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Found 10 results

  1. After three months of distance learning that saw low student participation and put parents in the impossible position of teaching their kids while trying to work from home, the Province of Ontario is now proposing three options for September: return of all students to daily school with careful health hygiene, 100% distance learning, or a hybrid that divides all students into two cohorts that attend on alternate days/weeks. While it looks like 100% distance learning is off the table unless there's a big surge of Covid-19 cases or a local outbreak, the hybrid model seems to be the one being promoted by the Province. I believe this would be disastrous for both education and the economy. There's no way to get workplaces up and running on a full-time basis if parents cannot do their work without having to take care of their children at the same time. A part-time return to school would put working parents, including educators, in a very compromising position, having to either watch their children for half of the work week while trying to do their jobs or scramble to find daycare at the same time as thousands of other parents. Such a plan would not be safer than full-time school for students, as many of these children would be in daycares with students from multiple schools, presenting a greater health risk than having students attend one facility with the same children all week. The poorest families with the most precarious employment would be hardest hit by a part-time school schedule, having to pay for daycare or make the choice of risking losing their jobs in order to take care of their kids. We know that a learning model that is exclusively distance-learning from home is bad for student engagement, socialization, and education outcomes. We also know that having everyone return to school in a safe way than includes the necessary social distancing is a challenge without reducing class sizes and ensuring there is additional classroom space in schools. However, this can be done without substantial new hiring or budgetary increases. We need to accept a few conditions in order to make daily return to school possible. I propose, for staffing reasons, that non-classroom teachers (librarians, planning time teachers, French as a second language teachers, and a proportion of special education teaching staff) become regular classroom teachers throughout the remainder of the pandemic, so that class sizes can be reduced. While this may reduce the number of special education teachers available to provide segregated classes for special needs students, we were moving to a more inclusive special education model and classroom teachers will be better positioned to support special needs students with smaller class sizes. In order to have this kind of schedule, certain curriculum will have to be provided online, such as FSL. However, it would protect on-site learning for the core curricula of literacy, numeracy, science, and even geography and history (Social Studies). Phys. Ed would be taught within the classroom or outside where possible. This schedule requires that teachers take their planning time at home, as teachers would not be getting their own planning time coverage from non-classroom planning time teachers during the school day. The planning time and FSL teachers would teach regular classes. This schedule would shorten the school day, not only because of the planning time teachers would be taking at home, but also because this shorter school day eliminates the need for an afternoon recess, and for safety reasons, the lunch hour should be shortened, probably to 30 or 40 minutes. Unstructured periods like recess provide too much opportunity for breaking social distancing guidelines. Reducing recess time doesn’t impact instructional time. Shorter recesses could be taken in the regular classroom. Teachers could take their classes outside as long as classes don’t combine. Another sticking point for having all students in elementary schools at the same time is lack of space for social distancing, especially if class sizes are capped at an arbitrary number of, say, 15. If non-classroom teachers’ rooms are freed up (libraries, gyms, conference rooms, etc.), there will be additional spaces available for classes. There should not be an arbitrary class size cap, but rather a formula of students to square footage, so that social distancing is maintained no matter the class size. For example, a class of 28 students could easily be accommodated in a library or gym. Most elementary schools would be able to safely social distance all of their students if all of their available school spaces were used and non-classroom teachers took regular classes. In exceptional circumstances, some classes would have to be relocated to other schools, board-owned facilities, or leased facilities (adult-learning centres, high schools, banquet halls or sports facilities that cannot open until the final phase of reopening, etc.). School boards are able to implement such measures if they are given some basic criteria to follow, and they can do this without increasing budgets, as long as there is flexibility in allocations. If parents were shown such a plan and assured that social distancing and the necessary cleaning and safety measures will be taken, most students would return to school on a full-time basis, albeit with a shorter school day. It's also advisable for staffing purposes to get a short-term commitment from parents as to whether or not they intend to send their children to school, for a time frame of say 2-3 months at a time. That way schools will have a firm basis upon which to divide students and staff classes. It’s only fair to ask this commitment from parents for budgeting purposes. Such a plan would be sustainable if the pandemic continued for many months or even years. It could be flexible and adjusted for periods of distance learning if there are surges or local outbreaks of Covid-19. It's important to have a clear process for return to school that maximizes safety while returning as many students to school on a daily basis as possible, so that students are not robbed of opportunities and families are not put under unnecessary additional stress, financial or otherwise. Thoughts?
  2. Ray Dalio, Founder of the World's Largest Hedge Fund, Says the System is Broken Of course, most progressives know what Dalio and others like him have been blind to all along. Without strong measures to restrain the worst of capitalism and force redistribution of wealth, this is exactly how capitalism always works - or rather fails to work. When you define success as being richer than everyone else, people will find a way to do just that. Whether it's fair, whether it's moral, whether it's legal; those are things for lawyers and ethicists to quibble over. Only ideologues and idiots think that it's relevant that capitalism is transparently not a meritocracy.
