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Canada has a racism problem, and it’s uniquely ours

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

As individuals, we are perfectly capable of descending into racism or intolerance indistinguishable from what we see elsewhere. By accident of history and geography, we have developed a culture of accommodation and compromise. But we also benefit from a political inheritance that sets us apart. Sociologists often make reference to Canadians’ deference to authority. To me, it’s our preference for collectivity that counts.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »


When it comes to long-term care, what matters more than ownership is accountability and responsibility

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The profit motive works in our market system. But what works for Walmart — relentless cost-cutting pressure on suppliers and minimal staffing ratios for low wage part-timers — is hardly an optimal model for nursing homes where part-time, underpaid caregivers are responsible for safeguarding people, not products… There is no excuse for not regulating and inspecting comprehensively, annually and aggressively. Surely that is the primary role and responsibility of government

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


Mike Harris expanded the privatization of long-term care. Doug Ford is discovering that wasn’t a magic cure

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

There is a contradiction in the criticisms of long-term care: We want to have it all for nothing — better beds but more of them; more quantity and more quality; single rooms with private bathrooms but without the wait lists; more for less… Today, in a pandemic cycle, beware the panaceas.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | 12 Comments »


Doug Ford didn’t protect long-term-care facilities from COVID-19. Neither did the rest of us

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

We could and should hold the current government to account — for falling behind the rest of Canada on testing, for lagging on nursing-home care, for fobbing off responsibility on to public health officials. But there is enough blame to go around — for politicians past and present, public servants and the public… Our premier has put his best face forward in recent weeks, but he still has much to answer for.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


Gig-economy workers already knew what coronavirus is teaching the rest of us now

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

… we already have the antidote to precarity: security — income security. And not just in an emergency. Income security sounds like something abstract or complicated, but nothing could be more tangible and understandable: If you lose income, you make it up with a guaranteed minimum; if you gain or regain income, you give up your supplement (it’s taxed back).

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Posted in Debates | No Comments »


Doug Ford wants his Mike Harris moment. Teachers won’t give it to him. Taxpayers will pay for it

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Under the pretext of an inflated deficit, Ford’s Tories pre-emptively imposed a legislated salary cap of one per cent on the public sector, just in time, coincidentally, for teacher negotiations. They did this knowing that the courts overruled such overreach when a Liberal government abrogated collective bargaining rights in 2012 (during a real fiscal emergency, unlike today’s imaginary crisis)

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Posted in Education Debates | No Comments »


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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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »


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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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »


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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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


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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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


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