Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Nick Falvo highlights some of the most important proposals in the CCPA's alternative federal budget (parentheticals omitted):
3. Introduce a national pharmacare program. This proposal would help address the fact that many Canadians simply cannot access prescription medication; it would also result in reduced premiums paid by employers for health benefits for their employees. This initiative would cost the federal government $11.5 billion annually, but would likely save Canadian households and employers almost as much.

4. Address involuntary part-time employment among women. Points raised in the gender equality chapter include the following: women perform considerably more unpaid work in the home than men; increasingly, many women who work part-time in Canada report doing so involuntarily; and among women working part-time involuntarily, half say a lack of available child care is the reason they’re not working full time. To help address these challenges, the chapter proposes both universal child care and paid paternity leave.

5. Reduce poverty. The AFB proposes earmarking $4.4 billion annually as a Goods and Services Tax credit top up for low-income Canadians. It further proposes that $4 billion annually be transferred to the provinces and territories for their poverty-reduction initiatives. Finally, it proposes that $3.5 billion in new funding be spent on affordable housing, noting that the federal government’s recently-unveiled National Housing Strategy represents a rather modest increase in new builds going forward
- Nicholas Davis wonders whether citizens are substantially devaluing democracy due to the perception that leaders don't reflect the interests of the people who vote for them. And John Doyle discusses how Ontario's PCs are going far out of their way to feed into public contempt and distrust.

- Trevor Tombe rightly argues for a closer examination of the cost of various means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But I would respond that he gets the conclusion exactly wrong: our final goal should be to reach a sustainably reduced level of emissions as quickly and efficiently as possible, not to merely determine a price and let the emissions (and their associated environmental harms) fall where they may.

- Meanwhile, Larry Hughes comments on the problem with relying on intensity targets which allow for - or even encourage - emission increases.And Sean Kavanagh reports that Manitoba has signed on to the federal government's existing emission reduction plan, leaving Saskatchewan again as the sole laggard.

- Finally, Simon Enoch neatly summarizes how P3 schemes have been proven to be a poor use of public resources (as well as a dangerous choice for the future of essential services).

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