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New rules to shield private clinics from public scrutiny

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

Ontario already has private clinics. But the government is greatly expanding them in number and function and carving out a whole new zone within our health care system where they’ll be allowed to operate with far less public accountability, scrutiny and oversight than is currently required of private clinics… Bill 60 imposes no financial disclosure requirements on the director, who will have sweeping powers over the awarding of lucrative clinic licences.

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Biden breaks taboo on taxing wealthy, showing Trudeau how to do it

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

… their wealth is largely held in corporate stock and, unless they sell stock and trigger a capital gain, no income tax applies. The wealthy are a formidable interest group who play an enormous — although largely hidden — role in shaping the political agenda. Still, they’d have more trouble keeping a wealth tax off the agenda if our progressive politicians embraced the idea with the same gusto as the broad Canadian public.

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Private foundations sit on billions of dollars while charities struggle

Thursday, February 9th, 2023

We don’t need more tax breaks for charitable giving — Canada already has among the world’s most generous charitable tax breaks, and we are overflowing with charitable funds. It’s just that we can’t get at them. What’s needed is a major overhaul of Canada’s two-tier charity sector where private foundations controlled by wealthy families sit on mountains of idle cash while thousands of working charities are starved for funds as they struggle to deliver services to Canadians.

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Premier Doug Ford should explain why he underfunds public health care

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

If Ontario just spent the average of what the other provinces have spent on health care per capita over the past five years, we’d be spending an additional $7.2 billion this year — more than enough to properly pay our beleaguered nurses, lure thousands more nurses to Ontario and bring back into use countless hospital operating rooms all over the province idled by years of budget cuts.

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Ontario’s health-care system isn’t candy store to be plundered

Thursday, August 25th, 2022

With our health-care system reeling, Ford is charging ahead with further privatization — Ontario health care is already 40 per cent private — and selling this as a way to save the system through “innovation.” … The system’s problems have been thoroughly studied by countless commissions and the solutions do not involve privatization… Ontario has lots of unused hospital operating rooms, idled after years of cutbacks.

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Long banned in Ontario, private hospitals could soon reappear

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

… with the chaos created by COVID as a cover, the Ford government seems poised to allow a considerable expansion of private health care in the province… a dramatic development, allowing hospitals — the centrepieces of our health-care system — to be governed by corporate boards that prioritize profits, as in the U.S… private hospitals would undermine medicare by enabling well-to-do patients to gain faster access to treatment.

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After decades of delay, national child-care plan proves an ambitious social agenda is possible

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

… now that it’s clear a national child-care system is politically viable, it will be up to the Trudeau government to ensure that the one it’s started to build is strong — and public. The success of Scandinavian-style child care stems from the fact that it is a truly public system — like our school system — with no place for private profit-making, which leads to cutting corners on staff and resources.

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Taming inflation can be worse than inflation

Friday, December 17th, 2021

While Canadian inflation is running at 4.7 per cent, Canadian wages are also rising. For some of the most disadvantaged workers (new hires), average wages are growing at the impressive rate of 10 per cent a year — putting them well ahead of inflation… And this booming labour market may get better yet, as contracts expire and new ones are negotiated at a time when workers are wielding more power than they have in decades.

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Trudeau should join Biden in rejecting suffocating ‘trickle-down’ economics

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Trudeau has shown some spine against the deficit hawks, but he has been timid about joining Biden’s campaign to tax the wealthy… Too bad. We could sure use the money to pay for needed programs. Besides, when nations co-operate, corporations have a hard time playing us off against each other in pushing for ever-lower taxes… if other countries follow the U.S. in policing their corporations this way “it’s the end of tax havens.”

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If you don’t have $20 million, relax. A wealth tax won’t touch you

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Canada’s wealthiest 87 families had wealth of $259 billion in 2016; our top 44 billionaires increased their wealth by more than $50 billion during the pandemic… 79 per cent of Canadians favour a wealth tax… In fact, a wealth tax would be the simplest, fairest and most effective way to collect billions of extra dollars of revenue a year, and to limit the power and political influence of the billionaire class… Here are some of the facile arguments being trotted out against a wealth tax.

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