- Karen Foster and Tamara Krawchenko discuss how policy can - and should - be designed to improve intergenerational equity:
Canada trails far behind other industrialized nations in its attention to intergenerational equity. The country could do far more to report on a carefully defined intergenerational equity, track progress, and target it in policy development. Studies in this area are conducted in an ad hoc manner rather than being built into a systemic and ongoing review process, but they point to growing gaps between young and old. We agree with Paul Kershaw of the lobby group Generation Squeeze, who writes: “we risk fostering intergenerational inequity if our governments continue to show less urgency in responding to challenges facing younger generations than we do in responding to challenges facing older Canadians.”- Patrick Butler reports on a U.N. inquiry concluding that the UK's needless austerity is infringing on the basic human rights of people living with disabilities.
We would take it one step further and urge policy-makers in Canada to take advantage of “generation’s” multiple meanings and dimensions. They should emphasize policies that mimic the relationships (kinship) that exist between different age groups, supporting the exchange of resources that occur between the old and the young over the course of their lives. This means carefully structuring the investments that people need at distinct points in their lives: public education, public pensions, parental leave, organized recreation, and so on.
Policy-makers should be careful to ensure that whatever policies are adopted under the banner of intergenerational equity are truly, equally targeted at supporting older and younger Canadians. Finally, although they should take care when forecasting and projecting into the future that they do not write cheques that future Canadians cannot cash, policy-makers also must resist the temptation to use intergenerational justice as an excuse for austerity.
- Scott Sinclair debunks the spin being used to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the public which will face worsening inequality, higher prices and deteriorating working conditions it if ever comes into effect.
- Yvette Brend reminds us how social conditions including geography and gender influence both opportunities and outcomes for children. And Tavia Grant reports on a massive increase in First Nation participation in Canada's census which will hopefully facilitate the development of evidence-based policy to improve living conditions, while the Ottawa Citizen weighs in on the need to stop delaying steps to end discrimination against indigenous peoples.
- Finally, Tanara Yelland outlines the recommendations of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness as to how to end homelessness in Canada.