• 7 things the Census teaches us about income inequality

    Ontario is becoming more polarized. The labour market might be rewarding families in the upper end of the income spectrum, but the bottom half of families raising children in Ontario saw its share of earnings fall to 19 per cent of the income pie… While income inequality hasn’t gotten dramatically worse since the Great Recession of 2008-09 — most of the damage happened between 1976-2006 — it’s not magically reversing on its own. It will take public policies to help close the gap.

  • 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.

  • Handing out money for free harder than it looks [Basic Income Project]

    The pilot is expected to cost $50 million a year and help the government determine whether a less intrusive and more trusting approach to delivering income support improves health, education and housing outcomes for low-income workers and people on welfare… But so far, the randomized weekly mail-outs have resulted in relatively few applications and even fewer cheques in the hands of low-income Ontarians.

  • Canadian incomes jump, Ontario residents hit by manufacturing downturn: Statistics Canada

    Canadian incomes have risen by more than 10 per cent over the last decade, fuelled by a booming resource sector, while the number living on low incomes is rising in Ontario where growth has been sluggish, Statistics Canada says… the downturn in the manufacturing sector slowed income growth and the proportion of low-income residents has been on the rise… Across Ontario, 14.4 per cent of residents — some 1.9 million people — were low income in 2015, an increase from 12.9 per cent in 2005.

  • Big Pharma marketing scheme banned by Ontario

    The electronic vouchers steer patients to brand name drugs over their less expensive generic equivalents, and have raised concerns that patients’ health records are being used to sell pricier drugs that can pile unnecessary costs onto private insurance plans. The voucher feature, found in medical record software owned by Telus Health and other companies, will be disabled over the coming weeks, said Hoskins.

  • Now is the time for Ottawa to create a path to progress with Indigenous people

    On this day in 2007, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which sets out minimum standards necessary “for the dignity, survival and well-being of Indigenous peoples,” was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Let this be the year that sees the leaders of all federal parties agree to work with each other and with Indigenous peoples to make the full and effective implementation of the declaration a priority.

  • 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.

  • Ontario must toughen law to protect temporary workers

    … as it stands now hiring through temp agencies limits companies’ liability for accidents on the job, reduces their responsibility for making sure that employees’ legal rights are respected, and cuts costs — all at the expense of workers’ safety and earnings. The legislation now before the Ontario legislature does not address these concerns. As a result, the growing trend toward hiring temp workers — creating an increase in precarious work — may continue unabated.

  • 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.

  • 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.