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Senators overwhelmed by emails, calls pushing conspiracy theories about basic income legislation

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

… there’s nothing new about conspiracy theories but the pandemic has “pushed them into hyperdrive,” fuelling a movement of people willing to believe there’s a global movement to “enslave” humanity… people in these online forums are largely unaware of how the government operates — or how a bill is passed through Parliament — and those knowledge gaps “are easily filled with fantasy.” “It’s easy to see a sinister plot when you don’t actually understand how the government works.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

Ford government appeals to Canada’s top court to keep premier’s mandate letters secret

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Mandate letters traditionally lay out the marching orders a premier has for each of his or her ministers after taking office — and have been routinely released by governments across the country. Ford’s government, however, has been fighting to keep his mandate letters from the public since shortly after the premier took office in June 2018… It’s unclear how many tax dollars and government resources have been spent trying to deny the public access to the mandate letters.

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Health-care unions call Ontario’s one-time $5K offer to nurses ‘demoralizing’

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

The healthcare unions, which represent a combined 220,000 workers across Ontario, said in their letter that the shortage “requires urgent action to better respect, protect, and pay all healthcare workers.” They say that should begin with repealing Bill 124. That legislation was introduced in 2019, and capped annual salary increases for many public sector employees, including nurses, at an average of one per cent annually for three years. 

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Ottawa releases early details of landmark $40B First Nations child welfare agreement

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

The non-binding agreement sets aside $20 billion for compensation and $20 billion for long-term reform of the on-reserve child welfare system…  The parties have until March 31 to finalize the agreement… The $20 billion dedicated to long-term reform of the child welfare system will be distributed over a period of five years… “Today is about a plan for the future, with First Nations defining and determining a path forward grounded in our rights and the common goal to have our children succeed,”

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Liberals introduce bill to implement UN Indigenous rights declaration

Friday, December 4th, 2020

… the bill would require the federal government to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the declaration’s 46 articles… By introducing the UNDRIP bill, the Liberals are fulfilling a promise dating back to 2016 — when Bennett announced Canada would officially renounce its objections to the declaration at the United Nations. The party pledged during the 2019 federal election to implement UNDRIP within the first year of a new mandate, but postponed tabling the bill earlier this year due to the rail blockade crisis.

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COVID-19 could break Ontario’s mental health system, psychologists have a solution

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

four major benefits… of publicly-funded psychological care: Freeing up physicians time to focus on primary health care; Providing equal access to mental health care… Decreasing the use of medications to treat mental health issues… [and] Providing earlier treatment, which can reduce severity in the long term and give clients the knowledge and skills to prevent future mental health difficulties.

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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »

Some of Ontario’s biggest hospitals are filled beyond capacity nearly every day, new data reveals

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

On any day, one out of six hospital beds is occupied by a patient who doesn’t need to be in hospital, but cannot be safely discharged home. This is a long-running phenomenon in health systems across Canada known as “alternate level of care” (ALC). Lengthy waits for long-term care spaces are the chief cause, but a lack of available home care and other forms of continuing care also contributes.

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Ontario to spend $90M yearly on free dental care for low-income seniors

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

The Doug Ford government says it will spend $90 million annually to provide free routine dental care to low-income seniors in Ontario…about 100,000 seniors will benefit from the program when it is fully implemented… the program aims to reduce emergency room visits by seniors suffering from dental problems and it is a part of a comprehensive provincial plan to end “hallway health care.”

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Rape crisis centres call on attorney general to reverse cuts

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

… the province phased out the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which helped assault victims access services including psychotherapy… Under this program, brought in Oct. 1, an applicant must have visited a “victim service agency” within six months of the crime against them, or within six months of disclosing that crime to authorities.  The new system, called the Victim Quick Response Program + (VQRP+), isn’t available to victims of historical crimes.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Home-care agencies seek key role in Doug Ford’s health reforms

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

… the government’s restructuring of the health system and the creation of the Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) can make it easier for people to be cared for at home and can shift the burden of care away from hospitals when patients truly don’t need to be hospitalized… “Many of the solutions to hospital overcrowding lie outside hospital walls,”

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