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Expanding small claims court will not increase access to justice

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Small claims court lacks any strong disincentive for parties to proceed to trial, since the amounts one can collect as compensation for legal fees are minimal. The Superior Court of Justice forces litigants to make realistic offers to settle, or face consequences after judgment by way of a high costs award.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


Doug Ford failing to keep his health care promises

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

The funding reductions do not come to an Ontario health care system with excessive resources: indeed, Ontario already has fewer per capita hospital beds than any other province… The only apparent action the premier has taken on the mental health front is cutting, by more than $330 million per year, the previous government’s planned increase to mental health funding… Our new minister has publicly campaigned to revise the Canada Health Act to allow for private health care delivery.

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CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

… the CRA says more than 835,000 returns were filed by people who are homeless, Indigenous, newcomers, seniors or disabled. The boost is double those seen in previous years, before the Liberals increased annual spending on the “community volunteer income-tax program” to $13 million in the 2018 budget… “It’s a different program and we get to see the direct impact that we have on lifting people out of poverty.”

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | No Comments »


How Finland slashed homelessness by 40 per cent

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

… about 15 per cent of the population are paid an allowance to help pay for rent… Such policies are more effective… than rent controls popular in many countries… because they push up housing supply, while rent controls tend to discourage investment in rental properties… “It’s more expensive not to provide the homes and have people on the streets. And when they’re off the streets, there’s more social harmony.”

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »


Much is at stake in the contest between pluralism and populism

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Our history records some serious failures. They serve as tough reminders that our pluralism is far from perfect. It cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, it is fragile and demands our constant vigilance and hard work… We must practice the art of inclusion and accommodation — to make room for one another. To reach out. To listen to each other. To bridge differences. To try very hard to understand one another… Canada is now and ever will be a precious work-in-progress.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


Justin Trudeau made reconciliation a top priority. Four years later, what’s changed?

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Annual funding for health services, education, children’s programs, housing and more has jumped by 50 per cent, from $11 billion in 2015-16 to more than $17 billion slated for 2021-22… Yet striking disparities remain… “There’s still a huge socio-economic gap between First Nations and the rest of Canadians. And that gap is not going to close in one, two or three years,” Bellegarde said. “You need long-term, sustained investments.”

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Posted in Equality Delivery System | No Comments »


In Canada, the gap between the rich and poor remains stable

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

… fewer people are climbing up the ladder into the next class — especially people in lower-income brackets. But while fewer people are getting ahead, they are also not falling behind much. Despite all the hand-wringing about worsening inequality and the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer, Canada’s income picture is one of stability, with incremental progress for some.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »


Why Canadians need to wake up about populism

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Ordered populism… has four key conditions: A declining middle class, wage stagnation and hyper-concentration of wealth at the very top of the system; Major shifts in social values which see more progressive values displacing traditional social conservative values which… produce a cultural backlash by those seeing themselves falling victim to loss of identity and privilege; A growing sense of external threat…; Declining trust in public institutions plus a rise in ideological polarization. All those conditions are present in Canada. They predominate among less-educated males

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »


Doctors’ perspective on billings in Ontario

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Focusing on how much each health care provider bills or earns without context, and without a broader plan to address system-wide issues, may result in additionally fragmented care and stress on Ontario’s health care system. Ontarians need professional health care providers with a range of skills to help reduce wait times. No health care provider wants to see longer wait times or more fragmented care.

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The Ford government’s education cuts are setting kids up to fail

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

The class cancellations and reductions… have everything to do with the Ford government’s decision to fix a provincial budget problem of its own making on the backs of students. It has substantially increased high school class sizes — from 22 to 28 students on average — and will fund thousands of fewer teacher positions… The Ford government cuts will hurt struggling students, gifted students and generally make school a lot less interesting for all students

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Posted in Education Debates | No Comments »


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