Ottawa should change tax rules to encourage donations to charity

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

… the Trudeau government… should broaden the tax exemption on capital gains for charitable donations. It can do that by giving the same tax treatment to donations of shares in private companies and real estate as is now given to gifts of publicly traded shares. Experts who have looked at this idea estimate it would result in additional donations to charities of about $200 million a year. That’s a big chunk of change that would go to organizations like the United Way and local hospital foundations.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

Treats are nice. But they don’t replace funding for crisis centres

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Charitable gifts serve to remind women that they have not been forgotten. What does that even more effectively is making sure a qualified person answers the crisis hotline, and that counselling will be available during a woman’s greatest hour of need. But the wait-list for counselling at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre… is a staggering 18 months. “You should not have to wait a year and a half to get access to the services you need”

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »

Toronto needs to pay for the needs of a major metropolis

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

… spending is low. A few shrill voices on the right squawk on about waste at City Hall, but the facts show the city is actually spending less per resident now than it did back in 2010, when the figures are adjusted for inflation… But how does Toronto compare to other cities? One measure is the annual growth in spending over the past few years, and there it turns out Toronto ranks right near the bottom — 27th out of 29 Ontario cities listed in a Fraser Institute survey last fall.

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The Ford government should invest properly in child care

Monday, February 11th, 2019

The Ford government could invest wisely in child care, as so many other provinces do. It’s not only the right thing to do for families; it’s the right thing for businesses and the economy as well. Study after study shows that affordable, accessible, quality child care does the most to help women get back into the workforce, boost family incomes, improve early childhood skills for poor kids, add to government tax coffers, reduce child poverty, and shrink the wage gap.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

We know the problems in health care; get moving on the fix

Monday, February 4th, 2019

… either the Ford government doesn’t have a plan or it has a secret plan. Neither option provides the slightest cause for confidence in this government, or its ability to tackle a problem with as many moving parts as health care… The Ford government should just get moving on the necessary retooling of health care to expand and better integrate home care, community supports and long-term beds to provide for Ontarians long before they get to a hospital hallway.

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Ford shouldn’t mess with success of full-day kindergarten program

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

All the available evidence suggests the benefits of full-day kindergarten for kids, parents, employers and even the economy far outweigh any cost savings the government will be able to find by cutting this program… every dollar invested in the program will generate $2.42 for the province in reduced social costs and improved health outcomes. In other words, full-day kindergarten more than pays for itself.

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Posted in Education Debates | No Comments »

Voters didn’t give the Ford government a mandate to cut education funding

Monday, January 28th, 2019

If every student with a learning or behavioural challenge, for example, had the supports they needed to succeed and not disrupt the overall learning environment, then adding another couple students to a classroom might not matter at all. Indeed, it might even be a good trade-off… this government doesn’t have a mandate to make cuts to education. Indeed, it has no real mandate to make substantial cuts to any government service or program because that is expressly what Premier Doug Ford promised he would not do.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Doug Ford is blowing smoke by warning about a recession

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

… all the evidence is that Ford is plain wrong about the likely effect of the Trudeau government’s plans for a carbon tax. Ninety per cent of the money collected by Ottawa will be sent back directly to Canadian families, with the rest invested in programs to combat climate change. If there’s a recession on the horizon, it won’t be provoked by that.

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Toronto may finally have found a better way to build affordable housing

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The city’s “housing now” report outlines zoning the sites for more than 10,000 units of housing and requiring that at least two-thirds of them be purpose-built rentals. And at least half of those rentals (about 3,700) must meet a measure of affordability… Homeless shelters are bursting at the seams, the wait-list for social housing runs tens of thousands deep, and there are still more renters struggling to keep up with rents that rise faster than incomes…
But it does start to tackle part of the problem

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »

Ford government cuts student aid under cover of tuition cuts

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The government has no plans to compensate universities and colleges for the $440 million they will lose once the reduced tuition fees take effect. They’re on their own to figure that out… Ontario colleges… receive about $2,000 less per student from the government than those in other provinces. And universities have among the lowest levels of per-student funding in the country, while revenues from tuition and operating grants combined have been flat since 2010.

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