Tag Archives: Ontario

(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

(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

(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

(1235) Industry Street

Daniel Rotszstain wrote recently about the way several non-profit agencies have arranged themselves in what was once a manufacturing area in Toronto.  They can’t afford the central city and there’s needs in the older suburbs.
Urban planners: please pay attention to this.
How a strip of warehouses became a community hub.
Low rents and large buildings have drawn not-for-profit organizations and new life to Industry Street in the former
city of York

(1234) On the lighter side…

”Action is what matters.” -Gene Simmons, 2017

Two comic efforts at understanding North American economic reality brought some laffs to the suburban-poverty.com bunker complex this week.  Unintentionally hilarious, but no less instructive for that, is a hot new self help book from KISS front man Gene Simmons. The second, a sharp strike from Rick Mercer.
To understand Gene’s book, picture an elevator shaft as black as On Power’s faux leather cover at the bottom.  Ayn Rand chugs a mickey of rye whiskey on an empty stomache, takes two or three hits off a crack pipe and tosses herself down the elevator shaft.
Mercer’s rant about Ontario’s coming move to a higher minimum wage is a little more to our liking.  Together, the two efforts tackle powerful myths about life here.
editor’s note: let’s give Gene props for urging us to read books and self educate.  He’s right, there are no excuses when all the knowledge of the world is available to us on the screens in our hands.