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Montreal Simon: The Real Threat Stephen Harper Doesn’t Want to Talk About

Well there was Stephen Harper yesterday, standing in front of a wall of PROTECT signs, defending his miserly response to the refugee crisis.And playing the politics of fear.Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is defending his government’s approach to the Syrian refugee crisis as “generous and responsible.” And he took aim at the Liberals and New Democrats for what he branded as their “reckless” promises to throw open Canada’s doors to assist with the humanitarian crisis.But of course he would, because he knows that issue is working for him, and he is only following the orders of his Australian attack (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada

This afternoon I gave a presentation at Raising the Roof’s Child & Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit in Toronto. My slide deck can be downloaded here. To accompany the presentation, I’ve prepared the following list of “Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada.”

1.Efforts to enumerate persons experiencing homeless have generally been spotty, but it is reasonable to assert that homelessness in Canada saw substantial growth in the 1980s and 1990s. On a nightly basis in Toronto, there were about 1,000 persons per night staying in emergency shelters in 1980. By 1990, that figure had doubled. And (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dix Choses à Savoir sur l’Itinérance au Canada

Cet après-midi, j’ai fait une présentation au Child & Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit, organisé par Chez Toit, à Toronto. Ma presentation, illustrée de diapositives, peut être téléchargée ici. Pour accompagner la présentation, je vous ai préparé la liste suivante des « Dix choses à savoir sur l’itinérance au Canada. »

1. Les tentatives de dénombrer les personnes en situation d’itinérance ont généralement été intermittentes, mais il est raisonnable d’affirmer que l’itinérance au Canada a connu une croissance importante entre 1980 et 2000. Sur une base quotidienne à Toronto, il y avait environ 1,000 personnes par nuit séjournant dans (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Con War on Pensions and Seniors

I've written a lot of posts about the Stephen Harper and his Great Con War on Pensions and Seniors for a couple of very simple reasons.I like old people, I work and care for them all the time. I see far too many of them suffering the indignities of poverty in a country as rich as Canada. I will not remain quiet when so many are suffering in silence.And of course I loathe and despise foul bullies like Jesus Harper with every bone in my body.So now I'm writing another post, because as Martin Regg Cohn writes, (Read more…)

Left Over: Seniors! Sweet Serfdom Awaits!

Seniors going bankrupt in soaring numbers More Canadians are outliving their savings and spending their golden years in debt

By Sophia Harris, CBC News Posted: Jun 29, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 29, 2015 6:54 AM ET


This is a great article for those seniors lucky enough to have owned their own homes..wait until the seniors who rent are left homeless due to ever rising costs (including rent..) If the powers that be were interested in anything besides their corporate donors, subsidized housing would be in the forefront..and nationalization of municipal and provincial as well (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Con Pension Scam

You might think that Stephen Harper has done enough to hurt poor seniors. By making them wait until they are sixty-seven to receive Old Age Security payments. And treating our veterans like dirt.You might think that his Great Con Debate scam would have satiated his corrupt instincts.But no, now he has ordered his dilapidated stooge Joe Oliver to flog a phony pension scam. Read more »

Progressive Proselytizing: Justin Trudeau’s tax plan is good policy and great politics

Going as far back as Justin Trudeau’s leadership election, he has consistently kept his major campaign planks close to the vest. Little tidbits, like the policy on marijuana, come out in carefully crafted morsels, but for the most part we are left guessing at what his first federal election campaign platform will be based on the vague rhetorical positioning his team has let out over the last year.  Finally, however, we have some clarity. Trudeau has announced a big series of changes to tax policy. They do a couple things. Firstly, they reverse the two much criticized regressive new (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Seniors are not a good reason for doubling TFSA limit

After years of being promised whenever the federal books got balanced, it looks like the next Harper budget is indeed going to double the contribution for Tax Free Savings Accounts. This policy has long been criticized – including by me – for being a policy that disproportionately provides advantages for the rich. Indeed, the number of people capable of putting aside over $10k in savings per year while working are fairly limited. Today in parliament, Finance Minister Joe Oliver has hit back against these criticisms, effectively pointing out that there is another big group of people who are already (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lawrence Ezrow writes that the disconnect between the public and policymaking that’s done so much harm to the U.S. isn’t quite as severe in more equal countries. And the Equality Trust is looking to ensure that the UK’s political parties make the reduction of inequality into a core policy objective.

- Jordon Cooper comments on Saskatchewan’s desperate need for a seniors’ care plan – rather than the current practice of matching photo ops with selloffs and failing services. And Robert McMurtry reminds us of the dire need for a strong federal (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Doubling Contributions To The Tax Free Savings Account: Even Nastier Than Income Splitting

The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians as well as for the economy as a whole.

Let’s unpack the government’s arguments one by one:

1. The TFSA helps people save

The evidence certainly doesn’t support this statement. TFSAs first saw the light of day in January 2009 at a time when the savings rate had already been climbing (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Shabby Treatment of Our Seniors

It was just a small story but it really bothered me. And it made me fear for this country's future.For just like I can't stand the way the brutish Harperite cult treats our veterans.I cannot countenance living in a Canada where our seniors are treated like this.

For that's not just an assault on the health of old people, it's an assault on their dignity. It makes you wonder how many others are being treated that way.And what I fear the most is that it's just a harbinger of worse things to come.Read more »

Left Over: November Is the Cruelest month…

Unable to find affordable housing, 82-year-old living in Victoria shelter


All I want is a room somewhere

Far away from the cold night air

With one enormous chair…..

Ah, wouldn’t that be loverly?

I have been indulging myself in creepy fantasies of just this sort of thing happening to me, and others like me..

