Tag Archive

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 ‘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. […]

The plight of low income hardworking seniors

Published on March 27, 2015 By johnastapleton

This is the year that I become a senior citizen for the first and only time. I wrote a blog when I turned 60 for an online newspaper called ‘The Mark’ on what it means to turn age 60 when you are poor[1]. I spent the next four years on a self-motivated project called ‘Retiring […]

A story of two poor seniors: Linda and Doris are the highest taxed people in Ontario

Published on January 21, 2014 By johnastapleton

A woman I am helping by the name of Linda Chamberlain[1] will be turning 65 in July 2014. I am helping her fill out her Old Age Security (OAS), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) applications. She has given me permission to talk about her situation. Her income will go from about […]

Honey, we blew up the post office! How we traded a working public utility for a business failure in one fell swoop

Published on January 1, 2014 By johnastapleton

On December 11, 2013, Canada Post announced a new ‘Five Point Plan” to return the corporation to profitability. No more home delivery. Gone! Postal rates of a dollar a letter – a 59% increase. More unmanned kiosks Fewer sorting facilities More postal franchises. The goal here is clearly not to provide a good service or […]

Government is often more efficient than the private sector … So why do we still hate government?

Published on March 6, 2013 By johnastapleton

Anyone living in Toronto with access to a car and phone can replicate the experience that I had recently. I drove downtown and parked on the street in one of those spaces that you need to get a parking voucher for the time you expect to stay.  While I was feeding the machine, a parking […]

“We have not received a valid entry – Goodbye”

Published on February 9, 2013 By johnastapleton

In the early part of each calendar year, I buy a copy of TurboTax and learn the tax changes for the upcoming year. From mid-March to the end of April, I spend a lot of time explaining the personal income tax system to people who complete income taxes for others, especially those who have low […]

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