Two fiscal statements, a common debt problem

The federal and Ontario governments need to present deficit-reduction plans with a credible target dates now

Two fiscal statements, a common debt problemThe Ontario and federal governments will release their fall fiscal and economic statements this month. Despite a tendency to compartmentalize these separate events, in reality, there’s only one taxpayer. And when the fiscal debt situations of the provincial and federal government are combined, Ontario taxpayers are right to worry. According to the most recent data,…

Canadian Conservatives ensnared by the #MeToo movement

We’re supposed to be standard-bearers for traditional family values in western society. What happened?

Canadian Conservatives ensnared by the #MeToo movementWhen the #MeToo movement began to pick up steam last October, most of the men accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault were on the political left. As time goes by, more men on the political right are getting caught in this web, too. In particular, Canada’s right has faced a few recent instances of…

Ontario takes the initiative tackling terrorists

A simple – and seemingly obvious – provincial decision that should have been made by the Trudeau government long ago

Ontario takes the initiative tackling terroristsSome public policy initiatives are difficult for governments to make. They take a certain amount of time, effort, research, discussion, co-ordination, and wheeling and dealing before finally being implemented. And some public policy initiatives should be remarkably easy for governments to make and implement. Yet there are examples where simple political decisions take on a…

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategy

By subsidizing wind and solar power, the government put its green agenda ahead of Ontarians

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategyThere is still much work to be done on behalf of Ontario’s energy consumers and taxpayers. In 2005, I released a study called Pain Without Gain with two co-authors (University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick and air quality analyst Joel Schwartz). The subtitle of the piece was that shutting down coal-fired power plants would hurt Ontario.…

Turning away from a valuable social experiment

The abrupt cancellation of Ontario's basic income project has broad impact on international research, as well as devastating participants

Turning away from a valuable social experimentI recently participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of basic income experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot project was received with stunned disbelief. On July 31, three months after enrolment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey could be…

Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gain

The premier is ignoring very real problems across Ontario in order to settle a personal vendetta with Toronto city council

Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gainIt’s no shock that Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishes to shrink the size of Toronto city council. Conservatives like small government. Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, and his late brother Rob, a former mayor of Toronto, were known to be libertarian. They regularly made it clear that they believed that government should be leaner…

We can’t put a price on free speech

Universities should defend unpopular speech, not politicians who use funding as leverage

We can’t put a price on free speechLike a soundtrack on endless repeat, universities have come around again to the one about free speech. It’s an old song. The chorus goes something like, “Universities must support freedom of expression.” It’s not the catchiest tune but like the national anthem, it’s a song to sing with heart. One person who sings loudly and…

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gamble

The Ontario premier set a milestone precedent by invoking the clause in relation to Toronto city council. The fallout could be huge

Ford’s notwithstanding clause gambleThe Ontario government’s legislation to cut the number of Toronto city council seats from 47 to 25 was scuttled on Monday by a court ruling. While the general feeling had been that Premier Doug Ford would appeal this decision, he opted for a nuclear option that will be discussed for generations. The Progressive Conservative premier…

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminated

An open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Lisa MacLeod concerning the cancellation of the Ontario basic income pilot

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminatedDear Premier Doug Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income…

Classroom surveillance and sex ed in Ontario

Is this the kind of workplace we want to create for teachers, where any remark might be taken as either perverse or oppressive?

Classroom surveillance and sex ed in OntarioIn Ontario, sex education remains one of those writhing cans of worms that nobody wanted opened and nobody can close. The centre of the squirming mess is a debate over whether sex ed – and by extension, sexual morality – is a private or public concern. Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives won the last Ontario election,…

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefight

The Ontario PCs's Twitter channel is hardly without precedent: both the provincial Liberals and NDP have created their own "news" channels in the past

Ontario News Now sparks a silly political firefightWhy are some people so worked up about Ontario News Now? The Twitter account was started by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on July 31. It’s being used as a political branding tool to promote Premier Doug Ford and his government’s programs and policies. The host is Lyndsey Vanstone, a former radio/TV producer and current deputy…

Canada shouldn’t stray from climate commitments in face of criticism

We can and should stand firm against outside pressure – principally from the U.S. – and internal pressure from people like Doug Ford

Canada shouldn’t stray from climate commitments in face of criticismBy Brendan Boyd and Barry Rabe EvidenceNetwork.ca Things look bleak these days for the federal government’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. But Canada should stay the course. The framework represents Canada’s primary compliance path with the Paris climate accord, requiring provinces to establish a price on carbon or have one imposed by Ottawa.…

Ontario needs to get cracking to clean up its finances

A variety of factors - from uncertain economic conditions to higher public spending - threaten to push Ontario further into debt

Ontario needs to get cracking to clean up its financesAs Ontario’s new government takes charge, attention has focused on the moves made on education and the management of Hydro One. However, the most important task remains: dealing with the province’s public finances. The government of Premier Doug Ford took a first step by tapping former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell to lead an inquiry into…

The trashy state of Ontario schools will only get worse

If schools look like internment campus, we shouldn’t be surprised if students try to escape

The trashy state of Ontario schools will only get worseOntario politics is never as interesting as when a Ford plows through the legislature and smashes everything. Since taking office as Ontario’s premier a month ago, Doug Ford has dumped a controversial sex ed curriculum, cut cap and trade, and promised to cull the number of councillors in Toronto’s city council. These decisions brought foam…

The high-stakes battle between Doug Ford and Toronto city council

It's entirely possible that the federal government could wade into the pitched fight between the new Ontario premier and Canada's largest city

The high-stakes battle between Doug Ford and Toronto city councilWhen the Ontario provincial government fights city hall, no-one expects the House of Commons to join in. Yet it’s not out of the realm of possibility that all three levels of government could get involved in one testy issue. This scenario started taking shape last week when Premier Doug Ford announced his plan to cut…