• Ford’s move to flatline minimum wage is bad for workers, and Ontario

    The Ford government is ignoring numerous studies that demonstrate that providing workers with a decent wage puts more money into the economy, which in the long term benefits everyone. It also leads to higher morale among employees, lower turnover and higher productivity for employers. Nor does increasing the minimum wage necessarily lead to job losses, as some business organizations suggest.

  • Not a moment to lose to protect $15

    1.7 million of us are poised to get a $15 minimum wage on January 1. Millions more will benefit from the fairer scheduling rules that are also coming on January 1. For the first time in our lives, all of us have paid sick days and job-protected emergency leave. The new equal pay for equal work rules that prevent wage discrimination based on part-time or temporary employment contracts have made life-changing differences for so many of us — including workers of colour, newcomers and women. We have come this far by fighting for every inch of progress.

  • Why can’t liberalism be populist, too?

    Populism begins from popular suspicion of political, economic and other elites. At its best, however, and from its origins, liberalism too has cultivated such suspicion. The great early liberal thinkers – Spinoza, Locke, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, the authors of the Federalist Papers – mercilessly skewered the elites of their day, along with human pretensions generally… After all, Liberals, too, are supposed to be concerned with fair treatment for the little guy.

  • Non-profit workers offered chance to join Ontario public sector pension plan

    As many as one million Ontarians who work for registered charities and non-profit organizations will be eligible to join the provincial government pension plan under an agreement being announced Monday… Everything from non-profit arts and culture organizations, daycares, sports and recreation facilities to health and social service providers will be invited to participate. “Hardly anyone in the sector has benefits or pensions, and our research has found this has become a significant recruitment and retention issue,”

  • Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy: Opportunity For All

    The strategy builds on investments made by the Government since 2015 that support children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians, which include: The Canada Child Benefit… The Canada Workers Benefit… Canada’s first National Housing Strategy… The increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement by up to $947 per year… for close to 900,000 low-income seniors; and, Restoration of the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65.

  • Judicial appointments a process that can’t be rushed

    When I became minister I committed to creating a better judicial appointment process — one that would be open, transparent and ensured that the best possible candidates became judges. I also wanted a judiciary that more accurately reflected the country it served… Among the judges I have appointed or promoted to new roles, more than half are women, eight are Indigenous, 18 are members of visible minority communities, 12 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as people with disabilities.

  • Ontarians rally in support of $15 minimum wage: ‘We cannot survive’

    A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would mean an extra $1,465 in the pockets of the working poor, as compared to Ford’s plan to freeze the rate at $14 and eliminate provincial income taxes on those making less than $30,000. The report found that two-thirds of the 4.9 million Ontarians making less than $30,000 already pay no income tax.

  • Doug Ford, no power grab is worth undermining Canada’s solid foundation

    Governments are required to act in accordance with the law and, in particular, our Constitution. Even when you don’t agree with the law… Politicians are not any more legitimate in our democracy than judges. The judiciary acts as an independent check on government authority because it is unelected, not in spite of it. That is how we, as a democratic country, have decided to govern ourselves. Moreover, the judiciary has a particular function in protecting the minority from the majority that elected representatives cannot, by nature, be counted on to carry out.

  • Ford government should clearly explain rationale for invoking notwithstanding clause

    Whatever one thinks of the use of the notwithstanding clause, few scholars would advocate for government-by-notwithstanding-clause. Such an approach would seriously undermine constitutional rights protections. Any use of the notwithstanding clause should be preceded by serious, reasoned deliberation, both within the executive and in the legislature. The Ford government should clearly explain its rationale for seeking to invoke the clause.

  • Ford majority exposes democratic crisis

    The Ontario election is yet another symptom of a democratic dilemma facing Canada. A minority of voters elect the government. The leaders then claim a mandate to make changes not widely supported by the majority. When voters are left to wonder whether their vote really matters, they lose confidence. When voters lose confidence, many just don’t show up at the polls… A ranked or preferential ballot might be the easiest way to address both the federal and provincial representative dilemma.