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 […]
Maytree publishes reports, backgrounders, briefs and commentaries to help inform decision-making and to engage in public discussions on social policy issues.
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 […]
Published on 31/07/2018
The federal government has now an opportunity to fulfill its commitment to clarify the rules governing “political activity” by charities and support the important contributions they make to public debate and public policy.
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, PC, MP Minister of National Revenue House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 Tuesday, July 31, 2018 Dear Minister, We are writing to you about the role of the Income Tax Act in governing charities, in light of the recent decision of Justice Morgan in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, […]
Published on 30/07/2018
Our province has an education problem: too many Ontario students are facing a violation of their fundamental right to education.
School may be out for the summer, but education in Ontario is a hot topic around playgrounds and splash pads this month. The decision by Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Lisa Thompson to revert to the 1998 curriculum for sexual health education, coupled with the cancellation of consultations with Indigenous leaders regarding recommendations for […]
Published on 30/07/2018
Changes to income support and replacement programs in Canada are often made by stealth. The complexity of the programs shields governments from criticism.
In 1990, I wrote an article for Policy Options titled “Social Policy by Stealth” under the pseudonym Grattan Gray. The article was a comprehensive critique of social and tax policy under the Mulroney government. In it, I characterized the concept of social policy by stealth: It relies heavily on technical amendments to taxes and transfers […]
Published on 25/07/2018
An intergenerational perspective can identify polices which both bridge the income divide and build supportive relationships between generations.
Download the report (PDF) Intergenerational fairness is key to solving some of Canada’s most urgent social policy challenges and building an equitable society. When we look closely at policy challenges like income inequality or the fiscal implications of an aging population, we find that the associated costs are not borne equally by all generations. But […]