Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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What you need to know about Canada’s new first home savings account

Saturday, July 8th, 2023

… many first-time buyers start by buying more modest properties initially, and the FHSA could help them get into the housing market earlier. Of course, this will still take time given the $8,000 per year contribution limit.  While the impact of the FHSA won’t be instant, and while it’s not a complete solution, it’s a step in the right direction. For many Canadians, owning a home provides security and a sense of belonging.

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… Canada’s 2023 federal budget moves on climate and dental – but avoids almost everything else

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

… the budget drops the ball on support for underfunded public transit systems, affordable housing, pharmacare and high inflation. [but] “When it comes to health care, the piece of this budget with the most teeth is dental care… It seems like the federal government decided that it had to choose between dental care or pharmacare, but not both—and dental care came out the winner. 

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Canada needs a minimum tax on corporate book profits

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

In 2021, tax avoidance by 123 of Canada’s largest corporations cost the public $30 billion… Corporate tax avoidance nearly doubled in 2021, compared to the pre-pandemic average. More robust policies are needed… A minimum tax on book profits is the major revenue generator within the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act… If Canada had a 15-per-cent minimum tax on book profits in 2021, it would have reduced the tax gap by $11 billion.

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Humans aren’t widgets, and Canadian workers are not in ‘short supply’

Saturday, February 11th, 2023

Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, also cites employers’ complaints as justification for painful interest rate hikes. He aims to ‘solve’ the labour shortage by deliberately raising unemployment… The federal government, too, is catering to employers by increasing immigration targets… Properly planned and supported immigration is good for the economy and for society. But importing masses of workers just to make life easier for employers is the wrong way to do it

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Financing Employment Insurance Reform: Finding the Right Balance 

Friday, December 16th, 2022

… the federal government is facing pressures to avoid increasing EI premiums as many businesses are still recovering from the pandemic and are likely to face another economic downturn. And while some have called for the federal government to contribute financially to the program to limit premium increases, others have expressed concern about burdening taxpayers and adding to the federal debt.

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Let’s Fix Bill C-228 Before It’s Too Late

Monday, December 12th, 2022

Bill C-228 will affect that delicate balance by impeding access to capital in a way that will not foster expansion of cost-efficient plans, like defined benefit plans. It won’t fortify pension security or even maintain current levels of future benefit accrual.  This is a terrible bill. It will not strengthen our pension system. It will weaken it.

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 Ottawa Should Soften Bite Of Benefit Clawbacks For Low-Income Families

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

… the “participation” tax rate (PTR)… is the cumulative effect of all taxes and loss of fiscal benefits on the entire prospective earnings from work. For a stay-at-home parent, it represents the financial penalty paid out of the total income derived from getting a job… The paper recommends the federal government: Implement “benefit shields”… Allow income averaging… [and] Replace the federal childcare expense tax deduction with a refundable credit

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By the numbers: Here’s the living wage in 10 Ontario regions

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

In Ontario, the minimum wage is now $15.50 per hour, having risen from $15 in October. According to the OLWN, in 2021, the highest living wage was $22.08 for residents in Toronto… “It doesn’t account for debt repayment or saving for education… “we’re talking about the barest living wage for workers to thrive, to have a family, to participate in our society”

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For millions of Ontario workers living on a knife’s edge, paid sick days would be a huge boon. It would also benefit everyone else

Sunday, November 13th, 2022

Employer-paid sick days are desperately needed to improve the mental health and well-being of workers, especially low-income, racialized and non-unionized workers who are least likely to have paid sick days or workplace benefits of any kind… Legislating employers to provide an adequate number of paid sick days is necessary to protect workers from unjust termination and unsustainable financial strain.

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Correcting Course: Employment Insurance Needs a Redesign to Counter Recessions and Achieve Equity

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022

As a primary pillar of Canada’s social safety net, Employment Insurance (EI)… has also gone off track from its original main goal: to provide insurance against unpredictable job losses… The authors make three main policy recommendations: (i) Implement uniform or more universal entrance requirements. (ii) Sharply reduce the number of EI regions. (iii) Improve the responsiveness of the benefit duration formula to labour market downturns and recoveries.

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