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Here’s why Doug Ford can get away with squeezing Ontario’s colleges and universities

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

This week, Dunlop ‘s ministry had fun with figures by coughing up — and then dressing up — roughly $1 billion in one-time funding, stretched over three years, spread across so many areas that it amounts to a rounding error and a strategic error… In truth, their policy is neither idiocy nor ideology, merely expediency. There are no votes to be had in higher tuition for higher education, and there are no votes to be lost in starving the system of proper funding to keep it afloat

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How shamelessly has Doug Ford ground down Ontario’s colleges and universities? Let me count the ways

Tuesday, February 13th, 2024

The Tories set up a fancy-sounding Blue Ribbon Panel on Post-secondary Education that quickly focused on fixing the distorted bottom line with straightforward advice: Stop cutting tuition and stop freezing funding… Let’s not confuse efficiencies with distortions. By profiting from the penury of post-secondary institutions — boosting his own bottom line while starving universities and contorting colleges — Ford is giving the province a costly lesson about false economies.

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Doug Ford has plunged colleges and universities into crisis with historic funding cuts — and no plan for their futures

Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

… Ford’s Tories have been systematically freezing and defunding the higher education sector since taking power in 2018, leading to a cash crunch unlike anything in the past… The crisis in colleges and universities is undermining Ontario’s education reputation… It is perpetuating a hollowing out of higher education for Ontarians, while hosting unlimited enrolment for international students.

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Our health-care system is broken. More of the same won’t fix it

Monday, January 16th, 2023

In fact, Canadian medicare is more costly than ever, and more expensive than in other countries with universal health care, yet less responsive to patient needs. What’s the remedy? … medicare has long relied on private operators who take payment from the government – not the patient – to deliver those services… voters will tire of the ideological rigidity that conflates medicare’s commendable values with a system that doesn’t always deliver measurable value for money.

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Doug Ford appointed unqualified party loyalists to fill key tribunal spots. Now Ontarians are paying the price as wait lists swell

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

Tribunals are supposed to be the one place where justice, and access to justice, is equal for all — an alternative to high-priced lawyers and endless court dates. Yet Ontario’s front-line administrative tribunals have become dysfunctional on Ford’s watch… Ordinary Ontarians are paying the price for the premier’s pork barrelling, with a queue exceeding 67,000 cases in key areas:

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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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