• Three points on the GST, to end poverty? Guaranteed income sounds like a good deal

    The income guarantee in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, the province notes, is set at 75 per cent of Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure; combined with “other broadly available tax credits and benefits,” it would be enough to pay for basic household needs. Indeed, it is not far off the low income thresholds defined by StatsCan’s Market Basket Measure. Three points on the GST, to end poverty. I can’t think of a better way to spend public funds.

  • Ontario Budget 2018: Health Sector Highlights

    If implemented, the health budget is expected to grow by 5% to $61.3 billion.[1] The government is proposing an expansion OHIP+ for seniors, a drug and dental care plan for those without private insurance, and additional funding for mental health, hospitals, home care, long-term care, palliative and end-of-life care and other initiatives discussed in more detail below.

  • Knowing drug prices enhances quality of care

    … doctors and nurse practitioners have little knowledge of how much drugs actually cost. They currently have no simple and reliable way to know and communicate drug prices to patients. As a result, already time-strapped prescribers consciously choose to ignore the subject of drug cost. This causes direct harm to patients and their families, worsens cost efficiency and erodes the very sustainability of universal health care.

  • What should and shouldn’t be covered by medicare?

    The inconsistent coverage of mental health care (and psychological services in particular), home care and prescription drugs has been the subject of much debate, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
    If we are going to have a semblance of a national health system across 13 provinces and territories – without forgetting the large federal health system – it’s important to have equitable (not equal) access for all Canadians. Yet, the variations in coverage between jurisdictions have never been more pronounced.

  • Ontario has reshaped the national child care debate

    At a conjuncture when confidence in governments seems to be faltering, Ontario’s bold announcement that only good public policy can create the services that families need is visionary, and changes the social and political conversation. It underscores that Canadians are citizens, not merely consumers or taxpayers. It is a long overdue acknowledgment that mothers, children, and today’s families have a rightful claim to social support.

  • Federal health agencies need dramatic overhaul, report says

    Between 1988 and 2007, the federal government created a number of arm’s-length agencies to address various health policy issues – among them, developing a mental-health strategy, collecting national data, reviewing the effectiveness of drugs and devices. But a new report says the eight agencies, known collectively as the pan-Canadian health organizations (PCHOs), need a fundamental revamp to eliminate duplication and address yawning policy gaps.

  • The ‘radical paradigm shift’ that’s changing Ontario’s oversight system for health professionals

    Appetite for significant reform is growing, even among regulators, who are now looking at a “radical paradigm shift.” … Under the system of self-regulation, professions govern themselves through 26 colleges, which get their legislative authority from the provincial government. They investigate complaints, discipline wrongdoers, set practice standards and administer quality assurance programs to ensure professionals are up to snuff.

  • Bank of Canada head says subsidized child care boosts workforce potential

    Helping more women, young people, Indigenous people, recent immigrants and Canadians living with disabilities enter the job market could help the labour force expand by half a million people, he said. By his estimate, that kind of workforce injection could raise the country’s output by $30 billion per year or 1.5 per cent… Poloz highlighted Quebec’s child-care program as one model to help women, who he noted represent the largest source of economic potential, enter the workforce.

  • Justin Trudeau should not glibly dismiss universal programs

    There are understandable reasons to balk at the prospect of creating new universal programs. The start-up costs can be daunting and if Ottawa is to share the burden with the provinces, as it must, then it will have to wade into the forbidding fed-prov morass. Still, at least in the case of pharmacare, and arguably for daycare, too, the evidence is clear that both the public and the economics support a universal program. So why the opposition?

  • Time to eliminate publicly funded Catholic schooling in Ontario

    Apart from the ongoing inequity of letting a powerful religious group have unequal benefit of the law in one of our most important government services, shaping children’s minds, the time for a change is now more than ever… In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee declared Ontario’s practice of funding Catholic education to the exclusion of other religions discriminatory. The UN’s power is limited to persuasion. Nothing changed.