• Should doctors be paid a salary?

    Private, fee-for-service practice does not reflect the needs of a modern health-care system, which requires team-based care that focuses on patient outcomes, not piecemeal work. It also does not make financial sense to physicians anymore, who have no access to benefits, such as vacation, parental leave or pensions, and due to both price regulation and prohibition of private care, can neither adjust prices nor find alternative sources of revenue to cover increasing practice costs… it’s a failing business model.

  • Why Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan is politically necessary

    For Trudeau, tax reform is the necessary adjunct to free trade. As he said once to the Star editorial board, liberalized trade may create wealth but it does so unevenly. The trick is to share the gains from globalization more equitably. The mechanism for doing this is tax reform. Which is why the Liberals promised, in their 2015 election platform, to take aim at tax breaks that favour the rich.

  • If Wynne’s Liberals were committed to equality, they’d help fund independent schools

    Ontario should treat all schools equitably… we’re left with a divided system of education: a Catholic board that’s publicly-funded as a result of the special protections it’s afforded under the constitution, and no funding for other independent faith-based schools. A 1999 UN Human Rights Committee report classified this system as discriminatory.

  • Get sexist language out of the Indian Act

    … the Liberal government is insisting on passing a law that fails to fully address sex discrimination in the Indian Act. It is defending a version of the bill that goes only part way and will be vulnerable to a court challenge as soon as it is passed… members of the newly feisty Senate… are insisting that Bill S-3, the law in question, be amended to remove all vestiges of sexist language that affects who qualifies to be legally regarded as a status Indian.

  • One-third of Ontario college and university students receive free tuition grants

    The free tuition grants are part of a number of changes to the student assistance program, which makes mature students eligible for the first time, and also requires repayment only after grads are earning $35,000 a year, up from the current $25,000. The government is now providing students with aid money up front, before tuition bills arrive, for families earning less than $50,000. Some 70 per cent of those students were expected to receive more in grants than average university tuition rates.

  • Fair Tax System Down the Drain if Loopholes Aren’t Closed

    The tax benefits are significant, and the higher your income the more you benefit. First, there’s income sprinkling. The finance department presentation on the loopholes uses the example of two neighbours, both high-income earners collecting $220,000 a year. One, an employee, would pay $79,000 in income taxes. But the other, who had set up a personal corporation, could split the income with adult family members… The result would be a $44,000 tax bill

  • The tax system can’t possibly do what people want it to do

    … the long hours a doctor works, the vacations a small business owner never takes, and all the rest. I’m sure all this is true but — how to put this — the tax system is not intended or designed to compensate for every hardship of life, or to weigh in the balance all of the pluses and minuses of one job versus another. It can’t possibly do so. Rather, there has long been a consensus that the tax burden should be apportioned on the basis of “ability to pay.” There’s no perfect measure of this, but income is the best we’ve got

  • Put critical mental health care within reach of all

    Health Quality Ontario says proven treatments provided by psychologists, nurses, youth counsellors and social workers — such as cognitive behavioural therapy — should be covered by public health insurance. The evidence is clear for these specific psychotherapies, which are the first line of treatment for nearly every type of child or youth mental illness… For severe anxiety, a combination of CBT and medication is successful with 80 per cent of patients.

  • It’s time to rethink strategy for post-secondary education

    It is socially responsible as well as fiscally shrewd… There are a number of EU countries that offer free college to their residents, including Germany, France, and Sweden… In Canada, a strategy to invest in four more years of free education could see the government collecting added tax revenues for decades to come from a more educated workforce with higher incomes. This is a winning strategy.

  • Even with new investments in affordability, Ontario remains most expensive province in which to pursue higher education

    Ontario remains the most expensive province in which to pursue post-secondary education, according to data released today by Statistics Canada. Average undergraduate tuition fees for the 2017-2018 academic year will be $8,454, up from $8,114 in the previous year… The current tuition fee framework will expire in 2019, and students are calling on the government to ensure that the next framework reverses this decade-long trend of rising costs for students and their families.