Archive for the ‘Debates’ Category

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Profit and affordable housing don’t mix. Period

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Canada has a long tradition of governments at all levels providing affordable housing. Absent a profit motive, they can, as they once did, provide decent homes at reasonable prices and rents… The profit motive has its place in our mixed economy. But it has failed us in the provision of affordable housing. Housing will not be a human right until we accompany that noble sentiment with an abundance of affordable shelter.

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Energy companies profits are through the roof. They should share the wealth

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

… the government backstopped the financial sector through the pandemic with billions of tax dollars that kept incomes up and the banks’ customers solvent. They benefited from government support, and now it’s time to pay some back… The energy companies are in a similar situation… The government ought to tax away some of the enormous profits pouring into the energy companies and use that money to support those being hit hardest.

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Inflation is back to 1991 levels, but that doesn’t mean the federal budget should be a ’90s remix

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

The focus on boosting innovation and investment is a waste of time and money. Since the 1990s, evidence shows governments don’t know how to goose productivity or growth.  But we know governments maximize potential when they invest in the foundations for everyone (affordable and accessible high-quality health, education, housing and communication, as a bare minimum). 

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Amid spiralling costs for Canadians and atrocities abroad, deficit is not a dirty word

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

… business pages are full of opinions that say there’s already too much spending, deficits are dangerously high, and so any new spending must focus on supporting — surprise! — business, the self-proclaimed source of wealth creation… It’s very likely we are under-taxing some of the most profitable businesses, so yes, apart from borrowing, there’s a fix for the “how ya gonna pay for it?” crowd…  Those urging governments to trim spending look only at the costs of programs, and not the fiscal dividends of acting. 

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Minimum wage meets maximum politics in pre-election Ontario

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

… Ford’s Tories… four years ago… cancelled a planned minimum wage increase — imposing a 26-month freeze on the old hourly rate of $14 an hour, shortchanging hundreds of thousands of working poor. Belatedly, Ford has ratcheted the rate back up to the previously scheduled $15, albeit about three years behind schedule. Now, after watching the premier play catch-up ahead of the June 2 Ontario election, the opposition parties are leapfrogging ahead of him

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Migrant workers make our agricultural industry viable. Why do we treat them as disposable?

Monday, March 21st, 2022

Employers — who are supposed to pay for the consequences of workplace injuries and disease — instead benefit financially from the WSIB’s discriminatory policies. Employers are getting richer on the backs of injured workers. This year, the government has decided to give a $1.5 billion rebate to employers, rather than support injured workers.

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Ontario’s ‘affordable housing’ task force report does not address the real problems

Friday, February 11th, 2022

The tasks force’s recommendations are squarely aimed at this middle-class interpretation of the housing crisis… these measures will do very little for those on low and moderate incomes… Instead, a range of policies are needed to curb speculation, increase the supply of non-market, genuinely affordable housing and ensure tenants have adequate protections through strong rent-control policies.

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Israel capped CEO pay for banking execs at $1 million. Its unique experiment could work here, too

Friday, January 14th, 2022

Over the years, the ratio between those who hold the top jobs and regular employees has gone up tremendously. Justifications for this were always based on arguments that CEO pay is set in a competitive market. The reality, however, is different. CEO pay has no equilibrium and continues to ratchet up endlessly… For too long we’ve been brainwashed by free-market myths about CEO pay. The natural experiment in Israel has refuted them.

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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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Is there a made-in-Canada solution to high inflation?

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

Inflation and the pandemic have a lot in common: both attack household incomes, both hit low-income households hardest, and both demand government action to support incomes. Social assistance rates must rise, as they should have years ago. Minimum wages must rise. Federal transfers to low-income Canadians should increase. Painful 20th century policy prescriptions to cut inflation by squeezing the life out of the economy, through increasing interest rates and reducing government supports, are no answer to our 21st century problems. They will only make our problems worse.

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