Budget promises lower deficit, but more spending on housing, defence and social programs

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

To increase revenues, the government will introduce a new tax on financial institutions… [and] serves notice on high-income earners… to decide by next year if a wealth tax… is warranted… In addition to outlays for housing and dental care, the budget pegs new spending on climate action at $12.4 billion and more than $8 billion on national defence… [but] it fails to address the crisis in health care and long-term care with meaningful measures and money…

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New Brunswick gets a $10-a-day daycare deal, leaving Ontario as the lone holdout

Friday, December 10th, 2021

… licensed child care in Ontario remains “startlingly unaffordable” for many families, despite the existence of parental fee subsidies and a refundable tax credit…. economists… recommend… that special care be taken even after a deal is reached to ensure lower-income families are not at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the benefits of the new program… policymakers will need some kind of sliding scale… [and] dramatic expansion of non-profit child care

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Thousands of Canadians died because COVID-19 delayed surgeries, doctors say

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Statistics Canada… estimated 19,501 excess deaths in Canada, or 5.3 per cent more deaths than would be expected if there were no pandemic after accounting for changes in the population, such as aging… The report looked at backlogs for eight procedures: breast cancer surgeries, coronary artery bypass graft, CT scans, MRI scans, colectomies, knee replacements, cataract surgery and hip replacements, and found backlogs due to COVID delays ranged from 46 to 118 days.

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Supreme Court’s Rosalie Abella prepares to retire as her legacy of defining equality seems built to last

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Her life’s work has been about defying indifference — to inequality, to discrimination, and to injustice… Her 17-year tenure at the top court has touched on all areas of law. She is a constitutional law and human rights expert, and a fierce defender of the rights of women, people with disabilities, and religious minorities, a judge who frequently cites international law and comparative law in her rulings.

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Insiders say Justin Trudeau doesn’t want an election. He wants to seize the moment and push through bold change

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

… now is the time, with the cost of long-term borrowing so cheap due to historically low interest rates, to address those inequities for the longer term… Premiers may have been willing to put up with aggressive federal moves in areas of their jurisdiction during the emergency and restart phase of the pandemic, but it’s hard to see that lasting.

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Justin Trudeau says he’ll seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all workers

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Right now there is a patchwork of sick-leave provisions across the country. All provinces require workers have access to unpaid sick days, but only Quebec and Prince Edward Island require paid sick leave. Ontario stipulates three days of unpaid sick leave, while paid sick leave is a decision between employers and their employees, companies and unions… Ottawa “can’t impose” paid sick leave on provinces or employers, but it “can come to the table with money and that would make a difference.”

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COVID-19 has exposed ugly failings of our politics. Here’s how Ottawa can build on the lessons of the pandemic

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

COVID-19. It has proved that the Employment Insurance system is out of step with today’s workforce. It has stirred questions about globalization and whether international supply networks are truly a virtue in times of desperate need. It has spurred plodding bureaucracies, known for their cautious approach to issues, into impossibly speedy policy decisions to rush aid to Canadians. And it’s left Canadians with a deficit hangover… the pandemic has laid bare problems and blown up old ways of doing things.

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Don’t adopt U.S.-style drug laws, groups warn Conservative government

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Feb 22 2012
As the Conservatives’ massive crime bill nears its final stages of parliamentary approval, a Canadian group of judges, lawyers, and policy advisers has emerged to urge a “smarter” approach to tackling crime. Calling itself the “Smarter Justice Network,” the group publicly stepped forward on a day that a similar but unrelated American group released an open letter urging the Canadian government to avoid mandatory jail terms for drug crimes that have been a “costly failure” in the United States.

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Conrad Black’s broadside against Canada’s prison plan

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Sep 05 2011
To Black, Canada is about to model the U.S. prison system — which he describes as an inhumane and unjust factory farm that dehumanizes inmates, breeds an underclass that can never reintegrate and will exact a long-term toll on society… the penal system isolates and punishes for life “a very large number of people who have been for the most part socioeconomically comparatively disadvantaged.” … More important than how such treatment “festers in their minds” is how “great a social damage a country does or society does to itself by pursuing that kind of penal and justice system,” he said.

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