• Information watchdog blasts Liberals ahead of her retirement

    “Bill C-58 is a bill for the bureaucracy, it’s definitely not a bill for transparency,” she said of the proposed legislation now in front of the Senate. “The government has made some amendments to the proposed legislation, but it is still regressive in many respects.” Ms. Legault laments the fact the legislation would allow the government to refuse to respond to requests that are too vaguely defined, stating that goes against the principle at the heart of access to information.

  • Don’t forget child care

    What’s missing from all the leaks out of Ottawa is any hint that the budget will include the two programs that studies indicate would make the biggest difference in women’s lives and careers: a universal child care plan and use-it-or-lose-it paternity leave…. study after study indicates [that a national child care program ] would do the most to help women get back in the workforce, boost family incomes, improve early childhood skills for poor kids, add to government coffers, reduce child poverty — and, importantly, shrink the wage gap.

  • Georgian College Cancels Diploma in Homeopathy – and CBC News Violates all Journalistic Standards

    Georgian College cancelled their new three-year diploma program for homeopathy after intense and aggressive attacks from a handful of medical doctors and ‘scientists’ representing special interest groups. The fact that a college can be bullied into cancelling an educational program by a handful of individuals is already very sad but it is even sadder that the CBC, our national news agency, engaged in such misinformed, biased and manipulative reporting…

  • The Catholic funding debate needs to be schooled by facts

    … this exposes the ridiculousness in 2018 of maintaining four distinct publicly funded school systems in Ontario – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. Most school boards are dysfunctional enough, embroiled as they are in petty politics, without giving trustees any added incentive to dream up ways of stealing students from rival boards. Not that any politician will touch this issue with a 10-foot pole.

  • NDP’s universal pharmacare proposal seems a prime target for Liberal burglary

    Canada is alone in having a public healthcare system that does not have a parallel public pharma plan. The House of Commons health committee is set to release a major report on pharmacare next month, which sources suggest will recommend folding prescription drugs into a negotiated national formulary. Through an amendment to Canada Health Act this would allow the provinces to administer the newly expanded coverage.

  • Wage wars, trade wars, and virtual economic reality

    Statistically, the provincial economy is the strongest in decades. Ontario’s 5.5 per cent unemployment rate is the lowest this century, economic growth has been best in the West since 2014, interest rates are low and the budget is balanced. Tell that to vulnerable workers. Or the venerable Ontario Chamber of Commerce… Even the latest uproar over the minimum wage appears to be a battle of perception versus performance — or virtual reality versus economic reality.

  • Universal health care’s humble origins

    Viewed solely in economic terms, Britain could not afford the NHS in 1946. That the NHS was created speaks to a conscious decision on the part of government to prioritize health care and social services. Ultimately, what a society can or cannot afford is a policy decision… / The creation of the NHS was a courageous decision by the Labour Party to radically improve the lives of British people. It benefited most sectors of society – hence the continuing broad support for it.

  • NAFTA will undermine health unless Canada resists monopolies on medicines

    There are two potential changes to NAFTA that threaten to derail progress toward affordable access to medicines: First, U.S. trade representatives are advancing Big Pharma’s demand for more restrictive intellectual property rules, pushing longer patent terms and “data exclusivity” rules… Second, business lobbies are pushing hard to maintain and expand the widely-denounced “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanism currently found in NAFTA.

  • New CAMH centre focuses on treating adults with ‘childhood conditions’

    Indeed, some 45 per cent of adults with developmental disorders — which also include such things as Asperger’s and Fragile X syndromes — suffer from concurrent mental health problems like anxiety, depression and addiction, Lunsky says. Yet there’s been sparse research and even less training into how these associated conditions can best be diagnosed and treated in developmentally disabled adults

  • Ontario university strategic mandate agreements: a train wreck waiting to happen

    Where the plan goes off-track is with the system-wide metrics used to assess research excellence and impact: 1) Tri-council funding (total and share by council); 2) number of papers (total and per full-time faculty); and 3) number of citations (total and per paper). A tabulation of our worth as scholars is simply not possible through narrowly conceived, quantified metrics that merely total up research grants, peer-reviewed publications and citations. Such an approach perversely de-incentivises time-consuming research, community-based research, Indigenous research, innovative lines of inquiry and alternative forms of scholarship. It effectively displaces research that “matters” with research that “counts” and puts a premium on doing simply what counts as fast as possible.