Where is the champion for pharmacare?

Posted on in Health Debates

Source: — Authors:

Canadians may see some more steps in the right direction in late May or early June when former Ontario Liberal health minister Eric Hoskins releases an in-depth report by a National Advisory Council on pharmacare… But… his council’s report will be impossible to implement without a champion in cabinet… bold plans like pharmacare require the use of political capital, and only a strong champion with serious cabinet clout can make things happen.

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Child & Family

Don’t balance Ontario’s budget on the backs of vulnerable kids

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First he cut a planned welfare increase in half. He ended a guaranteed annual income pilot program halfway through its mandate. Then he ditched a planned $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage. Now his government is putting the province’s most vulnerable children in danger by putting budgetary pressures on children’s aid societies by changing up their funding formulas. So far that’s resulted in 26 child protection workers being laid off in the Brantford area.


Parents rally against Ford government’s autism changes

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the government is boosting spending to clear a wait list of 23,000 children and giving families limited budgets to choose the services they want. Depending on their income, parents will be eligible for up to $20,000 a year for children under 6, with a lifetime maximum of $140,000. Children older than that can access up to $5,000 a year up to age 18, to a lifetime maximum of $55,000. Critics have said those amounts fall far short, as children with severe needs can require up to $80,000 a year in therapy.


Education

Budget 2019 promotes skills, scholarships and Indigenous student access

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… the federal Liberals tabled a budget on March 19 focused on skills, employment and youth, along with other items related to affordable housing, pharmacare and seniors. The budget contains several key items for the postsecondary sector, including a target to create 84,000 new student work placements across the country by 2023… The government has pledged $328 million over five years targeted at First Nations communities through expansion of the Postsecondary Student Support Program…


Ford government announces hikes to high school class sizes, but no changes to kindergarten

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The Ford government is boosting class sizes starting in Grade 4 through to Grade 12 while promising no layoffs — though teacher unions expect about 4,500 positions will be eliminated each year over the next four years… Education Minister Lisa Thompson… unveiled a number of education reforms… including a back-to-basics math curriculum, tweaking of the sex-ed curriculum, and a plan to have each high school student take one online credit each year. Class sizes will remain the same from kindergarten to Grade 3, and from Grades 4-8 will increase by one student.


Employment

Employment changes would mean working more and earning less overtime pay

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The key changes proposed by the PCs concern ministry of labour oversight of excess hours of work and overtime averaging agreements, and could result in many Ontarians working more hours and earning less overtime pay… An inevitable result will be the proliferation of overtime averaging agreements in workplaces where no justifying circumstances are present, and employers are simply seeking to cut costs at their employees’ expense. Employees are typically told to sign these agreements at their time of hire, and overwhelmingly do so for fear of being passed up for a candidate who will.


Taxing the rich and finding the sweet spot in the tax debate

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… soaking the top 1 per cent with higher income taxes does not lead to a massive change in government revenues because there simply are not that many of them… Rather than getting caught up in simple fixes to tax rates, Canadians would do well to get behind a review of our tax system to ensure that all its parts – from taxation of small businesses and corporations, to the treatment of capital gains and dividends – helps Canada grow faster.


Equality

Is there a ‘female’ brain?

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the idea of “male” and “female” brains is entirely too simplistic. Brains aren’t binary, and the similarities dwarf the differences. But the differences – well, they matter… On average, males are far more likely to be autistic, die by suicide, wind up in jail, specialize in competing and be interested in systems. They are more risk-taking, single-minded and status-seeking. Females are far more likely to specialize in caring and be interested in people – and to suffer from depression.


Ontario shouldn’t delay on closing the wage gap

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TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorials March 7, 2019.   By STAR EDITORIAL BOARD You’d think a law aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap in Ontario by allowing men and women doing similar work to compare their compensation would be a self-evidently good thing. And not just for women, who currently earn on average close to a […]


Health

On Pharmacare, the Liberals offer big questions and small investments

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… If [the federal government] were to directly fund and manage drug coverage, there would be less integration in the management of overall health care costs and provinces would have less incentive for cost-effective choices between drugs and other inputs to health care… One hopes that the final report on the Implementation of National Pharmacare will… clarify the intended scope of public drug coverage and Ottawa’s intended role in a new national pharmacare system.


Where is the champion for pharmacare?

Source: — Authors:

Canadians may see some more steps in the right direction in late May or early June when former Ontario Liberal health minister Eric Hoskins releases an in-depth report by a National Advisory Council on pharmacare… But… his council’s report will be impossible to implement without a champion in cabinet… bold plans like pharmacare require the use of political capital, and only a strong champion with serious cabinet clout can make things happen.


Inclusion

Ford government must fulfill Ontario’s promise to people with disabilities

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As it stands, 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities are receiving the message that “you don’t belong here”… That should be viewed as a violation of both human and civil rights… investing in accessibility is both the right thing to do and also provides social and economic benefits for everyone, including the province’s increasing numbers of seniors… It’s time the government listened and acted.


Ontario nowhere near goal of full accessibility by 2025, review finds

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“This is a matter of civil rights, and people with disabilities are being discriminated against on a daily basis in multiple ways,” Onley said… “The message is: you don’t belong here.” … Even the definition of “disability” is problematic, he said, saying AODA’s current language positions disability as a medical issue rather than one of social exclusion.


Social Security

Basic income project improved lives, but ‘now it’s back to the food bank’

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Participants reported less stress and depression, fewer health problems and a greater ability to work, buy healthy food, upgrade their education and secure stable housing… Participants receive their last payment at the end of March — barely 18 months after most began receiving the extra money — and before the government was able to do any followup studies. The project’s goal was to determine whether regular, unconditional payments improve housing, health, education, employment and social outcomes for people living on social assistance or low-wage jobs in an efficient and non-stigmatizing way.


Alberta makes the biggest strides as child poverty rates drop across Canada

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Alberta has the lowest child poverty rate in the country at 5 per cent, having managed to cut its rate in half in just two years, between 2015 and 2017… University of Calgary economist Ron Kneebone pointed to the national Canada Child Benefit and, at least in Alberta, the Alberta Child Benefit, as the biggest reasons for this improvement. Both were introduced in recent years to provide better income supports for parents.


Governance

SNC-Lavalin is a sideshow to the real Wilson-Raybould issue

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We should all stop simpering, shut down the Indigenous grievance racket, devise a serious reform policy and stop acting like pathetic apologists for the brave and good people who built this country, the Aboriginal people first among them… The natives have entirely legitimate grievances and we have to address them, but not by throwing money at undemocratic leaders and accepting the blood libel that we are the descendants of barbarians.


Property taxes are the obvious solution to Toronto’s revenue crisis

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John Tory… is kicking the can down the road by deferring maintenance and raiding reserves. The favourite answer of local politicians is Ottawa and Queen’s Park. But those governments can — and do — point to the fact that we refuse to collect taxes at a rate anywhere near that of our neighbours. Why would they fund us if we won’t fund ourselves?