Archive for the ‘Governance’ Category

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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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Doug Ford turns Conservatives to the hard right

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Everyone on Ford’s team… agrees the size of government must be cut and front-line delivery of services is best left to private and non-profit sector… Ford is expected to make major changes in social support programs, and slash the senior bureaucratic ranks in the health and education ministries… Fire sales may be held for the LCBO, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Power Generation. Also on the possible chopping block are eHealth and dozens of agencies, boards and commissions.

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Provincial spending cuts will take people from bad to worse

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Ontario already has Canada’s lowest per-person program spending, including the lowest per-person investment in health care. There’s a reason school repairs are backlogged and hallway medicine has made a comeback. Now a 15 per cent cut threatens to take people from bad to worse. Already, Ford has cut $330 million a year from mental health and $100 million from school repairs… Working-class people are already struggling with low wages, no benefits and unaffordable everyday life.

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Why can’t liberalism be populist, too?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Populism begins from popular suspicion of political, economic and other elites. At its best, however, and from its origins, liberalism too has cultivated such suspicion. The great early liberal thinkers – Spinoza, Locke, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, the authors of the Federalist Papers – mercilessly skewered the elites of their day, along with human pretensions generally… After all, Liberals, too, are supposed to be concerned with fair treatment for the little guy.

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Time for the Liberals and the NDP to unite

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

The distinctions between the two parties — one traditionally centrist, the other social democratic — have diminished at both the provincial and federal levels in recent years. Both the provincial Liberal and NDP platforms in the 2018 election included increases in the minimum wage and minimum vacation time, pharmacare and dental benefits (though delivered in different ways), added protections for renters, and a continuance of cap-and-trade. The two platforms weren’t identical, but they were certainly similar in many respects, especially when compared to the PC platform.

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Doug Ford can’t apply the notwithstanding clause retroactively to impede democracy

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

In the light of his impatience in regard to changing the rules for the municipal election – and even to the time it takes to appeal judgments he dislikes – we can expect more retroactive overrides. These actions will, in effect, pre-empt the role of the judiciary designated by the Constitution to be impartial arbiters of the constitutional validity of legislation… The Charter expressly guarantees fundamental rights so that we can live our lives within a rights-protecting constitutional democracy dedicated to the rule of law.

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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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Doug Ford, no power grab is worth undermining Canada’s solid foundation

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Governments are required to act in accordance with the law and, in particular, our Constitution. Even when you don’t agree with the law… Politicians are not any more legitimate in our democracy than judges. The judiciary acts as an independent check on government authority because it is unelected, not in spite of it. That is how we, as a democratic country, have decided to govern ourselves. Moreover, the judiciary has a particular function in protecting the minority from the majority that elected representatives cannot, by nature, be counted on to carry out.

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Ford government should clearly explain rationale for invoking notwithstanding clause

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Whatever one thinks of the use of the notwithstanding clause, few scholars would advocate for government-by-notwithstanding-clause. Such an approach would seriously undermine constitutional rights protections. Any use of the notwithstanding clause should be preceded by serious, reasoned deliberation, both within the executive and in the legislature. The Ford government should clearly explain its rationale for seeking to invoke the clause.

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Doug Ford is trampling on the rights of all Ontarians

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

For the past 36 years, ever since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in Canada’s Constitution, Ontario premiers of all political persuasions managed to govern while respecting our fundamental rights… none… found it necessary to brush aside basic Charter freedoms and invoke the Constitution’s nuclear option, the “notwithstanding” clause, to exercise their will.

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