  3. It seems like many people would like governments to stop worrying about climate change and focus on the economy. Imagine their surprise then, when they find out that according to a survey of economists conducted by the World Economic Forum, the top risk to the global economy is the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Not only that, but many of the other top risks (large-scale involuntary migration, water crisis, extreme weather events, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, food crises) are all events that are associated with climate change. The lesson here is for those who think of the environmental issues as feel-good attempts by fuzzy-headed do-gooders. A healthy environment with a vibrant eco-system is not a nice-to-have, it's essential for a healthy economy.
  4. This is a REAL question but a mod suggested it was a farce and deleted my original post. THIS IS NOT A FRIVOLOUS POST!!!!. Harper has been in office for over decade and I really cannot find any achievement that benefited ALL Canadians - only wealthy businessmen. What will be his legacy - Secrecy? He should come to this thread and personally remind all of us how he helped us live better lives and how. Do YOU feel we have a better life than we did 10 years ago? How has Harper improved education, immigration, and our economy? We still have one of the highest tax rates in the world. Do you feel more or less confident about our economy and future today with Harper at the helm? In my own personal opinion, PM Harper spent most of his time concealing trade deals until they were already done and gave no time nor space for public debate or review by the House of Commons. In a way he is just a much smarter version of George W. Bush and far more secretive as well. He has put our troops in a precarious situation that basically invites terrorists to come seek revenge in Toronto or Vancouver. To be fair, he did the right thing to embrace refugees from Syria, but one right move does not make for a legacy IMHO. So those of you who think Steven Harper has done more good than harm for Canada, please step up here and provide a list of 10 achievements that benefited every Canadian and not a niche group of bankers or businessmen. Anyone who does not think this is a damn serious question and topic is simply a biased conservative. Hopefully Admin is more objective. This is a subject quite worthy of a real debate. Am I wrong to expect one real achievement for every year in office?
  5. Economist Jason Brennan looks at the corporate tax rate in Canada and how it relates to corporate profits. You can read his summary of the findings here, but I will discuss them below. Economic thinking since the 1980s goes that loosening the tax burden on corporations will encourage them to invest in infrastructure, jobs, and other ways of expanding the economy. Help us help you is the mantra. So we embarked on a journey of slashing the corporate income tax rate in order to encourage jobs and growth. Every government since then has followed the same line of thinking. Mulroney's government cut the CIT from 36% to 29% during his tenure. The Liberals under Chrétien and Martin cut deeper from 28% to 22% by 2004. The Harper Government made a straight cut to the statutory rate from 21% to 15%, as well as eliminating the 1.1% surtax. The provinces also reduced their share of CIT from an average of 14% to 11%. Over the last 30 years, the CIT has been halved by successive governments. If conservative economic thinking is correct, then this should lead to exceptional growth. More money in the hands of the biggest corporations in Canada should mean more jobs, investment, and growth. Except that assumption never came true. As the corporate rate fell, so too did corporate infrastructure investments as a proportion of GDP. In fact, historically there is a positive relationship between infrastructure investment and the CIT. The lower the CIT the less investment. While the corporate rate was falling, the GDP ground to a trickle. Somehow I doubt that's what conservative economists mean by trickle-down economics. So what did the top corporations do with the savings afforded to them by reduced CIT if they weren't investing it in growing the economy, expanding their businesses, and providing jobs for Canadians? They sat on it. The graph above, created by Brennan, shows the Corporate Income Tax rate inverted and overlaid with corporate cash on hand, i.e., money being held by companies that are not financial institutions (this doesn't include banks). These findings point to a considerable mistake made by successive governments both federal and provincial over the last generation. Our weak economy may be at least in part a product of poor economic policy based on faulty assumptions. Trickle-down economics never worked and will never work. It's time to end the last 30 years of backwards thinking.
  6. Although Conservatives like to drone on like robots about how Stephen Harper is a "steady hand on the wheel" of the economy, that myth is increasingly hard to square with reality. Not only does a recent poll suggest Harper's reputation as a competent manager of the economy has plummeted, a new analysis shows Harper with the worst economic record of any Canadian Prime Minister since the end of the Second World War. Here is how Harper's economic record fares against the others: Annual Average Growth in Employment: 1% - Worst Average Annual Real GDP Growth: 1.6% - Worst Change in Employment Rate: -1.4 pts - Second worst Average Unemployment Rate: 7.1 - Sixth of Nine Labour Force Participation Rate: -1% - Worst Average Annual Growth in Youth Employment: -0.3% - Second worst Index of Job Quality: 87.2 - Worst Average Annual Growth in Real GDP per Capita: 0.4% - Worst Average Annual Growth in Real Business Non-Residential Capital Spending: 2.5% - Second worst Average Annual Growth in Real Exports: 0.3% - Worst Average Annual Growth in Labour Productivity: 0.9% - Second worst Average Annual Growth of Real Personal Income per Capita: 0.9% - Second worst Change in Net Federal Debt as Share of GDP: 0.9% - Sixth of Nine This statistical review confirms that it is far-fetched to suggest that Canada’s economy has been well-managed during the Harper government’s time in office. To the contrary, there is no other time in Canada’s postwar economic history in which Canada’s performance has performed worse than it did under the Harper government.
  7. http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/unemployment-rose-to-7-per-cent-in-august-statscan-1.2547995 Unemployment rose to 7% in August, although 12,000 jobs were created. Of those 12,000 net jobs, 33,000 jobs were created with tax dollars, namely, teachers, nurses, and public administration jobs. Jobs were added in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. The other provinces saw no change. Productivity continues to decline. Hours worked are increasing, while business output decreases. The road to recovery is certainly not clear.
  8. By now everyone is aware that the country is in a recession by the definition that the Tories legislated themselvestwo quarters of negative growth. Some claim there is a silver lining: jobs are up, GDP grew in June, and our exports to our largest trading partner are up. By now the Conservatives are playing politics with their euphemisms "contraction" and "technical recession." They're using these term because they truly believe that the economy has already recovered and that the dip is meaningless. However, putting the GDP aside and despite the growth in jobs and exports, there are other indicators that suggest we may not be pulling out of the recession at all. From the linked article by economist Iglika Ivanova: Business investment is down for three consecutive quarters For starters, business investment is still down and has been on the decline since the Tories won their majority government in 2011. Indeed, Mark Carney, then governor of the Bank of Canada, accused corporate Canada of sitting on stockpiles of dead money. Nothing has change since then and in fact it has only gotten worse. Consumers being able to signal demand is the lifeblood of any economy. Companies can't invest if people don't tell them with their dollars what they should invest in. People don't have the money to signal demand if corporate Canada is sitting on it and not investing. It's a catch 22 that requires intervention to get wealth moving again. And that's exactly what happened in January when the Bank of Canada cut interest rates. Except business investment continued to drop for two more quarters with no end in sight. It's not just oil and gas in decline Conservatives keep repeating that it's only oil and gas that have turned down. They must only be looking at the oil and gas column in the numbers because the truth is a number of sectors are in decline. Construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade are all major indicators of our economic well being. For some bizarre reason, the Harper Government has completely ignored their precipitous decline and only refers to oil and gas. Household debt is on the rise Disposable incomes are falling. The rising consumer spending that people have pointed to as an indicator of our economy recovering is being financed by debt. While the interest rates are dropping, the proportion of debt to household income hasn't budged since 2008. Consumers are trying to spend their way out of the recession by incurring more debt, while businesses are sitting on stockpiles of dead money and not investing. -- So growth of 0.5% in June is nice, but our economy is still struggling under Harper's leadership. We need a better focus on a more diversified economy that doesn't give corporate welfare to companies who sit on that money. The problems with Canada's current economy run far deeper than a stagnate GDP.
  9. A report on the local economy here in Hamilton tells the story that's hidden in those blurbs that appear on the nightly news: "No full time work, no benefits, and no job security." is why so many people are struggling to make ends meet even if they are working today, and gaps in income keep growing. The study shows that Hamilton is in the same predicament as most of Canada....and the rest of the world for that matter -- the benefits that have come along in the last 20 years are mostly being kicked up to the top and the middle class continues to shrink. The effects are especially bad for younger people who have come in to the job market in the new era of part time and contract work that is phasing out more and more full time employment. Here's a look at some of the report's findings: Only 60 per cent of GTA and Hamilton workers today have stable, secure jobs. Barely half of those working today are in permanent, full-time positions that provide benefits and a degree of employment security. At least 20 per cent of those working are in precarious forms of employment. Another 20 per cent are in employment relationships that share at least some of the characteristics of precarious employment. Precarious employment has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 years. For more on the side effects of precarious employment: http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2013/02/23/hamilton-precarious-employment-report.html
  10. And it will bring crime, so the money will be spent in jails, cop salary, judge, social workers, insurance. Gambling does not create new value, it just collect money and re-dispatch value that hard working people created, and in the same time, take a large part of the wealth by the bosses of casino, and tax suckers, and some interest groups. It make tax payer suffer more. and at last, more and more people who actually create value will move away, if that becomes true, Toronto can be another Detroit.
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