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Time to jettison outdated welfare system and start afresh

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

November 01, 2012
… a 10-year plan to replace the province’s overloaded, barnacle-encrusted safety net with a program designed to get people the right kind of help — mental health and addiction services, affordable housing, accessible child care, post-prison reintegration programs and practical employment training — to become as self-sufficient as they can. Many social assistance recipients are employable and want to work. All can live purposeful lives.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 1 Comment »


Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh give Ontario an affordable plan to modernize social assistance

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

October 30, 2012
Not only did the two commissioners… come up with a way to transform Ontario’s social assistance system from an $8.3-billion program that perpetuates poverty into an $8.6-billion strategy that reduces it; they won endorsements from business leaders, health professionals, community activists and social analysts. That is a monumental achievement — but not enough to guarantee its success. Four daunting hurdles stand in the way:

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »


Venerable Economist sounds alarm over growing inequality

Friday, October 19th, 2012

October 18, 2012
Government leaders continue to turn a blind eye to disparities among their people and a deaf ear to voices warning that a hyper-wealthy minority is taking too much of the nation’s income. Corporate executives continue to argue that any measure impeding their ability to produce wealth would do profound harm to the economy… The Economist’s thoughtful analysis won’t change their minds. But it will get their attention.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »


Anti-poverty activists fight to save housing benefit

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

October 09, 201
… the community start-up and maintenance benefit (CSUMB) would be cut off at the end of 2012… It’s an emergency allowance, available every two years… It enables the homeless to move into an apartment. It helps low-income tenants who can’t pay their utility bill keep the lights on; job applicants buy suitable clothes; families fumigate bedbug-infested apartments; and people facing eviction pay their rent arrears.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | 1 Comment »


Fraser Mustard’s vision for kids lives on

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

October 02, 2012
It frustrated Mustard that policy-makers let these kids fail. It infuriated him that they refused to acknowledge the costs to society: needlessly high social assistance expenditures, mental-health problems, unemployment, crime, incarceration and chronic illness. But he kept pushing for change

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »


Harper rewrites the rules of democracy

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Sept. 25, 2012
Harper’s implicit message: I have a parliamentary majority. I’m setting the rules now. His rules strike at the heart of responsible government. He has decided to tax Canadians without allowing their elected representatives a chance to speak for them… They violate a fundamental tenet of democracy: the government acts with the consent of the people… They contravene his own pledge of “open government.”

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


Corporate welfare flourishes in lean times

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

September 13, 2012
… a single federal department: Industry Canada. Between 1982 and 2012, it spent $13.7 billion on grants and loans to business. The vast majority of these loans were not repaid. A mere 0.1 per cent of the interest owed on these loans was ever collected. No business would get away with this in the private financial market… What’s worse… there is no credible evidence Canadians benefit from this taxpayer largesse,

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Health-care providers openly discriminate against the mentally ill

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

September 20, 2012
The biggest surprise in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s all-encompassing report on mental health is how deeply embedded discrimination against people with mental disabilities is in the health-care system… Health Minister Deb Matthews has to lay down the law: Any health-care worker found violating the rights of Ontarians with mental disabilities will be disciplined. Any institution that allows such behaviour will be penalized.

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Posted in Health Delivery System | No Comments »


Ontario neglecting its most vulnerable workers

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

26 August 2012
Roughly 1.7 million workers in the province — 1 out of 5 — have little or no protection from bosses who pay them less than the minimum wage, compel them to work on statutory holidays without overtime and don’t allow them time off for illness, a family emergency or the death of a loved one. Some of these inhumane practices happen within the bounds of Ontario’s gap-ridden Employment Standards Act. Some happen illegally because the rules are so poorly enforced.

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Senator Art Eggleton tries a new tack in his fight against poverty

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

16 August 2012
A Call to Action on Poverty, a massive report by the Senate subcommittee on cities… was loaded with facts, figures and heart-rending stories. It made affordable recommendations… Audiences listened but they didn’t take up the cause… This spring…[Eggleton] talked about inequality. He showed how the widening income gulf between the rich and the rest of society was jeopardizing economic growth, stoking intergenerational tension, breeding urban violence and stifling hope. His message finally hit home.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »


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