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Ontario’s hospitals and long-term care are in crisis. Pretending they aren’t won’t solve anything

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

While hospitals have long been permitted to impose daily charges for patients who overstay — and other provinces already allow it — the latest legislation and regulations will legitimatize the practice… These measures aren’t the end of the world. Nor will they end hallway medicine. More than health-care crisis management, there is an element of political “issues management” at play. The government must be seen to be doing something — anything.

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Doug Ford hasn’t revealed a plan to dismantle public health care — or one to fix it

Saturday, August 20th, 2022

It’s too easy to get bogged down on jurisdictional and ideological debates. Federal transfer payments are a chimera, just as privatization is a panacea if not done judiciously… Medicare never proscribed the private delivery of services — whether by doctors, pharmacies or clinics — it merely prescribed the public accessibility of medically necessary services without extra billing. Rather than fixate over privatization, let’s focus on innovation.

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Enjoy Doug Ford’s cheaper gas while you can. It comes at a high cost

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

You can’t promise to rebuild a cash-starved health care system while squeezing government revenues. You can’t pledge to build out long-term care and expand child care while cutting gas taxes… How do you defend bleeding the treasury of money that’s needed more than ever for services people truly need? … The problem with Ford’s vote-buying is that we can ill-afford the toll it takes on an ailing health care system.

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Always ahead of her time, Kathleen Wynne has some advice as she prepares to leave Queen’s Park

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

The pioneering ideas Wynne fought in vain for are back in vogue after the realities of the pandemic: Child care. Check. Pharmacare. Check. Paid sick days. Check. Minimum wage increases. Check. Basic income support. Check. Wynne’s defeat led to the demise of her reforms in all these areas, as Ford’s Tories systematically dismantled what she had built. Within days of taking power, the PCs pulled the plug on her OHIP+ drug program and then went down the list.

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Minimum wage meets maximum politics in pre-election Ontario

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

… Ford’s Tories… four years ago… cancelled a planned minimum wage increase — imposing a 26-month freeze on the old hourly rate of $14 an hour, shortchanging hundreds of thousands of working poor. Belatedly, Ford has ratcheted the rate back up to the previously scheduled $15, albeit about three years behind schedule. Now, after watching the premier play catch-up ahead of the June 2 Ontario election, the opposition parties are leapfrogging ahead of him

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Doug Ford helped create a crisis for Ontario’s universities. Now it’s up to him to save them

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Bleeding cash, Ontario’s universities are begging for a $500 million cash infusion to stay alive during COVID-19… The premier’s antics created the problem in the first place with that 10 per cent cut. A compensating 10 per cent top-up today is the price to pay to help universities get over the hump — through government funding, not a tuition increase (students cannot be expected to pay, given the disruptions of the pandemic).

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What is it that Doug Ford doesn’t understand about pharmacare?

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

The premiers keep complaining about rising health-care costs, so why not embrace the one big idea that could control costs dramatically? COVID-19 is a time of crisis, but it also confers an economic opportunity for health care… Money need not be an obstacle, because a well-designed plan will pay dividends — not just in lower drug costs but in better health outcomes.

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It took a disaster for Doug Ford to abandon Mike Harris’s destructive legacy

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

Never mind the rhetoric about cutting red tape, slashing taxes, unplugging photo radar, downsizing government and downloading welfare, its underpinning is simply this: Politics shall henceforth be transactional. Not transformational. Ask not what you can do for your country or province. Ask what your government can do for you to keep more money in your pocket… But it took the COVID-19 crisis to truly unravel that revolution — at least for now.

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Posted in Governance History | 1 Comment »


COVID-19 has changed us forever. Has it really changed Doug Ford?

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

All his core beliefs — disruption, deregulation and deficit reduction — have been upended by a more powerful disrupter in COVID-19… A good clue to Ford’s true thinking comes from his stubborn refusal — against all evidence and advice — to restore the paid sick days he eliminated before the pandemic… Never mind the serene rhetoric on the surface, it is Ford’s underlying actions that count.

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Unpaid sick days are what ails Doug Ford’s recovery plan

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

It makes no sense to expect the working poor to become poorer if they come down with COVID-19. Nor is it fair to demand they sacrifice their individual wages, in poor health, so as to benefit society’s collective health… By penalizing sick workers, we will only make more people sick. The premier is right to preach that workers should stay home when unwell. But he should put his money where his morality is, rather than demand that those who can least afford it bear the burden

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