuaded that reform will improve their existing coverage, or at least leave it unchanged.


Inclusion

Toronto may finally have found a better way to build affordable housing

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The city’s “housing now” report outlines zoning the sites for more than 10,000 units of housing and requiring that at least two-thirds of them be purpose-built rentals. And at least half of those rentals (about 3,700) must meet a measure of affordability… Homeless shelters are bursting at the seams, the wait-list for social housing runs tens of thousands deep, and there are still more renters struggling to keep up with rents that rise faster than incomes…
But it does start to tackle part of the problem


Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’

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Parents unable to manage or co-ordinate their adult son or daughter’s daily life believe the only options are day programs, which cost as much as $35,000 a year, or residential care, that typically runs at $140,000 annually, McGill says. Independent facilitators, however, work with individuals to discover their dreams, interests and goals and connect them with much less costly community resources.


Social Security

Ford fails to connect dots between the personal and the political

A million dollars of provincial funding that makes after-school activities possible in Toronto’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods has been cut… His government also cut a $3-million program to help young people with a developmental disability transition to adulthood… It’s a false economy… Doug Ford… can’t make the leap from wanting to help on a personal level to seeing the necessary role of government in assisting groups of people dealing with social problems.


‘Humans are suffering’: Axing of basic income pilot project leaves trail of broken dreams

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The Star and other media organizations have documented how participants have been able to eat healthier food, buy warm clothing, move into stable housing and enrol in college… In addition to the court challenge, mayors of the pilot communities, international researchers, the Hamilton and Thunder Bay Chambers of Commerce, 900 medical professionals and the CEOs of 120 Canadian companies have called on both Queen’s Park and Ottawa to continue the research project the remaining two years.


Governance

Why democracy is in trouble, and what Canadians can do about it

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The less attention communities pay to how they are governed, the easier it is to intrude on the rule of law, the rights of minorities, or threaten the values that we do share… So what can Canadians do to shift these trends? It starts with recognizing democracy is about more than elections… “democracy is a verb”… it can be cultivated, grown and improved upon… start conversations, build networks, invest in skills development, mobilize communities and get people to take notice.


Ford flirts with private health care at his peril

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Ford’s election pledges to axe cap-and-trade and implement tax giveaways that overwhelmingly benefit high income earners and corporations will cost approximately $22 billion. That’s $22 billion less for health, education, roads, transit, housing, parks and so on: among the most severe cuts in our history. We anticipate these cuts to start in earnest after the federal election. They will almost certainly result in privatization, if we do not stop them.