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Toronto should move to a ranked ballot

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Council recently voted 14-11 to direct city staff to start the process of moving toward a ranked ballot for the 2022 municipal election… No one likes how our system encourages negative campaigns, focuses on wedge issues and personal attacks, and gives incumbents at the municipal level where there are no political parties such an unfair advantage. Or that councillors can be elected with so little support from the electorate.

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A better way to keep kids safe

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Now a new pilot program run by the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto called “Journey to Zero” will focus on early intervention in an effort to keep children in their own homes and out of care… “We shouldn’t design a system where we are raising children”… The solution? Putting much more emphasis on supporting families in need so they, not children’s aid societies, can do the job themselves.

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Ontario shouldn’t turn back the clock on naming judges

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The effect of that would be to give the attorney general more leeway to use his own discretion in naming judges and JPs. It risks turning back the clock and re-politicizing a system that has been virtually free of partisan considerations for some time. It would be, in other words, a step backwards toward the bad old days when political connections mattered as much (or more) than legal excellence.

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It’s time for a national ban on owning handguns

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Since the Harper government made it easier in 2012 to amass large stockpiles of guns, the number of privately owned handguns has skyrocketed to close to a million. And police say many of those guns find their way into criminal hands… The notion that municipalities can pass and enforce an effective handgun ban is ridiculous… “This is a national issue.”

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Video visits with doctors are a smart idea

Friday, November 15th, 2019

There are three much bigger issues the government needs to tackle to reduce the average wait time to be admitted to hospital from an emergency department. It now tops a sickening 16 hours. Those are a lack of nursing home and long-term health care beds and a shortage of home-care services. And they won’t be solved by the $3 million the province plans to spend on video visits and other digital innovations.

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Good advice on fixing Ontario’s welfare system

Monday, November 4th, 2019

“Low benefit rates leave people in deep poverty, and program rules create barriers to their participating in the labour force and improving their lives,” the report says… In short, a focus on cuts rather than results has not only made the lives of the poor more miserable, but it has worked against efforts to get people back into the labour force.

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A (little) bit of welcome news on the opioid crisis

Friday, October 25th, 2019

… “evidence-based strategies” … includes improved access to harm reduction and overdose prevention, such as safe consumption sites; increased resources to treat addictions and mental health conditions; and better access to alternative treatments for chronic pain… There were more than 4,500 opioid-related deaths in Canada last year. Ontario needs to do its part to make sure those numbers decline.

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Scheer, Ford and the lessons of Ontario

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

Ontario voters gave Ford their support when he warned of troubled government finances that needed a conservative touch to right the ship. They trusted him when he promised to put more money in their pockets and to cut government spending in ways they wouldn’t notice. We know how poorly that’s turned out, but Scheer is still hoping voters will buy those lines once again.

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Liberals are the best choice for Canada

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

… despite the failings of the Liberals, this is the time to focus on what’s truly important in the long run… to make sure the wealth is more evenly shared. It cut taxes on the middle class, raised them on the wealthy and directed a lot more support to families with the new Canada Child Benefit… A re-elected Liberal government would also add to the child benefit that has been so vital to reducing poverty. It would finally put a tax on Big Tech companies that haven’t been paying their share. And, very importantly, it would stick to its plan to reduce carbon emissions

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It’s time for federal leaders to focus on inequality

Monday, October 14th, 2019

… there’s a real problem when the benefits of wealth and opportunity are not shared by everyone…. while unemployment is the lowest it’s been in decades, the jobs are increasingly not very good ones… When the federal parties talk about jobs on the campaign trail, it needs to be a conversation about good jobs. When they talk about making life more affordable, they should be clear about who they’re talking about and how they’ll deliver. The Vital Signs report is a depressing but timely reminder that income and wealth are highly co-related with race, where people were born, and where they live now.

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