• Three Ontario cities to test basic income in three-year pilot project

    Residents of Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay will be the first Ontarians to receive a guaranteed minimum income as part of a new provincial pilot project… Premier Kathleen Wynne… said the level of support starts at just under $17,000 a year for single people, and while that isn’t extravagant, she says it will make a real difference in people’s lives.

  • Basic income will cut costs

    … we can’t depend on human compassion to motivate us to help the poor, or we would have done it long ago… The Danes researched the cost of poverty in association to mental and physical health care, crime and incarceration, underachievement in education and employment and sheer human misery. It far exceeded the cost of paying people a modest living wage or providing the needed assistance to reach a basic income.

  • Liberals set homeless reduction targets ahead of provincial talks

    The upcoming national housing strategy looks to cut by 50 per cent the number of “chronic” homeless — many of whom won’t go to shelters and may be harder to reach through traditional support systems — and “episodic” homeless, those who find themselves on the street repeatedly… The Liberals’ second budget in March showed that they wanted to get money directly to cities and service providers without having to deal with provinces.

  • New report gives troubling new perspective on Ontario’s opioid crisis

    … n 2014, far more Ontarians died using opioids than in motor vehicle collisions. Many of these deaths, almost 60 per cent, affect a fairly young population – those between the ages of 15 and 44… in the fiscal year 2012 there were 7.4 million opioids dispensed through prescriptions. By 2014, that number had risen to 9 million… Ontario is in the midst of a deepening opioid crisis.

  • A clear call to move Canadian research forward

    Because of research, the average life expectancy of a Canadian born today is double what it was when the country was created 150 years ago. The social, health and economic benefits are so pervasive that it is sometimes difficult to see how important fundamental research has become to our lives… the landmark report… by … David Naylor should be compulsory reading

  • Reverse 45 years of neglect of health centres

    … there is a growing body of evidence that the belief espoused by the [1972] Hastings report — “that some shift from the present emphasis on acute hospital in-patient care… offers a means of slowing the rate of increase in health-services spending” — is correct… [CHCs] have been shown to reduce avoidable use of hospital emergency rooms, improve accessibility and comprehensiveness of health and social services in rural areas, and enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of mental-health and addictions programs…

  • Community care eases pressure on hospitals

    The rhetoric suggests that hospital funding has been limited in order to drastically increase funding for home and community care. In reality, funding for home care increased from 4.32 per cent to 4.92 per cent of the total health budget between 2008/09 and 2015/16. Funding for community support services, including home support, respite care, Alzheimer’s day programs and Meals on Wheels increased from 1.24 per cent to 2 per cent. As hospital funding makes up a full third of the total health budget, pitting the two sectors against one another doesn’t make much sense.

  • Ontario must increase funding for hospitals

    … although Ontario’s population has increased by 36 per cent since 1990 and the percentage of seniors who need more care is growing, the province has purposely shrunk its hospital system. In 1990 there were 33,403 acute-care hospital beds; today there are only 18,571… The current shortage of funds is endangering patient care, increasing the risk of infections, and dangerously stressing out hospital staff. It’s also cutting into hospitals’ budgets for capital projects, equipment and research

  • Ontario’s Liberals take a big step to the left

    The Ontario government signalled its intention to move to the left over past weeks. Already they have announced: Capping class sizes in Grades 4 to 8 at 25 students a class. Significant new investments in hospitals, hard-pressed after a decade of austerity. Moving to expand rent controls, an unthinkable move just months ago. Fundamental reform of the Ontario Municipal Board, a lightning rod for controversy in land-use planning across the province. What is waiting in the wings is even more dramatic

  • Don’t make ‘basic income’ an excuse for inaction

    The stark reality of that is shoddy housing, bad health, poor nutrition, social exclusion and petty crime — all the social ills that come with entrenched poverty. The government doesn’t need a five-year project to figure that out… “basic income” could be a game-changer — if it is designed properly”… In this area, the devil really is in the details… it could lead to a more generous, more efficient and more modern system. Or it could result in its opposite — a meaner, more constrained approach that puts public services at the mercy of the marketplace.