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Stealth and misdirection are constants of Harper’s majority

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

May 3, 2012
The recent budget… signals “the crushing of the progressive state,” conjuring images of “the ’20s and ’30s, a time of massive inequality and personal vulnerability which presaged the Great Depression… The policy direction has firmed up, perceptibly… What has not changed is the refusal to explain what it is doing, still less why. All is stealth and indirection, surprise and ambiguity, as before. Big changes, when they happen, are done suddenly, casually, without warning or justification, as if they were of no importance: buried deep in an omnibus bill

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Harper’s revolution missing in action

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

April 28, 2012
Very simply: there is nothing, not a line in Budget 2012, that could arguably not have been introduced by a Liberal Party led by a John Manley (minister of everything during the Chretien years), or a Frank McKenna (former premier of New Brunswick) – in other words, by conservative Liberals… There is one area, arguably, where the Tories are doing things in a way that looks and feels quite different… That is its handling of federal-provincial relations, which hurls entire areas of provincial jurisdiction, previously seized by Ottawa, back at the provinces. But even here, the concept is not new or particularly radical…

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Reserve kids underfunded, court decides

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

April 19, 2012
Under the Indian Act, the federal government is responsible for funding health, education, police services and child welfare on reserves, all of which fall under provincial jurisdiction off reserves… children on reserve receive 22 per cent less funding for services than those who live off reserve. That distinction was central to the government’s argument that comparing funding from two different levels of government was both “unreasonable” and nonsensical. In her decision, Mactavish said the tribunal “erred in failing to consider the significance of the government’s own adoption of provincial child-welfare standards in its programming and funding policies.”

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Quebec measures to soften effects of federal crime bill

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

March 14, 2012
Fournier repeatedly reminded reporters that while the federal government could adopt laws, the administration of justice was a provincial jurisdiction, and Quebec possessed 40 years of experience in dealing with youth crime, experience based on the ideal that rehabilitation is preferable to imprisonment… “The legal power we have (as a province) is to add nuance to the manner C-10 is written … to conserve the idea of long-term protection for the public and to conserve the concept of rehabilitation.”

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Pension deficits aren’t the fault of public-sector workers

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Feb. 22, 2012
During those golden years, employers were making their pension contributions using money taken directly out of pension-fund surpluses. There was nothing strictly illegal about this. The surpluses legally belonged to them, just as deficits belong to them… Currently, a majority of Canadian workers do not have a workplace pension plan, and one-third has absolutely no savings set aside for retirement. The loss of supplemental pension plans would mean an increase in poverty among seniors, which in return would mean higher costs for the government in health care and social services.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

One analyst’s take on how the economic-equality gap got so large

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Nov. 30, 201
Whatever shape the [Occupy] movement may take in the future, it might do well to adopt the recommendations in U.S. economist Dean Baker’s new e-book The End of Loser Liberalism as its policy manifesto… this inequality is the result of the neo-conservative revolution… of the rich using government intervention to funnel wealth from the vast majority to themselves… The neo-conservative policies… led to stagnating wages for the majority, sagging domestic demand and, consequently, less incentive to reinvest in domestic production. The growth engine of the U.S. economy shifted instead to “bubbles”…

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Delays and fees equal discrimination, law prof alleges in complaint

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

April 2, 2011
“The Government of Canada decides how many immigrants and what type of immigrants, should be permitted to come to Canada each year. This decision is based on consideration of short and long term needs. The economy, social fabric of Canada and demographics of population are just a few examples… To deal with the huge backlog of applicants – there are currently 147,769 parents and grandparents waiting to fill 11,200 spots – “you either increase the size of the pie slice going to parents, and reduce the slice going to millionaires or skilled workers, or you increase the total size of the pie.”

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‘Tax break’ conceals low benefit

Friday, April 1st, 2011

March 29, 2011
While it’s true that tax splitting will be a nice benefit for families with stay-at-home moms or dads, it won’t do much for families that have the greatest need for help with the cost of child-rearing. Most of these are left out because they’re either single-parent families or ones in which both parents find it necessary to work… So a family that’s working twice as hard to keep its head above water gets little or nothing.

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Better integration plan needed for special-needs students: coalition

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

March 10, 2011
… integration in its current framework isn’t working and is hindering the learning of other children. “We want the creation of special classes when we need them,” said St. Germain, acknowledging that means more than exist at present… The coalition’s position worries a group that represents the disabled, which fears it would result in less integration and more special classes… However, the alliance agrees with the coalition about the lack of resources, Colin said. “As long as we don’t have resources for the child, we risk derailing integration.”

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Posted in Education Policy Context | No Comments »

Integration has always been this province’s preferred option [QC]

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

March 1, 2011
“Multiculturalism” can describe ethnic diversity, or designate a policy concerning integration of immigrants. Evidence tends to show that Quebecers reject the Canadian policy of multiculturalism in two domains: defining the rules of secularism in a modern democracy, and integration of immigrants. Multiculturalism as a policy is only one of several possible ways of approaching these issues in a democracy.

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »

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