Policy

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Food Banks Can't Do It Alone

Canada's poorest communities are least able to address the effects of poverty with a charitable response. As the rate of poverty in a given community increases, the number of donors available to support charitable efforts - and the ability of charities to address the effects of poverty - decreases.
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Northern Hunger Won't Disappear With The Snow

In the territories, nearly one in five households has trouble getting enough food to eat. In Nunavut, this figure rises to half of all households -- a truly staggering number. This situation is the result of many factors, including the high cost of food and very high rates of poverty, particularly within indigenous communities. The effects of the residential school trauma, decreasing access to traditional foods, and the high cost of hunting add complexity to the problem.
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Bring The House Back Early And Give Canada Answers

How many times did we hear the media complain that the Conservatives used talk points all the time, often reading them from prepared scripts? We are now starting to see the Liberals doing the same thing. When asked about the need to get our downward spiraling economy moving, Trudeau's stock answer was, "We are going to do this right. We are going to do this responsibly." The only thing lacking was a piece of paper while he read the answer. For the party that promised to do things differently, it is much of the same. We haven't seen anything concrete to address the sinking dollar or get the economy moving.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

We Need a National Housing Strategy

My patient reminded me that day of something that I have always known -- access to housing is not just a matter of rights and justice, it's also a matter of health. When his mental health deteriorates, he can indeed access the hospital care he needs, but if providing him access to housing can help keep him healthier, costs us less, and is the right thing to do, then why not do it for everyone? This federal election, when we vote, we must vote for housing for all, and no matter who is elected, we must call on them to take action immediately.
CP

How Tories Bully Charities and Abuse Power

Canadian charities are experiencing an "advocacy chill" and changing the way they go about their work as a result of what they say is "bullying" by the Harper Conservative government. My just completed Master's thesis research finds that the denunciatory rhetoric of government ministers against charities, followed by stepped up audits is having its toll not only on charity operations, but also on the strength of Canada's public discussions and thus on the vigor of democracy itself.
Kyla Zanardi

Detroit: A DIY Food Truck Paradise

When I was told to that Detroit was on the agenda for cities being featured on Season 2 of Rebel Without A Kitchen I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it. But being in Detroit, eating in Detroit and being a part of Detroit's vibrant up-and-coming street-food and art scene actually paints a very different picture of the city.
Kickstarter

Federal Arts Funding Should Take a Page From Kickstarter's Book

In just a few short years, relatively simple technology that enables people to find like-minded individuals with similar tastes in artwork, has eclipsed and then surpassed a 50 year old institution of government. Hopefully, governments will learn the lessons of other industries and choose to embrace this technological advancement for what it is -- the democratization of art
Getty

Women and Work: Rethinking Parental Leave in Canada

A recent study found executives of both sexes consider the tension between work and family to be primarily a women's problem. The official theme for International Women's Day 2014 is "equality for women is progress for all." Let's do exactly that by supporting progressive policies for women, and new opportunities for men and families.
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What Immigrant Mothers Lose When You Split Their Families

People who have lost their mothers know how profoundly painful and life-changing that loss is. Many immigrants and refugees experience that loss through separation from their mothers in the process of migration. Some mothers migrate before their children, and some children before their mothers. Whatever the process, that separation has a devastating impact on mothers and children.

The Changing Canadian Identity

A common misconception by most Canadians is that all immigrants (regardless of country of origin, religious background, ethnicity) face a common set of experiences (opportunities and challenges) as a group. There-in lies the basis of misunderstanding of the immigrant phenomenon by most Canadian-born residents.

The Boomers Are Coming, Is Canada's Policy Ready?

One of Canada's biggest public policy challenges is a coming wave of retiring baby boomers. This will increase the draw on Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan, and other social programs such as health care while the number of workers left to fund it all will shrink. To enhance economic performance and boost productivity, governments have reached into their policy playbooks.