Canada

OPINION | Canada’s Reverse Robin Hood Housing Policy

The federal government has pledged to introduce a modest, targeted vacancy tax in its recent budget in order to tamp down on the speculative housing activity that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is difficult to imagine that such a small measure will make much of a difference on the overall costs and a responsible government would, before introducing new initiatives, examine and eliminate perverse incentives in this realm which previous have put in place and which continue to contribute to an overheating market.

OPINION | Nova Scotia Strong: One Year Later

One year after the 2020 mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia by Gabriel Wortman politicians recognized the tragic day with moments of silence, tweets of remembrance and kind words, and speeches honouring the victims. Yet, none of these acts have significantly shifted either public policy or the societal normalization of intimate partner violence. This lack of action stems from the masculine nature of the state, which has a tendency to subvert feminist issues and voices.

International Women’s Day, Pandemic Edition: The Need for a Collective Feminist Struggle

This International Women’s Day the United Nations celebrated under the theme of “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World.” The Canadian government followed suit by promoting the hashtag #FeministRecovery on March 8, 2021 in recognition of the uneven impacts the covid-19 pandemic has had on women. Specifically, the current pandemic has seen women exit the labour market in large numbers. Without women in the labour force, there is less chance that women will advance to leadership roles as there will be gaps in their resumes and skill depreciation over time. The issues that are preventing women from re-entering the labour force and progressing in their careers  and achieving leadership roles urgently need to be addressed.

OPINION | Why don’t ethics scandals stick anymore?

In today’s political climate, ethical scandals such as the SNC-Lavalin affair or the WE Charity scandal have not been able to affect the outcome of federal or provincial elections as much as might have been expected. Instead, societal polarization and an increase in voter cynicism have led to voters becoming increasingly concerned with tangible results and gains such as the impact on their own finances, healthcare and other aspects of their own lives. Thus, calling out governments for failures in the realms of tangible results is likely to be more effective than raging on about insider scandals that only those already deeply engaged in the process care about.

Abortion Access and Federalism in Canada: Old Struggles With New Possibilities

Despite Justin Trudeau being a self-proclaimed feminist and avid supporter of women’s rights, the province of New Brunswick has continued to undermine access to abortion without significant repercussions from the prime minister. Rather, the issue is being brought to the court system by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. This article will argue that this has been a missed opportunity for the prime minister to make significant feminist change.

OPINION | The Niki Ashton Case and the Need for Balance on COVID-19 Restrictions

With spiking case counts across the country during the second wave of COVID-19, many Canadians were understandably upset when reports came that a number of politicians jetted off to exotic locales for winter vacations after numerous pleas from politicians to stay at home. This has decreased public trust in government and has lead to individual members of the public not taking the problems posed by COVID-19 seriously. However, the case of New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Niki Ashton highlights that it may be worth questioning how COVID restrictions and regulations could be made more humane in the first place.

Hidden Homelessness in Lockdown: Increased Tensions, Increased Vulnerability

The significance of having a place to call home has been heightened in the past year. With government officials advising citizens to stay at home to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, attention was appropriately turned to those who were visibly homeless. Individuals experiencing homelessness, however, do not simply exist in visible places such as sidewalks, alleys, parks, and emergency shelters. A portion of those who are homeless experience hidden homelessness, which occurs in private settings: on the couches of friends and family, in overcrowded apartments, in the homes of an abusive partner, or any other form of private residence where tenancy is insecure. This situation raises important questions: Who experiences hidden homelessness? Why are individuals experiencing hidden homelessness? And how is covid-19 impacting the experience of hidden homelessness? The answers to these questions will make clear that there is a need to ensure that all forms of homelessness are adequately addressed and eliminated.

OPINION | Domestic Violence Leave in Canada: Who Benefits?

With the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre and the National Day of Remembrance and Day of Action on Violence Against Women on December 6 and the Global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign having run from November 25 to December 10, now is a good time to reflect on domestic violence in Canada and what can be done to provide better supports. With a focus on domestic leave policies in Canada, this article comments on the gap in equality between women in lower and those in higher paying positions and the implications arising from this gap.

Mothering in Poverty: Has There Been Any Progress in Canada?

The shift from a Keynesian welfare state and the Canadian Assistance Plan to a neoliberal governance and the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) model in the 1980s and 1990s and then the implementation of the current Poverty Reduction Strategy has had numerous implications for poverty in Canada. With a focus on single mothers in Canada, this article will assess the impact of each of these policy shifts to determine whether or not poverty has in fact been reduced.