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Carbon49 – Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Greening Offices Without Adding to Landfill

Many corporations are moving their staff into modern green offices in LEED buildings. But the left-behind furniture and equipment often end up in landfill. It’s better to recycle, resell, and donate them to minimize your footprint, recover costs, and benefit charities. Let’s see how Chevron did it and what you can learn from their experiences for your next move or renovation. . . . → Read More: Carbon49 – Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Greening Offices Without Adding to Landfill

Babel-on-the-Bay: Since Ontario Premier Wynne asked…

Never having been reluctant to give Premier Wynne advice before, we can hardly resist the opportunity to give her and her Liberal Party of Ontario advice on fund-raising. The first advice we will give her is to get her and her fellow members of the provincial parliament out of the fund-raising trough. They should not […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Since Ontario Premier Wynne asked…

Babel-on-the-Bay: Correcting corruption in Ontario.

It appears that the news media has detected a bad smell in the general area of Ontario’s seat of government at Queen’s Park. It is the smell of political corruption. We are told not to worry though as our Premier promises to fix it later this year. Is that when she will have enough in […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Correcting corruption in Ontario.

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a … Continue reading Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

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Things Are Good: Ontario Converting Coal Plant to Solar Farm

A few years ago Ontario stopped all of its coal powered plants because, you know, climate change and all that. Other jurisdictions around the world are similarly halting the use of coal for energy production. In Ontario, an old coal plant with a lot of land around it will reopen, but be emissions free. The […]

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Babel-on-the-Bay: Doing Ontario up Brown!

To this long-time political apparatchik, it was an interesting example of the art of remaking a politician. Ontario viewers of Global Television Sunday morning had an opportunity to see the training effort in action. It was almost a before and after—that might have been recorded hours apart. It was new Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Doing Ontario up Brown!

Things Are Good: Ontario to Test Basic Income

Basic income is the idea that people will have enough money to live (food and shelter) regardless of their employment status. Manitoba tried this decades ago and it worked, but was cancelled for political reasons. A basic income is needed now more than ever since robots are going to take all the jobs. Plus, inequality […]

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The Progressive Economics Forum: L’itinérance au Canada: Sa croissance, les réponses politiques, et le plaidoyer

Le 1er février, j’ai fait une présentation sur l’itinérance adressée aux étudiants du séminaire d’études supérieures de monsieur Steve Pomeroy à la School of Public Policy and Administration à l’Université Carleton. Le thème de ma présentation a été l’émergence de l’itinérance au Canada en tant que domaine politique publique pressant dans les années 1980. J’ai […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: L’itinérance au Canada: Sa croissance, les réponses politiques, et le plaidoyer

Babel-on-the-Bay: The perils of political predictions in by-elections

A friend called the other evening. He wanted to know who would win tonight’s provincial by-election in Christine Elliott’s former electoral district of Whitby-Oshawa. Once again we had to patiently explain that it is impossible to predict. The opinion polls that say the Conservatives have the best chance are useless. The big rally the other […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The perils of political predictions in by-elections

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in Canada: Its Growth, Policy Responses, and Advocacy

On February 1, I gave a guest presentation on homelessness to a graduate seminar class on housing policy taught by Steve Pomeroy at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The focus of my presentation was the emergence of homelessness in Canada as a pressing public policy area in the 1980s. I discussed the […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in Canada: Its Growth, Policy Responses, and Advocacy

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario Premier Wynne wins India.

Patrick Brown MPP eat your heart out. You are no longer India’s darling. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has won the media wars in the world’s largest democracy. In homophobic India, a lesbian politician from Canada was a big hit. It never occurred to us Canadians that Kathleen Wynne taking her husband Jane with her was […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario Premier Wynne wins India.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick Brown where are you?

Patrick Brown MPP needs to decide whether he is his provincial party’s leader or its chief apparatchik. In politics, an apparatchik is a person who usually toils in the background of a party coming up with and implementing strategies and tactics with which to win power. Watching Mr. Brown at work in politics over the […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Patrick Brown where are you?

Joe Fantauzzi: The Political Economy of The Sharing Economy

Introduction Today, getting a lift to the store is as easy as loading an application on a digital device and summoning a roving car to one’s door. It is fast, cheap and, many argue, less onerous than ownership. The so-called sharing economy is on the… . . . → Read More: Joe Fantauzzi: The Political Economy of The Sharing Economy

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown takes fellow Tories for a ride.

It was the picture of Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown on an elephant with one of his Ontario Conservative caucus mates that has already won picture of the year for us. When you think of how many times Brown has visited India on the Canadian taxpayers’ money, you would think the people of the sub-continent […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown takes fellow Tories for a ride.

