Unfortunately, good intentions and unwavering ethics alone do not suffice, for, if more and more journalists churn out such uninformed work, more and more consumers of it will be deluded into thinking that traditionally accepted research has been proven wrong or that they need not consider the evidence that runs against their views when thinking about policy.
It's been two decades since the Alberta government exited the business of selling beer, wine and spirits to consumers and the result is vastly improved product selection, better customer service and price-competition. But the President of Ontario's The Beer Store has warned that if Ontario treads this path, there will be more societal problems.
On February 11, Kathleen Wynne held a Reddit "Ask me Anything" session. It was the Ontario premier's attempt to connect to the younger generation and respond to their concerns,but she failed miserably. Wynne's session lasted less than an hour and she only responded to 10 questions, all of which sounded like pre-drafted, generic answers. That left 1505 comments without responses. To attempt to make up for her disappointment, Wynne promised she would answer one additional question per day for the rest of the week. But the damage had already been done.
Kathleen Wynne raised the minimum wage -- yet another clear case of politics trumping evidence in the setting of government policy. Minimum wage legislation has been studied ad nauseam so there's plenty of evidence to draw upon. And the vast majority of that evidence shows increasing the minimum wage does little to help impoverished families and often hurts the most vulnerable workers.
It seems that every day I hear a story in which the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is the villain. Whether it's a ruling that threatens our health and environment or one that ignores fair process and transparency, the OMB has figured out how to upset more people more of the time than any other agency out there.
Equalization is the federal government program ostensibly designed to help provinces provide roughly equal government services. Last year, Ottawa transferred $15.4 billion in equalization payments to six "poor" provinces, known as "have-nots." Ontario's entry into the equalization program back in 2009/10 -- think of a big sumo wrestler at a soup kitchen--resulted in a massive shift in dependency in Canada, and that portends future divisive debates. Now, 24.7 million people, or 71 per cent of the population live in a province that receives an equalization cheque from the federal government. This is a problem.
Relieved of most of his civic responsibilities, Rob Ford is occupying his time by campaigning for re-election and torturing the premier. He's got her over a barrel, and he knows it. Premier Wynne, on the other hand, has nothing to gain in this dispute. She'd love to dodge it, but Ford won't let her. She can't be seen to reinforce Ford's misbehaviour by ignoring it and meeting with him. But, she can't stand up and publicly disenfranchise a democratically elected civic leader, especially one whose electoral mandate dwarfs hers 15 times over.
By the end of this month the federal pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), is expected to approve Enbridge's proposal for its 38-year old Line 9 oil pipeline in Ontario and Quebec, which would carry shale oil -- known for its propensity to explode as it did in North Dakota. With that in mind, the province of Ontario must hold its ground on Line 9 and ensure its demands for a safer pipeline are met.
Canada's short-term economic prospects are good, but the outlook, both medium and long-term, is another story. That's because Canada's biggest competitive disadvantage are its politicians. Most function like trust fund brats, lacking the mindset or skills to steward or protect the national endowment. Here's my political wish list for 2014
Another year has come and gone and Ontario's weak public finances remain largely unchanged. The provincial government did little to improve its fiscal position in 2013 and recently signalled it intends to continue with debt-financed spending into the New Year. But the status quo isn't serving Ontarians well. For 2014, the government should chart a new course that places provincial finances on a more sound footing. That would be a much-needed New Year's resolution for Canada's largest province.
In December, when Kellogg's announced that it would be closing its doors, London's economy was hit with a devastating blow. In February 2012, more than 450 workers found themselves out of work when Electro-Motive Diesel closed. In 2013 alone, more than 33,000 factory jobs were lost and this trend is likely to continue.
ntario Premier Kathleen Wynne published an op-ed in the Toronto Star yesterday titled "What the government -- and its critics -- can learn from the ice storm." It fails miserably as a thoughtful after-action lessons-learned contribution, but is reasonably passable as a partisan campaign ad. But, governments and their critics, including Premier Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and their respective supporters, detractors and civil servants, can and should learn a lot from the recent ice storm that hobbled North America's fourth largest city. I fear they may not.
Whether you're a billionaire, a small business owner, a student, or a retiree, I hope that you will make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer in your community. I can promise you that the personal benefits will be at least as great, and probably more long-lasting, than giving up chocolate or joining a gym!
This month, the Ontario Association of Food Banks released their annual Hunger Report, highlighting the prevalence of food bank use and the need for emergency food services in this province. This past March, 375,789 Ontarians accessed a food bank. As you finish up your holiday shopping, please remember that there are so many Canadians going without this festive season.
I'm deeply disappointed by the news that Heinz is closing its Leamington processing plant. For over 100 years that plant made ketchup from tomatoes grown on Ontario farms. Support for local food processing is not only about securing jobs, it's also about investing in the economy we want. The Liberal government must take action to support our food processing sector.
On this day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women, I donate to our women's shelters, and light candles in remembrance of many: all those I have known who have been hurt by a family member, a partner, a friend, an acquaintance; all those who are still struggling to escape the violence; and all those who are slowly healing.
With the holiday season fast approaching many are thinking about having friends and family over for a dinner party. What better way to celebrate the season than having a swanky dinner party? With the dinner party in mind, we decided to check in with Toronto's home entertaining maven, Dee Brun, a.k.a., the Cocktail Deeva to solicit her advice on throwing the ultimate party.