Babel-on-the-Bay: Did he say ‘Premier’ Brown?

It was the kind of chill that our granny used to say was caused by someone walking on her grave. It is the combination of cold and a sad premonition. It was the feeling left the other day when noting Bob Hepburn’s column in the Toronto Star about getting cosy saying ‘Premier Brown.’ There was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The omens are in the ridings Ms. Wynne.

The true politico pays attention to what is happening in the electoral districts. Those readings mean far more than the public opinion polls that are such a waste of time in the year before the election. If you do not grasp what is happening in the field, you are not even in the race. The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tory Odd Couple Challenge Wynne.

A pair of losers could be Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s nemesis. Meet ‘The Kid’ and the ‘Big Guy.’ They just got back from the Soo were they took a solid Liberal seat in a bye-election by 40 per cent of the votes. These cowpokes are riding high in the saddle. But they are an unlikely ...

The Political Road Map: Don’t Be Afraid of Raising The Minimum Wage!

I decided to write this post in response to the usual chatter that is generated, whenever the government decides to impose an increase on minimum wage. Usually, you will hear some form of Libertarian or Anarchist arguing that the increase in minimum wage will not only lead to higher prices, but also directly result in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

That hackneyed expression is used to describe politicians who stupidly work to defeat themselves. A good example today is the desperation we are seeing at Queen’s Park as the Liberal’s Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to destroy the Liberal legacy in Ontario. She has so many irons in so many fires that the voters are completely ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman examine (PDF) the size and distribution of tax evasion and (not surprisingly) find it clustered at the top – with the wealthiest .01% dodging 30% of its obligation to society at large. And Marco Chown Oved reports that the Canada ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We can blame Cousin Oliver.

It is all Oliver Mowat’s fault. The myopic Father of Confederation had a mainly rural and agrarian Ontario to oversee in the early years of confederation. His picture hangs over our desk today, not as a distant relation but in the form of a preserved and framed, full front-page of a Saturday Globe published in ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector III: Legislative & Finance Update

My January and March posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. Here I discuss the latest development, the Liberal Government of Ontario’s proposed financial framework for its “Fair Hydro Plan” (FHP). In election ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fixing Ontario’s out-of-date work laws.

Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has a tough road to travel with the Wynne Cabinet. He is seeking to address the antiquated labour laws in Ontario. He wants to restore balance to the rights of part-time workers. He wants to guarantee a minimum wage on which someone can live. What will be interesting in these ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Claire Provost writes about the spread of the private security industry – which now exceeds the size of public police forces in Canada among other countries – as a means of privileging the protection of wealth over public interests. – Meanwhile, Lana Payne comments on the importance of ...

Carbon49 – Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Southcore Financial Centre Showcases Mixed-Use Sustainable Development

The Southcore Financial Centre is a showcase of mixed-use sustainable development in Toronto’s financial district. The three new interconnected towers—PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower, Bremner Tower, Delta Toronto Hotel—incorporate sustainability best practices in their exterior glazing systems, rainwater harvesting, and deep lake thermal cooling. We look into their special features and how KPMB Architects brought all these together. The Southcore Financial Centre ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about social assistance in Canada

I’ve just written a blog post about social assistance in Canada. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Social assistance has two contradictory objectives: 1) to give people enough money to live on; and 2) to not give people enough money to live on. -Very few immigrants receive social assistance (relative to the ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The piecemeal processes of Premier Wynne.

“Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages: Let me draw your attention to the left ring of our three-ring circus. Here for your entertainment and edification is our finance minister who has just passed the miracle of a balanced budget. Charles Sousa will now amaze you further by proposing a new pharmacare program to ...

The Political Road Map: 5 Steps to Creating Something Universal

As is the purpose of the Political Road Map, the goal is to always question your government, politics and the overall direction of society with regards to both. In questioning, we come closer to discovering the truth or at the very least, somewhere we can aim to improve. Yesterday, the Ontario government unveiled plans to ...

The Political Road Map: Ontario Budget: Shallow Election Bid or Deep Election Bid?

A thousand years from now, in present day Ontario, after the fallout from a Trump temper tantrum, future survivors will begin to reclaim the land. Upon doing so, they will more than likely come across a few remnants of modern day Ontario that will survive the ruin and devastation. Among these items will most likely ...

Michal Rozworski: Four (more) arguments against real-world basic income

With the Ontario Liberals rolling out their basic income pilot project to much fanfare this week, it’s an opportune time to dive into the debates around BI once again. 1 Political aspects of unemployment A few weeks ago I attended a debate on basic income and left in Toronto hosted by The Leap. During the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Something borrowed, something blue.

Watching the news conference events last week at Toronto’s Liberty Village, you could not help but note what a modern setting it would be for a wedding. This must have been just a rehearsal though as Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered their promises. They even had something borrowed to tell us ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You can call it a ‘Wynne Win.’

Ontario’s political pundits are all running with scissors these days forecasting the resignation of Premier Kathleen Wynne. Quite properly, she is scoffing at these rumours and promising to carry on. It could be the death knell of the Liberal’s dynasty of the last 14 years. But is it? In a few days, we will be ...

The Political Road Map: A Shivering Premier in a Hot Housing Market

I am watching Premier Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa introduce their Fair Housing Plan and I must say I am both impressed and skeptical. Wynne has mentioned a few times already how she is shivering, while approaching the microphone to answer questions in both English and kindergarten French. Premier Wynne Praying this plan doesn’t further ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Abi Wilkinson writes about the importance of making social benefits universal in order to reflect a sense of shared interests and purpose: Universal aspects of the welfare state tend to be thought of as the fruit of common endeavour. The NHS tops the list of things that ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector II: Political Economy Update

This is a third guest post by Edgardo Sepulveda, who is a Toronto-based expert in telecommunications and regulatory economics.  Twitter: @E_R_Sepulveda   By Edgardo Sepulveda In my previous post of January 29 I described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity ...

Things Are Good: A Living Wage Makes for a Good Business Plan

Helmi Ansari started a successful business and understands what’s it like to worry about paying the bills – and knows that when you’re stressed about paying bills you’re not focussed at the job at hand. This is why he pays all of his employees a living wage. A living wage is usually higher than minimum ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did April Fool come early this year?

We read in the Toronto Star the other day about some ‘go-bold’ re-election strategy being used by Premier Kathleen Wynne. We practically wet our pants laughing until we realized the item was written by Bob Hepburn. Bob has always been a quite astute observer of things political for the Star over the years, so we ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Racist Killing In Progress, in Canada

A man with a group of people went looking to injure First Nations people, from their truck. "Barbara Kentner was the victim of a drive by assault on Jan 28th by a caucasian man who shouted “I got one” after throwing a trailer hitch" — Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) March 29, 2017 Doctors tell #ThunderBay woman ...