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If Canada wants to be healthy and decent and prosperous and stable, it needs to face its demons

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

Every country is imperfect just as every person is imperfect. Facing the imperfections is what patriotism looks like, not turning away from them. The celebration and the confrontation must occur together to be meaningful… We must face them not because we hate Canada but because we love it. The honour of this country is at stake, and Canadian honour is worth fighting for. It is our duty to fight for it.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

Canada’s citizenship study guide for newcomers is getting an ‘unvarnished’ makeover. Here’s how it’s evolved — from 1947 to today

Monday, June 28th, 2021

… in the wake of the recent revelations of hundreds of unmarked graves being found at the site of former residential schools in Kamloops, B.C., and Marieval, Sask., the federal government now says it expects to roll out… a more “honest” portrait of the country’s past and present… the guide will include a section outlining the government’s attempts to compel Indigenous Peoples to adopt European customs through policies “designed to end Indigenous ways of life, languages and spiritual beliefs.”

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Posted in Equality History | No Comments »

Life stabilization on a welfare income is impossible

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

… people’s lives cannot be stabilized without increasing social assistance rates. While they slowly starve, recipients will be required to “participate in prescribed employment and life stabilization assistance activities.”  But there is no clear plan to show how local service delivery agents will be able to co-ordinate life stabilization services that are notoriously in short supply, such as affordable housing, counselling and mental health services. And adding names to years-long waiting lists does not stabilize anything. In fact, it can have the opposite effect.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

The success of CERB is proof a universal basic income is doable and beneficial

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

A UBI is a government payment that tops up family income so that it modestly exceeds the poverty line, or low-income threshold. As households are able to generate more income on their own, UBI payments are scaled back and eventually discontinued.  A UBI holds promise as our most powerful tool in eradicating poverty and solving the crisis of income inequality. 

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Making UN Declaration law shows Canada’s commitment to Indigenous people

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Bill C-15 requires regular public reporting on progress and accountability measures developed in collaboration with Indigenous peoples. Importantly, the implementation of the declaration is in line with the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Five former mayors of Toronto on why it is time for the city to decriminalize simple drug possession

Saturday, June 19th, 2021

As the death toll mounts, in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada, it is crystal clear that the criminalization of drug use has been a costly public policy mistake that must be remedied. Criminalization is costing human lives at a merciless pace. Racialized minorities and the poor are disproportionately arrested, convicted and incarcerated for possession. And taxpayers pay the costly policing, courts and corrections bills.

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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »

A global minimum corporate tax is an important step toward fairness

Monday, June 7th, 2021

The whole idea of a minimum global tax is to prevent multinationals from tax-shopping, so it will be effective only to the extent that many countries agree to it. The next step is to get the bigger G20 group on board, and then there’s the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation… the biggest companies that have flourished during the pandemic, should pay their share.

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »

With big bonuses, Air Canada gives us all a $10-million slap in the face

Friday, June 4th, 2021

The airline disclosed… that it gave the bonuses last December to executives and managers “for exceptional performance” over the past year as air travel plunged during the pandemic… What surely leaves Canadians flabbergasted and furious is that this is not one firm making one bad decision… Freeland should… find a way to withhold public funding for Air Canada until the airline rescinds bonuses that stand as a $10-million insult to the country.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Do pandemic income supports encourage people to stay off work? Of course — and that could be a good thing

Friday, June 4th, 2021

… this could really shake up capitalism for the better. How? If workers choose to stay in bed, employers might (rationally) choose to entice them back with higher wages… Higher pay though would also narrow the equality gap… People just don’t like bed that much. In fact, they like work, especially if it involves some satisfaction.

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Governments paid billions to help develop COVID-19 vaccines — so why is Big Pharma charging us billions more for the vaccines we helped create?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

If we think of war profiteers as being lower than a snake’s belly, what are we to make of the drug industry’s pandemic profiteers? … Canada, like other government funders in this global crisis, is not expecting to recover its costs in funding COVID-related medicine…  governments that fund research that is used in lucrative commercial drug production must demand a return on their investment. 

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Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »

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