• Social murder and the Doug Ford government

    In 1845, Friedrich Engels described the phenomena by which working-class residents in Manchester died prematurely because of their living and working conditions. He did not simply label the occurrence as we usually do today: “Premature deaths due to unfortunate circumstances,” but rather coined the term “social murder” to make explicit the source of these premature deaths. This extensive quote from his Condition of the Working Class in England begs careful attention in relation to the austerity agenda of Premier Doug Ford.

  • Minimum wage hike a necessity and must be preserved

    Today, nearly two million people in Ontario will put in a hard day’s work for little money. Their paycheques won’t even cover the basic necessities, so they will likely have to deny themselves and their children of items such as healthy food, medicine, new shoes or books for school — things many of us take for granted.

  • Canada’s poverty strategy stitched together existing policies and called it a new plan

    The strategy basically pulls together all the government’s previously announced programs to reduce poverty. There are no new policies and no new funding commitments to improve or speed up current programs… There is a new $12 million investment over five years but that’s earmarked for gaps in poverty measurements.

  • Toronto can solve its affordable housing crisis. Here’s how

    The city’s housing affordability crisis acts as a fundamental limit on our future progress. The talent needed to fuel our economy can no longer afford to comfortably live here… Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians… With the prosperity our city is generating, we have the means and capacity to address this crisis. What we need are leaders with the political will to take it on and solve it. Nothing less that the future success of our city and the future well-being of all Torontonians is at stake.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    … Toronto wound up with an affordable housing program that doesn’t actually produce much affordable rental housing. Instead, it results in housing that’s pegged to the city’s average market rents. Certainly, that’s not bad housing and it fills a need. But it does not fill the needs of Toronto’s low-income tenants as the city is so keen to suggest it does.

  • Seniors have too much house. Millennials have none. And a business model is born

    The most successful home-sharing programs involve a step-by-step process that carefully matches homeowners and tenants, requiring funding for trained facilitators… matched candidates meet, have trial stays and, if both agree, sign a clear contract that outlines expectations and rules while they live together.

  • A new definition on affordable housing is needed

    In a city like Toronto the cost of housing has risen far faster than incomes, making the average market rent calculation meaningless when it comes to defining affordability. That’s why the city has an affordable housing crisis that sees low-income residents living in homeless shelters; waiting for years to get into social housing where rents are affordable; and struggling to make monthly paycheques stretch to cover the rent and still put food on the table.

  • The Next Four Years: An Ontario election post-mortem

    … Premier-designate Doug Ford… swept into power on a thin platform that was never fully costed. Economists estimate at least a $10 billion fiscal hole in the party’s promises. That means there will either be deep and painful cuts, a lot of unfulfilled promises, or both. Progressives who hoped Ontario was on the brink of a major expansion of social programs—universal dental care, pharmacare, child care, affordable housing—will now be tasked with turning that hope into resolve.

  • Young voters in Ontario should make sure their voice is heard this week

    The main issues go well beyond health care and taxes, the perennial ones that drive older, more established voters. This time, affordable housing and daycare, cheaper university tuition, free dental care and prescription drug coverage and a higher minimum wage – all issues that directly affect a younger voting demographic — are in play… Overall, voter turnout in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada… Among voters in the 18-24 age bracket it’s believed to be closer to 30 per cent…

  • A voter’s guide to the 2018 Ontario election

    The campaign of 2018 featured bold social policies for pharmacare, dental care and child care, though they may never come to pass. The bad news: The parties’ plans to pay for their promises don’t quite add up — and in the case of the Progressive Conservatives, were never made public as promised. The worst news: None of the above may matter, because this election is being fought mostly over personalities, not policies. For better or for worse, here’s how the major parties rank on five major issues facing the province in this election: