Reducing Poverty by Guaranteed Annual Income

Even some conservatives support this idea, but we need to expand on it. 

The idea is that everyone in Canada should be provided a minimum level of income that is scaled back when people earn more, in a way that won’t discourage employment. This would provide a minimum standard of living, and eliminate much of the need for other income replacement programs. More details need to be worked out, because this only deals with the income side of things, and many programs provide other benefits but if we move in this direction, I think it could help people more because of reduced administration costs. We could possibly expand in other areas, such as drug and dental coverage for more people.

The problem I see with the way that this has typically been  proposed, is that the minimum income is always a year behind, so that if I required income support in 2011, I would be getting it this year in 2012. The poorest can’t wait that long. 

Some thoughts on improving:

  • Benefits should be paid monthly.
  • Every individual and family can opt out of the monthly benefit if they are confident that they won’t need it. Individuals and Families enrolled in the G.A.I. will receive a base amount per month. Those that opt out will have the yearly benefit calculated at tax time so that if they were eligible, they get a refund.
  •  Expand on Payroll deductions so that this supplement would be included in calculations. Those that earn more, pay more  of the benefit back through tax. This gears the benefit to income, while ensuring people keep more of the benefit when they need it most. This would then be assessed at tax time.
  •  Those that earn but aren’t employees with deductions would have the benefit calculated at tax time. 

These are some ideas, but I’m not entirely sure if they make sense or are doable, but I would like to see a move in this direction. I think it would be better for everyone. I hope more people will think about it.

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Accountability- What’s That? We want more checks and balance, not less

Reading about cuts to the office of the Auditor General’s office here, reminded me of this song, here.

And that pretty well sums up our dearly beloved Conservative party of Canada, doesn’t it? “Responsibility, what’s that? Responsibility, not quite yet!” Any time they are about to be held responsible for some action,    they become masters of deception, distraction and defamation to shift attention away from their mistakes, misjudgments and misconduct.

That all works very well, but it is much easier to not even be held accountable in the first place. Why bother trying to explain, or distract, when it is much easier to leave things unquestioned in the first place?

Hence, the omnibus bill.

Hence, a reduction in audits.

Looking closer, the article reads, “the office will no longer audit how the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency report their performance.”

Really?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Wasn’t that agency recently cut?

After cutting 4% of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s staff, why would we want to audit their performance? That might prove that those cuts were wrong.

And why would the Conservatives want to deal with that?

Hurricane of Events

Lots has been unfolding lately, in the political world and in my personal life. On Monday, my wife and I ecstatically welcomed our fourth child, third boy, Noah into the world, unconventionally, but everyone is healthy and happy so all is well!

I know it might not be to Bev Oda’s taste, but I thought it was interesting that an upgrade to a Private room from the OHIP covered ward would run about $200/night. As the name suggests, a private room allows for only 1 bed and 1 patient, with a private bathroom and shower.  Any medical care needed would continue to be provided to my wife and she would still receive three meals daily, with Orange Juice (sometimes Apple Juice too). Noah would also be given medical care, formula and diapers as needed. An additional built-in cot is provided in the private rooms as well for partners. Parking is not included, but cost is a maximum of $14 per day and taxi’s are estimated at about $10 per 2 km trip.

My point is that even when you’re in the hospital, more luxurious accommodations are available for more affordable costs than what was billed to taxpayers by Oda. Even long term care in a manor with a similar private room is under $5000 per month in most cases. A month stay at the Savoy would be about $20’000. Bev Oda wanted the most expensive hotel, just so she could brag about staying at the most expensive hotel.

Clearly she is suffering from a sense of entitlement beyond what her position as a minister warrants. A position in government is supposed to be about serving the public interest, not one’s selfish interest.

A Party for Canadians: From the ground up

We know that the NDP and the Conservatives are the parties of extremes. The Liberals have historically occupied the middle. Canadian’s, by and large, occupy the middle too. Liberals haven’t been successful in selling a vision to Canadian’s because for one reason or another, there has been a problem with that vision. It stands to reason that Harper seized his majority by attracting Liberal voters, not NDP voters. If a more socialist, NDP style vision is what was desired, Canada would have an NDP government today, but we don’t.

To be Canada’s party, we need to reflect the views of the majority of Canadian’s. Most Canadian’s, I think, want to help their neighbor, but they also don’t want to be taken advantage of. They also want government services to work.

The Liberal Party needs more non-ideological Canadian’s to share their views with the party. This is why the supporter category is such a good idea. We have extended our invitation to a larger group, and hopefully by doing this we will attract more Canadians. Those that have not previously been a member of a political party, hopefully will realize that if they want politician’s to talk about the issues that matter to them, if they want politics to be different, if they want government to be better, sometimes they have to join a party to make that difference.

The Liberal party needs hijacked by more Canadians that want to make a difference. Here’s how they can do it.