Bhutila Karpoche: To truly fix what’s broken, Ontario needs an NDP government
What kind of a place is Ontario going to be for working people in 2026? Will the government sitting at Queen’s Park fight to keep the essentials of life affordable for working people? Or will it just keep getting harder to pay the bills and achieve your dreams, even if you have a good job? The upcoming June 2 provincial election comes at a time when a lot of Ontarians are understandably tired.
The Ontario election: Hopes and realities
Elections are important and this one is significant. In the current period, however, a preponderant focus on electoral politics is misplaced. We need rejuvenated powerful unions and a strong sense of unity and solidarity among communities under attack. Such a social mobilization would actually generate the conditions where a serious left electoral force could make enormous gains.
The incredible banality of political being in Ontario’s 2022 election
Has there ever been a campaign so insipid? So incapable of rousing anyone but the most fevered reactionaries or conflicted social democrats? People will vote, of course, but almost certainly in depressingly low numbers. But they will cast their ballots out of little more than what they regard as biological necessity, and with not much more in the way of enthusiasm.
Ontario’s political parties aren’t treating the housing crisis with the urgency it deserves
The housing policies being pursued by Ford’s government signal the continuation of his war on tenants. While the Liberal and NDP platforms share some features in common with Ford, they also differ in important ways. Of the major parties, the NDP stands alone in its commitments to affordable and non-market housing, but it is fair to question how much of an impact they could make in resolving an out of control crisis.
Guns without butter
The suave pro-Convoy Pierre Poilievre pulls crowds whose sheer size anoint him leader pending only the rubber stamp of the leadership election in September. Given that Singh’s NDP is unlikely to survive its guns but no butter deal, the transformation of Canadian politics into a US-style entrenched confrontation between an ostentatiously ‘woke’ neoliberal establishment and an enragée hard right can only accelerate.
Inflation: Wages versus profits
Chief executives are acutely aware to the ability to hike prices in this inflationary spiral. Hershey CEO Michel Buck told shareholders, “Pricing will be an important lever for us this year and is expected to drive most of our growth.” Similarly, a Kroger executive told investors “a little bit of inflation is always good for our business,” while Hostess’s CEO in March said rising prices across the economy “helps” profits.
Can we abandon pollutive fossil fuels and avoid an energy crisis?
Similar to the two navigational hazards mythologized as sea monsters in ancient Greece which gave rise to sayings such as “between the devil and the deep blue sea,” modern energy policy has its own Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand is the requirement to maintain sufficient energy flows to avoid economic peril. On the other hand is the need to avert climate catastrophe resulting from such activities.
Freebies for fat cats: a loophole Trump partly closed lives large in Canada
A tax loophole so bad that President Trump had it partly closed in the United States is still wide open in Canada. The business meals and entertainment expense deduction allows businesses to deduct half the cost of restaurant meals and drinks, private boxes and tickets to sporting events and concerts, and much more. Some forms of meal and entertainment expenses such as office parties can even be fully deductible.
For Ontario’s political establishment, cutting ‘welfare dependence’ means making the poor desperate
Recurring proposals by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government to stop social assistance “dependence” reflect a long history of Liberal and Tory governments alike, working to make income support programs less dependable. In all cases, the aim of these cuts is to make the poor destitute and to make workers afraid. Mitchell Thompson explores this long and ignominious history.
The great inflation debate rages on
The inflation debate among mainstream economists rages on. Is the accelerating and high inflation rate of commodities here to stay for some time and or is it ‘transitory’ and will soon subside? Do central banks need to act fast and firmly to ‘tighten’ monetary policy by cutting back purchases of government bonds and hiking interest rates sharply? Or is such tightening an overkill and will cause a slump?
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