New social assistance asset test welcome news

Posted by on June 16, 2017 at 10:29 am

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 […]

A better way to save 2.6%

Posted by on February 15, 2017 at 8:38 pm

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 […]

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

Posted by on February 12, 2017 at 2:13 pm

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 […]

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

Posted by on September 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm

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 […]

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

Posted by on June 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

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. […]

There will be a 75th reunion of Canadian veterans in Holland in 2020

Posted by on May 2, 2016 at 6:36 pm

On Sunday, March 19, 1961, my grandfather was one day away from death in the small town of St. Mary’s Ontario in his family home on the main street of town. He did not want to live on the terms on which he then understood his life. Robert A Stapleton was 84 years old. He had suffered […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income: part 7

Posted by on April 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Keeping what’s good from the past “There is a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination, an oral and written language composed of the memories of countless elders and healers, warriors, […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income – Part 5

Posted by on February 27, 2016 at 4:29 pm

The problem of work for a guaranteed or basic income “Although the practical implementation challenges make a GAI reform implausible in Canada, evidence from five North American experiments with a negative income tax style GAI provides some valuable insights. A negative income tax discourages recipients from working because it subsidizes leisure and reduces the marginal […]

A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario

Posted by on February 26, 2016 at 11:29 am

“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men Feared by the bad, loved by the good Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.” In the Budget lockup yesterday, I started to silently sing the Robin Hood song that I learned back in the 1950’s as a kid. […]

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income –Part 4

Posted by on February 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm

Differences in contributions, services and need Now it’s time to talk about rights and human dignity – but I want to set the table first. I’m also not going to repeat too much from the first three entries. I am going to assume you have read them if you are now reading entry #4. In […]

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