Author Archive

Apple: You’ve lost your way!

February 4, 2018

I seldom if ever blog about a personal consumer experience. However, I have been very much moved by a recent customer service experience with the world’s largest company: Apple. Like many who own the iPhone 6, I experienced a huge loss in loading speeds for applications and email a couple of months ago. Like others. […]

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Ontario’s Roadmap for Income Security Reform: Can a slow start win the race?

January 21, 2018

Last year, I joined a group of experts to draw up a roadmap for income security reform in the province of Ontario. Some were knowledgeable in a field of inquiry or a profession: executives, advocates, lawyers, professors, administrators and a doctor. Others were experts in their lived experience of poverty. We came together to provide […]

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Out of the business after 125 years: Ontario municipalities no longer sharing costs of public assistance to the poor

December 17, 2017

  In 1793, no poor law was introduced into Upper Canada with the settlement of Muddy York. After all, it was supposed to be a Utopia. Forty Four years later in 1836, two years after the reform of the British Poor Law, the first declaration of public responsibility for poverty was made, 2 years after […]

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How long does advocacy take? The only haul is the ‘long haul’ and there is no such thing as ‘drive-by’ advocacy  

November 23, 2017

  SOURCE: YouTube.com (watch the video) STATION: n/a PROGRAM: n/a TIME: 3:00 p.m. REFERENCE: Speech Toronto Housing Network DATE: July 18, 2009 LENGTH: 00:09:35 TRANSCRIPT: Stapleton Speech Toronto Housing Network Forum Margaret Hancock: John Stapleton from the Metcalf Foundation and St. Christopher House. JOHN STAPLETON: What I’d like to do is have you think of […]

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Ontario Roadmap for Income Security Reform proposes redress in first 3 years

November 8, 2017

Just 29 years ago, the Social Assistance Review Committee delivered its 674 page report called Transitions on September 6, 1988. It was groundbreaking as it devised other programs that would replace the role of welfare. That only partially came to pass with child benefits and the small Working Income Tax Benefit. In the years from […]

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New social assistance asset test welcome news

June 16, 2017

The 50 year experiment forcing welfare recipients and low income persons with disabilities into financial destitution finally appears to be over. In Charles Sousa’s Budget 2017, asset limits for single welfare recipients will be raised from $2,500 to $10,000 for a single person and to $11,000 for a lone parent with two children. Persons with […]

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A better way to save 2.6%

February 15, 2017

Late last year, some colleagues and I released a report on called ‘The Cost of Poverty in Toronto’. We found that poverty costs the Toronto economy between $4.4 and $5.5 billion per year. For this discussion, I will use a figure of $5 billion. Since Toronto has never been poverty-free and there is no comparable […]

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Fentanyl in food? Why safe injection sites are the right thing for all of us

February 12, 2017

On January 10, 2017, Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro morning interviewed Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins on the fentanyl opioid crisis and noted that: “….if our food supply was threatened by a food poisoning, then all hell would break loose and that you would have all levels of government moving in the blink of an eye to […]

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A briefing note for progressive thinkers on the celebrity bombast of the political right

September 21, 2016

I’m often tempted to weigh in on the popular appeal of bombastic, right-wing celebrity politicians, yet I hesitate when smart commentators say exactly what I was thinking – people like the brilliant Rick Salutin of the Toronto Star, Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail, or Charles Blow in the New York Times. They always […]

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Hit over the head and blamed for falling? The curious case of Scarborough and the Toronto media

June 26, 2016

When Canada first built its railways, forever remembered in the sepia photograph of the last spike, the idea was that railways spawn communities, commerce, and population growth. It was the undisputed economic model. It is precisely why, along with connecting communities, that both Canada and the United States built their railways in the first place. […]

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