• Courts are catching up to Ford’s ‘unlawful’ ways

    Smart governments focus on wise legislation, not wild litigation. Let us count the legal battles looming over the Tories after two months in office: … the premier’s impulsive meddling in the middle of Toronto’s municipal elections… the government’s arbitrary rollback of the updated sexual education curriculum… a minimum income program prematurely cancelled… cancellation of Ontario’s cap and trade program… Rolling back renewable energy laws… recklessly endangering lives by suspending emergency prevention sites

  • Ontario shouldn’t open the door to ‘big-box’ child care

    … in a troubling regulation change last month, Premier Doug Ford’s government lifted the for-profit maximum thresholds, essentially opening the door to big-box corporate child care in Ontario. The government argues that lifting the cap will address shortages by allowing more daycares to open… The real concern was around international child-care chains. And that’s why the Ford government’s change is so troubling.

  • Take profit motive out of drug research

    “for pharmaceutical companies, there is little profit incentive to invest in drugs that quickly cure patients; medicine for chronic conditions presents a more tempting return on investment… ”Since the rise of neoliberalism, governments have increasingly stepped away from research in favour of letting profit-oriented private companies take the lead. The result has been a huge increase in lifestyle drugs, while life-saving drugs are often just a byproduct… Our governments need to reclaim their lead role in research and development so that they follow society’s needs instead of profits.

  • Hot!

    Two worlds collide [Ontario Election 2018]

    … governments that are afraid to raise taxes have two choices—go into deficit or sell off public assets. Part of Wynne’s unpopularity rests on this fundamental dilemma. She decided to both go into deficit and sell off public assets, namely the province’s majority shares in Hydro One. Outrageously high hydro bills ensued and Wynne is having trouble living that down… The moral of the story is that activist premiers may be capable of moving the needle on key social policies, but unless they’re equally progressive on the revenue side of the equation, it’s hard to strike a true balance.

  • Pharmacare: Focus on Canadians who need it most

    Ensuring that Canadians have access to prescription drugs should be a top priority… One single, nationally mandated pharmacare program would mean dissolving every existing provincially funded and employer-funded plan. It would likely mean one single, much smaller formulary (list of drugs), and would create opportunities for potential savings through bulk-buying. It would likely also create a large national bureaucracy and require a massive IT system … a national pharmacare plan may cover less than their existing plan.

  • Hydro One privatization is the reason voters distrust Kathleen Wynne

    The sell-off of public goods is the quintessence of neoliberalism… Ontario Hydro was a public undertaking funded by the public that returned benefits to all. You can’t sell it, you can only swipe it and hand it over, as Wynne did. The buyers won’t do anything to improve it; they’ll just squeeze it to extract profits. Classical economists of the 1700s and 1800s would’ve called them rentseekers — the ugliest players in capitalism.

  • National pharmacare is possible – but it won’t come easy

    While a single, national plan would theoretically save money on drug purchases, it would also mean a large-scale shifting of costs from the private sector to the public sector – a net $7.3-billion annually… The single biggest impediment to pharmacare is the unwillingness of federal, provincial and territorial governments to absorb those costs and then increase taxes to pay the bill – even if the consumer comes out paying less in the long run.

  • Bill Morneau is wrong to rule out universal pharmacare

    There will be no pharmacare “plan,” he said on Wednesday, but instead a pharmacare “strategy” that “deals with the gaps,” is “fiscally responsible” and “doesn’t throw out the system that we currently have.” True to his government’s preference for targeted over universal programs, the finance minister seemed to be saying that supplements to the current dysfunctional mess will have to suffice.

  • Disruption we can get behind

    The main innovation of most self-declared disruptors is that they’ve found a way to take an even bigger share of the wealth from the workers who produce it than was possible before we all carried around the internet in our pockets. It’s not the disruptors who are the biggest problem, it’s the inequality—in incomes, in power and in access to scarce resources—which is worsening in Canada, to the benefit of a small number of established and disruptive elites alike.

  • Canadian tax hypocrisy that favours the rich must end: Broadbent

    Tax avoidance and evasion by the rich ultimately undermines democracy: it starves social programs and public services, increases after tax income and wealth inequality, and further concentrates economic resources in the hands of a few… Ordinary Canadians have a right to be angry that the very rich are being pampered by our political elites. The response should be broad-based, progressive tax reform to make the system much fairer and more transparent.