Canada’s soldiers have provided a wake-up call for our long-term care system

Posted on May 28, 2020 in Health Policy Context

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Our inaction, founded in deep societal ageism and persistent under-funding, cumulatively sowed the seeds of the tragedy we have been witnessing. Canada currently spends, on average, 30 per cent less of its gross domestic product on long-term care than the other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and prioritizes its limited funds on warehousing older adults rather than helping them stay in their own homes.

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Child & Family

When it comes to long-term care, what matters more than ownership is accountability and responsibility

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The profit motive works in our market system. But what works for Walmart — relentless cost-cutting pressure on suppliers and minimal staffing ratios for low wage part-timers — is hardly an optimal model for nursing homes where part-time, underpaid caregivers are responsible for safeguarding people, not products… There is no excuse for not regulating and inspecting comprehensively, annually and aggressively. Surely that is the primary role and responsibility of government


Gun control is a Canadian value I was proud to adopt

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… the science is clear: jurisdictions that have more stringent restrictions on access to guns — including bans on assault weapons — have less gun injury and death. Canada’s assault weapons ban is backed by 15 medical associations, two national women’s organizations, survivors’ groups, mayors, police chiefs, and the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime… Let us not fall prey to hollow arguments about “gun rights” and “self protection” or opportunistic political posturing.


Education

Let’s admit it – online education is a pale shadow of the real thing

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… the massive and sudden shift in teaching at all levels exposes social and economic faultlines that pre-date the current pandemic… Even at places where in-person teaching will resume in the fall, the social and cultural aspects of campus life will be almost entirely absent… Given physical distancing, the in-person option will presumably be available only for small classes… online education is what we are forced to accept… that we’ve been forced willy-nilly into this viral-virtual corner is no solace, or solution.


A recession is a great time to go back to school. Governments must help make that possible

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… unlike previous recessions, postsecondary education has itself been partly shut down… For the sake of Canada’s future, governments need to encourage young adults to keep pursuing their educations, and older and unemployed adults to consider a return… The pandemic presents an opportunity for educational innovation, born of necessity.


Employment

Justin Trudeau says he’ll seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all workers

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Right now there is a patchwork of sick-leave provisions across the country. All provinces require workers have access to unpaid sick days, but only Quebec and Prince Edward Island require paid sick leave. Ontario stipulates three days of unpaid sick leave, while paid sick leave is a decision between employers and their employees, companies and unions… Ottawa “can’t impose” paid sick leave on provinces or employers, but it “can come to the table with money and that would make a difference.”


What Kind of Economic Recovery do Canadians Want?

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Canadians, by a 2 to 1 margin, want governments to spend whatever is required to rebuild and stimulate the economy, even if it means running large deficits for the foreseeable future… Building Canada’s ability to produce key products like food and medical supplies domestically… Investing in strengthening the health system, including universal public pharmacare… Not letting richer Canadians off the hook for contributing their fair share… Helping people who need it the most…


Equality

We must ensure the post-COVID world does not fall prey to socialism

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There is a titanic political struggle about to come. The right must start thinking about how to fight it… It will be a conflict in which the natural supporters of free enterprise as the foundation of human progress, and fiscal responsibility as the bedrock of a confident economy, will suddenly find themselves on the back foot… if people are left to turn only to socialist ideas in the wake of these terrible weeks, today’s tragedies will turn into the lifelong torment of tomorrow.


A recession is a great time to go back to school. Governments must help make that possible

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… unlike previous recessions, postsecondary education has itself been partly shut down… For the sake of Canada’s future, governments need to encourage young adults to keep pursuing their educations, and older and unemployed adults to consider a return… The pandemic presents an opportunity for educational innovation, born of necessity.


Health

Canada’s soldiers have provided a wake-up call for our long-term care system

Source: — Authors: ,

Our inaction, founded in deep societal ageism and persistent under-funding, cumulatively sowed the seeds of the tragedy we have been witnessing. Canada currently spends, on average, 30 per cent less of its gross domestic product on long-term care than the other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and prioritizes its limited funds on warehousing older adults rather than helping them stay in their own homes.


Counterpoint: Protect our domestic supply by shutting down the paid-plasma industry

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The fact that the federal government gave blood brokers licenses to export plasma out of cash-strapped New Brunswick and Saskatchewan has been nothing less of an embarrassing policy blunder — one that was based on the fundamental lie: that blood brokers would contribute to our national blood supply. They do not. The fact is that the private paid-plasma model is being systematically abandoned throughout the world.


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

Why do provinces often confiscate federal benefits from people who clearly need them?

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Taken together, as many as 52,000 people on social assistance receive federal and provincial benefits that are subject to complete clawbacks… Those clawbacks poured about $34 million into provincial coffers in April… Ontario isn’t ready to give any of that money back to people such as Demerse by treating EI the same as CERB during the pandemic… it may be time to consider uploading social assistance to the federal level and leave provinces to continue offering supports such as employment training, prescription drugs, dental and vision care for low-income residents


Social Assistance Summaries: New numbers from across Canada

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Social Assistance Summaries is an annual publication that reports on the number of people receiving social assistance (welfare payments) in each province and territory, and how those numbers have changed over time. It draws on data provided by provincial and territorial governments. The report also briefly describes social assistance programs in each province and territory.


Governance

Federal government plans to accelerate investments in high-speed internet for remote parts of Canada

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The federal government is preparing to launch an online portal where communities can track the progress of broadband infrastructure projects as it looks to accelerate its investments in rural internet in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The website… is an attempt to increase accounta-bility and transparency as Ottawa faces growing pressure to bring faster, more reliable internet service to Canadians living outside of major cities.


COVID-19’s impact on women investigated by Canadian government

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The pandemic has revealed the importance of essential services… that’s what we’re learning — that childcare is an essential service, and so is drugs, dental and vision. It shouldn’t be tied to whoever your employer is… Boosting spending power will be essential to the economic recovery, and one way to do that for women whose marginal service- and retail-sector jobs have disappeared is for government to take over paying for and providing essential services…