• Purdue Pharma given free reign in Canada as it is sanctioned in the United States

    Several American states have already successfully sued Purdue Pharma and others may follow… We have the same tragic opioid crisis here in Canada relative to the U.S. — 3,000 deaths per year in Canada compared to 30,000 in the United States — and trail only the U.S. when it comes to opioid prescribing rates. But unlike our neighbours, Canadian governments have not taken similar actions against Purdue Pharma. Canadians pay for this inaction.

  • A new era for the workplace – shorter work weeks – is starting now

    Ironically, the fact that technology has made work 24/7 for many may make the case for shorter official weeks even stronger. That the wall between world and leisure is effectively blurred means that official number of hours actually worked, particularly by white-collar employees, has little to do with the number of hours that they are at work. Granting shorter workweeks may not cost employers as much as it might seem…

  • 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.

  • Wage wars, trade wars, and virtual economic reality

    Statistically, the provincial economy is the strongest in decades. Ontario’s 5.5 per cent unemployment rate is the lowest this century, economic growth has been best in the West since 2014, interest rates are low and the budget is balanced. Tell that to vulnerable workers. Or the venerable Ontario Chamber of Commerce… Even the latest uproar over the minimum wage appears to be a battle of perception versus performance — or virtual reality versus economic reality.

  • Universal health care’s humble origins

    Viewed solely in economic terms, Britain could not afford the NHS in 1946. That the NHS was created speaks to a conscious decision on the part of government to prioritize health care and social services. Ultimately, what a society can or cannot afford is a policy decision… / The creation of the NHS was a courageous decision by the Labour Party to radically improve the lives of British people. It benefited most sectors of society – hence the continuing broad support for it.

  • Buckle up: Final NAFTA talks will be a bumpy ride

    Canada is the world’s biggest buyer of America’s exports…. “We buy more from the U.S. than America sells to China, Japan and the U.K. combined.”… Canada also accounts for a remarkable one-quarter of all U.S. small-business exports… Our enthusiasm for multilateral trade deals has not been matched by Canadian exporters exploiting those deals to crack offshore markets… our less than intrepid exporters should concern us as much as a NAFTA in limbo.

  • Is our health system destined to follow a U.S. trajectory?

    Growing gaps in drug and dental coverage, especially for working-class Canadians with no or inadequate employer benefits, means more lower-income Canadians will skip trips to the dentist or won’t fill prescriptions. Wealth gaps among the provinces means Canadians in some regions will have access to better and more timely care than those in other parts of the country.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Imagining an alternative to growing global inequality

    If the global growth in income inequality keeps on at its current pace, populist and nationalist trends around the world will flourish… 82 per cent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1 per cent of the global population. The poorest half of the world’s population — 3.7 billion people — saw no increase at all… the wealth of the billionaire class has risen by an annual average of 13 per cent since 2010, over six times faster than the wages of average workers.