A national child-care program would be a boon to Canada’s post-COVID recovery — none more so than Ontario’s

Posted on November 28, 2020 in Debates

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Ontario’s failure to build a 21st-century child-care system is holding back provincial economic recovery. Its patchwork arrangement of overstretched group care, tax-subsidized nannies and sky-high fees squanders tens of billions of dollars of GDP, income and tax revenue. Ontario, and other lagging provinces, have a golden opportunity to fix this problem — and in so doing accelerate Canada’s reconstruction after COVID-19.

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Child & Family

Ontario’s family law takes a step forward in protecting the vulnerable

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The new definition in the Children’s Law Reform Act (CLRA) uses the language of coercive and controlling behaviour and includes sexual, psychological and financial abuse as well as threats of or actual harm to animals among the behaviours considered to be family violence. It also makes explicit that conduct need not constitute a criminal offence for it to be considered in a family law proceeding. 


Universal child care would generate up to $29 billion a year in tax revenues, new report says

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… investing in a “care-led recovery” — for both children and those in long-term care — would create 2.7 times as many jobs as the same investment in a more conventional construction-led recovery… Not includ(ing)… the long-term benefits that come from the “enhanced capabilities and capacities” of children who otherwise wouldn’t have received professional early learning and child care. This leads to increased high school graduation rates, improved employability, higher career earnings and also reduced health-care expenses and criminality…


Education

Without investment, universities and colleges heading for a crisis

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Some of the necessary changes to the funding model for post-secondary education could be met by redirecting the $900 million in unused federal funding from the failed Canada Student Service Grant program. The government could also repurpose the Canada Training Benefit to ensure that Canadians have more meaningful and timely access to educational opportunities.


Future health of Ontario universities uncertain as government refuses to change course on funding

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… the Ford government continues to erode university funding and refuses to change course on their reckless performance-based funding scheme. Instead, the 2020 Ontario Budget promises to squander $60 million dollars on ineffective micro-credentials, which are a solution in search of a problem… the government should be actively consulting university faculty and academic librarians to chart a path forward that builds on our strengths, supports students, and effectively contributes to Ontario’s economic recovery…


Employment

A national child-care program would be a boon to Canada’s post-COVID recovery — none more so than Ontario’s

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Ontario’s failure to build a 21st-century child-care system is holding back provincial economic recovery. Its patchwork arrangement of overstretched group care, tax-subsidized nannies and sky-high fees squanders tens of billions of dollars of GDP, income and tax revenue. Ontario, and other lagging provinces, have a golden opportunity to fix this problem — and in so doing accelerate Canada’s reconstruction after COVID-19.


The Problems with Economic Efficiency

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Roger Martin is a leading global thinker in business management, and his new book, “When More is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency,” offers an idea of why that is… Beyond the obvious problems with economic inequality for people trying to make ends meet, such gaps can also seed serious political problems. And as some recent polling indicates, this can undermine confidence in both democracy and capitalism.


Equality

Wellness is a social justice issue in 2020

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It is time to admit that the path to personal well-being does not begin at the same starting line; COVID has exposed this heartbreaking fact on a devastating stage. Let’s not waste this crisis by aching to return to a “normal” that is fine for a few but unjust for so many others. It is time to define what wellness really is, not just for those who have the good fortune to commit to the practice, but for those who are struggling to stay alive right now.


The Law According to Beverley McLachlin

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“Justice shouldn’t be some sort of abstract principle… It shouldn’t be there just for the well-heeled and corporations… It ought to be there for ordinary Canadians.” … The interview also includes conversations about how to think about progress, the role of the judiciary and the legal system in society


Health

Let’s make Canada a global leader in COVID-19 treatments 

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Canadian-led breakthroughs in medical sciences can improve our health and well-being, bolster our universities and research hospitals, strengthen our reputation in the global competition for resources and talent, and result in economic benefits for Canadians. And, most importantly, these trials could quickly develop novel therapies for treating COVID-19 while creating the downstream benefits of infrastructure and know-how to help us discover treatments for the next pandemic as well as for other diseases.


The Minister of Health should do the right thing and decriminalize drug possession

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Criminalization has never been shown to minimize drug use, nor does it advance the pursuit of care, if needed. It may trigger a series of consequences and pathways that rarely help the individual, let alone promote public interest. The most pressing needs of people who depend on substance use are not met by the criminal justice system… Criminalization should not be justified as an alternative to the shortfall in services to support people with complex requirements to restore their well-being.


Inclusion

Canada aims to accept far more immigrants in next three years

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Immigrants are needed to reduce labour shortages in Canada and to pay taxes to help sustain health care and other services. But the pandemic forced Canada to close its borders to all non-essential travellers… Immigration and refugee experts welcomed the move to grant permanent residency to those already in the country… “people who are already educated here, or have work experience here, or at least have lived here… These are people who are already demonstrating their genuine interest in Canada”


‘Poverty’ is a problem for democracy – focusing on rights can help

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While poverty is experienced by individuals, it is created by systems that fail to protect their rights to a decent standard of living. Supporting individuals and families is certainly necessary. But alone, it will not eliminate poverty. To make real progress towards eliminating poverty, we need systems that support people in realizing their economic and social rights.


Social Security

Let’s turn social assistance on its head to make it better

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I can’t help but be struck by just how bad our social assistance system in Ontario is… social assistance incomes are grossly inadequate. They have been for decades… it is possible to imagine a social assistance system that supports, rather than degrades, the people who use it… we can do better. To start, we must re-imagine a social assistance system that is founded on dignity and human rights.


Welfare in Canada update (2020)

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The report looks at how welfare incomes varied across every province and territory for four example households in 2019: Single person considered employable; Single person with a disability; Single parent with one child age two; and Couple with two children ages 10 and 15… Even where welfare incomes were highest, they fell short of the poverty threshold… 37 of the 40 scenario households receiving social assistance in the provinces were living in deep poverty


Governance

Jason Kenney doesn’t seem to understand what the Charter actually says

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“as a general rule, individual rights in Canada are more circumscribed, and collective or ‘group’ rights, protecting linguistic, religious or aboriginal communities, are more generous than in the United States. In the United States the ethic of the individual is foremost; in Canada there is more concern for the general public welfare and members of disadvantaged groups.” … the Charter doesn’t give cover to governments that don’t want to do what’s required to limit the devastating effects of a pandemic, and it doesn’t explain their decision to slow-roll any public health measures or restrictions.


Doug Ford’s love-hate relationship with the nanny state

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If there’s any time not to demean “the state” in utterly clichéd terms, it’s now. He’s clueless enough to unsheathe the nanny-state weapon at the very moment when governmental action is the only recourse, in a time of virtual — and literally viral — war. There is no substitute for the state in a war.