We’re proud of our track record in achieving policy changes that advance generational fairness – and that make a real difference in the lives of younger people who are feeling squeezed (along with the parents and grandparents who help them).
Plus, these successes confirm that our approach to fixing the broken generational system is working!
That’s why we’re not resting on our laurels. We need to continue to mobilize rigorous academic evidence, synthesize this evidence into clear policy solutions, and most importantly, raise our voices together to call for action.
Check out the links below to learn more about our wins for generational fairness. And we hope you’ll join us to build our influence to achieve even more!
Invest fairly in all generations
- We're seeing important signs that Gen Squeeze is breaking through with our message about the need to make public spending fairer between generations. A decade ago when we started, it was a challenge to even get these issues on the radar of governments or traditional media. While there's still some distance to get to get our unfair generational system recognized alongside systemic racism, heterosexism, or the legacy of colonialism, there are many clear signs of progress. Take this one, for example. In March 2023, the Global and Mail editorial board penned this opinion about addressing the growing generation gap between what Ottawa spends on older and younger Canadians. Kudos to the Globe for stepping up to draw attention to this issue!
- Gen Squeeze has led the way in creating space for dialogue on how we tax housing wealth in Canada, often in the face of alarmingly nasty backlash! But we’ve still succeeded in wedging open the door, and we’ve won the support of others along the way. This includes a majority of Canadians who supported a surtax on the 10% most expensive homes in recent polling.
- Gen Squeeze campaigning achieved Canada’s first-ever reporting of age trends in public finance. This is important, because we can’t monitor the age distribution and intergenerational impacts of government spending without data. This win is a big step in the right direction… now we need more action to correct some serious flaws.
- Gen Squeeze was instrumental in BC’s shift to reduce income taxes by taxing unhealthy home prices more – including by adding new taxes on homes over $3 million, and expanding the BC foreign buyers’ tax. This is important progress towards the goal of rebalancing taxes on income vs. wealth – with housing wealth being an especially important area for action.
Invest in wellbeing
- Wins for housing, families, and climate are all wins when it comes to investing in the real roots of wellbeing! Because evidence confirms that health doesn’t start with medical care – it starts where we are born, grow, live, work and age.
- A recent big win – we’ve successfully raised the funds needed to really ramp up our efforts to change the conversation about health in Canada, and make room for something more than medical care. So long as Canadians can’t access safe homes, good incomes, quality child care, and a healthy environment, our medical care system will never be enough to prevent people from dying early. Check out Get Well Canada - An Alliance for Investing Where Health Begins for more information on this exciting new work.
- Perhaps our biggest policy win to date is Gen Squeeze's role in driving historic, multi-billion dollar investment by the Government of Canada in $10 a day child care. Alongside other tireless child care advocates, Gen Squeeze was a key player in pushing BC to lead the way in Canada – and now all jurisdictions have followed suit, riding the coattails of federal investments. This win underscores the importance of not just talking about the evidence – but about framing it effectively to catalyze change. That’s a unique Gen Squeeze value add!
- In April 2023, the Government of Manitoba is taking the next brave step towards an affordable universal child care system by capping child care fees at $10 a day. Setting $10 as the max daily cost to families is something Gen Squeeze has recommended for over a decade (check out this podcast for more).
Gen Squeeze worked hard to achieve improvements to parental leave that mean greater flexibility for moms who take leave, and more reasons for dads to take leave too.
- Gen Squeeze has been sounding the alarm for years about big problems in our housing system – so it’s a vital win that political leaders now also recognize the magnitude of the challenge. In the October 2021 federal election, all political parties affirmed that Canada is in a housing crisis. This is not only a welcome acknowledgment, but also a necessary precursor to scaling up action.
- Gen Squeeze has been one of the only voices in Canada drawing attention to evidence about generational tensions in our housing system, but we’ve now won over others as well! We’re pumped that key officials in our federal government have also described housing as an “intergenerational injustice.” That’s real influence!
- We raised our voice to ensure that Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) didn’t overlook the housing precarity faced by younger people, convincing federal officials to add “young adults” as a “vulnerable group” – making the eligible for billions in NHS funding.
- Gen Squeeze won the first ever tax on empty homes in North America – and the momentum we helped to build for this policy solution continues. Toronto and Ottawa have now implemented vacancy taxes. Other municipalities are likely to follow, as the 2022 Ontario budget supported the use of municipal vacant homes taxes.
- We helped to eliminate limitless rent increases in Ontario, and shape Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan.
- We won changes to municipal housing policy, including in Vancouver, Burnaby and Toronto, and approval of dozens of new rental housing developments in the face of NIMBYism
- We helped to lead the successful push for regulation of short term rentals in Vancouver and Toronto, to prioritize housing as homes for locals rather than accommodation for tourists.
- A huge win for Gen Squeeze in climate change! Gen Squeeze led a coalition of organizations to intervene into the Courts of Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, to defend the constitutionality of pricing pollution on the grounds it is needed to promote population health and intergenerational equity.
Wins for the Gen Squeeze Knowledge Mobilization Lab
As a university-community collaboration, the Gen Squeeze Knowledge Mobilization Lab is instrumental to ensuring that all of our work meets rigorous academic research standards. The Lab and its lead, Dr. Paul Kershaw, have achieved many academic distinctions.
- The President of UBC awarded Dr. Kershaw the 2022 award for public education through the media. This award recognizes the influence of Gen Squeeze activities to mobilize evidence and education via the media.
- The Government of Canada awarded Dr. Kershaw and Gen Squeeze its inaugural prize for excellence in moving Knowledge to Action on housing in 2018.
- Gen Squeeze received the BC Affordable Housing Champion award in 2017 from the provincial Housing Central coalition.
- Dr. Kershaw was recognized as 2016 Academic of the Year by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC for Gen Squeeze research and knowledge mobilization.
- Dr. Kershaw received two national awards from the Canadian Political Science Association for his research on gender and politics.