• The culture war has been won, so now we fight about words

    The long-running fight over language – in which the words and phrases of the ideologically earnest are rejected as “politically correct” – is being mistaken for some larger and more irreconcilable battle over underlying ideas and beliefs. Those who are truly intolerant and opposed to pluralism – those who think social justice is not just an awkward phrase but a bad idea – are a small and declining group. But that group is manipulating language conflicts to their political advantage.

  • On safe injection sites, why can’t conservatives just let people not die?

    Once conservatives get past the ideological hurdle of harm reduction, they ought to be impressed by its simplicity: Two volunteers in a tent with a bunch of naloxone kits and $200 in supplies from any pharmacy can provide the most basic service, which is ensuring that people do not die

  • New federal law creates official definition of poverty line

    The six-page bill sets targets of reducing poverty to 20 per cent below 2015 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030. The target is based on a measure that lists 4.2 million Canadians as low income in 2015. Until now, discussions of poverty reduction have focused on three different ways of measuring poverty. Tuesday’s bill selects one of those – the market-basket measure – as Canada’s official poverty line… A third element of the legislation creates a national advisory council on poverty.

  • Loan program makes dreams possible for newcomers aiming to upgrade their skills

    Windmill, formerly known as Immigrant Access Fund Canada, received a $1 million grant from TD Bank as one of 10 winners of a challenge for fresh ideas to increase income stability and give people the skills for the future economy… Since its inception, the charity has helped more than 4,000 immigrants and refugees restart their careers in Canada, and many have seen their earnings double or triple as a result. More than half of recipients are in health care, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and medical technicians. The loan repayment rate is 97.5 per cent.

  • The Trudeau government’s pay equity bill is just a start

    Women in Canada continue to earn 31 per cent less than men annually, a gap that has remained despite human rights laws and decades of efforts to eliminate it… some of the gap comes from persistent discrimination against “women’s work,” which results in women being paid less for work of equal value. That’s the gap the new legislation aims to tackle… The truth is pay equity isn’t a panacea for ending the wage gap; much more still needs to be done.

  • Labour leader says Pay Equity Act should also address income disparity in minorities, disabled

    … research shows that visible minorities – the term Statscan uses – earn almost 20 per cent less, on average, than Canadians who are not visible minorities. That gap widens further for women of colour, who earned, on average, 70 per cent of what a man who is not a visible minority earned… research considered factors such as education, experience and hours worked. “After controlling for all characteristics that may drive earning gaps, we still see some gaps that then we can say that’s discrimination”…

  • Open Letter to Minister MacLeod: Five Principles for the 100-day Review

    We agree that Ontario’s social assistance system doesn’t work, and that ensuring stability and providing support are what’s needed in a new system. Despite some small positive recent changes, the system is fundamentally the same as it was twenty years ago. It is based on outdated thinking and outmoded ideas about what the programs are supposed to achieve. Its continuing inadequacy of benefits and focus on punitive and coercive rules is counterproductive and simply traps people in poverty instead of providing the supports they need to stabilize and move forward in their lives.

  • Minimum wage of $14 per hour bad for public health

    Poverty is one of the best predictors of health. People making minimum wage earn less than $20,000 for a 40-hour week, and hover near the poverty line. They will live up to five fewer years than people who have higher wages, they will use more health and social services and their children will do less well at school and be at increased risk of illness themselves… Poverty and low wages decrease your life expectancy and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, accidents, and mental health and addiction problems

  • Ford driving a race to the bottom for Ontario’s lowest-paid workers

    … the perverse thinking behind the economic philosophy that has dominated North American politics in recent decades: that workers must offer themselves up at the lowest possible wage with the fewest possible benefits in order to create an attractive investment climate for businesses that might otherwise move elsewhere… most low-wage countries remain that way, while the high-wage nations of Europe and Scandinavia continue to excel in global competitiveness.

  • Ontario is taking a big step back by freezing minimum wage

    The government says the new law will “create good-paying jobs with benefits.” In reality, it will do just the opposite by clawing back planned wage increases, rights and protections contained in the former Liberal government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, passed late last year. That certainly isn’t good for employees, and as many economists have argued it isn’t good for the economy as a whole either.