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Raising taxes to build Toronto is not just good — it’s necessary

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

In recent years, our leaders have tried every trick in the book… to avoid collecting the revenues needed to build the country. They’ve sold off profit-making public assets, giving up long-term revenue streams for one-time capital gains. They’ve embraced public-private partnerships (P3s), paying extra to build infrastructure but hiding the cost off the public books. They’ve taken on more debt.

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The mathematical truth about Toronto property taxes: raising them is the best option

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

The average annual residential tax bill across the GTHA and Ottawa for 2018 came in at $4,773 per household. In Toronto, it was $3,906… The mathematical truth says Toronto’s residential property taxes are low. The mathematical truth says there is room to raise them to pay for the things the city desperately needs.

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Toronto should move to a ranked ballot

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Council recently voted 14-11 to direct city staff to start the process of moving toward a ranked ballot for the 2022 municipal election… No one likes how our system encourages negative campaigns, focuses on wedge issues and personal attacks, and gives incumbents at the municipal level where there are no political parties such an unfair advantage. Or that councillors can be elected with so little support from the electorate.

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Employers keep breaking safety laws — and government enforcement isn’t stopping them, auditor general finds

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

“The ministry’s enforcement efforts are not preventing many employers from continuing the same unsafe practices,” the report says… The auditor general report also highlighted issues with the ministry’s enforcement capabilities: its information system, which informs inspection strategy, only contains details of 28 per cent of all business in Ontario — leaving “many workplaces uninspected.”

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More than a million Ontario workers do not have drug coverage. These groups are the most likely to be left out

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

“These gaps in coverage are worrisome, since prescription drugs play an essential role in preventing and treating disease and in helping us stay healthy,” the report says… highly concentrated in the retail trades, accommodation and food services industries… part-time work’s share of total employment rose from 13.5 per cent to nearly 20 per cent between 1976 and 2015… a significant portion of part-time work is low wage, without benefits, and has scheduling uncertainty which creates stress…

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Equitable pharmacare deal requires Trudeau to strike deal with wary premiers

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Every province operates some form of public drug plan for seniors and the poor. All premiers would be pleased to have Ottawa take on part of that financial burden. But they don’t want to be hosed again, as many feel they were with medicare… That’s why the premiers insist that any national pharmacare scheme must have “adequate and sustained” federal funding.

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Canada should enforce its own labour standards

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Provinces like Ontario let employers avoid labour standards, such as the right to vacation pay, by pretending that their workers are self-employed, independent contractors. Provinces like Ontario have also deliberately not kept their labour laws in sync with the requirements of the new economy – one characterized by franchising, digital employment and part-time work… [They] don’t enforce the labour standards that do exist. Citing budget constraints and an aversion to red tape, they cut back workplace inspections and respond inadequately to real complaints.

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A lack of nutritious food is harming Canadians

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

One of the fundamental principles of our medicare system is that every Canadian should have access to evidence-based treatments. But we are failing Canadians when it comes to one of the most essential medicines — access to nutritious and healthy food. We can no longer divorce the health of Canadians from nutrition in our health care system. Our health as a nation is depending on it.

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The elimination of regional leadership in Ontario’s health system

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

The health team design principles suggest that regional leadership of the system is not important if local care is better integrated. This may be true but having experience in working with the LHINs to implement change in Ontario, I worry about the loss of a regional leadership structure, which demonstrably improved quality in Ontario health care.

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Here’s why you should like the federal carbon tax

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

An escalating carbon price, on the other hand, would allow GDP per capita to grow steadily so long as the proceeds of the carbon tax are redistributed to taxpayers, as the current plan foresees… By… 2030 and the emissions reductions are in the bag, Canadians would each be $3,300-a-year richer under carbon pricing than under the large-emitter-only scenario.

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