How does Ontario respond to people in crisis — and how should it?

Posted on June 26, 2020 in Health Delivery System

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… a big part of this new model has to be better mental-health care in general, so fewer people end up getting to that crisis point in the first place. The current model produces tragic outcomes, yes, but it also doesn’t work for a lot of people who never have a tragic outcome, per se, but need help they don’t get. And this is especially true with racialized or otherwise marginalized communities.

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Child & Family

Canada’s bail system is broken and unjust. The Supreme Court shows how to fix it

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The Court says the default position should be to automatically grant bail with no conditions, other than that the person attend their next court date. Other conditions should only be imposed to the degree they address three questions: “Is this person a flight risk; will their release pose a risk to public protection and safety; or is their release likely to result in a public loss of confidence in the administration of justice?”


Thoughts on forestalling the coming childcare crisis

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… the childcare sector requires an immediate injection of capital and a rapid expansion of space(s) in this critical phase of re-opening the economy… the Multilateral Early Learning and Childcare Framework… should immediately be boosted to pay some or all of the costs of a temporary injection of much-needed capital… provinces should actively support childcare providers to make use of community spaces that can accommodate satellite locations for childcare


Education

The 2020-21 academic year will be the best ever for postsecondary students who need a hand financially

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… students who will have to borrow to cover their costs – half the undergrad population in a normal year – should consider how much extra money there is this year. Enough to chop thousands off their total amount borrowed, and years off the time it takes to repay the loan. Here’s a list of financial resources available to students for the 2020-21 academic year


Ontario government asks feds to help expand internet access for students

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The Ontario government is asking for Ottawa’s… “immediate, urgent support” to address gaps in broadband access in areas of rural and Northern Ontario. “While most residents in Ontario have access to the internet, the speed, quality, and cost vary significantly across the province,” the ministers wrote. “Existing internet connectivity gaps prevent many elementary and secondary students from accessing the same learning made available to all other Ontario students, affecting education equity.”


Employment

Why Canada exploits temporary foreign workers

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As long as free trade rules, farmers will be under pressure to pay their workers less than Canadians are willing to accept. That in turn will lead to more temporary foreign workers… the government is being urged to provide such workers with a path to citizenship that would give them the same rights (and presumably the same wages) as other Canadians… But who then will pick the asparagus?


Here’s one simple — and relatively cheap — thing Ottawa needs to do to kick-start our economic recovery

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Business closures have pounded women across the country, hitting service-oriented sectors that tend to be female-dominated harder than others. Parents who were able to arrange to work from home quickly realized that caring for young children at the same time is unsustainable… “There’s no way our economy can reopen, reboot and recover if 40 per cent of its labour market cannot engage the way it did before”


Equality

Here’s why Ottawa’s pandemic aid isn’t finding its way to Black-owned businesses

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Black businesses are not getting the kind of financial support that the rest of the country’s private sector is getting from governments these days — despite the commitments from federal politicians to extend a hand to everyone who needs it, and repeated vows to act quickly on systemic racism… Liberals want to consult more with community leaders… The problem is, the damage from the pandemic is moving far faster than bureaucracy, and for Black communities, it’s devastating.


J.K. Rowling backlash shows how progressives are turning on their own kind

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Political correctness is a mocking term; the irony is that its substance is indeed (mostly) politically correct. It is correct to acknowledge and try to redress historical wrongs… Enough scolding, enough censorship, enough dogma and enough beating up on good people. Cannibalism is a lousy recruitment strategy. Progressives everywhere need a lesson in the importance of not being so angrily earnest.


Health

How does Ontario respond to people in crisis — and how should it?

Source: — Authors:

… a big part of this new model has to be better mental-health care in general, so fewer people end up getting to that crisis point in the first place. The current model produces tragic outcomes, yes, but it also doesn’t work for a lot of people who never have a tragic outcome, per se, but need help they don’t get. And this is especially true with racialized or otherwise marginalized communities.


Police shouldn’t be answering mental-health calls

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At this point… there’s no excuse for politicians to refuse to act… there are models elsewhere that could usefully provide direction. One that’s receiving lots of attention… involves teams of medical professionals and crisis workers responding directly to calls involving people in mental crisis, and rarely has to resort to police backup.


Inclusion

It took a deadly pandemic to get Toronto to embrace a faster way to build affordable housing

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Toronto council endorsed a plan to build 250 units of housing for people in the shelter system. The units, funded by a combination of municipal and federal cash, will be built using a modular process, constructed off-site then shipped to Toronto where they can be hoisted up by cranes and snapped together like Lego pieces.


COVID-19 and flooding: How Kashechewan is prepping for two natural disasters

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For 15 years, governments have promised to move Kashechewan. The now-yearly evacuations, which have gone on for the better part of 17 years, have taken a toll on the people who live there… The agreement they had made with the federal government in 2005 was scrapped after the Harper government came into power. “They shelved the old agreement and didn’t get it going,” says Friday. In 2019, Friday signed a new agreement with Ottawa.


Social Security

Defining disability for social assistance in Ontario: Options for moving forward

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A stable and well-functioning social support system for people with disabilities in financial need will be crucial during and after the crisis. This report explores the role of ODSP, the risks of narrowing the definition of disability, models of disability assessment from other jurisdictions, and alternative ways that the government could reform the program… A simplified assessment system would save time and money for applicants, medical professionals, legal clinics, adjudicators, and the Social Benefits Tribunal.


New report shows why a basic income makes sense during COVID-19 recovery

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… Canada should adapt a progressive version of basic income, similar to how the country’s Old Age Security and child benefit programs are calculated. Essentially, your basic income cheque increases and decreases depending on how much other income you make… the country can pay for basic income — either through existing tax programs, or with a new wealth tax, or by increasing sales tax slightly… “It gives people both the security and the flexibility to manoeuvre through transitions”


Governance

Ontario Provides Additional Funding to Support Municipalities and Urban Indigenous Community Partners

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Municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners will be able to use this funding for long-term, innovative housing solutions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. They can renovate shelters or purchase new facilities that will help with physical distancing in the short term and support longer-term, more sustainable solutions to homelessness… to provide vulnerable people with food, shelter and supplies.


It took a disaster for Doug Ford to abandon Mike Harris’s destructive legacy

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Never mind the rhetoric about cutting red tape, slashing taxes, unplugging photo radar, downsizing government and downloading welfare, its underpinning is simply this: Politics shall henceforth be transactional. Not transformational. Ask not what you can do for your country or province. Ask what your government can do for you to keep more money in your pocket… But it took the COVID-19 crisis to truly unravel that revolution — at least for now.