For the upcoming federal budget, the Institute has put together a blog series exploring key areas the federal government must take immediate action on to continue to effectively respond, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our three-part blog series includes submissions in the areas of: Investing in the Caring Economy; Taxing the Rich; and, Vaccination.Read more
It was brought to my attention recently by a friend with teenage children that there is a need for that generation, and perhaps even their parents’ generation to know that the need for food banks, and the current extent of homelessness, is not normal. Not normal in the sense that these sad realities at one time were not normal. Not normal in the sense that these sad realities are not inevitable, but are the consequences of deliberate public policy choices made by governments of the past. Not normal in the sense that these sad realities can be made not normal again by the right public policy choices, in terms of economic policy, housing policy, and mental health policy, to name a few.
This blogpost was originally written in French, and has been translated to English below.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many restrictions have been placed on fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In response, serious warnings have rightfully emerged regarding the necessity of safeguarding these freedoms and ensuring that they are restored when the pandemic – and the resulting medical emergency – abates. One must hope that we will be vigilant in preserving the individual rights and freedoms safeguarded by the Canadian Charter, called “first generation” rights, such as the freedom of association. However, we could also consider that this historic moment may provide an opportunity to advance what are often termed “second generation” rights, or economic and social rights.Read more
When Christy Clark’s government released its budget in February, many advocates were hoping for real action on soaring housing costs. British Columbia’s economy is growing and investments in affordable housing in this budget – for the last full fiscal year before going to the polls in 2017 – had the potential to address the severe crisis many British Columbians are facing.Read more
This blog post is part of a series of posts that will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.
“Tax Fairness” is a phrase being bandied about more and more lately. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Liberals say “tax fairness” over the past 6 months, I would be very wealthy indeed. But for all the talk, where’s the action in addressing this terrible problem? A recent Environics poll shows that 90% of Canadians agree that using tax havens to avoid paying taxes is morally wrong, even if it’s legal. And almost all agree that the law should be changed to make the use of tax havens illegal.Read more
Due to the strong lobbying efforts of labour and social activists, Canada's minimum wage floor is rising significantly from the current level of between $11 and $12 per hour depending upon the province. A new norm of $15 per hour will be in place, in Alberta by October, 2018, in Ontario by January, 2019, and very likely in British Columbia under the terms of the NDP-Green Party agreement.Read more
In the lead up to the provincial election next May, the Liberal government has begun laying the groundwork for an election platform, announcing new policies in the hopes of wooing voters.Read more
The major challenge for the federal government in the budget was to maintain its commitment to progressive social and economic policies in the face of criticism from the right for its supposedly profligate fiscal policies and unwise promises to make the tax system more progressive. The government was also urged to trim its sails in the face of pending tax cuts in the United States.Read more
It has been over a year since the federal government was found to be racially discriminating against First Nations children on reserve by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (HRT).Read more