“Canada is rich by nature, poor only by policy,” Goldwin Smith told the New York Chamber of Commerce 130 years ago. Smith was a professor of history residing in Toronto, and in his speech he commented on the natural and human capital that abounded in the country, but lamented how little had been done with […]
Publications, opinions, and speeches
Maytree publishes reports, backgrounders, briefs, opinions, and speeches to help inform decision-making and to engage in public discussions on social policy issues.
Published on 29/10/2018
As the Ontario government nears the end of a 100-day review of social assistance, we take a look at the UK's experience of a series of welfare reforms with similar goals.
Download the policy brief (PDF) The Ontario government is nearing the end of a 100-day review of social assistance and a plan that will “help get people back to work and keep them working, while supporting people with disabilities to work when they are able and participate in their communities.” It’s aiming to identify how […]
Published on 26/09/2018
The premier of Ontario pulled out the notwithstanding clause with a clear understanding that he would deny a right to people, a threat that still stands when he won’t get his way in the future. Alan Broadbent writes that we should be concerned.
You don’t have to be from the Toronto region to understand why we’ve been distracted these days by the actions of Ontario’s new premier Doug Ford to cut city council by almost half. This is a decidedly local issue in some ways; after all, not that many people care how big Toronto Council is. And […]
Published on 18/09/2018
Keynote delivered at the Tamarack Institute’s Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty conference held in Mississauga from September 18-19, 2018
I know you’re not all from the Toronto region, but you may understand that we’re distracted these days by the actions of Ontario’s new premier Doug Ford. Particularly by his threat to use the Constitution Act’s notwithstanding clause to force the shrinking of Toronto City Council. There have been lots of dramatics and noise in […]
Published on 04/09/2018
Can community councils, the underfed underdogs of municipal government, save the City of Toronto? In the current crisis facing the City, it is worth considering.
Can community councils, the underfed underdogs of municipal government, save the City of Toronto? In the current crisis facing the City, it is worth considering. The arbitrary and precipitous cut of Toronto city council to 25 members has affronted many, for many reasons. Some see it as vengeful; others as antidemocratic, particularly coming in the […]
Published on 27/08/2018
The Ontario government should break the mould in welfare reform: instead of making social assistance conditional upon efforts to get work, conditions should be removed altogether.
Along with terminating Ontario’s Basic Income experiment and reducing planned increases in social assistance rates, the Ford government has announced plans to develop a transformed approach to social assistance in the next 100 days, one that “would be focused on jobs.” A “focus on jobs” usually translates into harsher conditions for social assistance recipients, more […]
Published on 27/08/2018
Despite recent increases in child benefits, the poverty rate among lone-parent families is more than double the Canadian average. That said, lone-parent poverty is much lower than it was – it fell throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, but in the 2010s progress stalled.
Despite recent increases in child benefits, the poverty rate among lone-parent families is more than double the Canadian average. That said, lone-parent poverty is much lower than it was – it fell throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, but in the 2010s progress stalled. With the launch of the first national poverty reduction strategy this […]
Published on 24/08/2018
We need to create a new governance system that enables Toronto to truly govern itself, act on its strengths and address its many problems and challenges.
It’s not every day of the week that one of the world’s great cities turns into a political football. But that is exactly what is happening in Toronto. Late last month, newly installed Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced his plans to cut the size of Toronto’s city council in half. Mayor John Tory pressed the […]
Published on 22/08/2018
The four key features of the national poverty reduction strategy, and what to look out for as it is implemented.
On August 21, the federal government launched Opportunity for All, the first Canada-wide poverty reduction strategy. While some coverage highlighted the lack of new policies, programs, or investments, the strategy does set out a framework for the federal government’s poverty reduction efforts, through values, targets, transparency, and accountability. Here are four important features of the […]