Climate Action in Canada During the Biden Era: Is Canada on Track?

By: Sonja Perisic On April 22 and 23, in advance of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) climate talks in November, President Joe Biden will host a Leaders’ Climate Summit. As the United States proposes new climate investments, Canada could potentially fall behind in the global forefront of climate leaders. The Climate Summit…

Everything You Wanted to Know about Laicity But Were Afraid to Ask

By: Rachel May The Quebec ban on religious symbols, enacted as “An Act respecting the laicity of the State” and commonly known as Bill 21, has always been controversial.  Canadians are both passionate and sensitive about the subject matter, an explosive combination.  Combine that with the apparent contradiction of certain rights and freedoms guaranteed by…

The Real Culprit in Toronto’s Housing Crisis

By: Sonja Perisic Khaleel Seivwright has become something of a household name in Toronto in the last few weeks. With the support of over $200k in GoFundMe donations, the Toronto carpenter has been building tiny insulated shelters for Toronto’s homeless community as an alternative to tents or park benches. Many of the city’s homeless shelters…

Initiatives to Improve Indigenous Housing: A Panel with Policy Leaders

By Serena Rawn The Indigenous Policy Initiative (IPI), is a student organization driven by a single goal; to do our part in promoting open, cross-cultural dialogue regarding Indigenous issues. Housed in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, we hope to inspire strategic changes within our community. We strive to foster productive partnerships and make a positive impact…

Houston, We Have a Problem…There’s No Power

By: Rachel May There has been much talk about increasing political polarization in recent times.  This chatter took on a new, intensified meaning when severe winter weather conditions created an entirely different kind of polarization in Texas.  There are many theories about the cause of the Texas freeze – Tucker Carlson blamed wind turbines, and…

Challenges and Potential Solutions for Northern Ontario’s Internet Service

By: Sean McGowan The Government of Ontario recently committed $1Billion towards improving internet infrastructure in Northern Ontario. This funding adds to the $6Billion in investments that the Government of Canada has allocated nationwide through the Universal Broadband Fund. This is a good sign for Northern Ontario, where internet service speeds and coverage greatly trail behind…

What does it mean for Canada that Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline?

By: Ella Hartsoe Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can…

The Challenges of Confronting Racial Inequity

By: Hugh Ragan This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests led to the most widespread and profound consciousness-raising that I have experienced in my lifetime. The killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd drew attention to injustices experienced by African Americans and racial minorities but also prompted fundamental questions about justice that transcend race. Four points,…

Addressing Dark Trends in Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in Canada

By: Julia Gonsalves Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can…

Criminalization vs. Public Health: The Legacy of Canada’s Racially Biased Drug Laws

By: Jenny Zhang Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can…

In Conversation with Josh Hjartarson

By Alyssa Bishop and Alexandrea Johnston On October 16th, the Consulting Careers Initiative (CCI) hosted an in-depth discussion with Josh Hjartarson about the private consulting industry’s role as a policy actor in Canada. Dr. Hjartarson is a Partner and the National Leader for Human Services at Deloitte Canada, one of the country’s largest consulting firms….

Federal Prisons and COVID-19: The Call for Decarceration

By: Danielle Foppiano The Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) is a graduate student-led organization at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. We aim to explore the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policy. We promote the adoption of an…

The Government of Canada’s Current Fiscal Deficit Doesn’t Matter

By: Noah Clarke In Canada, the economic impact of the pandemic quickly made itself known. In March and April alone, more than three million Canadians lost their jobs as travel and non-essential services were shut down to limit the spread of the virus. The unemployment rate quickly soared to 13 per cent. Now, those that…

Perhaps too early to start celebrating: Fairness and Equity in the Distribution of a COVID-19 Vaccine

By: Sonja Perisic The world was roaring with the recent week’s announcement that Moderna, an American pharmaceutical company, has developed a vaccine more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. Canada has already secured up to 358 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from a wide range of different manufacturers and has signed six contracts for tens of millions more vaccine doses with pharmaceutical giants, such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer….

The Pandemic Spoke Loud and Clear – it is Time to Care About our Most Vulnerable

By: Anastasia Volkov There is little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of our lives. However, several snapshots released by Statistics Canada in late August report a disproportionate impact on individuals with disabilities. Unfortunately, the disability community frequently does not receive the attention it deserves. Yet, nearly 25 per cent of Canadians over the…

Current Competition Law Only One, Dull Tool to Rein In Google and Big Tech

By: Hugh Ragan Last month, the U.S. Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Google accusing the company of illegally protecting the cornerstone of its empire: search and advertising. This demonstration of government resolve is welcomed by many Americans who are wary of the threats that Google, and other Big Tech behemoths, pose by harnessing mountains…

A Fine Kettle of Disputed Fish: An Explanation of the Mi’kmaq Fishery Dispute

By: Rachel May The very foundations of the true Canadian archetype are of a polite and apologetic people, of populations with different backgrounds living together peacefully in a rich and beautiful land with abundant resources.  On those lines, the recent images of violent disputes erupting along our picturesque Nova Scotian coast, with scenes of destructive…

