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The new villain? Workers fighting for better wages. Don’t fall for it

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

This is an important chapter in the history of workers’ struggles for decent work, a moment of fighting not only inflation but long-standing systemic inequalities.  It has the potential to pit unionized worker against non-unionized worker, and private sector worker against public sector worker. Or it has the potential to pave the path toward decent work, through fairness and equity

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One in six households in Ontario is now struggling with food insecurity. Here’s why it’s going to get worse

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

The chattering classes have embraced a new economic theme: government efforts to fight inflation will trigger more inflation. They’re wrong…  Ontario was the only province where more people were food insecure in 2021 than in 2020… Last week the Trudeau government introduced $4.6 billion in federal aid to be spent on inflation relief until the end of 2023, almost every penny for those with low incomes.

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Provinces need to have a plan for health-care funding — or they shouldn’t get the money

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Provinces want $28 billion more from the feds for health care… Yes, health care needs more funding. But negotiations need to focus on producing better results. Our premiers need to do more than just acquire more money — they need to govern our public resources, and show us their plans for using an infusion of federal dollars so we can buy change. No plan? No money. 

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If I were a car, I’d vote Conservative. But I’m not a car

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Do we want a car society, or a caring society? … Yes, we need more hospitals and facilities to care for one another, but a bed without nursing staff is just a mattress.  Yes, we need more child-care facilities and smaller class sizes, but more spaces without trained caregivers is just a warehouse. We can deliver a strong recovery, for everyone. 

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CERB is done, and it’s not coming back. Staring down the barrel of a recession gun, how are we going to fix this?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… why not just bring back CERB when recession hits next time? Because it was too generous to be fiscally sustainable over the long run and not politically sustainable due to sectoral labour shortages. But today’s EI is not fit for purpose either. With less than four in 10 jobless workers able to access it, it’s too stingy. However, there is a lot of consensus on how to fix EI…

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Too many dangers in promised privatization of care economy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

People with complications are too costly… They’ll end up in an underfunded public not-for-profit system.  More access to care through for-profit providers does nothing to address the shortage of health care and eldercare workers and early childhood educators. Cheaper, more equitable, high-quality care that creates good jobs won’t happen by expanding for-profit care. Here are 10 advantages of investing more in public and not-for-profit care. 

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Inflation is back to 1991 levels, but that doesn’t mean the federal budget should be a ’90s remix

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

The focus on boosting innovation and investment is a waste of time and money. Since the 1990s, evidence shows governments don’t know how to goose productivity or growth.  But we know governments maximize potential when they invest in the foundations for everyone (affordable and accessible high-quality health, education, housing and communication, as a bare minimum). 

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Amid spiralling costs for Canadians and atrocities abroad, deficit is not a dirty word

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

… business pages are full of opinions that say there’s already too much spending, deficits are dangerously high, and so any new spending must focus on supporting — surprise! — business, the self-proclaimed source of wealth creation… It’s very likely we are under-taxing some of the most profitable businesses, so yes, apart from borrowing, there’s a fix for the “how ya gonna pay for it?” crowd…  Those urging governments to trim spending look only at the costs of programs, and not the fiscal dividends of acting. 

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Could a $10-a-day deal hurt Ontario’s thousands of child-care businesses?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

… nobody is worse off, and more are better off. The new federal funding expands and improves the quality of care, helping licensed businesses stay afloat and focus on the business of care. It creates more better-paid job opportunities… And it reduces uncertainty for parents and providers in tandem, instead of waiting for markets to deliver what they haven’t — quality care where and when it is needed. 

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Doug Ford is the only premier who has yet to sign Ottawa’s $10-a-day child-care deal. He’s right to push back

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Ontario wants the feds to either give it more money, or acknowledge the care it already provides in full-day kindergarten, which costs the province $3.6 billion annually… It makes no sense that Ontario’s success in providing early learning and child care to the vast majority of four-year-olds through full-day kindergarten isn’t included, because excluding it makes meeting federal access targets unachievable. 

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