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.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Payouts to parents are a sorry replacement for investing in Ontario’s schools

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

The Ontario Ministry of Education has chosen to spend $365 million in one-time, nontargeted $200 payouts to parents across the province. This money will not address any of the challenges in Ontario’s schools and could be better used for targeted, in-classroom supports proven to be effective.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Education Debates | No Comments »

Non-stop political spin is derailing serious debate over schools

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

The 2020 reopening plan included “up to $1.3 billion in supports for the education sector.” But mostly it wasn’t new money from the province. It came from school board reserves. It came from the federal government… taking inflation and enrolment into account, school boards received $1.6 billion less for the 2021-22 school year than they did in 2017-18. That’s the equivalent of $800 less per student. The average-size secondary school had to make do with $600,000 less.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Education Delivery System | No Comments »

It’s election time and Ontario still chooses not to eliminate poverty

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

During the campaign, Ontarians will hear a lot of about affordability, except those conversations will not focus on those who can afford the least… no matter who wins this election, people who need social assistance will find themselves in the same place they were in before the election, and the election before that. They will still be in deep, deep poverty. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

Budget 2022: Some progress, but no need for panic at the country club

Friday, April 8th, 2022

Today’s federal commitment to create a national dental care program will help millions of Canadians, but there’s a huge missed opportunity to move forward on pharmacare, long-term care and needed health care spending to deal with the pandemic’s impact… Many Canadians are feeling the weight of living in uncertain times. They need better income security, better access to Employment Insurance if they lose their job, more affordable housing, and the world needs a bolder climate change plan than what’s on the table.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »

How many teachers is your school set to lose? Calculate it here.

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

As the Ontario government continues to promote educational reforms that increase class size, reduce course selection, underfund special needs and implement mandatory e-learning, I wanted to share with you some resources that help demonstrate the impact of these changes on our kids’ classrooms.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Education Policy Context | No Comments »

It’s all about tax cuts

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

The government is slamming the brakes on spending, yet the fiscal situation is not quickly improving. That leads us to ask, “Where is the money going?” The answer is tax cuts… Lower tax revenue includes the approved $3.4 to $4.2 billion annually as well as “unannounced tax cuts” still to come… Low- and middle-income families benefit very little, if at all, from these measures. The “more money in your pocket” jingle is simply a rhetorical trick that preys on people’s economic vulnerability. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »

How Not to Engage Parents: Lessons from the Ontario Ministry of Education

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Policymaking deals with complex issues for which government officials have to develop timely, effective, efficient and sensitive responses. A consensus has formed in the past decades that officials are more likely to get it right if they ask input from the people who will be affected by the policy in question. The public shares their input in good faith, hoping it will lead to better results. But public trust is undermined when government use the input from a consultation to justify any and all policy changes.

Tags: ,
Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »

Employment Insurance isn’t working for everyone

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

… working-age adults don’t need income support for as long as they can remain active in the labour force. If that was ever true, it is increasingly not the case… Recognizing the changing nature of the labour market, and ensuring systems are in place to support those who do that work is key to building a more inclusive and resilient economy where all workers and their families are protected against hardship. We can’t predict the future of work, but we can prepare for it.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »