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
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.
What could Canada do with $12 billion lost to tax loopholes exploited by corporations and wealthy elites?
image: Alex Indigo via Flickr/CC
Shelter in the shadow of the golden arches. For many people, McDonald’s is the most reliable shelter on cold winter nights —a symptom of the failings of Canada’s housing and shelter networks
image: nicolaitan via Flickr/CC
Our largest Metro areas are increasingly showing signs of a split economic personality. Ongoing data from the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership:
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.
Trudeau suggests EI for Sears workers who risk losing pensions
Image: Mike Kalasnik via Flickr/CC
The precarity problem
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!
The combined weight of research, history, and economic expertise shows that giving low-wage workers a raise is a net positive
Tim Hortons controversy shows Canadians are ‘addicted to a low-wage economy,’ says author
Image: Corey Buffet via Flickr/CC
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
Poor neighbourhoods make the best investments
image: via Flickr/CC