Defend Public Healthcare: Ontario government spending grows. But the deficit falls like a stone

Yesterday’s third quarter report from the Ministry of Finance indicates that their estimate of the deficit for 2016/17 fiscal year has fallen by $2.4 billion — from $4.3 billion to $1.9 billion. This despite the announcement of another $223 million in new spending increases for 2016/17.  If you recall, the government announced even more in-year ...

Scripturient: Budget Bullshit

The first question you have to ask after following Collingwood Council’s sloppy and inept budget process is “Where did the money go?” Then the second question you have to ask, “Are they really that dense?” Yes, but let’s start with the first question. Back when he promoted dismantling the water utility from its partnership with ...

Mind Bending Politics: Serious Questions Remain as York School Board Trustee Steps Down

(York School Board Trustee Nancy Elgie Tenders Her Resignation via Youtube) Yesterday York Region District School Board [YRDSB] Trustee Nancy Elgie told her constituents via a Youtube video that she would be stepping down as a Trustee, months after uttering a racial slur by “mistake”.  In the almost 10 minute heavily edited statement on youtube, ...

Accidental Deliberations: On non-solutions

Tammy Robert thoroughly documents how Brad Wall’s billion-dollar deficit has nothing to do with either resource revenues (being Wall’s primary excuse for blowing up the budget), or public services (which are his first target for attacks): I can’t consider the way the Saskatchewan government has handled the prospect of streamlining public service – or even this ...

Defend Public Healthcare: The end of provincial public sector austerity in Ontario?

The experts appointed by the Wynne government to review the recent claim by the Auditor General that the surpluses in the teacher and civil servant pension (Read more…) cannot be counted as an asset to reduce the provincial government’s debt and deficit have reported.   Importantly they have sided withthe government and against the Auditor General, ...

Mind Bending Politics: The Circus That Is Our Unaccountable Education System Coming to A School Board Near You

(Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Likely To Read From A Blank Book On School Board Accountability) Over the past few months, the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) in Ontario has been embroiled in controversy surrounding governance, accountability, and racial tensions. The governing Liberal Party of Ontario promised to get to the bottom of these systemic ...

Mind Bending Politics: Ministry’s Hands Are Tied On The Racial Slurs Of Trustee Elgie

(The York Region District School Board Acted To Protect Trustee Nancy Elgie From a Code of Conduct Review) This week has been a very tough week for the York Region District School Board (YRDSB).  After Tuesday’s emotional meeting with parents, and bizarre apology for racial slurs by Trustee Nancy Elgie,  the Ministry of Education has ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Scott Sinclair offers his take on what we can expect Donald Trump to pursue in renegotiating NAFTA, and points out that while there are some options which might boost Canadian manufacturing and other sectors, it’s also possible that matters could get far worse for the citizens of all ...

Mind Bending Politics: Head Injury to Blame For Racial Behavior At York Region District School Board

(York Trustee Nancy Elgie Blames Racial Slurs on Head Injury as Public Calls for Her Resignation Grow Louder) The scandal ridden York Region District School Board met with emotional parents Tuesday night.  Many parents in York Region are concerned about the level of accountability the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) of currently has in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading. – Owen Jones highlights the need for social democratic parties to present a real popular alternative to neoliberal government, and offers his suggestions as to how UK Labour can accomplish that: Political leadership means saying, here’s what’s wrong with society, here’s what our vision of what society is instead, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne points out the significance of even central bankers like Mark Carney recognizing the desperate need to combat inequality. And Iglika Ivanova discusses how British Columbia’s election-year surplus represents a wasted opportunity to start addressing the social problems which the Libs have been exacerbating for a decade ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Branko Milanovic highlights the futility of pretending that market mechanisms will produce anything other than profit-oriented outcomes – and the observation represents an obvious reason not to put public services in corporate hands. And David Sloan Wilson (in introducing an interview with Sigrun Aasland) points out how Norway’s ...

Defend Public Healthcare: Ontario deficit cut over $5 billion in one year as revenue rolls in — but who will benefit?

 The government’s unaudited financial statements for 2015-16 have been released (in lieu of the Public Accounts) and the deficit is down another$700 million from the last government estimate. Combined with earlier reductions, that means they came in with a deficit $3.5 billion less than they originally budgeted for 2015-16 in the 2015 budget.  Revenue for ...

Accidental Deliberations: Into the dark

Apparently provincial finances have joined monthly job reports as areas where if there’s nothing to be spun in the Saskatchewan Party’s favour, Brad Wall is making a concerted effort to hide what’s going on from the public. (Go on, just try to find the government’s monthly jobs release containing this news – in contrast even ...

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario’s New Autism Policy Not Going Over Well With Parents

(Ontario’s new autism policy lipstick on a pig, rather than implementing needed changes) With the Ontario Government announcing major funding initiatives over the past few months, it looks like autism services are not high on its priority list.  Back in March, the Ontario government announced that it was going to do away with much needed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Ed Finn discusses how to fight for needed alternatives to neoliberalism in the face of seemingly daunting odds and structural barriers. – Noah Smith points out how most economic analysis omits important social factors which ultimately matter far more to people than marginal GDP. And as a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading. – David Korten writes that despite the trend of the past few decades, there’s nothing inevitable about international agreements inevitably favouring capital over citizens rather than the other way around. – Miles Corak examines Nicole Fortin’s research showing that concentrated income at the top of the spectrum is undermining ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Rick Salutin argues that we need to say no to any more trade agreements designed to privilege corporations at the expense of the public. Will Martin reports on the IMF’s long-overdue recognition of the failures of neoliberalism, while pointing out that there’s still a long way to go ...

Mind Bending Politics: Ontario To Axe CCAC In $50 Billion Health Care Overhaul

(Nothing to see here: Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins Announces The Closure of Community Care Access Centres) The horror stories continue for the people of Ontario.  Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced today that the government will be closing all Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) in favor of cost cutting measures, and moving the home ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David Rosen discusses the connection between poverty and more general social exclusion: Poverty is a form of social powerlessness.  The poorer you are, the weaker you are, the harder your life; everything is about survival.  Poverty can be analyzed in two complementary ways – who and where.  By ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Tom Parkin writes about the growing divide between the lucky few who are siphoning wealth out of Canada, and the mass of people facing a precarious economic future. – PressProgress highlights much the same distinction by examining the types of workers who make less in a year ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Frank comments on the connection between recognizing the luck and social support which lead to one’s own success, and being willing to fund a state which will ensure opportunities for everybody: I’ve seen even brief discussions of the link between success and luck temper the outrage ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Martin Lukacs highlights the Canadian public’s broad support for the Leap Manifesto – and the opportunity available to any party willing to put its contents into practice. And Shawn Katz is hopeful that the NDP will seize the opening. But Bill Tieleman points out that the best intentions ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Branko Milanovic discusses how our current means of measuring inequality may leave out the most important part of the story in the form of wealth deliberately hidden from public view: (T)here are at least two problems. First, the rich especially, but everybody else as well, have a ...

Mind Bending Politics: Annoyed Ontario Liberals and Wynne’s Autism Echo Chamber:

This blog will be dedicated moving forward to following the conversations and policy discussions about Ontario’s new autism policy.  The discussions going on right now are a national ethical and moral issue and those across Canada should be kept up to date as much as possible.  On Tuesday there was a very emotional rally at our provincial legislature ...