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High drug prices in Canada are just one side of a bad equation

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

To ensure that Canadians receive similar benefits from the pharmaceutical industry as other countries, we need oversight of both sides of the equation: drug prices (… fully protected from political influence), and follow-up to ensure any government programs intended to offer investment incentives for the pharmaceutical industry in the Canadian economy achieve their goals.

Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »

What you need to know about Canada’s new first home savings account

Saturday, July 8th, 2023

… many first-time buyers start by buying more modest properties initially, and the FHSA could help them get into the housing market earlier. Of course, this will still take time given the $8,000 per year contribution limit.  While the impact of the FHSA won’t be instant, and while it’s not a complete solution, it’s a step in the right direction. For many Canadians, owning a home provides security and a sense of belonging.

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Justin Trudeau is leaving his stamp on the Supreme Court of Canada

Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

After 1982, the Supreme Court often had to determine which laws were consistent with the Charter and to clarify central aspects of the Charter… In the decades to come, Canada’s Supreme Court will undoubtedly issue rulings related to climate change, Indigenous Peoples, individual rights, the impact of technology, international relations and much more.

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »

The National Housing Strategy won’t end homelessness without supportive housing

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

We found that having both affordable housing and staff on-site who could meet a variety of needs proved transformational for the tenants… To address chronic homelessness, the federal government needs to include funding for longer-term supportive housing in its National Housing Strategy. And provincial governments must increase social assistance rates to provide more income towards housing.

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | No Comments »

Why we need to rewrite the script on corporate taxes

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

Canada’s tax-and-transfer system, which relies on taxing income and providing Employment Insurance and other benefits, isn’t reducing inequality as much as it did before the mid-‘90s. Specifically, despite increases in worker productivity, average real wages have stagnated while corporate profits have skyrocketed. This inequality manifests through middle-class household debt and significant personal savings of CEOs.

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As the U.S. expands work conditions for income assistance, Canada takes a different tack

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

The distinction between the U.S. and Canada’s approaches don’t extend beyond federal income assistance. Work conditions and other bureaucratic measures still dominate at the state and provincial level, despite significant federal funding support… [However] there is some movement to reduce barriers to welfare participation in Canada… Prince Edward Island legislature has affirmed their support for a basic income to replace current welfare assistance in the province.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Basic income could help create a more just and sustainable food system

Monday, May 1st, 2023

… a basic income guarantee could not only be an important tool for addressing economic access to food, but also in supporting sustainability across the food system… reducing economic uncertainty for the most vulnerable agriculture and fisheries workers… [and] supporting new entrants in agriculture and fisheries. Across Canada, the commercial fishing and farming workforces are aging. 

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

The grieving mother of a murdered teen pleads for a stronger social safety net

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Expanding the social safety net to address the root causes of crime therefore requires recognizing the vital contributions these organizations make to public safety — and providing them with stable funding to carry out their responsibilities. The vast disparities in government funding between police services and non-police organizations that work directly with people struggling with mental health, chemical dependencies and homelessness indicates that far more must be done to make this happen.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »

Does Ottawa’s grocery rebate signal a shift to a broader guaranteed basic income?

Monday, April 10th, 2023

Food banks… were first introduced as a temporary measure in the early 1980s in response to economic downturn… though inadequate… they are now relied upon as part of the “social safety net.”… What’s required now is a fundamental philosophical shift in societal and political will to go beyond grocery rebates and support efficient government programming that supports the choice, agency and dignity of all Canadians, regardless of income.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Getting a fuller picture of poverty in Canada: why the government’s official poverty measure is insufficient

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

The material dimension of poverty is calculated by taking low-income and material deprivation indicators into account… Examples of these necessities include a pair of properly fitting shoes and at least one pair of winter boots; the ability to eat meat, fish or another protein equivalent every second day; and the ability to buy small gifts for family or friends once a year.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

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