Yes, it’s another Basic Income piece! *sigh*

TL;DR: Want to hobble together a Basic Income out of existing federal income supports, but don’t want to touch targeted programs for disabilities or medical expenses? Turns out, there’s not much left, beyond the Basic Personal Amount and the GST credit. But that is a starting point, and those could be reformed. In short, the notion that there are a plethora of different federal cash supports is a myth.

In response to yesterday’s piece on how the PBO’s Basic Income model would impoverish single mothers, two different parliamentarians reached out to me with…


Tenth in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: #9 — The simple explanation is that population growth caused Ontario real-estate prices to boom before the pandemic. Here’s the more complex answer.

TL;DR version: Between 2005 and 2019, there is a strong correlation between population growth and home price increases in Southern Ontario, though other factors are clearly in play. This correlation gets stronger the further away you get from Toronto, where the effects of drive until you qualify are clearly visible.

Before we get into…


It’s time for another Basic Income piece!

TL;DR: MPs and Senators asked the Parliamentary Budget Office to analyze a cash-for-cuts Basic Income program, based on the Ontario BI pilot. While the cash part helps many low-income Canadians, the cuts are incredibly harmful to individuals or children with disabilities. It’s also particularly harmful to single parents, with low-to-middle income single parents losing, on net, over $5,000, three times more than the amount billionaires would have to forego under the plan.

As I’ve stated in previous Basic Income pieces, it’s important to note that the Basic Income (BI) movement is dedicated to…


Ninth in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: Ontarians on the Move, 2021 Edition. #8 — Rents skyrocketed across Ontario as the population of young people increased

TL;DR version: In the four years of 2016–19, Ontario’s population growth was double historic averages, thanks to an influx of international students and visa workers. During that time period, the price of a single-family home rose by 80% in London, 73% in Tillsonburg, 70% in Niagara, 68% in Cambridge, 66% in Woodstock, and 64% in Kitchener. And that…


Eighth in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: #7 — An influx of young people to Ontario is creating the need for apartments and condos.

TL;DR version: Between 2010–15, the cost of renting a 2-bedroom apartment in an (unweighted) average of 43 Ontario communities rose by $36, after inflation. Between 2015–20, the average increase was $96. In Guelph, Toronto, Oshawa, and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, the 2010–15 after inflation increase was between $50–60, whereas in 2015–20 it was between $160–200. …


Not really part of my Ontarians on the Move series, but explores many of the same themes.

TL;DR London, ON home prices were surging in the five years prior to the pandemic. The reason is simple — unexpected population growth in Ontario, primarily from international non-permanent residents (which include workers on visas and international students).

Between 2004–08, home prices rose about $50,000 in my hometown of London, Ontario. They rose another $50,000 between 2008–15. Two periods, each of about five years in length, where home prices rose $50,000.

After that, things explode. In 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, home prices…


My Ontarians on the Move series is fairly lengthy, so here’s the short version for busy people.

TL;DR version: Ontario’s population grew by one million people in the last five years, after growing by less than 600,000 in the previous five. This unanticipated surge caused a shortage of family housing, starting in the Toronto market and radiating across the province thanks to drive until you qualify and the musical chairs effect. House prices skyrocketed across the province and an influx of young families breathed new life into many smaller communities. …


Seventh in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: #6 — We need to pay attention to migration patterns and “drive until you qualify”. Here’s why.

TL;DR version: Over the past five years, Ontario’s population has increased by over one-million residents. Half of those were people, aged 16–31, who moved to the province either through immigration or non-permanent residency (which includes international students). …


Sixth in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: #5–20 Years Ago, Torontonians were moving to Peel and York. Now they’re moving to Barrie, Oshawa, Milton, St. Catharines, and London, making for much longer commutes.

TL;DR version: Many Ontarians are critical of the provincial government’s highway expansion plans. I share their concerns. But their proposed responses and solutions show a lack of understanding of the underlying causes of the demand for highways. While it’s true that “highways cause sprawl”, critics also need to ask “what causes…


Fifth in (what I hope) will be a series on population growth, migration, and what’s going on with Ontario’s housing market. Previous piece: #4 — It’s Mostly Young Families, not Retirees, leaving Toronto.

TL;DR: There have been substantial changes to the Ontario Census Divisions growing through intraprovincial migration. In 2001–02, York and Peel were gaining residents from Toronto. Today, York and Peel, along with Toronto, are losing residents to other parts of the province.

As you must have figured out by now, I’m a big fan of the intraprovincial migration data embedded in Statistics Canada’s Components of population change by…

Mike Moffatt

Senior Director, Smart Prosperity. Assistant Prof, Ivey Business School. Exhausted but happy Dad of 2 wonderful kids with autism. I used to do other stuff.

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