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Close your eyes and imagine what a best-in-class LTC system looks like… then build it

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

It has fewer and larger LTC facilities. We have too many now… a proper ratio of personal support workers (PSWs) to residents, as with regulated daycare centres… Each resident of the new LTC system has his or her own room, with a personal washroom… PSWs are prohibited from working in multiple locations. That widespread practice, rooted in PSWs’ low pay, is believed to have caused much of the COVID-19 spread.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Millions of Canadians are now collecting a state-funded income. But what happens after the pandemic ends?

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

The advent of UBI in its pure form is unlikely. It has its champions today as never before, but UBI is likely to fade as the pandemic does. To start, the federal finance ministry, no fan of UBI, prefers to create targeted rather than universal programs. And never mind the streamlined efficiency of universal programs like Medicare… the issue isn’t affordability. It’s culture. People either embrace or reject paying the freight for ensuring that everyone has a decent, dignified way of life.

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Posted in Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Why universal pharmacare will help get Canada’s drug costs under control — and why Big Pharma hates it

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

It might be more accurate to say we can’t afford to go without it… The Hoskins report estimates an annual savings of about $5 billion in total drug spending once universal pharmacare is fully implemented… And it would strengthen employers’ ability to hire and properly compensate employees. Employer contributions to drug plans generally reduce worker pay.

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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »

Premier needs primer in the value of universal basic income to the economy

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

It might be news to the premier that most poor people in Ontario have jobs — and quite a few put in longer hours than he does. UBI is not a novel concept. Thomas More championed it in Utopia(1516). Canada saw positive outcomes from a 1970s “mincome” experiment in Manitoba, but the project was of insufficient duration to be deemed conclusive.

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Posted in Debates | No Comments »

Don’t fear the education revolution

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

September 21, 2012
A return to three-year undergrads would move students more quickly to two-year masters and three-year PhD programs, or the workforce. It would free up teachers and class and lab space. It would reduce students’ tuition expenses… Online study doesn’t have to mean home study… The latter would be more enriched than before, since the fundamentals would have been imparted online.

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Why economically troubled nations should emulate Germany

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Apr 19 2012
German industry is no less productive and innovative than its top peers, including Korea, Japan and the U.S. Yet organized labour in Germany has long had a significant role in corporate governance, as members of corporate supervisory boards. And Germany has long required employers to provide mandatory five-week vacations to workers… Germany… has not attempted, simplistically and foolishly, to slash its way back to robust health. Indeed, that Germany remains in robust economic health is a vindication of the social-welfare state.

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Posted in Policy Context | 1 Comment »

OAS not in crisis, no need to soak the seniors plan

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Feb 10 2012
The affordability of a higher-quality health care system does merit debate. Also affordable housing, the cornerstone of poverty reduction. Also education reform that better matches students with a workplace that, as a business think tank complained last week, is suffering a “desperate shortage” of skilled workers despite 1.42 million Canadians out of work. The PM is wrong about the sustainability of Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, paid to the poorest Canadians. And Canadians have let him know it.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

The Occupy movement isn’t going away, it’s going online

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Nov 18 2011
It’s a worldwide movement… And it’s not going away… the current, gross disparity in wealth matches that of gilded ages past. Progressive movements arose in each case to restore balance and a measure of economic fairness… starting with “A revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environment protection… Getting in the way of overdue change is a fool’s errand.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Occupy Toronto is not the real threat to civil society

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Nov 10 2011
Certainly this is the hour of our discontent. That discontent is income inequality. The spectacular disparity between the super-affluent and the rest of us is a leading, if not root, cause of widespread ill health, stunted education opportunity, and intolerably high rates of crime and racial discrimination in our communities… Economic injustice is not an act of God, but of man. The now-tattered social safety net we built we can repair. The wealth of nations is jeopardized by allowing the middle-class backbone of our communities to corrode, a process already too far along.

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Small business, the romance is over

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Oct 20 2011
Fact is, the dismal failure rate of small businesses is such that they kill about as many new jobs as they create. About 40 per cent of new businesses fail in their first two years… Our misplaced romanticizing of small business is lousy public policy. We chronically misallocate taxpayer resources to subsidize with tax breaks and other largesse the lifestyle choice of folks who prefer to be their own boss… doctors, accountants, travel and real estate agents, beauticians, the trusts of wealthy families, and recipients of rental income on vacation homes and commercial real estate. None of those are risk-taking job creators.

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