Poverty in the Midst of COVID-19

Friday, February 17th, 2023

The number of children in poverty in Ontario fell from 498,600 to 377,040 between 2019-2020, largely as a result of temporary federal assistance… Ontario is capable of building an effective social safety net and providing children and their families with the economic security they need. The pandemic has shown that governments can do big things much more quickly than we ever thought—if they decide to.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Ontario budget falls flat on funding for public services

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Despite all the spending, public services do not seem to be a priority… Normally, health spending must rise by at least 4.5% a year just to maintain services. The budget’s plan for health care is to cut it… Take [federally funded Early Learning & Child Care] out of the education budget and the net result is that, in a time of high inflation, education is almost certainly seeing a cut in real funding per student…

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Budget outlook: $5 billion in annual tax cuts weaken Ontario’s case for federal dollars

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

“In the months ahead, we can expect Premier Ford to ramp up his calls for more federal funding, especially for health care. He is not strengthening his case by giving away $5 billion each year.” … A better approach would be to chart a course to restore provincial revenues through an ambitious program of progressive taxation

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Unchecked inequality is driving child poverty

Sunday, November 28th, 2021

Ontario was richer than ever.  Yet we still had half a million children in poverty… Canada’s Big Six banks… made $46.6 billion in profits in 2019. Their CEOs’ salaries averaged more than $11 million… Wealth and poverty sit side by side in every part of Ontario. There is money here, and it’s more than enough to wipe out child poverty — if we decide to… We need to increase transfers, boost parents’ wages, and make life more affordable… Good policy is not enough, though. What we need is political will.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

How to create a paid sick leave plan for Ontario

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

The goal of any sick leave program is, above all, to allow people who have COVID-19, have been exposed to it, or think they may have it, to stay home and not spread the disease to their co-workers. Nothing else matters… any program must be just as simple and straightforward as the existing sick leave plans 40% of us enjoy… paid sick leave legislation need not be complicated: it has existed before in Ontario, and very recently

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Doug Ford doesn’t believe in government — and that explains a lot

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

… the premier has been trying to bargain with the COVID-19 virus from day one. Do we really need more staff in long-term care? Do we really need to legislate paid sick days so contagious workers can stay home? Do we really need smaller class sizes so students and educators are safer? The answer to these questions is yes, but Ford hasn’t used the full legislative and financial powers of government to fight the virus. At every turn, he’s held back, seemingly always hoping for a better, cheaper deal… In other areas, the government has acted without hesitation…

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Raising taxes to build Toronto is not just good — it’s necessary

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

In recent years, our leaders have tried every trick in the book… to avoid collecting the revenues needed to build the country. They’ve sold off profit-making public assets, giving up long-term revenue streams for one-time capital gains. They’ve embraced public-private partnerships (P3s), paying extra to build infrastructure but hiding the cost off the public books. They’ve taken on more debt.

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There’s nothing moderate about this Ontario budget

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

… the cuts are large. But so, too, are the tax cuts that rob the province of billions… the government took billions of dollars from the budget. That lost revenue, plus new corporate tax breaks, will drain an average of $3.6 billion a year from provincial coffers over the next three years. That money could have stayed in vital programs; it could have reduced the deficit. It did neither… But as a public relations exercise designed to conceal bad news, the budget did its job.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »