• Tax Fairness? Maybe Next Year, Say Liberals

    Closing unfair and ineffective tax loopholes could have raised $16 billion. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer… How long before regular taxpayers conclude that the promise of fair system was an empty one?

  • Federal budget to show how infrastructure bank can attract, free up investment

    A new infrastructure bank could free up billions in new money for social services Canadians regularly use, internal government documents say — provided the experimental new institution meets its lofty financing goals… Funding for social infrastructure projects, which tend to be less attractive to private investors, could increase by one-third if the bank meets its target of leveraging $4 in private investment for every $1 from the federal government

  • Stop assaults against nurses and other health-care workers

    … underfunding and understaffing are “significant contributors” to workplace violence… unions recommend that the ministry of labour audit all of Ontario’s health-care facilities to make sure effective protections are in place; ensure that workplaces have safeguards such as personal monitors, alarms and identification of violent patients; and ensure adequate staffing levels and the presence of trained security personnel where needed.

  • Ottawa is falling short in efforts to fix Canada’s corporate secrecy

    The problem is that the way companies are registered in Canada involves a degree of secrecy more often associated with sunny tax havens, such as Panama and the Bahamas. The true owners of companies registered here don’t have to be identified in corporate registries, which allows them to move assets under a cloak of anonymity.

  • Paying MDs more won’t help

    Some access and wait-times are better since the 1980s, but not because there are more physicians getting higher fees. Success has mainly come through common-sense reorganization and by replacing physician-centred models of medical care with patient-centred models, often involving fewer physicians but other more appropriate professionals… other factors matter more to our health… security in housing and food, good education, adequate income.

  • Better medicare the prescription for Ontario

    Calls for user fees on top of what the government already pays us, and arguments to let rich Ontarians pay for faster services, undermine values shared by most doctors and patients. Not to mention, they also fly in the face of the evidence. Besides violating the Canada Health Act and Ontario’s own laws, user fees and similar charges disproportionately impact those least able to pay, who also happen to be the Ontarians most in need of care.

  • Don’t let seniors’ care become a private equity money maker

    Research shows that the typical business model for such arrangements is associated with offering a high return on capital and maximizing cash extraction. The property assets owned by the private equity firm are separated from the daily operations of providing resident care… The evidence is clear: Large-scale private equity investments in nursing home facilities too often jeopardize the quality of care and put seniors’ health at risk.

  • Divide and conquer: How the feds split the provinces in health talks

    The Liberal government entered into the health accord talks with as much leverage as it could hope for. The federal government alone has the authority to determine the size and scope of the Canada Health Transfer, whether or not the provinces agree to it… Without a legal bargaining position, the provinces must rely on their ability to criticize and embarrass the federal government as leverage. The upcoming federal budget gives the Liberals another stick to wield.

  • Report on struggling news business is responsible, high-minded, and profoundly wrong

    Most of the industry’s problems are self-inflicted, a series of bad choices in response to admittedly massive changes. But even if that were not the case, there is nothing whatever to prevent readers from paying for what we produce, if they so chose. They are simply choosing not to do so… My concern is not that such a fund would be partisan, or enforce a government line. I worry, rather, how it would affect our thinking… toward a certain vision of society, and of journalism.

  • Courts are the biggest threat to Canadian medicare

    The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that provincial governments were required under the Canada Health Act to provide patients only with “core” services and that their failure to offer more did not violate anyone’s charter rights… A 2004 Federal Court… judge ruled he had no authority to make the federal government monitor and enforce the Canada Health Act… When it comes to expanding collective rights connected to medicare, the courts are cautious and deferential. But when it comes to expanding individual rights at the expense of medicare, they are far bolder.