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Budget wish list: Basic income, affordable housing, a green economy and more

in Editorials by
Budget wish list: Basic income, affordable housing, a green economy and more

All eyes are on Chrystia Freeland now as Canada’s finance minister gets set to table the nation’s first budget in two years. Here are a few things we hope to see.

Basic income: The Liberals’ own grassroots and many MPs are interested in this forward-thinking policy, as are the NDP and Green Party. This policy would be the linchpin in a plan to eliminate poverty. Time to put faith in an upstream policy – getting to the source of social policy ills, which is often income — that will prevent poverty and poor health.

Pharmacare: Universal pharmacare is the missing piece of Tommy Douglas’s Medicare legacy. We want everyone to have access to a common list of drugs and free from co-pays.

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‘Basic Income Plus’ could be even more ambitious

in Letters to the Editor by

I love the policy proposals in your recent editorial regarding Basic Income Plus, although I think it could be even more ambitious.

We must demand it be implemented at the federal level and funded with federal dollars. Canadians should not be burdened with the costs of much-needed reforms that are long overdue – and we don’t have to be.

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Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

in Editorials by
Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

Pandemics force us to take stock of our values in society; they clarify our sense of mortality and reveal how strong or weak our social fabric is.

More sensitized to our common humanity now, we must organize our economy to care for one another better.

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Billionaires equate to failed public policy

in Opinion by
Billionaires equate to failed public policy

As our people and small businesses hold on for their lives and livelihoods, many are looking on, wondering what happened to the grand promise of unfettered capitalism.

What happened to the promise of endless growth? Of the greatness of the free market?

The sheer inadequacy of the market to respond to this pandemic, the utter weakness of big business to pull us out of this mess is itself a master lesson in economics.

It’s also an indictment of extreme capitalism.

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Federal election Q & A with Elizabeth Fraser of the Green Party of Canada

in Federal by
Federal election Q & A with Elizabeth Fraser of the Green Party of Canada

Roderick Benns recently interviewed the PPC, Conservative, Liberal, Green, and NDP candidates for Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Brock riding to help voters make an informed decision leading up to the election in October. In our fourth installment is Elizabeth Fraser from the Green Party of Canada.

Benns: Can you highlight a policy of your party that will lead to increased employment and increased average income in our riding?

Fraser: One of the Green’s economic policies which could be applied in the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock as a way of increasing employment is the Green Venture Capital Fund. This fund is part of the Green Party’s focus on small businesses and would provide support for small local green businesses.

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Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

in Health/Social Issues by
Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

I always feel a little anxious sitting in the dentist chair, but fortunately I usually only need a cleaning. One thing I never worried about was paying for our family’s dental visits. Prescription drug coverage, dental care and other health care options were part of a benefits package my family received through my spouse’s unionized workplace. Why would I not wish that peace of mind for everyone?

Taking care of our bodies is a human need, but we have yet to make a commitment to a comprehensive health care system for everyone regardless of work status or income. Dental care and prescription drug coverage is both essential and expensive. Many people however, do not receive benefits through their workplace and cannot afford private insurance. Others remain on social assistance rather than take a low wage job without benefits.

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Benns’ Belief: The absurdity of equating jobs with work

in Opinion by

Twelve issues ago Joli and I launched The Lindsay Advocate as a monthly magazine (and online publication) that would focus on the social and economic wellness of Kawartha Lakes. (It’s actually been a year and a half for our news site).

Wellness, to us, starts with big picture policy. It means we advocate for progressive social policies that will improve Canadian society. It also means we advocate for our small businesses as the engine of our local economy; the best form of capitalism is local and community-based, not corporate and faceless.

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Local labour leader sees progress but says work isn’t yet done

in Social Issues by
For the record: What did Laurie/Jamie do? (Oct. 5, 2018)

James Mulhern, president of the Lindsay and District Labour Council, remembers the old Labour Day picnics they used to hold 22 years ago. About 10-15 people would show up and wave the flag for fairer wages and better working conditions.

Back then there were better jobs, though, it being just the start of the globalization and privatization wave across Canada and the U.S. that would gut massive numbers of good, full-time, middle class jobs.

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