Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Hannah Aldridge writes that we should be expecting far more from the provinces in taking care of people in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic - particularly since the federal government has absorbed so much of the fiscal cost of relief:
The EI changes have effectively created two income floors—one for those with recent work experience, and a much lower one for those furthest from the labour market.

This leaves an opportunity for provincial and territorial governments to step up and reinvest their savings from these changes in those left behind. They should extend and expand the temporary benefits that have been put into place to increase the supports provided to social assistance recipients.

If the provinces and territories do not invest this windfall in social assistance recipients, they will be reinforcing and exacerbating Canada’s two-tier system of supports—a more generous income floor for those with recent employment, and a barely livable one for those with the greatest disadvantages.

Provincial and territorial governments can’t hide behind the idea that they don’t have the money to do so, because the federal government has quietly given them the resources to support those left behind by the new measures.
- Abacus Data finds that parents are understandably wary of the return to school this fall. Marek Aukerman writes about the lack of transparency in Alberta's back-to-school plan. Amy Smart reports on a push for stronger protection for health and safety in British Columbia's return to classrooms. Lauren Pelley reports on the Toronto schools - largely concentrated in what are already disadvantaged areas - which face the greatest risk of transmission of COVID-19 this fall. Tyson Fedor reports on the push by Alberta's teachers and NDP to use available public building space to reduce class sizes. Joseph Allen, Jack Spengler and Jose Cedeño-Laurent note that opening windows may offer at least one means of making schools safer, while Jennifer Davis writes about the benefits of outdoor learning to the extent it's possible. Sherina Harris discusses how paid sick leave is a must for schools to be safe. And Julia Knope writes about the students with disabilities who may have no choice but to stay home due to a lack of planning for their well-being in reopening plans.

- Amit Arya, Amina Jabbar, Vivian Stamatopoulos write that improved staffing levels are a must to avoid another wave of COVID-19 deaths in care homes.

- Finally, Rita Trachur writes about Canada's continued status as a haven for money launderers.And Brad Setser offers a reminder that we have the option of addressing tax avoidance through trade agreements - if we care enough to put it on the same footing as corporate interests.

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