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Mental health reform in Ontario is no easy matter

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Without innovative new approaches to treatment, the rising cost curve will place unprecedented pressure on already soaring health budgets… Experience shows that CBT yields impressive results with far shorter treatments, and can be delivered by other regulated health care practitioners, not just psychiatrists.

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Why are we forever chasing the dream of a universal drug plan?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

… derailed by opposing political agendas, fierce resistance from private insurers, public ambivalence and voter apathy… universal pharmacare isn’t merely about equity and ideology, but efficacy and efficiency… The challenge is to make those savings feel real, not notional… that cost-benefit tradeoff must be spelled out clearly to persuade people that the savings end up in their pockets.

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All Ontarians will pay the price for Doug Ford zapping public sector wages

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

As much as some Conservatives might dislike debt, or disdain deficits, or begrudge public servants’ salaries, or resent teachers’ summers off, the laws of our land set a higher standard for the systematic suspension of collective bargaining rights. The courts have ruled that you must have good reason(s) — unless, of course, Ford once again intends to overrule any courts that dare to overrule his government by invoking the Charter’s notwithstanding clause.

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The hidden fiscal hole in Doug Ford’s budget that will keep on hurting

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Never before has an Ontario government spent so much more to deliver so much less. Instead of getting greater value for money, we are losing what we value most — in education, transit, health care and social services.

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Doug Ford’s post-budget plan to declare bankruptcy

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

His first budget would recast him as a kinder, gentler premier. Not too tough, not too soft — just right. It didn’t go according to plan. By holding back the bad news… Ford’s Tories are belatedly paying a heavy price… Ford’s popularity is tumbling… Time for a change of plan… Instead of moderation, desperation and disruption are Ford’s new watchwords — because desperate times allow for desperate measures.

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Doug Ford will axe the tax — except his own stealth carbon tax

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Ontario will mark April Fools’ Day with a few strange stunts… shuttering the office of Ontario’s environmental commissioner, ending a quarter-century of independent oversight… paying more than $30 million in legal bills out of the pockets of Ontario taxpayers to fight the federal government that also represents them… Our premier is waging a loud battle against the federal carbon tax in court, while simultaneously proposing his own stealth carbon tax at home.

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Ontario’s new plan for health care echoes past prescriptions

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Elliott is now promising “transformation” of the system. She will deliver “patient-centred care.” And she intends to move people through a “siloed” system “seamlessly.” That’s precisely the wording used by the previous Liberal health minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins… Connectivity can be a good thing but it is not a sure thing — it can’t conjure up co-ordination, efficiencies and extra beds on demand. Buzzwords are not benchmarks… the question is whether these reforms are truly transformational or merely aspirational.

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The danger of two-tier medicine if Doug Ford’s top doc doesn’t seek informed consent first

Monday, February 4th, 2019

All that decentralization engendered duplication, as each LHIN and CCAC assembled its own bureaucracies and boards, leaving the available managerial talent stretched thin. It’s time to recalibrate and recentralize, breaking down barriers instead of creating yet more silos… If the Devlin-Decter duo is pondering a two-tier system for Ford, presumably they plan to be “transparent and accountable to the public” about it before delivering a fait accompli.

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Ontario’s buck-a-beer playbook is coming to a campus near you — with tuition discounts too good to be true

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

… you don’t need a university degree to know that discounted tuition comes at a cost… This isn’t the first government to promise reduced post-secondary costs. The difference is the Tories won’t be making up the difference — because the money will come straight off the bottom line of Ontario’s cash-strapped colleges and universities.

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Where would Tim Hudak take Ontario?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

October 29, 2012
in his new economic plan (unveiled just days before McGuinty’s announcement), Hudak still clings to panaceas: Unspecified tax cuts to goose economic growth, ramp up total revenues and magically balance the budget at warp speed. Note that Hudak never says which taxes he’d cut… he wants a “flatter personal income tax structure” that squeezes out the last remnants of progressivity from our system.

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