• New report Welfare in Canada, 2017 looks at latest welfare rates and how they compare to poverty measures

    the latest update of a yearly series showing the total income households on social assistance would have received (i.e., their income from social assistance alongside tax credits and child benefits). The report looks at how welfare incomes varied across every province and territory for four example households in 2017… the report describes the components of welfare incomes, how they have changed from previous years, and how they compared to low income thresholds. The amounts vary in every province and territory

  • University and college faculty, students, and staff call on Ontario government to protect workers’ rights and withdraw Bill 47

    Faculty, students, and staff across Ontario know first-hand how important existing labour laws are for the well-being of our families and communities. Ontario workers deserve fair wages and good jobs, including at our universities and colleges. If this government is truly for the people, it should do the right thing and withdraw Bill 47 immediately.

  • Job programs for 450,000 Ontarians on social assistance show mixed results

    … the Ontario government needs to better tailor its job programs by emphasizing assignment to programs whose effects suit its goals… if the government’s strategy was to get people off social assistance, it could increase assignment to either job-search workshops or training programs, while if the aim is to reduce the probability of people returning to social assistance, they could focus on direct job placements.

  • Doug Ford government spins fake news to ditch minimum wage hike

    After two years of public consultations, special advisors leading “the largest review of Ontario’s labour laws conducted in decades” concluded in the 400-page Changing Workplaces Review report “that there are too many people in too many workplaces who do not receive their basic rights.” … for business lobbies to now say there has been no input and that Bill 148 is “too much too soon” is disingenuous… In fact, some of the changes… were modified by the business community.”

  • ‘As permanent as you can get’: Ford addresses funding cut for post-secondary campuses

    The funding cuts for three university satellite campuses announced by the province last week are “as permanent as you can get,” according to Premier Doug Ford, who spoke about the projects for the first time since they were cancelled… The premier, however, seemed to leave the door open to future funding, once the government has grappled with its deficit and debt.

  • What Ontario can learn from the UK on reforming social assistance

    Over the past decade, the UK embarked on a series of welfare reforms with similar aims — to cut red tape while getting more long-term welfare recipients into sustained work. This paper summarizes the assessments of independent reviewers and auditors on the impact of those reforms and their value for money. It aims to identify lessons for Ontario as it pursues the same goals.

  • Doug Ford was right to cancel funding for new Ontario university campuses

    The province’s own University Sustainability data (2017), published by the Higher Education Quality Council, concludes that the Ontario population of 18- to 20-year-olds (the age at which the majority of students enter universities and colleges) will not “recover to 2015 levels until the year 2033”. This is not a period in which one can plausibly claim a pressing need for new university and college campuses in Ontario.

  • Doug Ford’s Government for the (Old) People

    Premier Doug Ford’s self-proclaimed “Government for the People” is looking more like the Government for Old People. Or more precisely, the Government that Doesn’t Get Young People. Ever since taking power last summer, the Progressive Conservatives have targeted our youth for the biggest take-aways — in the workplace, on campus, and in our environment.

  • Ministry of Labour puts hold on proactive workplace inspections, internal memo says

    Employment standards inspections deal with basic workplace issues such as unpaid wages and overtime. Proactive inspections, which are initiated at the behest of the ministry, are far more effective at recovering unpaid wages, including public holiday pay and overtime, than when individual workers file complaints, according to the ministry’s own data… the move is motivated by a significant backlog of employment standards claims filed by workers — exacerbated by a “discretionary spending freeze and subsequent suspension of recruitment” at the ministry.

  • Doug Ford government cancels funding for three new GTA university campuses

    Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government is cancelling funding for three university campuses in the Toronto area, blaming the province’s poor finances. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the government is no longer in a position to fund the three satellite campuses in Markham, Milton and Brampton owing to the province’s “new fiscal restraints.” The campuses were set to open in 2021 and 2022 and serve a total of 8,000 students.