Locked down, not locked out: An eviction prevention plan for Ontario

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, provinces and territories have implemented eviction bans that protect tenants from the imminent threat of homelessness but do not prevent them from falling in arrears and being evicted once bans are lifted. Eviction bans contributed to the effectiveness of shelter-in-place emergency orders put in place to…
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Comparing provincial economic responses to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of collective responses via governments at all levels. The Canadian context of federalism, with a division of powers between federal and provincial/territorial governments, also highlights key differences in approaches to the pandemic. At its best, federalism is an advantageous arrangement, with the…
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Mental health, substance use and COVID19: Getting ahead of a perfect storm

What can we expect from the combination of social isolation, sky-high stress, job losses, food and housing insecurity, grief, closures of regular services and supports, access to cannabis and alcohol, and an overwhelmed and preoccupied health care system? A perfect storm for mental health and substance use issues, at a…
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Long-term funding for domestic violence programs will have lasting impact beyond the pandemic, say experts

COVID-19 has plunged Canada into a state of uncertainty and fear, as people question their ability to pay rent and provide for their families during this crisis. Some vulnerable populations, though, will be forced to live in fear of injury or even death in their own homes. While physical distancing…
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Struggling homeowners not your typical landlord: The case for rent forgiveness 

In the age of COVID-19, where the unemployment rate is now estimated at 13.5% and many are struggling to pay next month’s rent, the necessity of suspending evictions, providing income supports for low-income households, and having a serious conversation about rent forgiveness couldn’t be clearer. A number of government measures…
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Affordable housing, homelessness and the upcoming federal budget

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 17.[1] A general overview of the AFB project can be found here, but in a nutshell, it provides an alternative fiscal framework for Canada’s federal government; it’s released ahead of the actual federal budget in an effort to stir debate about an alternative…
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Bold Action in an Extraordinary Time

The coronavirus has brought about a global public health and economic crisis with breathtaking speed. In Canada we are entering a time of emergency on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend or anticipate. The pandemic has quickly exposed the gaping holes in our social safety net—particularly with respect…
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AFB2020 as COVID-19 policy response: A plan to protect workers and the public from an unprecedented crisis

Canada and countries across the globe face a daunting challenge with the advent of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a pandemic, as countries the world over try to contain the spread and health authorities race to treat casualties under incredible pressure. These are not…
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10 things to know about the 2020-21 Alberta budget

The 2020-21 Alberta budget was tabled on February 27, just four months after the previous post-election budget. Jason Kenney’s United Conservative government is cutting public spending while also cutting corporate taxes, and thousands of public sector jobs are expected to be lost over the remainder of his term. Here are…
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