Tag Archives: Canada

(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
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
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?
image: Alex Indigo via Flickr/CC

(1264) Sears & loathing in Davos

The work of folding slacks, swiping credit cards and stocking shelves was enough to keep Sears going in Canada as a profitable, dividend-paying and executive bonus-giving retailer for decades.  Then management decided to pack it all in.  Emperor Justinian, representing us at Davos, seems to think it’s all pretty much okay, including the company leaving behind a whopper of a deficit in its pension plan.
Will 16,000 Sears Canada retirees see their pensions?
Trudeau suggests EI for Sears workers who risk losing pensions
Image: Mike Kalasnik via Flickr/CC

(1262) Donut wages in the sprawl

Not surprising that a truly inescapable structural feature of the sprawl around us is now closely and directly associated with what this blog has been on about, and in a very public way.  In all their brown brick glory Tim Hortons outlets are usually located with predictability, outside the malls anyway.  Timmy H’s are most often found at a major intersection with commercial/industrial zoning nearby and a twelve pump gas station out front.  Cars are everywhere, six for every last Dutchie it would seem.  Lined up around the building and into the street sometimes, idling as their owners anticipate a hit of caffeine and sugar from the little sliding bay windows at the side.  With lots of parking and cars grinding or flying by depending on the time of day we have never found these outlets pedestrian or bike friendly.  They can be a challenge in a car.
There’s hostility inside the doors, too.  The product is popular enough but we mean all the people working hard for too little money day and night.  Like other corporate employers Tim’s has gotten riled up at having to pay living wages this month.  Pathologically selfish franchisees and the rationalizers at corporate office are now stuck with the label of tip stealer, benefits gouger and paid break abolisher.  How’s that for some great publicity?  This pooh-sandwich is slick corporate talent in action?
A few pennies passed on to the customer would have avoided shareholder nightmare ka-ka like this: #boycottTimHortons
Timmy Ho’s you rock!
Tim Hortons can tug heartstrings, but it must also do right by its workers
The biggest right-wing myths about raising the minimum wage, debunked. The combined weight of research, history, and economic expertise shows that giving low-wage workers a raise is a net positive
Why Tim Hortons doesn’t deserve your sympathy
‘I was furious’: One man’s stand against Tim Hortons, a brand in crisis
Tim Hortons controversy shows Canadians are ‘addicted to a low-wage economy,’ says author

Image: Corey Buffet via Flickr/CC

(1261) Bomb Cyclone: an indoors poverty reading list

To keep you out of harm’s way should recent weather warnings turn out not to be exaggerations – some features about having the kinds of communities we’d like to have.
Media get it wrong on Bank of Canada minimum wage study
The places that may never recover from the recession.
The Rust Belt isn’t the only region left behind by the economic recovery. The suburbs of the American west are struggling, too
In defence of degrowth
The next financial crisis will be worse than the last one
Any shame around poverty lies with the society that perpetuates it, not the poor
Where you live should not harm your health
Poor neighbourhoods make the best investments
image: via Flickr/CC


(1259) Please sir, can I have another?

Going by Twitter alone it looks like the first big Canadian corp to shoot itself in the head over the recent increase in the Ontario minimum wage is that inescapable coffee chain named after a hockey player who died driving drunk in the 1970s.  Maybe jacking up the nation’s blood sugar every morning is harder than it looks?
Tim Hortons heirs cut paid breaks and worker benefits after minimum wage hike, employees say
image: Mary Crandall via Flickr/CC