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So, what expenditures should Canada cut to meet its NATO obligations?

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

About a quarter of all spending is transferred directly to Canadians, either through elderly benefits (Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement), Employment Insurance benefits and the Canada Child Benefit… Another 20 per cent of Ottawa’s spending is transferred directly to the provincial governments… Equalization payments account for about $24-billion… Interest payments on the debt account for another $47-billion… while Ottawa’s total spending is $500-billion, only $96-billion in operating spending is discretionary

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


Canadians want their governments to tackle poverty, but nobody can agree on what to do

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, lone-parent households, recent immigrants and single adults aged 45 to 64 have a poverty rate that is double or triple that of the rest of the population. More than two-thirds of working-age individuals living in poverty belong to at least one of these groups… Better universal access to affordable quality physical and mental-health care, early childhood care, and social housing are some of the win-win policy actions that encourage both growth and poverty reduction.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »


Surrendering to the provinces doesn’t bring peace to the federation. It only emboldens them

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

The thesis… that peace with the provinces is the highest aim of federal policy, and that the way to achieve it is to give them everything they want – or at least to never give them any offence – is a recipe for national paralysis. There are issues on which federal leadership is essential… how we got here [is] not because the federal government has been too hard on the provinces, but because it has been altogether too indulgent of them.

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Canada needs doctors – so why is the country forcing Canadian physicians into exile?

Friday, November 17th, 2023

Both the licensing exams and residency matching are areas that if modified can establish a more streamlined, simple and fair repatriation process. Provincial governments can also work with medical schools to cover salaries for residency slots and the related program expansion costs for medical disciplines in shortest supply.

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Posted in Health Delivery System | No Comments »


From ‘tough on crime’ to a new transformative vision for Canada’s justice system

Friday, September 29th, 2023

… compassionate, evidence-based policies… make us safer at a fraction of the cost of ineffective “tough on crime” approaches. We don’t have to let fear win. We don’t have to tolerate an ineffective status quo. There’s a better way and it involves a new transformative justice vision: to transform the trauma in our society, rather than continue to transmit it.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


This is why you don’t have a family doctor

Monday, September 4th, 2023

The process of becoming a doctor in Canada is… entrusted to numerous ministries, universities, colleges, councils, professional organizations and accrediting agencies… In the absence of consolidated oversight for the final product, the sheer number of participants in the process makes it very difficult to achieve significant reform. We are, in fact, facing… an unwillingness to abandon previously successful practices. 

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To fix Canada’s health care, a hard economic truth must be acknowledged 

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

… a) when public health care was first rolled out, there were limited complex interventions available; b) what could be done was relatively inexpensive; and c) given shorter lifespans, there was simply less time for a patient to require the higher-cost care commensurate with advanced age. In that context, funding health care out of general tax revenues has become increasingly hard – and will eventually be unsustainable.

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What would you rather have: Too many doctors, or too few?

Friday, August 18th, 2023

There’s more than just supply and demand…  There is no perfect system. There is no getting around the need for incentives and management to discourage abuses and encourage good service…  To save medicare, we must get the incentives right.

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A crisis of neglect: How society can help those with mental illness

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

‘If you really want to make a difference, stop thinking about diagnosis and symptoms, start thinking about recovery… it’s people, place, and purpose. Social support, a decent environment with housing and food and things that help people to prosper, and people will have to have something to live for.’

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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »


The premiers need to get serious about health care reform, not just funding

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

… the premiers need to commit to some semblance of a coherent, co-ordinated plan… What the health system needs right now is swift and collective action from the premiers in identifying problem areas and setting clear goals for longer-term changes.  You can’t measure progress without targets and timelines. Nor can you have any accountability.

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