Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Child Care'

We’re Splitsville on Income Splitting…Now What?

February 14th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Child Care, Satire, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Uncategorized

Well, that was awkward.

Oh, sorry—I’m not talking about how the federal government, in a remarkable display of self-satire, cut short debate on the Fair Elections Act (or as I like to call it: “Democracy 2.0: Abridged too far”).

And, tempting as it is, I’m not hinting at the recent PBO analysis that demonstrates, directly contradicting the Treasury Board’s 18 days estimate, how sick leave in the Federal public service is virtually identical to the 11 days per year that private sector workers take.

Nor am I referring to the Federal Budget’s youth internship programs that, at best, address the needs of 1% of unemployed youth.

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Leaving Children Out in the Cold

August 23rd, 2013 · · Child Care, Economy & Economic Indicators, Uncategorized

child knittingApparently people get all subjective when they talk about children. Thank goodness we have economists. Not those crazy “social welfare” people who are “lobbying the state for more resources for families with children.” Real economists. With real facts. Economists like Christopher Sarlo, from the Fraser Institute, who published a real report (The Cost of Raising Children) on the real cost of raising children in Canada.

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Stealth Ski-Doos and the Price of Milk: What does the Arctic want?

August 20th, 2013 · · Aboriginal Issues, Child Care, Economy & Economic Indicators, Environment, Gender Equality

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember that uncle who gave you a remote control car for Christmas and then played with it himself all day? Not that you wanted a remote control car. But still, who was that present for anyway?

Well, Prime Minister Harper is up north again and he’s got a wicked stealth snowmobile and a big bag of priorities for Canada’s Arctic. Top of the list: Arctic sovereignty and economic development. On his first stop of the tour this year Harper lauded the “hardy, industrious people from all over the world, who, digging for gold, ended up digging the foundations for an increasingly powerful northern economy.” To that gold-digging end, the Prime Minister’s visit to the Arctic has included the announcement of all kinds of new goodies for the north – training (to work in extractive industries), jobs (in extractive industries), roads to resources (in extractive industries).

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Tall Tales at Tax Time: Meet Thomas and Colleen

April 26th, 2013 · · Child Care, Federal Budget, Gender Equality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

There is a nice little story tucked in to the pages of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013. It’s a sweet tale of Thomas and Colleen and their two children. (I like to imagine those little stick-figure stickers on the back of their mini-van waving hello to their friends in happy economic-action-plan-land). This story is called “Canadian families keep more of their hard-earned dollars as a result of the government’s actions to reduce the tax burden.”


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New Shoes and a Haircut: Budget 2013 not so pretty for women in Canada

March 21st, 2013 · · Child Care, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Gender Equality

The Finance Minister got a new pair of shoes. Canadians got a new federal budget. And women in Canada got another haircut.

Budget 2013 is all about Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! And who wouldn’t like a job. Maybe some training. Maybe even a full-time job. With benefits. And a pension plan. Oh go crazy, let’s throw in equal pay.

Not so fast girls! NO JOB FOR YOU!

Why not?

1. Women and the Extractive Industry

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How To Fix Income Inequality

June 6th, 2012 · · Aboriginal Issues, Child Care, Education, Employment and Labour, Housing, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Trish Hennessy is Director of Strategic Issues with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Several polls released this spring reveal the extent of concern among Canadians about worsening income inequality.

Most Canadians say that deep income inequality undermines Canadian values. The majority of Canadians tell pollsters they would support political leadership to reverse the trend.

But what, some ask, can be done about income inequality?

I turned to leading thinkers on this issue – starting with our own stable of experts from the CCPA, but broadening out to experts in housing, employment, taxes, child care, and poverty reduction – and asked them to submit an idea they think would contribute to reducing inequality.

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Political Apathy and Voter Suppression: Who are the real slackers?

April 17th, 2012 · · Child Care, Democracy, Education, Quebec, Satire, Youth

Haven’t you heard? Canada’s in deep trouble.

No, it’s not rising inequality. Or stagnant incomes. (That growing gap between the rich and the rest of us is so last week.)

The environment? Whatever.

A decimated workforce? Aboriginal poverty? Public sector layoffs? The attack on worker rights? Not even close.

Do none of you read the papers? The real issue—the one we need to spend acres of newsprint agonizing over—is the sorry state of our youth (just ask Margaret Wente or Bill Morrison).

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HST cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future

April 5th, 2012 · · Child Care, Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

The Nova Scotia government has just announced that it will cut the HST by 1% next year and 1% the following year. This cut will reverse the 2% increase the government imposed in order to assist it to achieve a balanced budget. Increasing the HST was part of a four year plan to balance the budget, which included increasing taxes and cutting spending. Since this government came into office in 2009, its mantra has been that the government of Nova Scotia needs to “live within its means.” But this focus has detracted from the bigger questions we should focus on during budget time and all throughout a government’s mandate: what does and what should government do for Nova Scotians and how will it pay for what it needs to do? What is its vision?

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Alternative Federal Budget 2012: A budget for the rest of us

March 15th, 2012 · · Aboriginal Issues, Child Care, Cities, Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Education, Employment and Labour, Employment Insurance, Environment, Federal Budget, Gender Equality, Health Care, Housing, Human Rights, Immigration, International Relations, Military, Peace & Conflict, Pensions, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Youth

Canada’s job market remains stalled and Canadians are understandably anxious about their future, and increasingly question whether their children and grandchildren will do better than they did.  In fact, the latest job numbers have revealed that tens of thousands of Canadians have lost hope and given up looking for a work. Compound that with the federal governments’ decision to close youth employment centres at a time when Canada’s youth unemployment levels are disturbingly high, and you have a threat to the economy that you cannot ignore.

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New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

February 26th, 2012 · · Child Care, Education, Poverty and Income Inequality, Youth

This guest blog was written by Mike Marin and Anouk Dey. It originally appeared in the Toronto Star on February 24. The authors are part of a team that produced the report Prospering Together (in English and in French).

What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? Most people, including the campers and coders themselves, would probably say very little. But, while the message coming out of Robson Square and St. James Park last fall was about economic justice, it is highly relevant to economic growth as well.

Canada’s high levels of inequality and poverty don’t just erode social cohesion, but also jeopardize our ability to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.

Last week, the Drummond report correctly observed that, in the 21st century, “education and innovation will be the key for Ontarians to be prosperous.” But it is important to recognize that “education and innovation” aren’t just the product of classrooms and laboratories; they are nurtured through favourable social conditions that are incompatible with elevated levels of inequality and poverty.

There is substantial evidence that “human capital” — the knowledge and skills that make people innovative — is socially determined. For example, children in less equal countries have lower math and literacy scores than their peers in more equal countries. In addition, the crucial period for human capital development is early childhood, and making the most of it depends largely on family circumstances.

But human capital isn’t just about intellectual ability. A person’s health is also an important factor, both in terms of educational outcomes and productivity. Thus inequality and poverty, which are both associated with poor health outcomes, are worrying from an innovation standpoint as well. Likewise, studies show that a person’s social relationships — which are a source of mentorship, employment, and investment — are negatively affected by inequality and poverty.

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