Archive for the ‘Equality Policy Context’ Category

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British Columbia Supreme Court Rules Against Expansion of Private Health Care

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

“in the context of complex social programs such as healthcare where there is a need to balance conflicting interests and claims over limited resources, a high degree of deference is owed to the government… even if I had found a violation of ss. 7 or 15 of the Charter, I would nonetheless have concluded the impugned provisions are a reasonable limit on those rights and are demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1”.

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Billionaires get richer while millions struggle. There’s a lot wrong with this picture

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

growing inequality — and public concern about it — is being exacerbated by the pandemic. That makes this a particularly good time to revisit the many policy tools Ottawa has to do something about it. Tax reform tops the list. Canada can do more to prevent and pursue companies that hide billions from the taxman in offshore tax havens and close the many loopholes that let the very wealthy lower their tax bill.

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‘Billionaire wealth has bounced back’: Canada’s 20 richest people saw their fortunes grow by $37 billion during COVID-19, study says

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

The proceeds of a wealth tax could “create ongoing revenue streams” to fund important social policy initiatives… “That includes areas such as health care, building a universal child-care system, addressing the housing crisis that exists in so many parts of the country, and addressing the next looming crisis on the horizon in climate change.”

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Race does not determine health outcomes — racism does. As medical professionals we see this reflected in stark COVID-19 realities

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

… employment, income, wealth, education, housing and so on — are what ultimately determine who survives or how long we live. In many ways, the single most important protective factor in this pandemic was having the privilege to stay at home. But that’s if you had a home and a job that would allow you to work remotely and take paid leave if sick or unwell.

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Universal, permanent paid sick days needed now

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

… from personal support workers staffing long-term-care homes, to meat processing workers, grocery store workers and migrant farmworkers… COVID-19 thrives where racialized workers are denied paid sick days… Restricting paid sick leave to a temporary measure for reasons “related to COVID-19” undermines its effectiveness… Paid sick days must be permanent and ensure workers can stay home at symptom onset, regardless of the ultimate diagnosis.

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It won’t be popular, but we should scrap the homeowner tax break

Friday, July 31st, 2020

Sell your principal residence for more than you paid for it, and in most cases you will pay no tax on the gain at all. Indeed, until 2016 you didn’t even have to report the transaction on your tax return. Neither is there any limit on the exemption – as there is, for example, in the United States. The bigger the gain, the bigger the tax benefit. You can guess which income groups benefit the most.

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Inequality means we’re not all in this together

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

The pandemic showed us that challenging the status quo is essential in tackling the inequalities we see today across Canada. Certain policies and interventions implemented at different scales across North America have proven both feasible and practical… They should not disappear after the pandemic subsides. There is nothing radical about housing the homeless, preventing drug overdoses, feeding the hungry, increasing minimum wages, or reducing prison populations. These measures are urgently needed and are simply humane. They should be our “new normal” in Canada moving forward.

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Genetic Non-Discrimination Act upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

A majority at the SCC found that genetic privacy is part of core biographical information and as such, its protection is a valid criminal law objective… that individuals have legitimate privacy, autonomy and dignity interests in their own genetic information. They held that forcing people to undergo genetic testing and to face the results is a clear threat to these values; that genetic identity is at the heart of a biographical core of information and its protection is warranted.

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Canadian court says Safe Third Country Agreement with U.S. violates charter

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

“The ‘sharing of responsibility’ objective of the STCA should entail some guarantee of access to a fair refugee process.” The court said the fact that STCA returnees are jailed by U.S. authorities, does not immunize the actions of Canadian officials from consideration… critics have long argued that the U.S. asylum system is cruel and inhumane, especially under the Trump administration.

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Breaking the law: How the state weaponizes an unjust criminal justice system

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

The overpolicing and overincarceration of racial communities is a critical point. It is the state that is “othering” a segment of the population. The criminal justice system provides an official government imprimatur that this group of people – “they,” the “accused” – are not like you. The message that is being sent is that they deserve less, are not to be trusted, must be corralled, segregated, stopped and removed from “civil” society. How else are we to be safe?

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