At MMIW report’s heart, a contradiction that’s impossible to ignore

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

… the data… suggests a truth airbrushed by the commissioners: Indigenous men commit the majority of acts of violence against Indigenous women… Not always, but most often. There are mitigating circumstances — crimes are committed by people for whom violence has become normalized, often because they themselves were victimized in childhood. The residential schools system’s legacy is with us still, affecting generations of Indigenous people and their children.

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Workfare can do for First Nations what it did for Mike Harris’ Ontario

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Jun 7, 2012
Opponents claim workfare boosted the ranks of the working poor – people left welfare to find employment in low earning and insecure jobs. But even they do not dispute that welfare rolls fell by more than half a million people after 1995. The Harris government was indeed fortunate that the introduction of the policy coincided with the end of the recession. Nevertheless, it achieved its policy goal… The new policy stems from a 2009 evaluation of the government’s native income assistance program, which found a dependency ratio rate of 36% on reserve in 2005/6, compared to a national rate of 5.5%.

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Workfare for reserves: Tory plan ties benefits for aboriginals to job training

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Jun 1, 2012
The Harper government is planning a workfare program that would oblige young aboriginals on reserves to undertake job training in return for a welfare cheque. Ottawa wants to take young natives off welfare rolls before they become too used to receiving social assistance. The government already spends $400-million on a range of training programs but sources suggest new money will be earmarked to improve delivery of programs for natives on reserves… In the March budget, the Tories said they want to “better align on-reserve Income Assistance programs with provincial systems” in terms of compliance and program requirements.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | No Comments »

Today’s Tories look a lot like Liberals

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Jun 24, 2011
… the federal government continues to spend more than $1-billion, mainly in direct grants to businesses. What do we get for that money? It’s hard to tell. None of them provide the number of jobs created with the money, or the amount sales have increased in the companies supported. All have rather nebulous performance targets… This is what economists call an “infra-marginal investment” — one that would have taken place anyway… even when jobs are created, federal studies have shown that they are few in number and that costs per job created are high.

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Government’s tough on crime agenda is bad policy

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

January 10, 2011
The main reason for the explosion in prison building is the government’s tough on crime agenda, including the abolition of the two-for-one pre-trial custody credit, which will lead to a significant increase in the number of criminals incarcerated… The Liberals have made this “wasteful” spending central to their message, pointing out that the country can ill-afford such expenditure at a time of declining crime rates. They say that the Harper government is investing in “U.S.-style mega-prisons” at a time when the Americans are retreating from such a model because it doesn’t work.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

Tories get smart on native education

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Oct. 19, 2010
… many Canadians would be shocked to learn the legislation governing education on most reserves remains the Indian Act of 1867… The Indian Act’s provisions regarding education are completely obsolete, colonialist and an embarrassment to Canada,” said Michael Mendelson, senior scholar at the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, who has long advocated a First Nations Education Act to fill the legislative void… it seems the Conservative government is coming around to the idea.

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Taking the socialist out of the NDP

Friday, October 8th, 2010

October 7, 2010
As the NDP prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary at a convention next June, senior staff are busy re-writing the preamble to the party’s constitution… The preamble currently states the NDP believes in the need “to modify and control the operation of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning, … where necessary [through] the principle of social ownership.” …part of a broader “overhaul” of NDP policy and beliefs… “There’s no more mention of a radical overthrowing of capitalism … Socialism is a word we don’t use,”

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Taking on Big Pharma

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

September 10, 2010
The premiers agreed in principle to set up a national agency, similar to one envisaged in Ms. Leslie’s bill, that will bulk buy up to $10-billion in drugs every year, using their combined purchasing power to wring cost concessions from drug companies. Prescription drugs represent the fastest growing item on the health budget and the second-largest category of spending, so the scope for savings are considerable… there is plenty of evidence to suggest that, when it comes to pharmaceuticals, the state needs to become more involved to unleash the full competitive force of the market and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

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Corporate welfare’s time has passed

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

May 18, 2010
…times have changed and, faced with a choice between cuts to public services or to regional development agencies, most Canadians wouldn’t think twice. Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, is looking for savings and corporate welfare represents a relatively easy target. He is known to believe that they hurt Canada’s competitiveness, inhibit free trade and provoke suspicions of pork-barrelling. He should make the case in Cabinet and save the country money that could be used more productively.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »