PPGR Morning Briefing – November 28, 2016

PPGR Morning Briefing

Good morning and welcome to the final edition of the Morning Briefing of the term!

As December approaches, with all of the fun of final papers and exams it brings, the PPGR Morning Briefing team will be entering its scheduled hibernation period.

We’d like to thank you for subscribing, reading, and engaging with the PPGR over the past term and for helping make the Briefing’s launch a success. We’re looking forward to bringing you new and exciting content from the PPGR and beyond in 2017!

In the meantime, the PPGR will have lots of great content going live over the winter break, and our team will send a one-time Holiday Briefing to make sure you’re kept up to date on the latest from the world of Canadian public policy.

Sign up here to receive the Briefing directly to your inbox!

New from the PPGR: 

Ontario’s upcoming basic income pilot project has received significant attention of late, especially since the release of former Senator Hugh Segal’s discussion paper, Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario. While many of us have put the full report on our holiday reading list, the PPGR’s Jonathan Kates helps to tide us over with his take on what the past can tell us about the project and important considerations for the implementation to be successful going forward.

kensington-market-bikeA cyclist pedals through Toronto’s Kensington Market

The results of the recent US presidential election revealed the depth of many commentators’ misunderstanding of public opinion and voter behaviour across the United States. Luckily, PPGR Staff Writer Marvin JS Ferrer, who recently attended the fourth annual Toronto Political Behaviour Workshop, helps us make sense of how pollsters went wrong, and how we might consider the role of experimental research design in addressing some of Canada’s upcoming policy challenges.

Don’t be fooled by Singapore’s show of wealth: 82 percent of Singaporeans currently live in public housing. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is responsible for the establishment and management of social housing complexes and for offering large subsidies and property ownership schemes that make their units affordable for the majority of citizens. Housing policy in Singapore is not just about providing its citizens an affordable place to live, it is an essential building block of society. SPPG’s very own Haris Khan, studying abroad at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, gives us his first-hand  perspective on this live policy challenge.

When facing discrimination in the workplace, it can be difficult to know where to turn. One in 5 Canadians have experienced gender-based workplace discrimination, and many more cases go unresolved or unreported. Both the provincial and federal governments have legislation in place to protect Canadians from discrimination, but they require both employers and employees working together to move forward in addressing the issue. Rebecca Dyck breaks down workplace discrimination and discusses improvements needed going forward.


Morning Roundup:

Remember all the Liberal promise that the 2015 federal election would be Canada’s last under the First-Past-the-Post electoral system? Well, with the Special Committee on Electoral Reform set to release its report this week, Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef is now unwilling to guarantee the government’s earlier promise. To complicate matters further, the Committee is expected to recommend a referendum on the issue, yet Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer Mark Mayrand doubts Canada’s capacity to hold such a vote prior to the next federal election in 2019.

himelfarb-milner-blais-kenny-election-7479himelfarb-milner-t579a5b43-m800-xd2b509caNathan Cullen struggles to act out “single member plurality” during the Special Committee on Electoral Reform’s charades night.

The most important issue for Ontario voters heading into the next election is… hydro rates? The latest Nanos research survey suggests this “unusual” result, as hydro eclipsed concerns about health care, the economy, and high taxes in the province. The poll also placed Patrick Brown’s Progressive Conservatives at 40 per cent support, compared to 31 per cent for Wynne’s Liberal government. For those already focused on studying for stats exams, you won’t believe the margin of error and confidence interval! (Sorry, we had to throw in at least a little clickbait before the term was done.)

After a while, living in Toronto may start to take a toll! A new poll suggests that Toronto’s proposed plan to introduce tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, and to use the revenue for infrastructure and transit, has widespread support. The survey of 2,280 Torontonians showed a 70 per cent approval rating. These and other poll results also suggest that support for road tolls may be heavily influence by the way in which survey questions are framed.


In the inaugural O’Hagan Annual Essay on Public Affairs from The Walrus, Andrea Mandel-Campbell unpacks the failures of the forestry sector abroad and delves deeper into Shopify, a Canadian-made software company so successful it has replaced a service offered by Amazon. Her essay argues that Canada’s dwindling productivity and growth can be addressed by exporting Canadian businesses abroad, and suggests avenues for government input. Listen up, Trudeau!


You may remember news stories from last year about Mohamed Fahmy, the Egyptian-Canadian journalist who had been imprisoned in Egypt on trumped-up terrorism charges. He was finally released in 2015 and now teaches journalism at UBC. He has a book coming out about his experiences in Egyptian prison and Maclean’s recently published an excerpt — it’s well worth a read.

That’s all for today! Best of luck with exam period and happy holidays! The Morning Briefing will be back in your inboxes in 2017.

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