Policy & Insights

Maytree Opinion

Lessons for and from Toronto

By Ratna Omidvar (Maytree Opinion, July 2014)
In June, Ratna joined an international group of urban migration leaders who met in Berlin to share lessons in building inclusive cities. Here are the top ideas she brought back to Toronto.

The Forgotten Person in Today’s Immigrant

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, June 2014)
Most of the public discourse about immigrants these days centres on the foundering temporary foreign worker program which has cast our view of immigrants as one dimensional people filling jobs at the low end of the labour market. By focusing only on their short-term contribution to the labour market, we risk making immigrants the forgotten person. And we risk our country’s future at the same time.

‘Dying on the order paper’

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, May 2014)
This Maytree Opinion is not a murder mystery, as the title might suggest. Rather it is a look at what happens to the public business when an election is called, as is the case in Ontario at the moment. As the Ontario government website explains, “when a general election is called, any bill that did not reach Royal Assent is deemed to have ‘died on the Order Paper,’ (i.e., did not become law).” Bills dying on the order paper isn’t merely a matter for elected officials and public servants – many others are affected.

Sport and Community

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, April 2014)
Sport is much more than the professional games we see reported on television and in the media. It includes the games organized at school during gym class or lunch, and the school teams playing in the afternoon. It is the community soccer or baseball league playing weekends and evenings. It is amateur and usually organized for fun. While it has a wide range of benefits to individuals, communities and society as a whole, sport is a neglected child of public policy. It is time to change that.

Community Benefit Agreements – a New Tool to Reduce Poverty and Inequality

By Alan Broadbent and Alejandra Bravo (Maytree Opinion, March 2014)
Through community benefit campaigns, many U.S. cities ensure new economic development creates opportunities to meet community needs. These campaigns, usually citizen-led, may seek a negotiated agreement with a developer or a local government for a project-specific set of benefits, such as local hiring. They are known as Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs). And CBAs are taking root in Toronto.

Citizenship: Carrots, not sticks, will bring home the gold

By Ratna Omidvar (Maytree Opinion, February 2014)
Citizenship should not be taken lightly. As Ratna Omidvar writes, we should do everything in our power to strengthen our bonds, our obligations and engagement with Canada. But extending the residency requirement by one year is lazy policy. It is a bit like being on the treadmill longer, without working harder to raise your heart rate. If we want to strengthen Canadian citizenship, we need to work harder, not simply longer.

New candidates for new times: Questions for candidates

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, January 2014)
The New Year of 2014 has kicked off the municipal election period in Ontario which culminates in elections across the province on October 27 for mayors, councillors, and school board trustees. For people who love politics, it is a wonderful bazaar of personalities, issues, tactics, and jousting. For others, the average voter, it can be simply confusing. In this month’s Maytree Opinion, Alan Broadbent lists some of the questions we must ask in our quest for the right candidates.

Incomes are too low

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, December 2013)
The problem with poor people is that they don’t have enough money. As Alan Broadbent writes, while much recent focus has been on the top One Percent, the basis of the problem is that too many people have too little money – and that is where the solutions must begin. The good news is that we have many good ideas ready to be implemented.

Caring for Canada’s caregivers

By Ratna Omidvar (Maytree Opinion, November 2013)
As we look to the massive rebuilding effort that lies ahead for the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, let us also think of the many Filipino Canadians who play a critical role in building Canada. Live-in caregivers play a critical yet undervalued role in our society – they raise our children, care for our seniors, and support our family members living with disabilities. And yet, Canada’s treatment of live-in caregivers does not reflect the importance of these contributions.

Jazz.FM91 documentary series shows that Canadians are ahead of their government in welcoming refugees

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, October 2013)
For us at Maytree, we find the Identities stories inspiring. To feel that we can attract people like these great musicians to help in the task of community and nation building gives us confidence. But we are also aware that every day hundreds or thousands of others arrive in Canada to join us, often with different and less visible talents than those featured in Identities. As a country we can do a lot better job at welcoming them and including their gifts in the national fabric. Identities shows clearly that Canadians are way ahead of their government in their willingness to reach out and help.