The Progressive Economics Forum: The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Where are Ontario politics headed?

There have been some political polls in Ontario recently that have caused a buzz in the news media. If the media had just checked back to before the last provincial election, they would have seen a similar pattern in the public preferences a year before that election. It certainly supports the claim that the only ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: For whom the Tolls Toll.

The premier’s office at Queen’s Park in Toronto has many roles. One of those is as a woodshed wherein one disciplines recalcitrant municipal minions who fail to realize that the provincial party in power makes all the rules. There was an awkward bit on a news clip last week of the Premier of Ontario and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector: Privatization and deregulation

We’re pleased to present this very topical post by Edgardo Sepulveda examining what has caused Ontario’s rising high electricity prices. This is Edgardo’s second guest post as a PEF member, following his, first, which was an analysis of the impact of fiscal policy changes on post-tax income distribution.  Edgardo has been an international consulting economist and ...

Eh Types: When Leading Means Leaving

Some decisions in politics are easy. It is not hard to oppose Trump and every vile thing he stands for. You can be a decent human being or a Trump supporter, not both. In general though political decisions are not often so clear cut. In 2017 – sooner rather than later – Premier Kathleen Wynne ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne: Colour her gone.

It seems more and more likely that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberals are on the slippery side of the slope. Nothing says it more emphatically than the situation in which we find ourselves here in Babel. (You know Babel as Barrie, Ontario.) We are less than two years from a tough election situation ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Not everyone hates Premier Wynne.

It is too bad that Ontario Premier Wynne has no politically smart advisors or staff. Here it is the first week of 2017 and the foolish lady is deep in the do-do of her own making. By selecting the beginning of January to launch her ill-fated cap and trade program, she has been ripped off ...

The Progressive Right: What it Means to Join a Political Party ( #cdnpoli )

A lot of people believe joining a political party means getting together and advancing policies and ideas that they collectively believe in. The truth is – the more important part about joining a political party is a willingness or a flexibility in advancing policies and ideas that you do not believe in. There’s an inherit ...

The Progressive Right: What it Means to Join a Political Party ( #cdnpoli )

A lot of people believe joining a political party means getting together and advancing policies and ideas that they collectively believe in. The truth is – the more important part about joining a political party is a willingness or a flexibility in advancing policies and ideas that you do not believe in. There’s an inherit ...

Michal Rozworski: The road tolls for thee

Last week, Toronto mayor Join Tory announced a plan to toll two major Toronto highways, the Gardiner and the DVP. The city is starved for cash with huge shortfalls for both infrastructure (new housing, new transit lines) and even everyday operating expenses. Tolls are supposed to help close this gap. But despite the absolutely huge ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The grandstanding of Patrick Brown.

People who prefer to grandstand in politics can be a pain in the ass. There are times when a politician should to take a stand on an issue but that is when you can reason and suggest alternatives to help solve the problem. Our Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Ontario does not believe in ...

Wise Law Blog: Social Media in Family Law Matters

BY SIMRAN BAKSHI and RACHEL SPENCE How much is it worth to bash your spouse on social media? These days, the cost could be more than you might think.Canadian Courts have seen the use of social media as evidence in family law proceedings increase dramatically in the past few years. Westhaver v. Howard, 2007 NSSC 357, ...

Joe Fantauzzi: THE PROBLEMS OF CARDING: Excising the Discriminatory Police Street Check Process

Over at Academia.edu, I have posted an updated public policy analysis of the police practice of carding, also known as “street checks” that I did as part of my Master’s course load. The full paper can be found HERE. But here is the Executive Summary: This policy analysis paper examines three options to deal with the discriminatory ...

Blunt Objects Blog: Trumpism in Canada, Part 1: Ontario

You might be shocked to hear this, but Donald J. Trump is not popular politically in Canada. In fact, according to any poll he isn’t popular almost anywhere, including within the country he’ll now lead. Yet the man convincingly won an election through the Electoral College – the question is, of course, how? The short ...

Blunt Objects Blog: Trumpism in Canada, Part 1: Ontario

You might be shocked to hear this, but Donald J. Trump is not popular politically in Canada. In fact, according to any poll he isn’t popular almost anywhere, including within the country he’ll now lead. Yet the man convincingly won an election through the Electoral College – the question is, of course, how? The short ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The rise of the exurbanites.

Trump reached for it in America and the exurbanites coalesced behind him. With these new rural voters who have fled the cities and in sync with the traditional American Gothic farmers, he dominated state after state. These people resent and fear our conglomerate cities, the liberal attitudes they promote and the crush of the ethnic ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Do Calgary and Edmonton need more power and resources?

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Do Calgary and Edmonton need more power and resources?” The blog post comes as the Government of Alberta considers the possibility of, well, giving more power and sources to both Calgary and Edmonton. Points raised in the blog post ...

Alberta Politics: The question must be asked: Was Brad Wall’s party being paid to undermine Alberta’s NDP?

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, not looking quite like himself, were still smiling and standing side by side at the start of the July 2015 premiers’ meeting in St. John’s. A week later? Now? Not so much. Below: Mr. Wall as we’ve come to know him, interfering Alberta premier William ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The drip torture by the Wynne government.

Maybe they think they are too classy for simple water torture or boarding. The Ontario Liberals are inflicting an alcohol torture on the poor consumer. First, you have to find out which super grocery stores have just beer and cider or wine and beer or just a kiosk for plonk. There are now 67 out ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The losers are lurking.

It must be Halloween in the air. Losers from the last federal election are gathering. There will be a provincial election in 2018 and the Conservative losers from the last federal election are jockeying for nominations in provincial electoral districts. The first of these Conservative nominations was for the upcoming bye-election in Niagara West-Glanbrook and ...

Scott's DiaTribes: Municipal Councils opposed to Ranked Ballot on “too complicated” argument insult voters intelligence

The province of Ontario recently gave municipal and city councils the ability to reform their voting system. Thanks to Bill 181, municipalities now have the option of using ranked ballot for their local elections. It shouldn’t come as a total surprise that there has been resistance to change. A lot of status quo politicians out ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Columbus is no hero of mine

Italian-North Americans — especially those of us with roots in the Mezzogiorno (and I include the Ciociaria and Abbruzzo here) — don’t need a Genoese genocidal rapist as our hero. It’s time to eliminate Columbus Day. It’s time for #IndigenousPeoplesDay   Some good reading and watching: ‘All Indians Are Dead?’ At Least That’s What Most Schools Teach ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Guaranteed Annual Income

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about Canada’s guaranteed annual income debate.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -There are people and groups on both the left and right of the political spectrum who favour a Guaranteed Annual ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Protecting public assets.

What government, municipal, provincial or federal, has not looked longingly to selling off public companies as a fast way to some ready cash? The government can promise to do nothing but good with the money. The only problem is that once the asset is gone, there is no more revenue from it beyond its corporate ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: How far Bill Davis’ party has fallen.

We can admit it now but could not when he was Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis is a decent guy. As much as he likes to pose as the bastion of the right, Bill has always liked people and is a caring, compassionate person. If he was much younger and leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives ...