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Doug Ford announces that cuts to municipal public health and childcare programs will go ahead

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Under his revised plan, local municipalities will be forced to cover 30 per cent of all their public-health costs, starting next year. The province currently covers 100 per cent of the cost of certain public-health programs, and 75 per cent of others… the Premier is going ahead with a move to renege on the previous Liberal government’s pledge to fund 100 per cent of the costs of new daycare spots, instead offering municipalities 80 per cent.

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Laurentian University to waive tuition for students who grew up in child welfare system

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Laurentian University is offering to waive tuition for students who have been in the child welfare system, regardless of their age, the latest addition to a movement that aims to provide more educational opportunities to former kids in care. The program, in conjunction with grants from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), will cover the full cost of tuition for low-income students who have spent at least one year in the care of a children’s aid society.

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The road to real reconciliation will be paved by Canada’s youth

Monday, August 5th, 2019

While Canadian society has advanced on a range of issues – retiring a racist immigration policy in the 1960s, making substantial strides toward gender equality, embracing gay rights – the treatment of Indigenous peoples has been an area of conspicuous inaction. As with other significant movements of the past half-century, young people may now be preparing to show the way forward.

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A true Charter challenge: Empower Canadians with a new Bill of Rights, and our MPs, too

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

… plenty of now-pertinent rights never made it into the Charter: environmental rights, victims rights, housing rights and the rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and self-government. The Bill of Rights could act as a sort of testing pool, where these new rights are developed and brought to life… A rejuvenated Bill of Rights could act as a democratically protected companion to the Charter, nurturing anew Canada’s living tree constitutionalism.

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Money has never been cheaper. Should Ottawa be borrowing more?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

Ultralow interest rates are a problem, but also an opportunity. Borrowing has never been cheaper. If the federal government were to increase borrowing, only for a short period and only to fund one-off items such as new education facilities or transit infrastructure, it could finance that at very low costs, locked in for decades.

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Ontario government apologizes for autism program changes; needs-based model won’t launch until next April

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, acknowledged for the first time on Monday that changes to the autism program announced earlier this year were poorly conceived. “It’s clear to me that we didn’t get the redesign right the first time. I’m here to tell you we will now”… He added: “We are certainly sorry for the anxiety this has caused parents across Ontario.”

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In a push for diversity, medical schools overhaul how they select Canada’s future doctors

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Ninety-two per cent of NOSM students have grown up in Northern Ontario, and the other 8 per cent are from rural and remote parts of the rest of Canada. About 2 per cent of applicants are Indigenous, but in the past few years the selection system has been tweaked to increase the number of successful Indigenous applicants, including giving them training to succeed in the interview process.

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Does our system for dealing with mentally ill offenders need a rethink?

Monday, July 29th, 2019

it is wrong to characterize a mentally ill person who has committed a violent crime as permanently dangerous. According to a study from 2015, among people who committed a major violent crime and were found NCR, fewer than 1 in 100 went on to reoffend. Treatment often works… something went very wrong in this case… But there is no reason to scrap a system that, in dealing with mentally ill people who have committed crimes, is reducing threats and serving the public interest.

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Ottawa to set up hospital network to become early adopters of Canadian medical technology

Monday, July 29th, 2019

… medical-technology (medtech) startups typically struggle to sell in their own backyard despite the country’s reputation for breakthroughs… Making the Canadian system more friendly to innovators would require changes to procurement practices and reimbursement schedules, and a broader culture shift by provincial health departments to see themselves as not only providers of care, but also stimulants of domestic economic activity.

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Ontario can’t ignore the dangers of making booze more available

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Before the recent changes, Ontario had the most restricted alcohol sales of all the provinces – and, not coincidentally, the third-lowest per-capita consumption. The highest consumption tends to occur in provinces where alcohol is most readily available for sale… the costs are significant. Direct health-care costs pinned on alcohol use in 2014 were tallied at $11.1-billion.

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