Archive for the ‘Governance Policy Context’ Category

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Supreme Court rules voting restrictions on expatriate citizens are unconstitutional

Friday, January 11th, 2019

A lower-court judge had found the voting prohibition unconstitutional. But the Ontario Court of Appeal then ruled 2-1 that the law could stand, saying that non-residents do not live with the consequences of their votes on a daily basis. The dissenting judge said the restrictions had the effect of making non-resident Canadians second-class citizens… The 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms says without qualification that every Canadian citizen has the right to vote.

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Are Canadians overtaxed? The equation is complicated

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Stagnant or falling real incomes for many Canadians are the result of low rates of growth of earnings and other forms of income, not rising income taxes… A decade ago, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report, Canada’s Quiet Bargain, which argued that the vast majority of Canadians gain much more from public programs than they pay for in taxes. Certainly the tax data continue to bear this out.

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Election reform bill passed in time for implementation in 2019 federal vote

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Bill C-76 is an omnibus bill that will reverse a number of changes wrought by the previous Conservative administration’s widely denounced Fair Elections Act. It will restore the use of voter information cards as a valid form of identification to prove residency… It will limit spending by parties and advocacy groups during the three-month period before an election is officially called, as well as during the official campaign… It will also extend the right to vote to ex-patriate Canadians… It will ban advocacy groups from ever using money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns…

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Ontario has undermined its Ombudsman’s independence

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

… not everyone will agree with the reforms just announced by the Ford government… One matter… is the introduction of a new clause in the Ombudsman Act, which allows the governing party to suspend an ombudsman if they are “of the opinion the suspension is warranted”… It is not uncommon for ombud statutes to contain provisions for removal with cause, but to contemplate the suspension of an ombudsman based on the government’s opinion takes a jackhammer to the foundation of our work.

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PCs take Ontario back to bad old days of political fundraising

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

… buried within the… Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act… are a set of changes that would at the least loosen, and potentially eviscerate, the province’s new campaign finance regime… What urgent public imperative requires that corporations and unions be allowed to donate to political parties — and not openly but surreptitiously?… there’s no reason parties need to spend anything like as much as they do, and lots of reasons to prefer they should spend less…

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Ford government is still ducking the toughest questions

Friday, November 16th, 2018

The government is giving small businesses a tax break and has forecast the potential of more breaks for businesses down the line. It’s rolling back a planned tax increase on the wealthiest Ontarians and cutting income tax for the lowest-paid workers. But given how little tax they pay now they’ll end up with far less money in their pockets than they would have if Ford hadn’t cancelled a planned raise in the minimum wage to $15.

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Ontario Tories cut taxes and oversight protections for environment, vulnerable children, and francophones

Friday, November 16th, 2018

Premier Doug Ford is cutting taxes for low-income earners, lifting some rent controls, and slashing oversight protections for the environment, vulnerable children, and Ontario’s French-speaking minority… further cuts loom in next spring’s budget… critics denounced the elimination of the environmental commissioner, the child advocate, and the French-language services commissioner as independent officers of the legislature.

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Doug Ford’s Government for the (Old) People

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Premier Doug Ford’s self-proclaimed “Government for the People” is looking more like the Government for Old People. Or more precisely, the Government that Doesn’t Get Young People. Ever since taking power last summer, the Progressive Conservatives have targeted our youth for the biggest take-aways — in the workplace, on campus, and in our environment.

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Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

… According to that report [by financial consultants EY Canada and released last week] Ontario could “reconsider application of universality to all programs,” opting instead for “means-testing to selected programs.” … It provides no specifics. But just about the only two services the province provides to Ontarians without a fee, regardless of their income, are health care and public education.

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We should judge decisions, not judges

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Of course politicians are elected and judges are appointed. But that does not mean that governments should be free from the scrutiny of the courts. Nor that judges must be elected for that scrutiny to be legitimate… But Canadian courts have largely avoided the deep ideological and partisan divisions we see south of the border.

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