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.

  • For publications by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, visit this page.
  • For publications on immigration and diversity (published before 2013), visit this page.
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Opinion

Published on 14/12/2018

2018 might be the last year we coast by without deliberate ambitions to strengthen our cities.

Canadians have gotten used to seeing their cities rise in global rankings of best places to live. Earlier this year, in keeping with a ten-year trend, the Economist’s Global Liveability Index again awarded Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto spots in the top ten best cities for overall quality of life, based on their performance in categories […]

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Report

Published on 04/12/2018

Sherri Torjman looks at policy remedies for the Catch-22s facing persons with disabilities who seek social assistance, and the need to move beyond short-term solutions to a more robust conceptualization of disability policy rooted in human rights.

Download report (PDF) Persons with disabilities face a Catch-22 when they seek government assistance. In order to be eligible for disability-related financial aid or support programs, applicants must show proof of severe limitation in functional capacity. The greater their incapacity, the more supports they receive. In short, doing worse means doing better. Yet the reverse […]

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Policy backgrounder

Published on 30/11/2018

On Thursday November 22, Minister MacLeod announced the outcome of Ontario’s 100-day review of social assistance. This short backgrounder explains what earnings exemptions are and what the proposed changes mean.

Download the backgrounder (PDF) On Thursday November 22, Minister MacLeod announced the outcome of Ontario’s 100-day review of social assistance. It included details of how earnings exemptions for social assistance recipients will change. This short backgrounder explains what earnings exemptions are and what the changes mean. What are earnings exemptions? Most social assistance programs withdraw […]

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Opinion

Published on 28/11/2018

The province's one-hundred-day social assistance review was more a series of directions or intentions rather than specific program changes. Many of the announced reforms are still too vague to assess. But some are problematic, writes Maytree Fellow Michael Mendelson.

Analysis of the just announced reforms to social assistance resulting from the Ontario government’s “one-hundred-day” review will have to wait until further details are made public. Many of the reforms are still too vague to assess. For example, the government promised to improve “employment services for people receiving social assistance, placing a greater focus on […]

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Opinion

Published on 29/10/2018

Our politicians must raise their game to become dramatically more effective in creating and implementing stronger public policy in our cities.

“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 […]

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Policy brief

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 […]

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Opinion

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 […]

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Speech

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 […]

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Opinion

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 […]

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