We need to talk about racism

Racism isn’t easy to discuss, but we shouldn’t shy away from it or we’ll never stop wounds from being inflicted

We need to talk about racismIs our society afraid to discuss the issue of racism?  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest most people would rather not broach this subject. It doesn’t constitute a pleasant conversation at the dinner table or coffee shop, and it can lead to tense moments with family members, friends and loved ones. But while racism…

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debt

The Ontario government must take decisive action to get the budget under control when the COVID-19 crisis has passed

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debtOntario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower in the world. Interim financial results for the 2019-20 fiscal year show that the Ontario government ran a $9.2-billion deficit. According to estimates from economists, the deficit is likely to more than triple, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown, to around $29.3 billion…

Government debt piling up for Ontarians

Blame economic contraction due to COVID-19 and increased government spending at the provincial and federal levels

Government debt piling up for OntariansOntario’s provincial government now carries more net debt per person than any province except Newfoundland and Labrador. In a reversal of historical norms, Ontario carries significantly more debt – almost $4,000 more per person – than Quebec. Of course, debt (financial assets minus total liabilities) means interest payments. But Ontarians aren’t just responsible for interest…

Ontario budget update misses mark in face of COVID-19

The plan is based on unrealistic assumptions that pose real risks to Ontario finances and includes spending likely to be ineffective

Ontario budget update misses mark in face of COVID-19By Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute With all the announcements last week by the federal government, and the drama surrounding the passage of the federal spending bill, the Ontario fiscal update went largely unnoticed. But since Ontario is Canada’s largest province – in population and the size of its economy – so…

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killer

One hundred years ago, a flu pandemic swept across the world, killing tens of millions of people, particularly those in the prime of life

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killerFrom the wet and windswept northwest of Ireland to rural southwestern Ontario, the flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920 was remorseless. My mother and my wife’s father lost siblings to an illness where death might come within 24 hours of first symptoms. And sometimes it was particularly brutal. Historian John Barry has described it this…

Ontario’s lost decade of job creation

Toronto and Ottawa are thriving but as long as large regions of Ontario struggle, the province and the country won’t meet their full economic potential

Ontario’s lost decade of job creationBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Ontarians have suffered more than their share of economic pain over the past 15 years. For much of the 2000s, the province’s manufacturing sector was struggling and then the 2008-09 recession made things much worse. In the years that followed, the province’s recovery was unfortunately tepid.…

Ontario justice delays create injustices

Wait times for court proceedings to help children escape physical or psychological harm are far too long. Society is failing to protect these vulnerable citizens

Ontario justice delays create injusticesIn her recent report, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk took aim at the inefficiencies and backlogs in the province’s justice system. She also cited a lack of accountability and transparency in obtaining critical information from the judiciary and government, thus preventing her office from conducting a thorough audit. Five days later, Ontario Attorney General Doug…

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgeting

The Alberta government has not only set out a better direction on program spending, it also has a better plan on taxes

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgetingAlberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government delivered its first budget in October following the United Conservative Party’s victory over the NDP earlier this year. That budget sets a course Ontario should follow. Kenny’s mandate from voters was similar to that of Ontario Premier Doug Ford: to reverse course on the previous administration’s overspending, deficits and tax…

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimization

Why we need quality sex education for our students with developmental disabilities, too

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimizationWhen my sister, who has a developmental disability, and I were growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, neither of us received very much formalized education on sexual health. I eventually learned what I needed to, through friends, the media and books, but she had access to none of that. As a result, she and…

How do we decrease emergency room visits?

Canadians have the highest rates of emergency room visits among high-income countries. We need a better care model

How do we decrease emergency room visits?You get home after a long day at work and the cough that’s been bugging you just doesn’t seem to be letting up. Your muscles ache, you have chills and you hear a slight wheeze when you breathe out. Do you head to the local emergency department? A walk-in clinic? Or does your family doctor…

We shouldn’t be surprised by Trudeau-Ford meeting

The prime minister, Ontario premier and their advisers realize the lines of communication must stay open for the good of the country

We shouldn’t be surprised by Trudeau-Ford meetingWhen Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently went to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, some people assumed the worst would happen. It’s no secret Ford doesn’t care for Trudeau. The former’s disagreement about implementing a national carbon tax has stretched from the political corridors all the way to the Ontario Court of Appeal.…

Throwing government money at all the wrong things

The Ontario government continually makes corporate welfare payments that fly in the face of social policy

Throwing government money at all the wrong thingsThe Ontario government’s public accounts should be a source of despair to any taxpayer. They provide the latest reminder that politicians are addicted to spending other people’s money and will spend it on just about anything. That a government program is without public demand or is unsupported by sound economic reasoning doesn’t deter governments from…

Big health-care change takes big courage

The status quo is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner

Big health-care change takes big courageBy Karen Palmer and Noah Ivers Women’s College Hospital If there’s one thing provincial governments across Canada can agree on, it’s that the status quo in health care is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner. Ontario’s Ministry of Health under the previous government led the…

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality education

To listen to the teacher unions and their supporters, the sky is about to fall if class sizes for secondary schools get bigger. The evidence shows they're dead wrong

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality educationClass war may soon break out in Canada. More than half of Canadian high school students are in Ontario or British Columbia. Teacher negotiations continue in both provinces with secondary school class sizes a central issue that could trigger strike action. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to retain or lower high school class size limits…

School board attaches non-compete clause to building sale

Public board in Ontario refused to sell a school it closed to a private school to curtail competition for students

School board attaches non-compete clause to building saleWho does the government compete with? Is a public school a sacred building? A recent surplus building sale raises those questions. Near Brockville, Ont., the local public school board has sold the Wolford elementary school that it closed in 2018. The building was surplus, no other government had a use for it, so the school…
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