Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Governments paid billions to help develop COVID-19 vaccines — so why is Big Pharma charging us billions more for the vaccines we helped create?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

If we think of war profiteers as being lower than a snake’s belly, what are we to make of the drug industry’s pandemic profiteers? … Canada, like other government funders in this global crisis, is not expecting to recover its costs in funding COVID-related medicine…  governments that fund research that is used in lucrative commercial drug production must demand a return on their investment. 

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The Care Economy Statement

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

This statement… is a call to recognize that good care is crucial to our health and well-being as individuals and as a society; it is the critical social infrastructure that delivers overall economic stability and growth; and it is a shared responsibility, not just a personal one. This requires a shift from thinking of care as an expenditure to understanding it as an economic driver through investment in people and good jobs.

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How to create a paid sick leave plan for Ontario

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

The goal of any sick leave program is, above all, to allow people who have COVID-19, have been exposed to it, or think they may have it, to stay home and not spread the disease to their co-workers. Nothing else matters… any program must be just as simple and straightforward as the existing sick leave plans 40% of us enjoy… paid sick leave legislation need not be complicated: it has existed before in Ontario, and very recently

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If you don’t have $20 million, relax. A wealth tax won’t touch you

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Canada’s wealthiest 87 families had wealth of $259 billion in 2016; our top 44 billionaires increased their wealth by more than $50 billion during the pandemic… 79 per cent of Canadians favour a wealth tax… In fact, a wealth tax would be the simplest, fairest and most effective way to collect billions of extra dollars of revenue a year, and to limit the power and political influence of the billionaire class… Here are some of the facile arguments being trotted out against a wealth tax.

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Will Canada’s Federal Budget meet the COVID-19 Challenge?

Friday, March 12th, 2021

Responding to an unprecedented crisis, the federal government mobilized billions in new support programs within weeks – an important “possibility proof” that rapid social policy change can happen. The fact that the sky did not fall when governments increased their deficits by billions of dollars also clearly demonstrated that the barriers to a better social safety net are political, not economic. The pandemic is the formative experience that will shape the lifetime political perspective of a generation.

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From Keynesian Consensus to Neo-Liberalism to the Green New Deal: 75 years of income inequality in Canada

Friday, March 12th, 2021

… slowing growth and the concentration of income gains at the top produced widening income gaps, increasing discontent and political instability—even before COVID-19 hit. In the post-COVID-19 era, the Green New Deal emphasizes social and environmental sustainability, and is reflective of the economic policy changes that likely lie ahead. 

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Legislating paid sick days is the right thing to do

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

… one of Premier Doug Ford’s first acts of government was a sweeping repeal of labour law amendments that took away equal pay for equal work, paid sick days, and the $15 minimum wage… The legislation that Ford scrapped was the result of a multi-year, province-wide review of working conditions that included workers, unions, employers, researchers and more… What are we waiting for? Provinces must step up now, fill this gap, legislate paid sick days, and make them permanent.

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Ontario continues to refuse legislation for paid sick days, says CRSB is enough. But that option is inaccessible for many. Here’s the difference

Friday, January 29th, 2021

Precarious, temporary, and part time workers are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the pandemic while turning our economy and lives. The bare minimum we could do for these workers is grant them paid sick days so they are not scared to focus on their health.

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Ontario should mandate paid sick days for all workers

Friday, January 29th, 2021

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit isn’t working well. It has delivered benefits to just over 337,000 people when it was expected to reach nearly 5 million workers… Labour laws and standards, but for a handful of federally regulated industries, are a provincial responsibility… They have left workers, especially those in the gig economy and low-wage industries, at the mercy of companies who are predisposed to cut all the corners they can when it comes to providing benefits to workers.

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Focus on real problem with federal sick-leave benefit: not enough workers are using it

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

In Canada, less than half of all workers have access to paid sick leave through their employers. The vast majority of them tend to be low-paid front-line workers who can’t do their jobs from home and can’t afford to miss even a single paycheque. The last thing any of us should want is for them to go to work sick, putting their coworkers and the broader community at risk.

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