Tag Archives: Canada

(1291) Bit late, bro


Political illiteracy is rocket fuel for neoliberalism and populism.  An example surfaces par excellence via CBC.
To wit, a well enough meaning doofus, with plans to go to business school now in tatters, blithely describes the crash entrance into his life of a new reality in the form of Doug Ford with a machete.  Honestly, what the hell is wrong people?
Ontario PC voter worried about family’s future without basic income pilot
cbc.ca (audio 6:23)
image: Alex Guibord via Flickr/CC

(1290) On the poverty trail

A winter view of the Wentworth Stairs, Hamilton escarpment.
In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets.  Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe.  Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live.  Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there.  It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways.  Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least.  Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others.  It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases.  So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration.  Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
Hamilton’s ‘out-of-control’ rental market is pushing more homeless to camp out in parks and on streets, advocates say
The Star/Hamilton Spectator on msn.com
image: Colin Payson via Flickr/CC

(1289) Canada’s social spending is wildly out of control, except that it isn’t


Okay, it’s a world of news, bad news, really bad news, and fake news but the finding that Canada is at the bottom of the list of developed countries for progressive spending should cut through the noise and be nothing less than devastating.  Right?  Like, what are we all living our lives here for?
Canada’s investments in social programs now rank near the bottom of the industrialized world. New study finds Canada’s public social expenditures rank in the bottom 10 of all OECD countries
pressprogress.ca

(1285) Feckless Doug


Whatever your reaction to Doug Ford’s personality and speaking style he is probably best understood to be an advocate of neoliberalism.  Perhaps he’s for a tad more vigorous regime of that than Kathleen Wynn has been during her tenure.  Either way, a political change is imminent in Canada’s largest province and like voters all over the west for decades now we are confronted with a picked over buffet of options and must choose the least ptomaine-inducing one.
Remember to vote, friends and folks.  Above all, remember your interests.
Battle lines drawn over wages, jobs.  Low-wage work force has seen ranks grow rapidly, but parties differ over how to deal with it
thestar.com
image: Scazon via Flickr/CC

(1283) Women, prison & Canadian poverty


With perhaps a few fairly obvious exceptions there can hardly be many convincing arguments for putting women in prison in general and solitary confinement in particular.  Just think of the awful effects a sentence can have on the family life of women.  Statistics continue to tie gender, race, poverty and prison together in ways nobody should feel happy about.
Reduce the poverty-to-prison pipeline for women
huffingtonpost.ca
image: Michael Coghlan via Flickr/CC

(1274) Words from Ontario basic income trial


Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes.  A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high.  The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there.  Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures.  Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election.  All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were.  The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office.  In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.
From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health. The three-year pilot project, which began last summer, is testing whether no-strings-attached cash support can boost health, education and housing for people living in poverty
thestar.com
image: Hefin Owen via Flickr/CC

(1273) A sharper Canada


Note to Canada: sharpen your game up a little.
This first piece might go some way to explaining the whacky prices for real estate in Vancouver and Toronto.  Ouch!
How Canada became an offshore destination for ‘snow washing’. The country’s opaque jurisdictions allow owners of private companies to remain anonymous and the firms to remain in the shadows
theguardian.com
Do corporate officers really need us to hand them $200m worth of deductions for their entertainment expenses every year?  Nope.  And that’s just for starters, a handful of loopholes are costing the public vast sums.
These tax loopholes for the rich cost Canada billions. Here’s how we could invest that money instead. What could Canada do with $12 billion lost to tax loopholes exploited by corporations and wealthy elites?
pressprogress.ca
image: Alex Indigo via Flickr/CC