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Ottawa should produce vital products — like it did in the Second World War

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

… many companies have signalled a willingness to produce materials for the pandemic. But, without a powerful government agency overseeing production and distribution, we’ve been left scrambling to buy scarce equipment in a chaotic private marketplace, bidding against U.S. states and governments all over the world. If the Trudeau government seems unable to break out of its subservience to the marketplace, some in the labour movement are showing more vision.

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Posted in History | 1 Comment »

The public lab that could have helped fight COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

… our willingness to go along with the privatization cult in recent decades has left us weaker and less protected than we could be. Not only do we no longer have Connaught Labs, but Canada spends $1 billion a year funding basic medical research at Canadian universities, yet relies on the private marketplace to produce, control — and profit from — the resulting medical innovations… With a surge in future global pandemics expected, it might well be time to rethink Canada’s foolhardy attachment to the notion “the private sector always does things better.”

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Posted in Health History | No Comments »

Stop celebrating capitalism and start celebrating sanitation for saving humanity

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

… things only truly got better… after ordinary people won the right to vote and to join unions that pushed for higher wages and helped secure public access to health care, education and housing… over the fierce objections of capitalists… it’s not capitalism but rather the forces fighting to curb capitalism’s worst excesses — unions and progressive political movements — that have improved people’s lives.

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How $15 billion in bonuses leaves bankers gloomy

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

The country’s six largest banks are dishing out $15 billion in bonuses this year. But, in the eyes of some, this isn’t enough… It… reveals how misleading media reports can be, particularly about high finance, with insiders allowed to peddle their self-serving agendas unchallenged… Canada’s big six banks have gotten away with paying extremely low taxes — the lowest in the G7.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Ontario’s healthcare spending lowest in Canada — but going lower

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

These cuts, totalling about $360 million, will affect everything from mental health care to cancer screening, according to Natalie Mehra, head of the Ontario Health Coalition… Their impact will likely be profound, since… Ontario’s health-care spending is only $3,903 per person — the lowest of the ten provinces — and $487 per person lower than the Canadian average…

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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »

Tax on super-rich a popular idea, except in the media

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Given that 26 individuals now have as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity (3.8 billion people), one wonders at what point conservative commentators might consider this a problem… Let’s not forget that the super-rich typically made their fortunes by selling products built by employees we all paid to educate, and shipping those products on roads we all paid to build.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Ford’s deficit hype conceals Ontario’s dirty secret

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

… Ontario already has the lowest program spending (per capita) among Canada’s 10 provinces — before Ford’s spending cuts click in… While the provincial average for revenue (per capita) is $12,373, Ontario only collects $10,415 (per capita) — a significantly smaller amount… And Ford is making the problem worse by cutting taxes a further $3.6 billion a year… Ford’s measures — despite his claim to be acting “for the people” — redirect resources from ordinary people to corporations and the rich.

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Posted in Debates | 2 Comments »

Debunking billionaire claims of heroic capitalism

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

… the arrival of modern capitalism has resulted in vast numbers of people being forced to give up a self-supporting existence and ending up as impoverished labourers… Even in the four decades since 1981, there’s been no decline in global poverty… an exception occurred in the period following the Second World War (1945 to 1975) when equality actually increased… largely due to the very progressive tax systems enacted by governments, notably in the Anglo-American countries, including Canada.

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Mitt Romney blurts out the truth about neo-conservatism

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Sept. 24, 2012
… about 30 years ago, a new breed of “conservative” slithered onto the political scene. Stealing the moniker of conservatism, this new breed embraced the inequality of traditional conservatism (driving it skyward) while unburdening itself of the responsibility for others and the public good… Modern conservatism — or neo-conservatism — has infected Canada too, coming to fruition under the Harper majority government

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Posted in Governance Debates | 1 Comment »

Though business sits on $500 billion, workers’ salaries are under seige

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

August 27, 2012
The point of job security — a key right won by unions — is to give employees security against arbitrary firing. But removing that sort of security — leaving workers fearful and therefore malleable to the demands of their employers — has been a central aim of the right and segments of the business community… As long as the right can keep workers envious and suspicious of each other, the focus won’t be on those at the top, where the benefits have actually gone… Labour’s share of Canada’s national income has fallen from 65 to 60 per cent since 1990, partly because of policies like privatization and deregulation

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