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The health-care spending law of Wildavsky and Harper

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Oct. 31 2012
After 10 years of average annual growth in public health spending of 7 per cent, the increase levelled off in 2011 to 3.3 per cent, and to 2.9 per cent this year, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information… And, unlike in the early 1990s, when a virtual freeze on new spending led to bed closures, layoffs and a general stasis in the system, cost control didn’t depend on program or employment cuts.

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Posted in Health Delivery System | No Comments »

Ontario welfare reform plan is on the right track

Friday, October 26th, 2012

October 24, 2012
…the existing system doesn’t accomplish either of its goals – making sure the poorest Ontarians have a decent minimum income, and helping those who can work start supporting themselves as quickly as possible. Even those inclined to blame people on welfare for their own misfortune should agree that if we’re going to spend billions, let’s make sure it’s for something productive.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Omnibus budget: Bill C-45 is an affront to democracy

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

October 19, 2012
… a document of more than 400 pages, which still includes many non-budgetary matters… Bill C-45, if passed, will ensure significant savings over the coming years. But as Harper clearly knows, the scope of the bill means it will take months or years before Canadians understand the cost of those savings, beyond the steep democratic one.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

Ontario’s cuts to funds for poor sends miserable message

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

October 18, 2012
Much was revealed when Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government opted to slash funding for the poor while spending at least $230 million on the politically motivated closing of two gas-fired generating plants. The province faces a $14.4-billion deficit but, even in these cash-strapped times, there’s money for what really matters… no one in Ontario deserves help more than those who struggle, day after day, even for basic necessities.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | 1 Comment »

Hope is real

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Oct. 13, 2012
… The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy… discovered that the failure of the poorest kids was not preordained. Nearly 20 per cent of youngsters who started out as vulnerable, or in need of help, ended up meeting Grade 3 expectations… with the right types of interventions, we can work to ensure that over time there are more positive deflections than negative ones.

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Posted in Education Debates | 1 Comment »

How to improve life for at-risk children

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Oct. 11 2012
children from poor or abusive families have more challenges in school and, as adults, have markedly worse health. Now, scientists understand why. The experiences of a child during the first 2,000 days of his or her life affect brain circuitry and impair social and mental development because genes react to the environment… By providing early learning enrichment, it is possible to reverse the impact of adverse circumstances on a child’s brain.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

The wait in Ontario for social housing can run to 10 years

Monday, August 27th, 2012

August 26, 2012
For the fifth year in a row more Ontario households joined the waiting list for social housing than got off it. Queues across the province have swollen by a shocking 26 per cent since 2007 with some people waiting a decade for affordable housing… For all too many, that amounts to a 10-year sentence of being trapped in poverty as rents they can barely afford gobble up their money, leaving precious little on which to live. In a country as rich as Canada, this is a disgrace.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | 3 Comments »

Good health takes more than access to doctors and hospital beds it takes wealth too

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

14 August 2012
More than 1 in 4 lower income Canadians have delayed or stopped buying prescription drugs and have skipped meals because they were short of money… the gap appears to be growing… Yet, despite all the evidence about these “social determinants” of health, governments have failed to fund accordingly… The link between poverty and ill health is well established. By not addressing the root economic and social causes of ill health we’re just adding to health care bills down the line.

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Posted in Health Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Ottawa needs to help mind the health gap

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

15 August 2012
Through improvements to housing, water quality, education and other social services, Ottawa could help lessen the incidence of costly illnesses such as adult-onset diabetes, heart disease, depression and stroke – ultimately saving the system money. Less direct, but also important, is the federal government’s role in public health, by which it can try to counterbalance some of the underlying factors in the socioeconomic gap.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Housing crisis in Attawapiskat still isn’t solved

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

2 August 2012
the federal government has never bothered much about the root causes of anything on First Nations reserves. That’s why many remain chock-a-block with poverty and hopelessness… Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who did his best to convince Canadians that the band council was to blame for the housing crisis because they had somehow mismanaged funds, was way off base. All he did was create even more distrust… To this day, the housing crisis in Attawapiskat – and dozens of other northern native communities – remains largely unsolved.

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Posted in Equality Debates | 2 Comments »

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