Laurentian University is in peril, and it’s not alone. Governments have systematically underfunded universities and colleges across the country for decades

Posted on April 11, 2021 in Education Debates

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It is not due to faculty salaries, as the number of full-time faculty has actually declined over the last decade. Nor is it due to enrolment which has remained stable over the last decade… In addition to the government funding drought… campus modernization has left Laurentian with big mortgages on still half-empty buildings… [Laurentian] provides jobs for around 1,000 people, educates over 9,000 students and undertakes world-class research.

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Child & Family

Defund the Police? Let’s Tackle Toxic Masculinity First

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In addition to clarifying the role of the police, we also have an opportunity in North America to promote a more justice-oriented style of police leadership and to put in place long-term mechanisms of accountability to support and sustain change. At the same time, we need to be active participants in challenging societal norms that continue to equate policing with manliness and aggression.

How the Canada Child Benefit is Performing

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The CCB had a larger effect than the enhanced UCCB, primarily because the amounts available to lower income families are greater, but both reduced poverty. Interestingly, neither had visible labour supply effects for our sample population, despite concerns that enhancing benefits would discourage work. Our work provides further evidence of the efficacy of these types of targeted cash transfers as an effective tool for redistribution and poverty reduction.


The Ford government needs to press pause on plans to permanently expand online education

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Ontario has needed remote learning in the pandemic but it’s a long way to go from saying online education is better than no education to deciding that it’s so good it should be permanently expanded. Most especially if doing so risks destabilizing or further underfunding the school-based system that the vast majority of students will continue to need… the province needs to review what worked well with online learning and figure out how to address the shortcomings…

OCUFA calls for resignation of Ross Romano amid devastating cuts to jobs and programs at Laurentian University


The financial crisis facing Laurentian was created by the provincial government, which has chronically underfunded Ontario’s universities, cut and froze tuition fees without providing equivalent public funding, and abandoned an important Northern university in its greatest moment of need… Romano has demonstrated the same resistance to consultation, transparency, and accountability as the Laurentian administration.


If you don’t have $20 million, relax. A wealth tax won’t touch you

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Canada’s wealthiest 87 families had wealth of $259 billion in 2016; our top 44 billionaires increased their wealth by more than $50 billion during the pandemic… 79 per cent of Canadians favour a wealth tax… In fact, a wealth tax would be the simplest, fairest and most effective way to collect billions of extra dollars of revenue a year, and to limit the power and political influence of the billionaire class… Here are some of the facile arguments being trotted out against a wealth tax.

Measured progress: A new National Scorecard provides the framework for smart and inclusive long-term growth for Canada

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Century Initiative’s inaugural 2021 National Scorecard identified the following key issues as focus areas… productivity… spending on research and development… household debt… public spending on training… availability of childcare… child & youth well-being… public spending related to children & families… quality of broadband internet… environmental sustainability… By measuring our progress, we can manage it


Taxing extreme wealth to offset the costs of the pandemic would be unquestionably fair

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… we should look to new tax measures on extreme wealth transfers, including inheritance taxes, and to changes in the tax treatment of investment income to ensure more equitable treatment in relation to employment income. But for now, as we look to Budget 2021, we should ask those with extreme wealth to pay for our national recovery.

Women, work and COVID-19: Priorities for supporting women and the economy

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This report looks at the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic security of women in Canada and the current efforts to respond to urgent economic need in the short- to medium-term, as well as demands for fundamental systemic change moving forward… Are they setting a course for an intersectional feminist recovery—one that not only recovers lost ground, but also tackles long-standing economic disparities?


Throwing money at Big Pharma won’t guarantee vaccine supply

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Now we’re poised to give Sanofi hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the hope of ensuring a future vaccine supply… If we really want a biotech company we can rely on and that doesn’t hold a gun to our head, we should spend our money creating an enterprise that we actually own and control – a little secret learned by Cuba and, decades earlier, by the brilliant Canadians who created Connaught.

Nurses are not just the front line — we are the only line

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Nurses and other health care workers are facing unprecedented levels of mental health challenges and exhaustion… While the government has been addressing this as an access issue by recently promoting the new college-based Ontario nursing programs, the nursing shortage is due to issues of job satisfaction, funding, and safe staffing, which are not being adequately addressed.


Assumption that institutions are best for elderly is false

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Today Ontario relies far too heavily on institutions and far too little on funding the support required to help elderly people age in place in their own homes or at least within small personalized homes, within their own community… We must challenge the negative assumptions about elderly people that are resulting in widespread institutionalization.

Broadbent Principles for Canadian Social Democracy

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All people have equal worth and equal rights – and all benefit from living in an increasingly equal society. To achieve this in a country with a market-based economy requires an ongoing process of decommodification, a process that sees important social and economic benefits taken out of the market and transformed into universal rights, such as in health services, education, social welfare and housing.

Social Security

Ontario’s vision for social assistance is encouraging – but the budget tells a different story

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Last week’s provincial budget did not include significant funds for housing or other services that contribute to well-being… Current rates are woefully inadequate. The last time rates were increased was 2018. As the cost of living has continued to rise, this means that people have, in effect, had their rates cut during this period. To support people to live with dignity, social assistance must provide both sufficient income and access to services.

Is it time to bury the idea of a universal basic income?

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… the real issue with basic income is a public commitment to an adequate income floor below which no one should fall when factoring in all income sources. A range of income support programs can provide universal coverage without being uniform in delivery as the recent B.C. study indicates… Highly diverse needs by age, gender, (dis)ability, family status, education, employment status, etc. suggest that income supports should be tailored to a wide variety of living circumstances within our population.


The Ford government’s second pandemic budget is another missed opportunity

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The budget unveils plans to “establish a task force to advise the government on how to address the unique and disproportionate economic barriers women face.” It’s ridiculous — the government already knows what to do. It should be making meaningful changes for women and other vulnerable workers now, not delaying action with a task force that will repeat what has been said before.

Tax Index 2021: Line by line break-up of who’s paying and dodging taxes

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Canada’s top 20 billionaires made $37 billion during the pandemic, while thousands lost jobs and took pay cuts… Canada’s income gap is at its widest since the 1980s and upward income mobility has significantly reduced for most of us… A 1% tax on wealth over $20 million would raise $10 billion in the first year alone.