Putting economic and social rights at the heart of policy-making

Posted on in Inclusion Policy Context

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Too many people are currently being left behind as changing social, economic, and political tides wash past them… we must help people and communities weather these changes by strengthening how we think about, and develop, public policy. We can do this by prioritizing the human rights and dignities of all Canadians. Not only civil and political rights, but economic and social rights, too.

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Child & Family

Reforming the Child Care Expense Deduction

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… a substantial proportion of lower- and middle-income Canadian families are not able to fully deduct their childcare expenses… The problem is greater in Ontario, in relation to the province’s new childcare tax credit… For the CARE credit alone, raising the claim limit from two-thirds to 100 percent of the lower-income parent’s earnings would benefit about six in 10 two-parent families earning less than $50,000.


A better way to keep kids safe

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Now a new pilot program run by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto called “Journey to Zero” will focus on early intervention in an effort to keep children in their own homes and out of care… “We shouldn’t design a system where we are raising children”… The solution? Putting much more emphasis on supporting families in need so they, not children’s aid societies, can do the job themselves.


Education

Canadian high school students among top performers in reading, according to new international ranking

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… we are in the … position where we can focus on the small improvements that will impact the struggling students, rather than having to focus on the majority of these students not even having basic literacy skills… Among the 79 countries that participated, five outperformed Canada in science. Meanwhile, nine outperformed Canada in math… governments and teacher-training programs have started focusing on the math skills of educators.


About to graduate, education students question fairness of new mandatory math test

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Education students across the province are campaigning against the math test for new teachers introduced by the Conservative government even while they cram to prepare for it… The test will assess both their knowledge of the math curriculum from Grades 3 to 11 and pedagogy, or the best way to teach the subject… based on “core understandings, otherwise known as big ideas, surrounding important content dimensions in mathematics.”


Employment

Employers keep breaking safety laws — and government enforcement isn’t stopping them, auditor general finds

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“The ministry’s enforcement efforts are not preventing many employers from continuing the same unsafe practices,” the report says… The auditor general report also highlighted issues with the ministry’s enforcement capabilities: its information system, which informs inspection strategy, only contains details of 28 per cent of all business in Ontario — leaving “many workplaces uninspected.”


More than a million Ontario workers do not have drug coverage. These groups are the most likely to be left out

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“These gaps in coverage are worrisome, since prescription drugs play an essential role in preventing and treating disease and in helping us stay healthy,” the report says… highly concentrated in the retail trades, accommodation and food services industries… part-time work’s share of total employment rose from 13.5 per cent to nearly 20 per cent between 1976 and 2015… a significant portion of part-time work is low wage, without benefits, and has scheduling uncertainty which creates stress…


Equality

Do tax policies that contribute to competitiveness also create inequality?

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Tax levels are rarely the first consideration for investors, unless the “investment” is a tax dodge… regulations matter, proximity to markets matter; and so do… a healthy and well-educated work force, well-maintained infrastructure, reliable energy, transportation and communications systems, and a robust justice system backed by widely trusted social institutions.


What Don Cherry might not know about all those who fought for freedom

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Their service is rendered even more special by their willingness to fight for the freedom of others in spite of their own exclusion, and the hope that their sacrifice would help our country achieve equality. That fight for equal treatment continues to this day… We need to tell the complete story of the wars, one that includes the sacrifices made by people of all colours and creeds in shaping the Canada we pride ourselves on today.


Health

Myth Busting: Drug Spending, Prices and Pharmacare

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There are many individuals who lack sufficient coverage for prescription medications… But to address those gaps, it is important to understand the real challenges to achieving the goal: the fiscal pressure of high-cost treatments for relatively few beneficiaries and a lack of coverage for a minority of Canadians.


Equitable pharmacare deal requires Trudeau to strike deal with wary premiers

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Every province operates some form of public drug plan for seniors and the poor. All premiers would be pleased to have Ottawa take on part of that financial burden. But they don’t want to be hosed again, as many feel they were with medicare… That’s why the premiers insist that any national pharmacare scheme must have “adequate and sustained” federal funding.


Inclusion

Putting economic and social rights at the heart of policy-making

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Too many people are currently being left behind as changing social, economic, and political tides wash past them… we must help people and communities weather these changes by strengthening how we think about, and develop, public policy. We can do this by prioritizing the human rights and dignities of all Canadians. Not only civil and political rights, but economic and social rights, too.


Why the Western emphasis on individuals is the ultimate in intersectionality

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The fact of the endless multiplication of categories of victimization, let’s say (or at least difference) was actually solved long ago by the Western emphasis on the individual… meritocratic selection, where the only difference that was to be considered was the suitability of the person for the specific and well-designed tasks that constituted a given job… works — not perfectly, but less imperfectly than anything else that has been contemplated


Social Security

10 Things to Know About Poverty Measurement in Canada

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Use of the Low Income Measure (LIM) would suggest that poverty in Canada has seen mild fluctuations since the mid-1990s… The LIM is useful for international comparisons…Use of the Market Basket Measure (MBM) suggests that Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade… If you’re poor according to the MBM, it’s because experts believe you could not afford that basket of goods in your community.


Latest Welfare Rates and How They Compare to Poverty Measures

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the report describes the components of welfare incomes, how they have changed from previous years, and how they compared to low income thresholds… In 2018, total welfare incomes did not keep pace with the cost of living in 33 of the 52 scenarios tracked in this report (4 household types across the 13 provinces and territories). In these cases, household receiving welfare were worse off in 2018 than they were in 2017.


Governance

The mathematical truth about Toronto property taxes: raising them is the best option

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The average annual residential tax bill across the GTHA and Ottawa for 2018 came in at $4,773 per household. In Toronto, it was $3,906… The mathematical truth says Toronto’s residential property taxes are low. The mathematical truth says there is room to raise them to pay for the things the city desperately needs.


Toronto should move to a ranked ballot

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Council recently voted 14-11 to direct city staff to start the process of moving toward a ranked ballot for the 2022 municipal election… No one likes how our system encourages negative campaigns, focuses on wedge issues and personal attacks, and gives incumbents at the municipal level where there are no political parties such an unfair advantage. Or that councillors can be elected with so little support from the electorate.