• Let me tell you how Basic Income can achieve savings in other areas, such as healthcare and housing supports.

    Looking the Basic Income Gift Horse in the Mouth

    Both the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa and the Wynne Government at Queen’s Park in Toronto have been making noises of late on the subject of Basic Income. The last Ontario Budget, in fact, declared an intention to carry out a pilot project in a community still to be announced. While no clear details are yet … Keep reading »

  • Toronto Police Budget

    Toronto’s Homeless Shelters Bursting at the Seams

    On Wednesday, February 17, a mass delegation of members and supporters of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) marched to Toronto City Hall. We brought with us copies of a report we had put together called Out in the Cold: The Crisis in Toronto’s Shelter System. The City Council was putting the finishing touches to … Keep reading »

  • Raise the rates

    The Austerity Agenda in Sheep’s Clothing

    As we go into the New Year with Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government in place, it’s worth noting that the struggle against poverty in Toronto now unfolds with a complete set of federal, provincial and municipal regimes all seeking to position themselves politically as moderate if not progressive. This has particular implications and poses particular challenges … Keep reading »

  • Community Resistance to the War on the Poor: The Online Course

    Justin Podur interviews John Clarke and A.J. Withers In January 2016, John Clarke and A.J. Withers will be teaching the online course, “Community Resistance to the War on the Poor,” at the World Institute for Social Change, an experiment in online courses for the left sponsored by Znet. The course will present an overview of a … Keep reading »

  • The Fight Against Street Deaths in Toronto

    The twin agendas of urban redevelopment and austerity have increased the scale of the homeless crisis in Toronto. Over 4,000 people cram into the emergency shelters every night and many more try to survive out on the streets. This situation raises the question of what lengths the agenda of austerity can be taken to. If … Keep reading »

  • An Unconditional Citizen’s Income

    In these straitened times, the idea of a basic income, granted unconditionally to every citizen, from cradle to grave, feels utopian. How on earth could it be paid for, we wonder. Wouldn’t everyone just stop working? Where would we be then? I first came across it, in the optimistic late 1960s, in a form that … Keep reading »

  • Fair Wages Now!

    Toronto — 18 June 2014. Our fight for a $14 minimum wage continues no matter who gets elected! On June 18, the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage rallied in front of the Ministry of Labour for a delegation visit to present the thousands of signatures we have collected from community members across Ontario calling … Watch video »

  • Austerity and the Attack on Disability Benefits

    Facing Resistance In Ontario At the beginning of this month, Ted McMeekin, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services, informed the provincial Legislature that his government will not be merging Ontario Works (OW) with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Given that the Liberal’s own 2012 Report of the Commission for the Review of Social … Keep reading »

  • Poor People’s History of East Downtown Toronto

    Toronto — 14 September 2013. For close to two centuries East Downtown Toronto has welcomed the unemployed, homeless and working poor. Infrastructures to support the unemployed, some of which date back to the establishment of Toronto first poor house to the 1830s, are now being threatened and dismantled by the city to make room for … Watch video »

  • Austerity Agenda Targets the Disabled

    The recent Ontario provincial budget did not do very much to uphold Kathleen Wynne‘s claim to the title of ‘Social Justice Premier.’ Most of those on social assistance received an increase in their benefits that was below the rate of inflation while no increase whatsoever was provided to those subsisting on the minimum wage. Modest … Keep reading »

  • Brighter Prospects — For Cheap Labour

    OCAP Statement on the Report of the Commission for theReview of Social Assistance in Ontario Over the last eighteen years, people on social assistance in Ontario have seen their real income levels fall by 56 per cent. For the last nine years, the Liberal Government of Dalton McGunity, while actually pushing people deeper into poverty, has … Keep reading »

  • Economic Crisis and Austerity: The Stranglehold on Canada’s Families

    The claim that economic crises and austerity have an uneven impact on the working-class – with the greatest effects being felt by women and children – is one we hear often on the Left. However, with some important exceptions, this claim is all too often just an aside or a footnote. In this article, I … Keep reading »