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We know better, so why aren’t we doing better in supporting the health of children and youth in care?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

The complex health and social issues faced by children and youth in care call for a comprehensive cross-sector collaborative approach to health care… children and youth with child welfare involvement are at risk of bearing a heavier burden of illness than their counterparts who do not have child welfare involvement, as a result of an inequitable system of health-care provision that fails to address their unique circumstances. 

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Preventing use of the notwithstanding clause is a bad idea — and unnecessary

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Questions that could be asked of the Supreme Court include: When can section 33 be used? How does the word “notwithstanding” in Sec. 33 relate to the words “notwithstanding anything” in Sec. 28’s equal rights guarantee? How can the clause be amended? … Rather than stoking a constitutional crisis through disallowance, this reference would allow the federal government to de-escalate tensions and, most importantly, clarify the scope of the notwithstanding clause.

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How the Indian Act’s ‘blackout period’ denied Indigenous Peoples their legal rights

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

In 1927, the federal government introduced Section 141 into the Indian Act. It banned the solicitation or collection of funds to pursue a legal claim on behalf of an Indigenous person or group without the permission of the Department of Indian Affairs… Section 141 was introduced specifically to limit the ability of Indigenous peoples to act within the legal system… it applied to “every person” Indian and non-Indian alike.

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Viral infections including COVID are among the important causes of dementia – one more reason to consider vaccination

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

More than 150,000 people with COVID and 11 million controls have been involved in a study of long-term consequences of acute COVID infection. A year after infection, there was an overall 40% higher risk (an additional 71 cases per 1000 people) of neurologic disorders, including memory problems (80% higher risk) and Alzheimer’s disease (two-fold higher risk). These risks were elevated even among those not hospitalised for acute COVID.

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Better income assistance programs are needed to help people with rising cost of living

Friday, September 30th, 2022

If the goal of temporary assistance is to help those in need, it must have broader coverage and better tapering. The only program that qualifies at present is the GST credit, but even these payments are modest and only delivered quarterly… A more generous income assistance program should also have more frequent regular payments… a guaranteed basic income for working-age Canadians, might provide better support for those in need.

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With family doctors heading for the exits, addressing the crisis in primary care is key to easing pressure on emergency rooms

Friday, September 9th, 2022

Ontario has done better than most areas of Canada with the introduction of family health teams in 2005, with team-based primary care reporting better outcomes for both patients and providers. But no new family health teams have been funded since 2012, which is a problem… Political will is required to invest in the entire health-care system and not ignore the fact that primary care represents a very large part of this system.

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Indigenous people pay taxes: Demythologizing the Indian Act tax exemption

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

… just eight per cent of Canada’s Indigenous population — who could potentially qualify for the Section 87 exemption. However, this number is likely lower because status Indians only qualify for the exemption if their income is connected to a reserve… Even though nearly all Indigenous people in Canada pay tax on their income, Canadian governments have not spent nearly as much on services for them.

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Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

Canada’s policy-makers could take lessons from other countries who have streamlined early learning and child care within their schools.  Instead, they are putting up roadblocks, preventing provinces and territories from using federal child-care dollars to transform schools into one-stop centres for young children… Schools are publicly owned, eliminating the need for costly land and facility acquisition. Operating and oversight mechanisms are already in place. 

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Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Canada’s policy-makers could take lessons from other countries who have streamlined early learning and child care within their schools.  Instead, they are putting up roadblocks, preventing provinces and territories from using federal child-care dollars to transform schools into one-stop centres for young children. 

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Rebuilding from Canada’s Senior Care Disaster

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Elder-care policy must include a focus on wellness, education, adopting healthy lifestyles, literacy with new technologies that can support health and fostering a sense of community. To achieve this, it will be necessary to… engage organizations that have the ability to impact the social determinants of health, such as not-for-profit groups, seniors’ advocacy groups, community service organizations and other human services ministries within government.

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