Policy Conversations: Celebration, Caution and Backlash – January 24, 2018

Good morning subscribers!

As a public policy enthusiast, you tend to encounter three different kinds of conversations. You’re no stranger to someone raising a polarizing topic at a lighthearted lunch. You’re often pleasantly surprised by a peer’s passion on an issue that you may not have put much thought into. And, of course, you can’t go a day without hearing a new statistic. The PPGR’s gift to you this Wednesday morning? A variety of articles that reflect these conversations! Read on for more.

This week’s Morning Brief was prepared by Katerina Stamadianos. Sign up here to receive the Morning Brief directly to your inbox.

Policy Conversations: Celebration, Caution, and Backlash 
  • If you didn’t think that a poetic analogy could perfectly encapsulate a policy transformation, you were wrong. Benjamin Miller explains how the sparks of social innovation can only make a successful fire if the government engages the not-for-profit sector in a deliberate relationship. Read on to see why Miller is congratulating the City of Toronto on its renewed not-for-profit strategy. [Miller/PPGR]
  • The minimum wage debate is an MPP student Hall-of-Famer. Does raising minimum wages cause more harm than good, or is the opposite true? Whether you’re a staunch supporter of a particular position on the subject or are looking to learn more about the recent wage hike in Ontario, Aidan Robern walks you through the economic and political arguments being made on all sides. By the end, he may have you convinced that Wynne might be right. [Robern/PPGR]
  • In December, the Canadian government announced guidelines requiring businesses, not-for-profits, the public sector and faith-based organizations applying for student job funding to acknowledge that they respect “individual human rights in Canada.” The backlash to this provision has been loud, with conservatives, religious groups, and pro-life groups arguing that it violates their freedom to protest abortion and express pro-life views. On the other hand, defenders of the federal government argue that the policy is meant to restrict funding to groups that undermine human rights, including women’s reproductive rights. [Bilefsky/New York Times]
  • Our last gift to you, this comparative demographic analysis of urban areas and voting trends in Canada and the United States is a fascinating Wednesday morning read. Did you know that 55% of Canada’s population lives in the country’s 10 largest metropolitan areas? To see how these numbers compare with demographic trends in the United States – and  the impact of these trends on voting – read on. [Adams and Norris/Globe and Mail]
That’s it for us this week! The next edition of the Brief will be making its way to your inboxes on January 31st, 2018.

We want to know what you think! We welcome any and all feedback on content, design, and editorial style of the Morning Brief at editors@ppgreview.ca.