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Debunking myths about community housing: What governments and the public should know

Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Canada’s Housing Plan… includes noteworthy new funding programs and policies to preserve and expand community housing, including social, non-profit and co-operative housing… Canada’s ongoing housing crisis extends beyond affordability and supply challenges. It also involves homelessness, risks to tenancy, shortage of accessible units, financialization and the lack of culturally adequate housing. Community housing is poised to effectively tackle these insidious problems in ways the market cannot.

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Economic growth tops the priority list for Canadian policymakers — here’s why

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

We should be making room for measures of personal and collective well-being other than GDP. But we also need economic growth — not just so we can consume more, or generate more revenue for governments, but so we can take better care of one another… growth could include better housing, better food and better health care, or even a better defence posture. And it need not require consuming more natural resources. 

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Pierre Poilievre’s proposed mandatory minimum penalties will not reduce crime

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

… with MMPs [mandatory minimum penalties], Parliament removes judicial discretion for any sentencing option other than imprisonment and imposes a minimum term of incarceration, regardless of the facts of the case… The evidence shows that MMPs are ineffective at reducing crime, may actually increase recidivism, are highly vulnerable to being struck down by the courts as unconstitutional, can increase delays in an overburdened system, and perpetuate systemic racism.

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Beyond the cafeteria: The economic case for investing in school meals

Monday, March 4th, 2024

In the long-term, universal free school lunches can also improve children’s health, academic performance and subsequent economic outcomes throughout life…  Our new research summarizes the strong economic rationale for investing in school meal programs in Canada. Universal school meals can not only provide immediate relief to families, but also build a legacy of improved public health and economic prosperity for generations to come. 

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Child poverty is on the rise in Canada, putting over 1 million kids at risk of life-long negative effects

Friday, February 23rd, 2024

In addition to being a human rights issue, addressing child poverty makes economic sense. This is why addressing child poverty needs to remain a priority for all Canadians. Governments, employers and communities… can do this by: Adopting a national living wage policy…; Reducing food insecurity… through nationally available school food programs; Increasing school readiness by providing universal access to quality early childhood development programs across Canada.

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The private sector housing experiment has failed: Ottawa must now step up on social housing

Tuesday, February 13th, 2024

… some are quick to tell us… that governments should simply incentivize private sector developers and remove “red tape.” But our research shows no evidence this will work… There are many strategies needed simultaneously to address housing affordability. The expansion of social housing supply is one. But calls are all too often ignored by governments turning to the private sector for low-cost quick fixes that continue to fail those in greatest need.

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How better and cheaper software could save millions of dollars while improving Canada’s health-care system

Monday, February 5th, 2024

Although the Canadian federal government has invested over $2.1 billion developing health information technology (HIT), all 10 provinces still have their own separate HIT systems. Besides being an obvious source of redundancy and waste, these systems: do not work together, are expensive and are inconsistent… we analyzed the economic costs and savings of integrating some of the functions of the software…

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Here are some dos and don’ts to help tackle ableism

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

Ableism goes beyond individual fear or prejudice. It influences who we see as having a life worth living and who is seen as a burden. That, in turn, impacts our practices and policies. We all have a role to play in challenging ableism, which may sometimes leave us feeling awkward or unsure if we’re doing and saying the right things. But, to our knowledge being awkward isn’t deadly. Ableism too often is.

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Program at Hamilton Public Library shows how libraries can expand the social services they provide

Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

Library social workers aim to remove systemic barriers… by offering preventative support… and by helping people access services that offer longer-term solutions to their problems… they are trained and able to support trauma, mental-health issues, challenges and complex needs in a way that meets the person where they are at emotionally, physically and/or cognitively.

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Levelling the playing field: The case for a federal ‘anti-scab’ law

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

Despite corporate objections to the contrary, anti-scab laws can play an integral role in improving union-management relations… it would force employers to focus on reaching negotiated settlements rather than strategizing over how to best undermine and antagonize union members exercising their right to strike. 

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