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How Not to Engage Parents: Lessons from the Ontario Ministry of Education

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Policymaking deals with complex issues for which government officials have to develop timely, effective, efficient and sensitive responses. A consensus has formed in the past decades that officials are more likely to get it right if they ask input from the people who will be affected by the policy in question. The public shares their input in good faith, hoping it will lead to better results. But public trust is undermined when government use the input from a consultation to justify any and all policy changes.

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »


Should billionaires continue to exist?

Friday, November 1st, 2019

A bold tax policy package is sorely needed to address this kind of wealth hoarding, which contributes to soaring inequality. Along with a host of other progressive measures, the wealth tax in particular sits in the enviable position of being at the nexus of both good policy and good politics.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »


[Income Taxes] A progressive foundation, but so much more to do

Friday, November 1st, 2019

The current tax system provides several incentives for household savings and wealth accumulation… TFSAs… RRSPs… for homeownership or mid-career education. The thing is, lower-income earners don’t really have access to these incentives. It’s an upside-down system that rewards people who already have money to save… Here are a few examples of the kinds of policy directions that could… make a meaningful difference in the financial well-being of lower-income Canadians.

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Oh Canada, our home and native tax haven

Friday, November 1st, 2019

… a national public beneficial ownership registry… would eliminate the use of shell companies as a means of engaging in financial crime and allow Canada to realize advantages like potential increased tax revenues and an easing of the endemic money laundering of recent years… We should… restrict illicit financial flows, fight corruption and lay the foundations of a fairer economy and a more decent society at home and abroad.

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Don’t Fret over Deficits and Debt

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

In 2017-18, federal program spending was 14.5% of GDP—an increase of 1.6 percentage points from 2015, but still shy of postwar levels — and slated to fall to 13.8% by 2023-24. On the other side of the ledger, federal revenues are also near all-time lows relative to GDP. Revenues as a share of GDP, at 14.5%, are two percentage points lower than the 50-year average of 16.4%, representing an annual loss of more than $40 billion.

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Are You Inadvertently Amplifying Anti- Immigrant Racism?

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Incorrectly focusing on the wages of migrant workers — instead of ensuring permanent status and full rights — distracts from the real authors of exploitation and increases racism… Canada’s permanent resident intake as a percentage of the population has been stable for the last decade. Today, most migrants are on temporary permits, the largest grouping being “international students,” who spent an estimated $12.8 billion in Canada in 2015, and $15.5 billion in 2016.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »


Election 2019: The home stretch for universal, public pharmacare

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

We shouldn’t just “fill in the gaps” by providing coverage for those who don’t currently have any, since that would simply add yet another layer to our inequitable system. It wouldn’t allow us to benefit from the reduced costs achieved through bulk purchasing and it wouldn’t limit the rising out-of-pocket expenses of those who currently have coverage. It would leave the majority of Canadians vulnerable to losing their coverage if their employment situation changes.

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Election 2019: The home stretch for universal, public pharmacare

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Only a universal, public pharmacare program would ensure that everyone in Canada can access the medications they need. Instead of adopting half-measures and band-aid solutions, it’s time to reform our broken system. Pharmacare is a key missing piece of Canada’s public health care system. This much-needed new program would save money and save lives.

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Federal Budget Response 2019

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

On pharmacare: “Today’s measures don’t fulfill the bold promises of national pharmacare including hundreds of dollars of savings per family in both insurance and out-of-pocket drug costs. / On decent work and skills training:… workers are now being asked to pay for their own training. / On housing: “… Taking out new loans from CMHC or retirement savings doesn’t make housing more affordable–it just allows for another source of debt financing that must be repaid. / What’s missing: Funding for a national child care plan

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