I am lucky to have a partial pension from work, but it doesn’t do very far, and it just covers my rent (but not utilities…)

I realize that, compared to this woman, I am doing okay, (Read more…)

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Superfoods for Super-Seniors and Their Caregivers

By Felicity Dryer Being a caregiver is usually not easy. You have to be emotionally, mentally and physically strong so that you can support those who require your care. Your food choices can both help you excel in your line of work, as well as be beneficial to keep in mind for those under your care. Here are some nutritious superfoods to add to your regular diet. Blueberries When you’ve been working long hours and you’re exhausted, blueberries can help you to perk up because they’re high in antioxidants. They’re healthier than reaching for sugar-loaded foods that will just zap (Read more…) . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Superfoods for Super-Seniors and Their Caregivers

Montreal Simon: The Community Mailbox Scandal and the Doctor’s Revolt

As you probably know, from now on in Harperland if you're old or disabled, or can't walk for miles or clamber over a snow drift to get to your ugly new community mailbox.If you want home delivery, you have to get a doctor's note.Not CONada Post says because they don't trust seniors. But only because they care about their health, and want to know their "special needs."After all didn't they once suggest it might be an "exercise opportunity?"

But sadly, or scandalously, it seems those wretched suits forgot to check with Canada's doctors, and they're not happy.Read more »

Montreal Simon: Why I Might Vote for the Liberals in the Ontario Election.

With just two days before the Ontario election, and still not having decided whether to vote for the NDP or the Liberals, I decided to check out the lawn signs on the island, which is part of Trinity-Spadina riding.And the results were no surprise. The island is still mostly orange, with a touch of green. The only blue signs are the ones from the No Jets at the Toronto Island Airport campaign.And between that and the hypnotic scent of the giant ORANGE poppies…

For a moment I thought I might be able to vote for the NDP, for sentimental (Read more…)

Left Over: Harper: The Working Class Can Kiss My….


Minimum wage in Canada: One woman’s story No fancy meals and no vacations: ‘I am working poor’

CBC News Posted: Jan 14, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 14, 2014 7:06 AM ET



This is an article that could have been written forty-odd years ago, when I arrived on Canada’s doorstep as an immigrant. Knew that I would have to start at the bottom because citizens got the preferred jobs…and that was acceptable to me.

Over the years, I worked at several not-so-great jobs, got a University degree…and immediately found my final job as a labourer..a (Read more…) Still not listening to cities.

The Redford Conservatives may have changed Municipal Affairs ministers but they have not changed the way they’re engaging with cities. One of the key complaints of Nenshi and urban dwellers throughout Alberta is that our tax system is fundamentally flawed for cities. We have an outdated system of collecting taxes at the local municipal level […]

ParliamANT Hill: Minister sorry for remarks about hungry children

Inspired by these headlines: and

Left Over: More Layoffs/Less Service? Happy Holidays!

Canada Post to phase out urban home mail delivery Up to 8,000 jobs will be cut, while cost of stamps is going up

CBC News Posted: Dec 11, 2013 9:37 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 11, 2013 11:53 AM ET


There is something the Feds find irresistible about throwing out some bad news when they are under the gun already from some other bad news…if it’s ugly, anti-worker and beyond inconvenient for the general public, why, it must be Christmastime in Canada, and Emperor Steve, once again, bestows his reverse benevolence on us all..

Just too fascinating..hope the Feds (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Con War on the Canada Pension Plan

It's my nightmare vision of a Con jungle. A country full of seniors living in poverty and misery. A country where the old and the poor have no present, and the young have no future.A nightmare that became even more real today, when the Cons killed an NDP proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan.Even though a recent study showed that Canada is the only OECD country where seniors are getting getting poorer, and the government is doing less and less to help them.

And the only good thing I can see, is that some seniors are (Read more…)

Left Over: ‘Trade Deal’ Sure Isn’t the “New Deal”


5 ways the Canada-EU trade deal will impact Canadians

By Susana Mas, CBC News Posted: Oct 18, 2013 9:16 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 19, 2013 8:03 AM ET



I trust Harper even less than I trusted Mulroney, and I didn’t trust him at all… Why is something so ‘momentous’ not put to a referendum in this country? Why do we not get the facts long before these sorts of agreements are signed, sealed and delivered? Probably because, just like NAFTA, the bad far outweighs the ‘good’… I notice that all our prices of goods are more expensive than (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness Policy

This afternoon, I gave a presentation on public policy responding to homelessness in Canada, with a focus on the past decade. I gave the presentation at this year’s annual conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.

Points I made in the presentation include the following:

-Once inflation is accounted for, the current annual value of federal funding for homelessness programming (now known as the Homelessness Partnering Strategy) has eroded to roughly 36% of its original value (that is, its value in 1999 when it was known as the National Homelessness Initiative).

-In recent years, it has become trendy (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Eyes Have It

This summer my mother was diagnosed with macular degeneration. There is no cure. It is irreversible. It simply progresses. Science has some hope for future cures, and has some treatments to slow the progress, but a cure likely won’t come soon enough for her. At 93, one expects that the body will fail, that organs […]

Montreal Simon: 80-year-old Woman Tasered in Ontario

I must admit I didn't think that police in Otario could stoop any lower than the public execution of Sammy Yatim. For its senseless brutality stunned me. But then so does this. Ontario's police watchdog is investigating after officers deployed a Taser on an 80-year-old woman in Mississauga, Ont. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: BC’s wheelchair fee for seniors in long-term care facilities not fair: Researcher

Janine Farrell, a seniors care researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, explains why the recently announced $25/month user fee for wheelchairs used by people in long-term care facilities in BC is not fair.

The post BC’s wheelchair fee for seniors in long-term care facilities not fair: Researcher appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.