• From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health

    The three-year pilot project, which began in the Hamilton and Thunder Bay areas last summer and in Lindsay last fall, is testing whether unconditional cash support can boost health, education and housing for people on social assistance or earning low wages. Information gleaned from the three test sites will guide future provincial policy on how to better support all Ontarians living in poverty.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • It’s time to let Indigenous communities manage native child welfare

    Ottawa should start funding aboriginal communities who either have, or are in the midst of developing, their own child-welfare laws. As aboriginal child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock says, “Fix it now. We can always argue later.” Of course, reforming child welfare is just the start. Knowing that children are safe and, wherever possible, living in their home community are minimum standards that shouldn’t take years to meet. But it is only one of many needed fixes. Too many remote reserves still lack clean drinking water, adequate food and decent housing

  • 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.

  • Human rights case hopes to give disabled people the freedom to live in small group homes

    A groundbreaking human rights case set to begin on Monday could help hundreds of Nova Scotians with disabilities move out of institutions and into small group homes, says a lawyer who has led a three-year-long effort to bring the cases before a formal hearing.

  • Ottawa to begin fully funding Indigenous child-welfare agencies

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its order on Thursday, saying Ottawa was not complying with a 2016 ruling that found it discriminates against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. In a statement, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Thursday said… that Ottawa would immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, along with legal fees and building repairs, with reimbursement retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.

  • 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.

  • Provinces Rank from Bad to Worse in Healthcare Survey of International Peers: C.D. Howe Institute

    … Provinces’ overall performance ranks in bottom tier of advanced western countries, placing them only above the United States, and in some cases, France… despite medicare’s egalitarian principles, provinces have among the lowest equity scores across all Commonwealth Fund countries. Drug and dental care access is linked to income levels. After-hours access to a regular doctor and time spent with a physician also differ by income level.