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Ontario’s new attorney general should reverse cuts to legal aid

Monday, June 24th, 2019

The fact is, cutting funding for legal aid will further erode any hope the poor and vulnerable have of receiving justice in a system that’s already stacked against them… If he doesn’t, the fallout will be painful for the poor and immensely costly for taxpayers… who will pay for the costly incarceration of innocent people who are not going to get fair legal representation in bail hearings, criminal cases or immigration and refugee detention hearings.

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Posted in Equality Delivery System | No Comments »


New report provides the Trudeau Liberals with a blueprint for pharmacare

Friday, June 14th, 2019

There’s true pharmacare, as laid out by the advisory council chaired by Ontario’s former health minister, Eric Hoskins. Then there’s a paler version that seeks only to fill in the gaps by providing coverage for those who currently have none… Canadians already pay more for drugs than they do for doctors’ services and… drug costs are rising at an unsustainable 6.5 per cent per year. That has a big impact on both workplace plans and government drug benefits for seniors and the poor.

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Ottawa should act on report on murdered and missing women, with all its flaws

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Ensuring such basic things as safe housing, clean drinking water and affordable food for Indigenous people should be beyond debate; it’s shameful that we’re still falling so short. There are already stacks of recommendations in these areas, and the government would be well-advised to focus first and foremost on issues more closely connected with the issue at hand: the violence visited on Indigenous women and girls far out of proportion to their share in the population.

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Ready, fire, aim: the Ford’s reckless approach on cutting costs

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Whether it be kids with autism, students in high school music programs, people who rely on public health services, medical researchers or Toronto subway riders, the pattern is the same. The government announces a spending cut that takes everyone by surprise and then stands back as those directly involved scramble to puzzle out what just happened.Ontarians deserve better… At the bare minimum they deserve a government that figures out the effects of its actions before it pulls the trigger.

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Posted in Governance Policy Context | No Comments »


Ford still doesn’t understand the difference between charity and government

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

Almost a year into the job, Ford still doesn’t seem to understand the difference between an act of personal charity and the necessary role of government. If Ford is a decent citizen who spends his personal time doing good deeds in the community, that’s really great. But it doesn’t absolve him, as premier, of leading a government with policies that help people, rather than hurt them.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »


Toronto, Ontario and Ottawa need to close election spending loopholes

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Premier Doug Ford exposed a vulnerability in Ontario’s laws by using his long-finished and debt-free leadership campaign to continue to raise money… Ford has also exposed the inadequacies of federal campaign advertising laws with his anti-carbon tax TV commercials… Ford also says he’s doing nothing but following “the rules.”… These rule-skirting, self-serving moves do nothing but contribute to voter cynicism about politics and politicians.

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Students will suffer the real impact of Ford’s education cuts

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

These cuts will hurt struggling students, gifted students and generally make school a lot less interesting for all students. That’s because fewer teachers doesn’t just mean fewer classes. It also means fewer coaches for sports teams and fewer people to run everything from chess club to the school yearbook… Cutting teachers and increasing class sizes means fewer options and positive experiences for high school students across the province.

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Drug executives face charges, just like street dealers

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

The U.S. government sent a powerful wake up call to drug company executives this week. For the first time, it charged a distributor of opioids, Rochester Drug Cooperative, its former CEO and another former executive with the kind of drug felony charges normally brought against the likes of street dealers and cartel bosses… In 2017 alone, 47,600 individuals in the U.S. died in opioid-related deaths, while the number in Canada was almost 4,000.

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Cutting out-of-country OHIP coverage is wrong and pointless

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

… the government paid out just $9 million last year for emergency coverage… a tiny fraction of one percentage point, of overall Ontario medical spending of $63.5 billion (with a b)… The government’s argument is that the existing program covers only a fraction of medical costs abroad. On that it’s correct… And it’s a gift to private insurers who no doubt will see a spike in business if all out-of-country coverage is yanked away.

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Public health squeeze is the unkindest cut of all from Ford

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

… this government’s method is to initially claim there are no cuts and then create confusion about what cuts it’s making and why. It leaves people on the ground scrambling to figure out what it means and when they say it means something terrible, as they have in this case, the government promptly denies it… It’s the province that’s sowing confusion, acting without consultation and downloading its health responsibilities onto municipalities…

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