• Better medicare the prescription for Ontario

    Calls for user fees on top of what the government already pays us, and arguments to let rich Ontarians pay for faster services, undermine values shared by most doctors and patients. Not to mention, they also fly in the face of the evidence. Besides violating the Canada Health Act and Ontario’s own laws, user fees and similar charges disproportionately impact those least able to pay, who also happen to be the Ontarians most in need of care.

  • Top 10 List for Minister Morneau: Shadow Budget 2017

    To set a credible path to balance, hold the line on transfers to other levels of government, contain Ottawa’s own compensation costs and shrink or eliminate many tax expenditures, including the age credit, the LSVCC credit and some boutique credits; To encourage businesses to grow, replace preferential tax treatment for small businesses with temporary preferential treatment for young businesses…

  • Prescription from ER doctor: expand public dental programs

    … they come to the hospital because they have nowhere else to go. For children in low income families, we have a public dental program called Healthy Smiles Ontario. For anyone over age 17 (including seniors), we have nothing… there were almost 61,000 visits to emergency departments in Ontario for dental problems in 2015, or one visit every nine minutes… Based on the average cost of an emergency room visit, the Association of Ontario Health Centres estimates it costs the province at least $31 million annually.

  • Breaking down Canada’s health-care silos: More money isn’t the answer

    Hospitals are largely paid based on how much they spent last year. Long-term care homes are paid for each bed filled. Physicians are paid for the number of services they provide. Crucially, all these entities are paid public dollars through separate envelopes despite treating the same patients. As aging Canadians with multiple chronic diseases bounce from one health-care silo to another, from hospital to the community and back again, nobody holds accountability for their safe journey across these settings.

  • Canada must make sure everyone pays fair share of taxes

    The Conference Board of Canada now estimates that the federal government is missing out on uncollected taxes that amount to at least $16 billion a year – and might even be as high as $47.8 billion… That’s enough, for example, to pay Canada’s entire defence budget more than twice over. It’s almost 10 times more than the estimated cost of a national childcare program.

  • The real challenge to Canada’s health system is not wait times

    More than anything else though, what Canada needs to fix its systemic health-care woes is to create a semblance of a system. What distinguishes the countries that have markedly better results than Canada – like the Netherlands and the Nordic countries – is the cohesiveness of the system, and the emphasis on primary care… we need vision and we need a system; not just data, but a willingness to act on the data.

  • Ottawa Should Reveal $16 billion in Hidden Spending

    Greater visibility in budgets, estimates and public accounts would not make such preferences disappear – plenty of programs that do show as spending in these documents have persisted for decades, and have expanded… changes to the reporting of tax preferences that show their spending equivalents would give Canadians a valuable tool to improve federal fiscal policy.

  • Poverty Reduction Strategy

    we are: consulting with Canadians across Canada on poverty reduction; establishing a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty through an open call for nominations to select leaders, practitioners and experts with experience in poverty and poverty reduction as well as a separate targeted call for nominations to select people who have experienced poverty; and conducting the Tackling Poverty Together research project – an in-depth case study in six communities across Canada.

  • John Tory’s Valentine’s budget lacks heart

    Mayor and Council could ask the average homeowner to pay an additional $8 a month in property tax in 2017, allowing the city to fund child care subsidies for up to 1,000 more children, rent supplements for 2,000 more families, and affordable rental housing for 500 additional families — all big steps toward addressing the unacceptably long wait-lists for these supports… Or… reintroduce a $60 vehicle registration tax — at a far lower cost to drivers — which could fund a reduction in TTC fares

  • Liberals Launching Consultations On Poverty Reduction Strategy

    Duclos said the work of the committee, as well as similar consultations being undertaken by a panel of MPs, is needed to finally build a federal vision on poverty reduction… “how it measures it, how it’s going to monitor the progress in reducing it and how it’s going to collaborate with other governments in order to better support our families living in need and to encourage them to enter the middle class. All of that has been missing.”