What is Doug Ford hiding in his mandate letters to government ministers?

Posted on August 4, 2022 in Governance Debates

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Ever since he became premier in 2018, Ford has refused to let the public see his mandate letters to his cabinet ministers. Indeed, Ford is so desperate to keep the letters secret that he’s waging a costly legal battle to prevent their release. It’s a fight he has lost all the way to Ontario’s top court and is now appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada… he’s also keeping the letters secret even from key bureaucrats who help analyze and formulate government policy.

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Child & Family

Ontario’s for-profit child-care owners demonstrate why they can’t be trusted to build Canada’s $10-a-day child-care system

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As families in Ontario wait for child care fee relief, some for-profit child care owners seem more interested in continuing the status quo of sky-high parent fees and rock bottom wages for early childhood educators. They take issue with the new Canada-wide child care system, complaining that it threatens their bottom lines. In doing so, they are proving exactly why they cannot be trusted to build Canada’s $10-a-day child care program. For them it’s profits over parents, every time.


Forget motives. The Trudeau government is getting it right on gun control

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… it plans to introduce a national handgun “freeze” — not a ban — that will bar future sales, purchases, transfers and importation of handguns by anyone across the country… It would cap the number of handguns held legally by Canadians and prevent them from being sold or otherwise moved around. Over time it would reduce the number of legal guns that find their way into the illegal market and end up being used in crimes…


Education

Doug Ford Quietly Reduced Education Spending By Nearly a Billion Dollars Last Year

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For the past decade, real per-student funding has been cut in virtually every year,” Walton told PressProgress… In the first three months of 2022 alone, the Ford government cut $373 million dollars from education,” Walton said. “This cut is the equivalent of 6,594 education workers that should be in Ontario classrooms – or one full-time and one part-time staff person per school.”


I’m a university student, and I support the return of Grade 13. Here’s why

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A great portion of Grade 12 students feel completely lost, with no clue of what they want in a career, let alone university major… University is neither cheap nor easy — why rush into it if you’re not emotionally or financially ready? …extra time in high school to reflect on what you want would make a huge difference… What I’d like to know is what makes this new Grade 13 distinct from essentially repeating Grade 12 with a “victory lap.”


Employment

Why a universal job guarantee beats the basic income pipe dream

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Job guarantee programs are crucial for a number of reasons. They keep people in the labour force, alleviate poverty, improve health and well-being, add meaning to people’s lives and help the most vulnerable… Like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, universal basic income might take away the incentive to work for some, resulting in a labour market bereft of workers… a universal job guarantee would be more appealing to voters because it addresses labour shortages while guaranteeing minimum wage.


The Rogers outage, and other scenes from the death of neo-liberalism

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The premiers met in B.C. this week and wailed hysterically about needing more money to fix health care. I wouldn’t give them another cent till they pass a written test on what went wrong. They adopted the just-in-time principle from manufacturing (which led to bottlenecks and inflation now rampant) for health. They cut staff to a minimum. Why? Because it fit with the neo-liberal agenda to slash taxes and pay for it with decreased spending on public programs… Then when COVID hit, the system began to crumble.


Equality

In defence of philanthropy

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… from more transparency to more collaboration, from greater diversity and inclusion to simplification and greater flexibility, from more listening and learning to being more aware of the need for allyship in the service of social justice… It is a succinct, clear, and reasoned defence of the act and impulse to give… We need more defenders of the choice to give, whether it is much or little. As Breeze concludes, “philanthropy is imperfect, messy and complex, but it is better than a world without philanthropy.”


It’s the 40th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but recent protests show a serious misunderstanding of what those mean

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On the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Charter, it is important to reflect on the rights Canadians share and, more importantly, understand that these rights entail responsibilities to each other.  Perhaps if misunderstandings about rights and freedoms were clarified, there would be a greater sense of unity.


Health

Time for Doug Ford government to act on health care crisis

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In times of crisis, leadership carries a particular responsibility. It is about showing up, demonstrating competence and shoring up confidence. It’s about accountability, being seen to be in charge, about restoring trust when trust is wavering… It’s time the Ford government gave evidence of being appropriately seized by the urgency of the health-care crisis and with taking responsibility for addressing public anxiety about it.


An unhealthy shortage of family doctor

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There is no single fix to the stresses Canada’s health-care system is facing. But efforts that bolster the ranks of family doctors — such as easing the administrative burdens that detract from patient care and encouraging the expansion of family medicine teams — hold the promise of improving our collective health.


Inclusion

Rebuilding from Canada’s Senior Care Disaster

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Elder-care policy must include a focus on wellness, education, adopting healthy lifestyles, literacy with new technologies that can support health and fostering a sense of community. To achieve this, it will be necessary to… engage organizations that have the ability to impact the social determinants of health, such as not-for-profit groups, seniors’ advocacy groups, community service organizations and other human services ministries within government.


Moving from theory to implementation on human rights and poverty

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When we think of “human rights,” many tend to think of large-scale, national-level issues. Cities, though, are where people experience their lives, where their ability to access their rights (or not) becomes a lived reality. Municipal governments are responsible for many of the systems that we need daily, such as zoning for housing, parks and recreation, and public health services… we have been working on articulating what the principles of a human rights approach mean in practice… so that people experience their human rights in their everyday lives


Social Security

What are the key trends in Social Assistance Summaries, 2021?

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The analysis in this policy brief provides a first set of pathways for governments to improve the human right to an adequate standard of living of some of the most vulnerable people in Canada… federal, provincial, and territorial governments have long neglected [unattached singles], often preferring to focus on families with children and seniors. Because of this, welfare incomes of unattached singles have become highly inadequate, falling well below the deep poverty income threshold in almost every province.


Social Assistance Summaries, 2021

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On average, there were over 595,000 cases (families and single adults) in Ontario’s social assistance programs during 2020-21. Over 36 per cent (217,234) were recipients of Ontario Works and 64 per cent (378,145) were recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program… In 2020-21, on average, 7.6 per cent of people in Ontario under 65 received Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), which is 1 in 13.


Governance

What is Doug Ford hiding in his mandate letters to government ministers?

Source: — Authors:

Ever since he became premier in 2018, Ford has refused to let the public see his mandate letters to his cabinet ministers. Indeed, Ford is so desperate to keep the letters secret that he’s waging a costly legal battle to prevent their release. It’s a fight he has lost all the way to Ontario’s top court and is now appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada… he’s also keeping the letters secret even from key bureaucrats who help analyze and formulate government policy.


Healthcare needs collaboration, not finger-pointing

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The health-care crisis is different in nature from the pandemic, but alike in urgency. As such, it is a challenge of sufficient scale and complexity to be addressed at the first ministers’ level. This is especially true when [negotiating] pharmacare and national dental care programs… Collaboration on those files and addressing the crisis must involve more than cheque-writing that pours more money into systems proving inefficient. It must involve systemic and structural reforms to help make the healthcare system more sustainable – and easily accessible.