COVID-19 will make the global baby bust even worse – but Canada stands to benefit

Posted on August 10, 2020 in Inclusion Policy Context

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In a future darkened by societal aging and the economic fallout from COVID-19, immigrants aren’t just the best solution; they’re our only solution… The median age of a Canadian… is 41 and rising. We don’t have the young people to pay taxes that we used to… the strong support for diversity among young people as an encouraging long-term trend… in the years to come, we’ll need all the young people we can get.

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Child & Family

Black people more likely to be arrested, charged, shot and killed by Toronto police, Ontario Human Rights Commission finds

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The results are “highly disturbing, and confirm what Black communities have said for decades — that Black people bear a disproportionate burden of law enforcement”… although Black people represent 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, Black people represented 32 per cent of the charges in the data set… The charges… involve a high degree of discretion on the part of the officer.


Trying to avert two Ontario child-welfare deaths a week

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… in 2016, 121 children or youth involved in the system, including those who recently aged out, had died. In 2017, it was 126, in 2018 it was 126 again, and in 2019, 99… But some of the issues… are much broader than those in the child-welfare system. Data is siloed in ways that complicate co-ordination and planning… There are major regional inequalities in available services… “The pandemic really highlighted some of the long-standing issues in the system”…


Education

Orwell’s Warning on Speaking Freely

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… speaking freely is in danger… from liberal elites who, when tested, lack the courage of their liberal convictions; from so-called progressives whose core convictions were never liberal to begin with; from administrative types at nonprofits and corporations who, with only vague convictions of their own, don’t want to be on the wrong side of a P.R. headache.


De-streaming proposal lacks understanding of how courses delivered

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… the current streaming system is set up to allow students to take a diverse set of courses. Students are not streamed into an all-applied, or an all-academic, program; rather, each course is selected at the level deemed best… Flexibility is the key, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach of de-streaming.


Employment

New income support system must go beyond tinkering with EI

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… pushing hundreds of thousands of people into poverty would risk stalling the recovery that’s now underway. About half the jobs that were lost in the depths of the lockdown in April have already come back, and we can expect unemployment to keep falling. But if the purchasing power that was pumped into the economy through CERB is suddenly cut off, that could plunge the country into a prolonged recession.


Here’s a tip: It’s time to discuss how we pay workers in the service industry

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Embedding tips can solve some problems. First off, tipping clearly contributes to pay disparities among restaurant staff. Waiters often earn double what cooks earn, and hiring for back-of-house positions has been problematic for many restaurateurs. Studies have shown that tipping also promotes bias based on age, race, and gender…


Equality

It won’t be popular, but we should scrap the homeowner tax break

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Sell your principal residence for more than you paid for it, and in most cases you will pay no tax on the gain at all. Indeed, until 2016 you didn’t even have to report the transaction on your tax return. Neither is there any limit on the exemption – as there is, for example, in the United States. The bigger the gain, the bigger the tax benefit. You can guess which income groups benefit the most.


We must go back and fetch our forgotten Black history

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Canada’s strategically crafted narrative has created a framework within which racial inequities have simultaneously been upheld and delegitimized through the erasure of Black experiences. It’s actually quite ingenious. If we can’t identify the roots of our systems of oppression, we will never dismantle them. If we don’t recognize the whole of our history, we will never learn from it.


Health

We must do more to protect people with dementia

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… 40 per cent of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting a dozen modifiable risk factors, ranging from making sure every child gets an education through to controlling high blood pressure… preventing dementia begins in childhood, not at retirement… countless lifestyle choices and public health measures can have a dramatic impact on our brains, and the health of individuals and societies more broadly.


These mental health advocates are working on an alternative to police intervention when someone is in crisis.

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“When someone is in crisis, they are already feeling afraid, overwhelmed, out of control. They don’t need an officer with a gun and handcuffs showing up… “What they need instead is a mental health expert, who they can trust, who can help them calm down. Someone who can help them feel safer.”


Inclusion

COVID-19 will make the global baby bust even worse – but Canada stands to benefit

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In a future darkened by societal aging and the economic fallout from COVID-19, immigrants aren’t just the best solution; they’re our only solution… The median age of a Canadian… is 41 and rising. We don’t have the young people to pay taxes that we used to… the strong support for diversity among young people as an encouraging long-term trend… in the years to come, we’ll need all the young people we can get.


It’s time to unify the disability movement

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A decision to issue one-time, $600 federal payments to Canadians with disabilities, in order to cover the extraordinary expenses they have incurred because of COVID-19, has finally received royal assent. But it’s too little, too late, and reaches too few… To move forward on disability rights in Canada, we must first unify the disability movement.


Social Security

Five good ideas for income supports in a post-CERB Canada

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… the notion that you can only have… a strong income support system or a thriving economy… is a false dichotomy, and our post-pandemic recovery requires us to move past this narrative… we need to fundamentally ensure that people with lived and living experience of poverty and income insecurity are at the centre of policy-making… Failing to put human rights at the centre of our efforts would be an abdication of our collective responsibility.


Ontario Should Streamline Path Off Welfare With More Carrot, Less Stick

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… the province of Ontario has the worst dependency rate on social assistance programs in Canada… Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – have been characterized by high costs and poor recipient outcomes. With about one million Ontarians receiving social assistance benefits… the average dependency duration on OW has substantially increased from 19 months in 2009 to 35 months in 2018.


Governance

Dare we broach the subject of higher taxes?

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Current interest rates are so low that… with long-term bonds, debt-servicing costs will remain manageable for decades to come… When the economy is back on its feet, taxes are something Canadians are going to have to talk about. Canadians can have a future of stronger health care, better education, less poverty, less inequality and more opportunity. These are good things, but they’re not free. They’re going to have to be paid for.


Solidarity after the Pandemic: Basic Income or Basic Services?

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A move towards meaningful universal basic services is no small task. Canadians are ready. Only 12 per cent of us think we will return to our pre-pandemic way of life. As Nik Nanos has put it, the old status quo of consumerism and individualism is dead… Instead of going “back to normal”, leaders can enable greater health and resilience for all by investing in national basic services to strengthen our social infrastructure.