What is an Economy for Anyways: A Talk with Dr. Yannick Beaudoin

by Steven Giallelis A Story of Wants: To those who don’t have much knowledge or experience in the field, hearing the word “economics” or “economy” may bring shivers down their backs at the mere thought of mathematic calculations. Even more so, such terms beyond use in conversation may not be truly understood. Many may find…

Build the Wall: Border and Migration

by Steven Giallelis Regardless of political opinion, a rising notion has persisted in the minds of many. Among our American neighbours to the South, assertions of “building a wall” continue to spark heated debates around dinner tables and international political debates alike.  History of Border Walls and their Revival in the Modern Day: The use…

Canadian Sex Work Policy, the Failure of the “Nordic Model,” and Future Approaches

by Sabrina White (Spectrum) Spectrum is a student initiative aimed at professional and career development for LGBTQ+ students. We aim to foster an inclusive environment to ensure LGBTQ+ students and their allies have resources, information, and connections to maximize personal and professional success. Twenty-two days into the new year, a woman was killed in a hotel room…

Discrimination in Healthcare: How Indigenous Communities are Affected

by Carly Wigdor (Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative) IASI is a newly-established graduate student-led initiative that aims to provide a platform to discuss Indigenous issues from a policy-focused lens. In conjunction with our Advisory Board, consisting of Bob Rae, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and Professor Douglas Sanderson, we seek to promote awareness of Indigenous issues and…

Let Them Lead: Tackling Indigenous Homelessness with Culturally Relevant Services

by Melissa Slauenwhite (Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative) IASI is a newly-established graduate student-led initiative that aims to provide a platform to discuss Indigenous issues from a policy-focused lens. In conjunction with our Advisory Board, consisting of Bob Rae, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and Professor Douglas Sanderson, we seek to promote awareness of Indigenous issues and…

Framing Risk: The Homophobic Legacy of Blood Donation Discrimination in Canada

By Lucas Youmans (Spectrum) Spectrum is a student initiative aimed at professional and career development for LGBTQ+ students. We aim to foster an inclusive environment to ensure LGBTQ+ students and their allies have resources, information, and connections to maximize personal and professional success. On a recent CBC podcast, former federal cabinet minister Stockwell Day suggested…

By the Numbers: Question Period

BY Nick Thompson For those familiar with Canadian politics, Question Period is arguably the most important part of a given day in the House of Commons. One of the only times where all Members of Parliament (MPs) are present at once, it regularly produces the nightly news’ most played clips. What is often mentioned less,…

New Zealand’s Response to the Age-Old Question: Does Money Buy Happiness?

by Matt Condie and Steven Giallelis In association with the David Suzuki Foundation, this article was written to inform the public of the shortcomings of GDP-oriented policy making and potential solutions to ensure the health and sustainability of our economy and citizens for years to come. Through public awareness, the policy community can develop action…

Nova Scotia’s E-Cigarette Ban: Implications for Other Provinces

by Melissa Slauenwhite The introduction of e-cigarettes and vapes, as a tool for adult smokers to deal with nicotine addiction, is affecting the health of young Canadians and has created an unanticipated and serious policy issue. There have been more than 2200 reports of severe lung disease linked to vaping in the United States, with similar rates…

SRO Programs in Ontario’s Public Schools

Unpacking Equity is a collaboration between the Public Policy and Governance Review and the Equity, Diversity and Public Policy Initiative (EDPP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. This series aims to explain equity-related policy issues and break down complicated topics involving equity, diversity and inclusion. Policy professionals can gain a better…

Governing the Southern Border: The Politics and Policy of Irregular Border Crossing

By Declan Ingham and Ryan Phillips The images of asylum-seekers being apprehended along our snowy southern border brought the issue of irregular immigration to the forefront of the Canadian political consciousness and has spurred a broader anti-immigrant backlash. Yet the headlines obscure the deeper story of both policy-makers and asylum-seekers managing and navigating complex Canadian…

Live-In Caregiver Program Revised: Implications for Equity

By Hiba Siddiqui The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) has been offered by the Government of Canada since 1992 and has been popular among Canadian families. The program provided relatively affordable and flexible child care for working parents as well as elder care for an aging population. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), a component…

Building Empathy, Addressing Inequity: A Lecture by Tanya Talaga

By Kelly Husack “We were talking two different languages.”  These were the words that Tanya Talaga, the award-winning author and journalist, used to describe her interview with the former grand chief, Stan Beardy of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation as she spoke at the second event hosted by the Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative at the Munk School of…

The Future of Health Care: In Conversation with Shannon Lundquist

By Jolene Funk As technology advances, the opportunity for innovation across different sectors grows. For the health care industry, the present moment offers a unique opportunity to push the boundaries of the possible, but also presents challenges as the sector struggles to adapt while maintaining patient safety, allocating scarce resources, and adhering to standards of…