The Progressive Economics Forum: Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy

Dr. Colin Phillips is an up-and-coming scholar in Canada’s homelessness sector. He has an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star titled “Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy.” Points made in the opinion piece include the following: -The City of Toronto has worked hard to develop good practices on the ground to address homelessness. -But, ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Income and geographic distribution of low-income renters in Toronto

In this second of a series of housing-related posts I analyze the income and geographic distribution of renter-occupied households in the City of Toronto. My first post focussed on affordability and inequality trends by analyzing time series (2001-16) data for Ontario by household income quintiles. As a complement, this blog studies the income and geographic ...

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 ...

Things Are Good: Waterproofing Cities for Resiliency

The last month brought a lot of rain to the city of Toronto which has led to the Toronto islands being half submerged and a temporary (and lax) travel ban to be put into effect. The rest of the city has fared slightly better. The city has slowly been improving its water management over the ...

Things Are Good: First Nations Reserves Across Canada to get Toronto Library Cards

A fantastic way to share stories and knowledge is through books and public library systems. Unfortunately too many indigenous reserves and communities in Canada don’t have access to a library, which is having a negative impact on knowledge sharing. The Toronto Public Library system will be extending their library services to indigenous communities as part ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Dan Levin writes that Christy Clark and her B.C. Libs have turned British Columbia into a haven for capital to run wild without any social responsibility or public benefit: Like many places, British Columbia set up a system of tax incentives to lure businesses to the far western ...

Excited Delirium: Another Call to Raise Toronto Property Taxes

This piece by Lawrence Solomon is very effective at pointing out the contrast between property taxes applied to landlords versus those that are paid by private homeowners. In Toronto, property taxes for homeowners are disproportionately low, not just compared to local rental costs, but also for property taxes applied across the province and rest of ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Peter Goodman observes that any meaningful action to build a more equal economy needs to involve bolstering wages and workers’ rights – meaning that the elites-only musings in Davos miss the point entirely: Davos is — at least rhetorically — consumed with worries about the shortcomings of ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Things Are Good: Toronto’s Green Roofs Keep Growing

Back in 2006 we first looked at how green roofs were becoming a development issue in Toronto, in 2009 Toronto implemented that green roof bylaw. Then in 2014 we took a look at how North America’s green roof industry is growing. This year, Toronto has become the hub for green roofs! Torontist took a look ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Ann McFeatters reminds us of the good a government can do when it dedicates itself to identifying and responding to urgent public needs. And Bill McKibben makes the case for an all-out mobilization against climate change: We’re used to war as metaphor: the war on poverty, the war ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: First Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post about the First Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative.  The link to the blog post is here.

Things Are Good: Supporting Bicycles is a Good Idea for Cities

Torontoist is a blog focused on, you guessed it, Toronto and they recently ran a series of posts about bike lanes. It’s not all about Toronto as they pull data from New York and tout Strasbourg as an inspiration that Toronto ought to follow. The success of cycling infrastructure in Strasbourg is a result of ...

Autonomy For All: A Forgotten Rob Ford: The Machine Maker

I greatly appreciate the efforts of many of Toronto’s better writers and activists to push back against the ghastly effort to recast Rob Ford as some kind of civic champion.  In particular, I recommend this by Richard Feren, the author of Ford’s most infamous parody account, Rob Frod, and this by Andray Domise, the former ...

Autonomy For All: A Forgotten Rob Ford: The Machine Maker

I greatly appreciate the efforts of many of Toronto’s better writers and activists to push back against the ghastly effort to recast Rob Ford as some kind of civic champion.  In particular, I recommend this by Richard Feren, the author of Ford’s most infamous parody account, Rob Frod, and this by Andray Domise, the former ...

Autonomy For All: A Forgotten Rob Ford: The Machine Maker

I greatly appreciate the efforts of many of Toronto’s better writers and activists to push back against the ghastly effort to recast Rob Ford as some kind of civic champion.  In particular, I recommend this by Richard Feren, the author of Ford’s most infamous parody account, Rob Frod, and this by Andray Domise, the former ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a ...

Montreal Simon: Rob Ford: The Man and His Foul Legacy

Although I despised Rob Ford with every bone in my body, I must admit I was sad to hear that he had died.Because nobody can celebrate the death of a man who died so young from such a terrible disease like cancer.And I feel sorry for his wife and two young children, and all the others ...

Chris Tindal: Remembering Rob Ford

There were moments during Rob Ford’s time as mayor of Toronto when I hated him. I mean real, deep, I’m-not-proud-of-it actual hatred. And whenever I sank into one of those moments, I would remember the time I met him, and how it continued to challenge and complicate my impression of the person. In early 2010 ...