A last-minute guide to what the federal parties are pitching

Posted on in Governance Debates

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Over the course of the election, federal parties have been making their pitch to Canadians on their plans for the environment, health care, affordability, the economy and plenty more…here’s what the parties are pitching:

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Child & Family

Spotlight needed on urban Indigenous child welfare

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There is a critical gap in Bill C-92 that fails to address the need for urban service providers to be involved in the federal transformation of Indigenous child and family services. According to unpublished data from the most recent Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2018, in 85 per cent of investigations conducted for First Nations children, the family resided off-reserve. Collaboration with urban service delivery experts is paramount to achieve the desired outcomes of this legislation.


Where do the major parties stand on family and child care?

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Besides the rising cost of housing, child care fees are a major source of financial pain… child care often costs another rent- or mortgage-sized payment… The rates of individuals diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and autism spectrum disorder continue to edge higher… Several of the major parties have pledged to support families caring for individuals with disabilities, but to date, their promises have largely been “piecemeal,” falling far short of the concerted, large-scale efforts that are needed..


Education

Free speech on campus means universities must protect the dignity of all students

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… these controversies are a demonstration of the external pressures created by movements that test the limits of democratic tolerance, and partly they reflect changes in culture which affect the internal balance of power within the university… universities must take an active stance in support of all members’ equal dignity, so that all are able to contribute to a shared mission.


Strike-averting deal with Ontario education workers includes $20M to bring back laid off support staff

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The provincial government will spend $20 million a year to ensure support staff who were laid off last month return to Ontario schools — and remain there for the next three years — and another $58 million annually to help create more support for special education students… educational assistants, early childhood educators, custodians and office staff — also retained all sick day benefits…


Employment

Should We Soak the Rich? You Bet!

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As a society, instead of playing Robin Hood to smooth out the inequities, we’ve played the Sheriff of Nottingham. Lawrence Summers, the economist and former Treasury secretary, has calculated that if we had the same income distribution today as we had in 1979, the bottom 80 percent would have about an extra $1 trillion each year and the top 1 percent would have about $1 trillion less.


Want a competitive capitalist economy? Choose big government

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North Americans decided to make a choice between big corporations or big government, and favoured the former; Europeans realized that big government was the pathway to keeping corporations competitive and was good for consumers and society. We should not be looking at life as a choice between big, activist government or a successful market economy. To achieve the second, we need more of the first.


Equality

UN report blasts ‘abhorrent’ housing conditions of Canada’s Indigenous people

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… housing conditions for Indigenous peoples around the world are overwhelmingly abhorrent and too often violate the right to adequate housing,” the report reads. “(Indigenous people) are more likely to suffer inadequate housing and negative health outcomes as a result, they have disproportionately high rates of homelessness and they are extremely vulnerable to forced evictions, land-grabbing and the effects of climate change.”


It’s time for federal leaders to focus on inequality

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… there’s a real problem when the benefits of wealth and opportunity are not shared by everyone…. while unemployment is the lowest it’s been in decades, the jobs are increasingly not very good ones… When the federal parties talk about jobs on the campaign trail, it needs to be a conversation about good jobs. When they talk about making life more affordable, they should be clear about who they’re talking about and how they’ll deliver. The Vital Signs report is a depressing but timely reminder that income and wealth are highly co-related with race, where people were born, and where they live now.


Health

Who deserves mental health? It should be everyone

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As the Canadian Mental Health Association’s research has shown, more than half of us consider depression and anxiety to be at “epidemic levels” and yet 1.6 million Canadians feel they’re going untreated. The CMHA has called for a federal parity act to bring mental-health spending “into balance” with spending on physical health (right now, only 7.2 per cent of health-care spending goes to mental health).


Civil servants get the Rolls Royce of pharmacare while party leaders can’t even muster a decent plan

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… opinion polls show most Canadians do support a national insurance scheme for prescription drugs. Will election promises bring the benefits Canadians need?… Unless whoever forms the federal government after the election provides: adequate resources for good-quality national pharmacare, a guarantee of long-term funding, and a roadmap for integrating it with existing provincial programs, Canadians hoping for improved access to medicines are unlikely to be satisfied.


Inclusion

Indigenous group leader says it is planning to buy majority stake in Trans Mountain pipeline project

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The leader of an Indigenous group seeking to buy a 51-per-cent stake in the Trans Mountain oil pipeline project says he is well-positioned to negotiate with the political party that wins the Oct. 21 federal election… Mr. LeBourdais said he plans to line up two banks as key lenders and also hopes to obtain federal loan guarantees, noting that… the expansion could cost at least $7.4-billion.


Canada shouldn’t welcome birth tourists

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Birth tourism rankles the public because it feels like cheating… The way to do that is to adopt visa restrictions – denying visas to women who are coming to Canada expressly to give birth, and to crack down on both brokers and birth houses… Canada should remain a welcoming country but not one whose citizenship is for sale.


Social Security

Lessons from Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot

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Michael Mendelson looks at Ontario’s experience to offer lessons on how to – and how not to – set up future Basic Income trials. The report focuses in particular on three aspects of the pilot in which the experimental design fell short: lack of a “saturation” site, problems of enrollment, and use of the income tax system to test recipients’ income… The author also suggests a five-step process for governments considering another Basic Income experiment…


Report aims to put poverty on the agenda in federal election campaign

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… the problem persists in all 338 federal ridings, with First Nations and recent immigrant children impacted the most… In the 68 ridings with the highest rates of child poverty, an average of 32 per cent of children — more than 400,000 — are growing up poor… Twenty-nine ridings with the highest child poverty rates are in Ontario, with 14 of them in Toronto.


Governance

A last-minute guide to what the federal parties are pitching

Source: — Authors: , ,

Over the course of the election, federal parties have been making their pitch to Canadians on their plans for the environment, health care, affordability, the economy and plenty more…here’s what the parties are pitching:


Scheer, Ford and the lessons of Ontario

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Ontario voters gave Ford their support when he warned of troubled government finances that needed a conservative touch to right the ship. They trusted him when he promised to put more money in their pockets and to cut government spending in ways they wouldn’t notice. We know how poorly that’s turned out, but Scheer is still hoping voters will buy those lines once again.