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Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader and Premier Doug Ford, pictured with Sun newspaper columnist Anthony Furey at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa on Feb. 10, announced plans to encourage brewers to make cheaper beer last week. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Poverty, homelessness, inequality: a few causes that might outweigh cheaper beer

Ontario faces a lot more serious choices on problems affecting millions of its residents than beer prices.
The PCO clerk will be asking those hovering around retirement age if they can commit to seeing through the post-election craziness, says former PBO Kevin Page.
Fewer than 10 of 84 deputy ministers and associate DMs identify as visible minorities.
The number of deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers has jumped more than 15 per cent in the last decade, going from 72 in 2008 to 84 this year.
More in Policy - LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT
Feature|Emily Haws
Frédéric Seppey, chief agricultural negotiator, Steve Verheul, chief NAFTA negotiator, and Paul Halucha, assistant deputy minister of the industry sector at ISED, round out the top three.
The Senate's report is the latest study in recent months to highlight the failure of the Phoenix pay system, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of backlogged pay files for public servants.
Feature|Emily Haws
The top bureaucrats with the task of supporting the new cabinet have been named, and experts say not having to create new departments will make for a smoother transition.
The provincial and federal governments ought to turn to Canada’s strengths in forestry and mining to help create much-needed jobs.
Marc Lemieux has taken over from assistant deputy minister Danielle May-Cuconato, who was in charge of the project management office behind the Phoenix fix.
But the clerk's job is to put into place a structure and ensure people he trusts are working on it, argues ex-PCO official Zussman, and there's some indication that's happening.
PSAC wants the government to consult it on any big future technological changes affecting its members, while PIPSC wants better timelines for contract signing.
A pilot project that found no signs of bias in hiring visible minorities to the public service was ‘stretching it,’ says Senate Diversity Subcommittee chair Sen. Mobina Jaffer.
In 2012, the government decided unilaterally to end a system that had served claimants well for more than 70 years, replacing it with one that would muddle together appeals from a variety of federal programs with no synergies.
By introducing regulatory tools to allow those in safety-sensitive industries to enforce zero-tolerance policies, the government would demonstrate a proactive approach to ensuring workplaces in Canada remain safe.
Government officials knew about the problems, and didn't develop an adequate contingency plan, but still green lit the Phoenix pay system anyway, said the auditor general's report.
PSAC has set bargaining dates, which extend from late May to mid-July, for groups representing about 90,000 of its 140,000 federal public service members.
If not, 3,400 workers will find themselves unable to contribute to their public service pension plans this fall.
Companies currently permitted to explore for deposits or hold on to discoveries in Arctic waters have waited in uncertainty since December 2016 over whether they can continue to operate.
Skills development and tourism promotion will help northerners diversify their economy.
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