A courageous plan required for primary care reform

Posted on February 6, 2023 in Health Debates

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… two essential building blocks of the people-centred health reform we favour are timely access to primary care and the use of data. Data is a key tool to empower the users of the system and to support health care workers who need to care for people as they move through the system, from primary care office to hospital to home care and back… Even more than money, we need… Courage to make transformative changes. That starts with the foundation of the health system, which is primary care.

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Child & Family

I was a victim of random violence on the TTC. Throwing money at the problem won’t make us safer

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My story is just one of many that reveals the systemic failure of our social infrastructure, and the ways in which we need to redirect our energies, efforts and money toward social programming and mental-health supports… to confront issues and traumas deeply rooted in our failure to meet the needs of marginalized people, and a system where a lack of support allows insecurity and mental illness to grow.


Public safety comes from curbing violence, not just reacting to it

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Smart investment in tackling the root causes of violence reduces the need for police responses after the fact… It is time to get upstream of the emergencies. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it will alleviate the need for annual increases to policing that take away from so many other budget priorities.


Education

Payouts to parents are a sorry replacement for investing in Ontario’s schools

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The Ontario Ministry of Education has chosen to spend $365 million in one-time, nontargeted $200 payouts to parents across the province. This money will not address any of the challenges in Ontario’s schools and could be better used for targeted, in-classroom supports proven to be effective.


Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care?

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Canada’s policy-makers could take lessons from other countries who have streamlined early learning and child care within their schools.  Instead, they are putting up roadblocks, preventing provinces and territories from using federal child-care dollars to transform schools into one-stop centres for young children… Schools are publicly owned, eliminating the need for costly land and facility acquisition. Operating and oversight mechanisms are already in place. 


Employment

Where are your inflation dollars going? Inflation broken down by profit, wages and industry

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The data is clear—the largest driver of inflation is corporate profits… Of every dollar spent on higher prices in the last two years, 47 cents was converted into corporate profits in four industries, led by mining, oil and gas extraction, explains a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).


Why don’t we zone for rental apartments?

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The speculation-driven condo business model encourages high prices for land, a dynamic that favours firms that want to get in and out quickly instead of operating a rental building for decades… a dynamic encouraged by the strange fact that apartment buildings are taxed higher than condos. Today, we build almost nothing but condos.


Equality

Canadian university faculty getting older, more female compared to 50 years ago: StatCan

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Moving through the ranks, women achieved gender parity at the assistant professor level in the 2017-18 academic year. In 2021-22, women made up 51 per cent of assistant professors in Canada. The proportion of women as associate professors reached 44.3 per cent in 2021-22, five times more compared to 50 years ago. While nearly 10 times greater compared to 1971-72, the largest gender gap still exists among full professors, where 31.4 per cent are women.


‘The rich and everybody else’: Financial inequality in Canada keeps growing 

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Fifty per cent of  households are earning less than $16,000 to $17,000. That’s even after taxes and transfers and benefits. That gap between the 50 per cent of the population, roughly 8 million people or more, and that top 1 per cent of earners, a very small slice of the working population, is huge. And it’s growing bigger… Capitalism and democracy have always been in contestation. People want votes. People want rights. And they see that, usually, they can’t get them, because there’s a whole bunch of rich people who aren’t willing to do it.


Health

A courageous plan required for primary care reform

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… two essential building blocks of the people-centred health reform we favour are timely access to primary care and the use of data. Data is a key tool to empower the users of the system and to support health care workers who need to care for people as they move through the system, from primary care office to hospital to home care and back… Even more than money, we need… Courage to make transformative changes. That starts with the foundation of the health system, which is primary care.


Five things to know about health-care talks Tuesday between Trudeau, premiers

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… some sort of federal health transfer dates from 1957, when Ottawa offered 50-50 funding for health care to provinces that agreed to provide public hospital services based on national standards. It has evolved and changed at least five times since then, including splitting the federal share between cash and a transfer of tax points — when the federal government cut its income tax rates and the provinces could raise their own in exchange.


Inclusion

A judge’s ruling focuses attention on the homeless crisis

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A court ruling that Waterloo cannot dismantle an encampment may oblige governments to do a better job of ensuring that people have shelter… Clearing encampments is traumatizing for those being moved, costly for taxpayers and ultimately counter-productive, since it only serves to displace unhoused individuals rather than provide lasting accommodation. 


Ontario court rules encampments can stay if there’s a shortage of shelter beds

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In a precedent-setting decision that will have implications across the province, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has denied a municipality’s request to remove a homeless encampment on the basis that doing so – when there is no adequate indoor space – would violate the residents’ Charter rights.


Social Security

Quebec basic income program begins, but advocates say many low-income people excluded

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The program, aimed at 84,000 Quebecers with a “severely limited capacity for employment” such as a chronic illness or mental health condition, will provide an increase of more than 28 per cent for a single person, the government says… they will also have the ability to earn about $14,500 a year in wages – up from $200 a month – and have up to $20,000 in savings, all without losing benefits.


Interpreting the data: Key takeaways from Welfare in Canada, 2021

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The data in Welfare in Canada, 2021 reveal five main findings: Welfare incomes were deeply inadequate across Canada: – All households in every province lived in poverty, and the large majority lived in deep poverty… Most jurisdictions did not make substantive increases to already inadequate social assistance benefits… Total welfare incomes increased in a limited number of cases. In most instances, higher inflation in 2021 negated their positive impact.


Governance

Doug Ford appointed unqualified party loyalists to fill key tribunal spots. Now Ontarians are paying the price as wait lists swell

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Tribunals are supposed to be the one place where justice, and access to justice, is equal for all — an alternative to high-priced lawyers and endless court dates. Yet Ontario’s front-line administrative tribunals have become dysfunctional on Ford’s watch… Ordinary Ontarians are paying the price for the premier’s pork barrelling, with a queue exceeding 67,000 cases in key areas:


Preventing use of the notwithstanding clause is a bad idea — and unnecessary

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Questions that could be asked of the Supreme Court include: When can section 33 be used? How does the word “notwithstanding” in Sec. 33 relate to the words “notwithstanding anything” in Sec. 28’s equal rights guarantee? How can the clause be amended? … Rather than stoking a constitutional crisis through disallowance, this reference would allow the federal government to de-escalate tensions and, most importantly, clarify the scope of the notwithstanding clause.