Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Millions of Canadians are now collecting a state-funded income. But what happens after the pandemic ends?

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

The advent of UBI in its pure form is unlikely. It has its champions today as never before, but UBI is likely to fade as the pandemic does. To start, the federal finance ministry, no fan of UBI, prefers to create targeted rather than universal programs. And never mind the streamlined efficiency of universal programs like Medicare… the issue isn’t affordability. It’s culture. People either embrace or reject paying the freight for ensuring that everyone has a decent, dignified way of life.

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Shockproofing Canada: We can make masks and ventilators, but we can’t make drugs needed to treat COVID-19

Friday, April 17th, 2020

“That’s the problem with stockpiles… You end up sitting on millions of dollars in drugs and equipment. Then you have to keep replacing it. And which ones do you stockpile?” The alternative, then, would be to expand production capacities for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies at home, but that’s more complicated than it might seem… Countries such as Canada will have to each find their own balance between self-reliance and international cooperation…

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Could the CERB program lead Canada toward offering a universal basic income?

Friday, April 10th, 2020

… it will be difficult for the government to phase out policy changes introduced with the CERB: a guaranteed minimum payment for all recipients, the inclusion of gig economy and other contract workers, and no regional variation in qualifying for payments… Right now, it’s clear that the millions of Canadians who have lost work are victims of circumstance and need help… [but] This is a suspension of the usual moral judgment that those not working have brought their fates on themselves… creating a political barrier to a universal basic income.

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Universal livable basic income in times of crisis and beyond

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

Universal livable basic income could be distributed and taxed back where total incomes warrant, using the current tax system. This is one of the most simple and effective ways of distributing funds to those in need… It would allow us to build on already existing government infrastructure rather than creating additional programs to administer… Universal livable basic income can reduce financial inequality and help vulnerable people secure safe and healthy accommodation in their everyday lives and during times of crisis.

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Hitting Home: Hours And Wages Lost To Covid-19 By Location, Age, Income And Education

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Across the country, about 44 percent of households have experienced lost hours or layoffs due to COVID-19, with only one-fifth of the affected workers in those households fully compensated by their employer, and two-thirds receiving no coverage or compensation… While the CERB will provide financial support for those who fully lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wage subsidy will help reduce further lost hours and layoffs.

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Trudeau says businesses, non-profits, charities all eligible for wage subsidy

Monday, March 30th, 2020

The federal government has vastly expanded the 75-per-cent wage subsidy for small businesses to include large companies as well as charities and non-profits to encourage them to keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his daily news conference Monday that the generous subsidy will be open to any business or organization that has suffered a 30-per-cent drop in revenue as a result of the coronavirus.

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Ottawa Delivers 1-2 Punch To Prevent Layoffs And Mitigate Economic Harm

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Across the economy, businesses and not-for-profits are losing revenue and laying workers off. A chain reaction from job loss would be a major reason why people anticipate a deep recession and double-digit unemployment. In this edition of Graphic Intelligence, we show how Ottawa’s announcement to cover wage costs alters the chain reaction and mitigates the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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Liberal bolstering of social safety net should be more ambitious

Friday, March 20th, 2020

In effect, the Liberal government is reinventing an unemployment insurance scheme that will actually cover the unemployed. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is pitching this as a temporary measure to deal with a short-term emergency. He should be more ambitious… A real unemployment insurance scheme, one that took into account all the jobless, would be a good first step.

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Government must step in to fix the gig economy

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

The nature of work is changing. But that shouldn’t mean that jobs, particularly those for low-paid workers, just get worse and worse. Ontario needs to tackle the widening gaps in worker protections. If it doesn’t, companies in the gig economy and traditional sectors alike will continue to exploit loopholes — and their workers. A business model that relies on the exploitation of others is a terrible step backwards. It can’t be the way of the future.

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Liberals’ ‘middle class tax cut’ is not a tax cut at all

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

What we are left with is a $6-billion handout to just about everybody except those who need it most. And all of it is borrowed. With the deficit already in excess of $20-billion and headed higher, the government is proposing to borrow another $6-billion annually, and give much of it to people in the top half of the social register… Unthinkable: Tax cuts for the rich! Maybe. But it sure beats handouts to the rich, doesn’t it?

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