Joe Fantauzzi: From Participatory Budgeting to Co-operative Tenant Control: An Alternative Policy Recommendation For Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing (TCH) is a huge organization with a crucial mandate. Located in Canada’s most-populous city and the capital of the Province of Ontario, TCH provides housing for 164,000 low and moderate-income people in 58,500 homes. The age… . . . → Read More: Joe Fantauzzi: From Participatory Budgeting to Co-operative Tenant Control: An Alternative Policy Recommendation For Toronto Community Housing

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Danny Dorling discusses the need for kindness among other attributes to bridge growing gaps in wealth and social status:Gross inequality creates a lack of respect for the other group – people who are not like us. … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Joe Fantauzzi: Raise Corporate Taxes To Fund Ontario’s Infrastructure Deficit: An Alternative Policy Proposal

The province of Ontario currently faces a significant public infrastructure deficit which is harming its economic productivity and its quality of life. The government’s own numbers estimate that deficit at “tens of billions of dollars.”[1] Some m… . . . → Read More: Joe Fantauzzi: Raise Corporate Taxes To Fund Ontario’s Infrastructure Deficit: An Alternative Policy Proposal

Joe Fantauzzi: GOOD READING: @camilacore on the political economy of Uber in Toronto

Today, taxi drivers are demonstrating in Toronto over the city dragging its heels on regulating Uber. Cabbies have also let the politicians at Queen’s Park know how they feel. Ontario also has not moved to regulate Uber. The following post has … . . . → Read More: Joe Fantauzzi: GOOD READING: @camilacore on the political economy of Uber in Toronto

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dix choses à savoir sur les défis associés avec mettre fin à l’itinérance au Canada

Le 18 novembre, j’ai fait une présentation sur les défis en ce qui concerne « mettre fin à l’itinérance » au Canada au 7 Cities Leadership Summit à Edmonton. Ma présentation, illustrée de diapositives, peut être téléchargée ici. Voici dix choses à savoir en tant que défis concernant « mettre fin à l’itinérance » au Canada. […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dix choses à savoir sur les défis associés avec mettre fin à l’itinérance au Canada

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Kaylie Tiessen offers some important lessons from Ontario’s child poverty strategy – with the most important one being the importance of following through. And Christian Ledwell encourages Prince Edward Isl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things to Know About the Challenges of Ending Homelessness in Canada

On November 18, I gave a presentation on “ending homelessness” at the 7 Cities Leadership Summit in Edmonton. My PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here.

Here are ten things to know about “ending homelessness” in Canada:

1. In 2008, Calgary became the first Canadian municipality to publicly commit to “ending homelessness.” More than a dozen other Canadian municipalities have since followed suit, with Medicine Hat’s Mayor recently claiming that his municipality has indeed “ended homelessness.” Such plans have the potential to raise awareness and focus collective efforts to develop new practices focused on ending homelessness. I think one (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Randy Robinson points out that while it’s worth setting a higher bar for all kinds of precarious work, it’s particularly problematic for governments to try to attack protections for the people charged with delivering public services: These are many more examples of public sector jobs gone bad. And let’s not forget all the contracted-out services paid for by government but now delivered by private employers. When it comes to these services, government is no different from any company that aims to dodge union wages for its “non-core” functions by sending work to the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Ontario Slaps SLAPPs

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that has the goal of shutting down opponents. They tend to be used as a strategy to shut down poor NGOs or poor people who can’t afford to defend themselves in a lengthy legal battle. SLAPPs tie up the courts while shutting down debate – bad for democracy and bad for all of society.

Ontario has joined many other parts of the world in passing legislation to stop SLAPPs.

The new act, which will become law in Ontario upon Royal Assent, contains a number of elements that will (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is politics really a team sport?

In the Pearson-Trudeau era of Liberal politics in Canada the chief political apparatchik of the times was the later Senator Keith Davey. He was a friend and a mentor. He often told us that the greatest political failing in politics is loyalty. It was only after he departed into the fog of Alzheimer that we understood what he meant.

This thought comes to us when reading about one of the new federal Liberal cabinet members from Quebec who is a political neophyte. He considers his greatest challenge is to remember that politics is a team effort. Yes it is. What (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Shrug this off Mother Goose!

It seems that Ontario’s ruling Whigs are going to sell off a portion of Hydro One come hell or high water. Ontario voters are hearing of this continued determination after the newly appointed financial accountability officer for the province has warned that the province will be in even worse financial straits after the sale of the crown utility. Mother Goose—in the person of Premier Kathleen Wynne—has been reported as merely shrugging off the advice of her own appointee. She is treating the person paid to advise the Legislature in these matters as cavalierly as she treats the Ontario opposition parties.

(Read more…)