If Ontario’s new Drug Ford government thought they could just cancel a large scale test of a basic income program and everybody would just forget about it they may be disappointed. What an embarrassment. Where’s all this business intelligence Ford is supposed to have? Poverty is bloody expensive and Ford gave indications during the election campaign that the pilot would be respected. This cancellation represents a total poverty of imagination and total failure to embrace reality and deal with complexity.
A buck a beer? Go fuck yourselves. One of their own party elders wrote the paper the test is based on. Senator Segal is quite eloquent here on CBC regarding the cancellation.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.