Tag Archive

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

Published on December 17, 2017 By johnastapleton

  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 […]

A better way to save 2.6%

Published on February 15, 2017 By johnastapleton

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 […]

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

Published on September 21, 2016 By johnastapleton

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

Published on June 26, 2016 By johnastapleton

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. […]

A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario

Published on February 26, 2016 By johnastapleton

“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. […]

On self exemption, framing and location: a meditation on race and other elements of personal biography that cannot be changed

Published on January 5, 2016 By johnastapleton

What can we not change? I want to use the word ‘racism’ in its broadest sense – much broader than it is currently used. The reason is that race is only one aspect of our humanity that no one can change. We can’t change our place of origin. All of us were born in one […]

Two belt tightening families: Which one looks most like government?

Published on April 28, 2012 By johnastapleton

Families, it is said, have to tighten their belts in tough times. Some think that government should do the same. Countries like Canada and the United States, like almost all rich countries, borrow money. In some ways, the lure of being able to raise capital is why they became countries in the first place. Once […]

Flying into Neverland: The precious and vacuous world of In-flight Magazines

Published on March 29, 2012 By johnastapleton

Flying into Neverland: The precious and vacuous world of In-flight Magazines “Toronto is embracing its gritty history with a new affection, a nostalgia that trumps even Trump and the other glittering downtown gems that thumb their noses at the – recession? What recession?“ Toronto the Great From Parkdale to the Park Hyatt, Toronto embraces both […]

Be Careful what you wish for….Conrad Black should keep his Order of Canada

Published on March 29, 2012 By johnastapleton

After following the debate closely, I do not believe that Conrad Black should be divested of the Order of Canada. The temptation to remove  him from the Order is palpable. He is a convicted felon in the US. He renounced his Canadian citizenship. And now, he has written yet another tome where his self-serving weaknesses […]

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