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 ...

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 ...