Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s like a long race on turf.

The next Ontario general election is scheduled to be held June 7, 2018. This race will be like a mile and a half on the turf track and requires horses with great endurance and energy. That makes it the time for the old and tired to retire. And that is what is happening with all ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The myopic Mr. Brown.

It reminds us that even a stopped clock can be right twice a day. Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has no policies but we know what he is against. He tells us that he will cancel the Liberal Cap and Trade environmental protection plan. He has no idea what he might replace it with but ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Money has its privileges.

They named the provincial Conservative candidate for York-Simcoe the other day. There will be no sweaty contested nomination meeting for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s kid. Caroline Mulroney got a free pass. And just to drive the point home, at the announcement, she harangued the provincial Liberals for wanting to raise the minimum wage in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Conservative knives are out for Brown.

Have you figured out why Ontario Premier Wynne is looking so smug lately? It has finally occurred to her that she not only has a chance to hold on to power in next year’s election but she is even getting help from Conservatives. Rather than support some of the extreme right-wing splinter parties that are ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fear of Ford.

Is he, or isn’t he? Is Doug Ford running for the mayoralty in Toronto next year or for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election? And who cares anyway? Oddly enough that is a matter that is mainly of concern to provincial politicians. Incumbent Mayor John Tory, who wants another term, could care less. The ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Housing Affordability and Inequality: Low-Income Renters in Ontario

In this first of a series of housing-related posts I analyze rental housing expenditures for low-income households in Ontario. Rent is the single largest expenditure element for renters in the first and second household income quintiles and is therefore an important indicator of housing affordability and expenditure inequality. This is a relatively under-studied component of ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Chamber’s economic impact analysis of Bill 148 still doesn’t make sense

On Monday, the Keep Ontario Working coalition spearheaded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released an analysis of the impacts of Bill 148 in Ontario, which will introduce a $15 minimum wage by 2019 and a host of other employment standards improvements. The analysis raised many red flags: it focused only on costs, predicting very large ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The trial of Kathleen Wynne.

The trial is set to begin in Sudbury, Ontario on September 7. We would ignore the trial and its political implications if it did not involve the present Premier of Ontario. Mind you Kathleen Wynne will spend most of the trial on the sidelines. She is not charged with a crime. She has lackeys for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Barrie’s Bad Boy Brown.

There is no reason to worry. The next provincial election is not scheduled until June 7 next year. By then, we should expect that far more Ontario voters are going to realize what a screw-up Brown would be as premier. It is not that he is dishonest, devious and dumb, we have had all those ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: She could use her married name.

The question was: What would help Brian Mulroney’s daughter win a seat in the Legislature in the next Ontario provincial election? The obvious answer is to use a different name. It might be a quarter century since Canadian voters turfed Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives (then led by Kim Campbell) and left the party with just two ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Murray dumps Wynne.

“Don’t let the door handle hit you in the ass on the way out, Glen!” The good news is that Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray is leaving the Wynne cabinet in Ontario. The bad news is that his new job is as executive director of Alberta’s namby-pamby Pembina Institute. It should suit him. It was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s battling beginnings.

It is getting so bad that even PostMedia writers are wondering when Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is going to show some maturity. They are starting to question Brown’s ability to run a political party. He is certainly not getting the nomination process right. Many want to write it off to the vulnerability of the ...

Michal Rozworski: What do we do when we Fight for $15

On this episode, three guests provide some perspective on the politics and the economics of the Fight for $15. First, I speak with Jonathan Rosenblum, campaign director at the first Fight for $15 at SeaTac Airport, just outside Seattle, Washington. Workers there won an immediate raise to $15 via a municipal ordinance in 2015. Jon is also an ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is there any hope for Horwath?

Every once in a while, we are reminded that there are three parties at play for the right to hold the lease on the Pink Palace looking down University Avenue from Queen’s Park. We know lots about the Liberals that currently hold the lease. We know more than we want to know about the Conservatives ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: On being nice to Premier Wynne.

It could be hard to get used to doing this. The problem basically is that as a liberal all my life, it is very difficult to accept Kathleen Wynne as a liberal. She is not a liberal and I do not like the way she has been running Ontario. But…(life is full of ‘Buts’ isn’t ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Economists support $15 minimum wage in Ontario

We, the undersigned economists, support the decision to increase the minimum wage in Ontario to $15 an hour. Raising the wage floor makes good economic sense. Today, Ontario’s minimum wage is $11.40 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, this is barely one dollar higher than its value in 1977. Yet over the same four decades, the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Greg Leiseron discusses why the abject failure of Kansas’ anti-social experiment with trickle-down economics shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody: Claims of supply-side growth from labor income tax cuts rely on the idea that people will be more willing to work when their after-tax wages are ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Granny Wynne knows best.

The current argument between Ontario’s New Democrats and the Ontario Liberals is like a school yard spat over who did what. It is not only childish but it makes both sides of the argument look foolish. They are arguing over who thought of having a mediocre pharmacare plan first. Neither side has much of which ...

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 ...