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This is the Liberals’ pharmacare plan?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

They say they would be “guided by” the recommendations of the Hoskins panel. But they don’t explicitly endorse them. That panel called on Ottawa to move ahead with legislation to create a national, universal pharmacare plan even if not all provinces were onside… Monday’s announcement by Trudeau makes no mention of timelines. Second, the Liberal announcement provides only the scantiest estimates of costs.

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To succeed in Ontario, leaders must understand we are Red Tories at heart

Friday, September 13th, 2019

In general, Ontarians are wary of abrupt change. They tend to value competent management over ideology. They usually see balance as a virtue. This is the Tory side of Red Tory-ism. But voters in Canada’s largest province are also willing to use the state to achieve social goals… In 1969, pressure from voters ultimately forced a recalcitrant Ontario government to sign onto Canada’s national, public medicare program. That is the Red side.

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Ottawa finally challenging Ford government’s plan to cancel out-of-country medical coverage

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

The federal health minister noted correctly that the Ontario government’s decision, which is due to take effect Oct. 1, was “inconsistent” with the Canada Health Act, the law governing medicare. That law sets out the criteria that provinces must meet to be eligible for federal medicare funding. One criterion is portability — the requirement that provincial medicare plans cover residents who are temporarily travelling elsewhere in Canada or abroad.

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Pharmacare today, like medicare 50 years ago, makes sense

Friday, June 14th, 2019

In terms of cost overall, most experts agree that a universal, single-pay system would save money for Canadians… But a universal public program would also shift costs from individuals and employers to governments… Canadians would pay more in taxes for universal drug coverage. But this tax increase would be more than compensated for by the out-of-pocket, administrative and cost savings associated with the move to public pharmacare.

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Doug Ford’s OHIP move strikes at the heart of medicare

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

In the case of those who are “temporarily absent” from the country, the Canada Health Act reads as follows: “Where the insured services are provided out of Canada, payment is made on the basis of the amount that would have been paid by the province for similar services rendered in the province.” … By attacking the key principle of portability — the notion that Canadian residents take their health insurance with them wherever they go — it is aiming a dagger at medicare’s throat.

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NDP pharmacare plan sets a new standard

Monday, April 8th, 2019

… families now enjoying private drug insurance would save $550 a year on average under a universal public scheme. Employers that offer drug coverage to their workers would pay on average $600 less per employee. In short, Canadians would pay more in taxes for pharmaceuticals but less overall. The NDP is sketchy on the politics of its plan, particularly on how to get the provinces to agree.

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In the real world, encouraging signs for pharmacare

Monday, March 11th, 2019

… universal pharmacare, while it would cost Canadians less in total, would cost Canadian governments more – which is why finance ministers such as Bill Morneau are wary of it… a federal-provincial-territorial-Indigenous agency could co-exist with a fill-in-the-gaps system. But it makes more sense to go to all of this bother only for something more comprehensive, such as universal pharmacare.

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Ontario restraint bill much more than two-year wage freeze

Friday, September 28th, 2012

September 28, 2012
The Ontario government is selling its new public restraint bill as a simple, two-year wage freeze. A close reading shows the proposed law is much, much broader… it would give the provincial cabinet wartime-style powers over public sector compensation for at least six years… And the bill would bar unions from either striking or appealing such decisions to the courts.

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Kitchener-Waterloo byelection sees new liberals outpace old ones

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

September 07, 2012
First, voters decided that while they might be somewhat conservative, they weren’t as far to the right as Tim Hudak’s PC Party. They decided to vote liberal. Second, and most important, they decided that the NDP was a better liberal alternative than the real Liberal Party… All of this is taking place as New Democrats move deliberately rightward to what they, and most media, call the centre.

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Happy Labour Day. It’s all pretty grim

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

August 31, 2012
Unions are solidly middle-class institutions. True, their rhetoric may be radical… But in reality, unions are fundamentally conservative. Most today are not trying to break new ground. Instead, they are attempting to hold on — often desperately — to what they have… As unions disappear, so do well-paying, secure jobs. When labour is strong, even non-union shops pay well — just to prevent themselves from being organized… Sadly, much of the middle-class doesn’t recognize the role that unions play in keeping everyone’s wages at livable levels.

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