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Toronto’s community crisis plan is a welcome shift away from policing mental-health care

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

When people slip through the cracks of our broken mental health care system, they fall right to the police. And then it falls to police to deal with the situation, even though they’re ill-equipped to do so.  A functioning community framework, on the other hand, would provide people with the necessary support right in their communities — not locked away in isolated institutions — and from people they know and trust.

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Riches for top CEOs come at a cost to everyone else

Friday, January 7th, 2022

the federal government should review rules on how much executive compensation companies can deduct (the United States already caps it at $1 million per employee), capital gains and stock options, as well as instituting a wealth tax for the richest Canadians. “Higher taxation levels can reduce inequality and help to refill government coffers following the impact of the pandemic,” the report says.

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Food banks are a blessing, but they’re no fix for poverty

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

“Until we address the systemic chronic stressors that are producing and reproducing vast inequalities in our communities, we will never be resilient to the acute shocks that occasionally arise,” the report said. “The time to act is now. We urgently need to protect low-income households who continue to struggle with job losses, reduced employment hours and precarious housing.”

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Ontario’s higher minimum wage is long overdue. Now go for a ‘living wage’

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

In no Ontario community does $15 an hour provide a living wage. By living wage we mean the sum required for shelter, food, childcare, transportation and other necessities. To determine the living wage rates, the network crunches and averages costs for a single adult, a single parent and a family of four… If anything, Ford’s announcement places a focus on other not-wonderful elements of how his government is, or really isn’t, working for workers.

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Ford government should dump old-school thinking on minimum wage

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

In awarding Canadian economist David Card the Nobel Prize in economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has given a huge boost to the value of empirical study in the field of labour economics. For it was Card, working alongside American economist Alan Krueger, who put real world wage increases in New Jersey under the microscope and found no support for the theory that a rise in the minimum wage reduced employment.

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Once COVID is finally tamed, Canada will have to tackle the ‘other pandemic’

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Neither major party is prepared to go where an increasing number of medical and legal experts — from public health officers to those chiefs of police — say they should: taking possession of drugs for personal use out of the Criminal Code entirely. And neither party is particularly eager to talk about the opioid crisis during the election campaign… It should be getting more attention from both politicians and voters.

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Stronger EI and paid sick days are vital for workers. Labour Day is a moment for voters to judge parties on that

Monday, September 6th, 2021

… Canada needs a modern Employment Insurance system that covers all workers, including gig workers, self-employed people and the many misclassified workers who have been abandoned on the sidelines of so-called economic progress… If the pandemic has shown anything, it’s that systemic change is needed in how we view and regulate employment, and that how we treat workers (especially those in low-wage jobs) affects us all.

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When it comes to election promises on housing, it’s the details that matter

Monday, August 30th, 2021

The pledges with a far greater chance of creating positive change are the ones that push municipalities to make better and faster planning decisions to increase housing supply, and target federal funding to create housing that’s affordable for lower earners — a niche the market will never fill… Ottawa usually works through the provinces, but it’s welcome to see federal leaders contemplating a more direct relationship with cities.

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Liberals and NDP both have solid plans for child care. The Conservatives do not

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

O’Toole says his plan provides “flexibility” so parents can choose whatever child care they want and offers “extra support to those who need it most.” … A tax credit helps with affordability, certainly — if a family can find a child-care space in their area and if they can afford to pay the rest of the cost.  It will not help create the hundreds of thousands of new spaces that are needed across the country to expand access to everyone who wants it. It will not bring down the high costs. And it will not boost wages for child-care workers, key to attracting the workforce to expand and stabilize the system.

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Ontario should sign on to Ottawa’s $10-a-day child care plan

Thursday, August 12th, 2021

When Ford’s PC government came to power in 2018 it killed the Wynne Liberals’ plan to provide free licensed care for preschool children in Ontario. When Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power in 2006 they killed a national child-care program proposed by Paul Martin’s Liberal government — even though all provinces had signed on. So it’s very concerning to hear O’Toole talk about wanting to kill the Trudeau program and replace it with more “flexible” options. In other words, not an actual child-care system at all. 

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