Policy Insights

Maytree Opinion

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.

Thank you, Charter of Values

By Alan Broadbent and Ratna Omidvar (Maytree Opinion, September 2013)
A separatist Quebec premier has managed to unite Canadians – doctors, nurses, child care workers, university staff, politicians, journalists, academics, and citizens, to name a few – something that has eluded every other political leader for at least half a century. Without intending to, we just had a national conversation in which Canadians from all walks of life joined. What makes this remarkable is that Canadians, from East to West, seem to agree in their overwhelming rejection of the divisive policies of Premier Pauline Marois by speaking out against the proposed ban on religious symbols worn by public employees.

Maytree’s Summer Reading

By Alan Broadbent and Ratna Omidvar (Maytree Opinion, August 2013)
Summer reading is a fine Canadian tradition. Finding a warm place under a tree, maybe in a public park near a lake or stream, and indulging in the luxury of an hour with a good book feeds the mind, body and soul. At Maytree, we are readers and love to share our latest “finds” with each other. So, what have Alan Broadbent and Ratna Omidvar been reading this summer?

Is Canada too full?

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, July 2013)
The recent public dust-up between David Suzuki and Jason Kenney over Canada’s immigration numbers points to an interesting question: Is Canada actually “full”? As Alan Broadbent writes, we can’t really tell. Since currently Canada doesn’t seem to have a national population policy, there’s no way of really knowing whether the current population number should be bigger or smaller.

The problem with bad apples

By Alan Broadbent (Maytree Opinion, June 2013)
They say a bad apple will spoil the barrel. If we look at press and newscast accounts of the City of Toronto and The Canadian Senate these days, it certainly seems to be the case. Government in Toronto is deemed “a mess” and the Senate is judged so broken that it should be altered or abandoned. But is it true? Has the barrel been spoiled in Toronto or in the Senate?

Read Maytree Opinions from previous years by visiting the Maytree Opinion Archive