• What America forgets: Competition drives innovation

    Competition in an advanced economy leads to more science, more advanced engineering and better products… Raising tariffs simply encourages a more insular United States and reduces access to these improvements. Less competition in the technology realm means that it becomes easier to emphasize cheaper instead of better. Tariffs hold everyone back from advancements in technology.

  • Mental Health Care (or Lack Thereof) in Canada

    In 2015/16, six percent of payments to family physicians were for psychotherapy and counselling services. Despite this, many of them report being uncomfortable providing counselling themselves, for reasons ranging from a perception that they are inadequately trained for such work, to time constraints. Family physicians also report a number of barriers to referring patients to psychologists, the largest being cost, since non-physician counselling services are not covered by public health insurance.

  • Nine early signs of how Facebook ads are being used in Ontario’s election

    This is the sort of online messaging that will help shape Ontario’s spring election – and that tells the story of what a modern political campaign looks like, as digital micro-targeting increasingly replaces mass communication through more traditional advertising. Much of that story will by its nature fly under most voters’ radars, because they will only see the sliver of ads targeted directly to them… The Globe and Mail is monitoring as many of those ads as possible, to give readers the fullest available picture.

  • Rethinking therapy: How 45 questions can revolutionize mental health care in Canada

    “The adoption of vital sign-metrics is what pulled medicine out of the dark ages two centuries ago… It’s about time we did the same with mental health.” … Providing therapists – and clients – with session-by-session progress measurements has been found, in research, to improve results, because it catches earlier when therapy isn’t working, which can then prevent people from dropping out… while advocates acknowledge the limitations, they see it as a chance to improve results, and make the system more accountable to patients.

  • A plan to overhaul Canadian health care systems

    … core elements: A strong national drug agency to provide the necessary machinery to support universal pharmacare… a strong data and technology agency that will help collect and link information, feeding it back to patients and the people who deliver care to them so health care can learn and improve… [and] a “signature” agency, one that will embody the value the government wishes to pursue most aggressively – be it efficiency, innovation, engagement or equity.

  • Motherisk Commission calls for sweeping changes to child protection system

    After identifying 56 cases where families were “broken apart,” commissioner Judith Beaman’s report makes 32 recommendations to “help ensure that no family suffers a similar injustice in the future.” … The Ontario Motherisk Commission’s two-year effort to repair the damage to families ripped apart by flawed drug and alcohol testing has produced sweeping recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy, but in only a handful of cases has it reunited parents with their lost children.

  • Social media is no more a nemesis to democracy than books

    … this method of communication makes it easier to create anti-democratic movements… editors of the Economist magazine drew up an even more severe charge sheet. Social media, they said, spreads untruth and outrage, creating a “politics of contempt” in the process… A historic pattern lies behind these troubled accusations. When a new form of communication is invented and becomes popular, it creates uneasiness… It may be used by people with dangerous ideas.

  • $14 minimum wage, free pharmacare for young people, other Ontario regulatory changes start Jan. 1

    Thousands of workers will also get an extra week of vacation, and sick notes for the boss are banned among a host of changes that take effect Jan. 1… New Year’s Day sees the minimum wage surge $2.40 an hour to $14 and a new pharmacare plan — the first of its kind in Canada — called OHIP+ covering 4 million children, teens and young adults under 25… Other changes coming January 1 include: a 22.5-per-cent cut in the corporate income tax rate, from 4.5 per cent to 3.5, for small businesses to offset the higher minimum wage

  • Hallway medicine is what ails Ontario’s hospital system

    Pent-up patient demand that took years to build up can’t be tamped down anytime soon, not after years of government restraint over health spending… hospital spending wasn’t cut — it continued to increase, but only by bending the curve to a lower, slower, more sustainable rate of growth… The problem is that longer-term care hasn’t grown fast enough in the short term, nor has home care or community care.

  • I’m begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks

    … if you feel your coworkers or students need something spherical and tactile in order to fire their benevolent instincts, then by all means hold a food drive, and remind people to stick to the always-needed staples like peanut butter and canned fish. But if you’re a pragmatist just looking to vanquish as much poverty as possible with your disposable income… key in your credit card number and enter the glorious world of anonymous, non-glamourous philanthropy.