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Is a national pharmacare program any closer to reality?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

it’s delusional to think the Liberals will act anything other than slowly. While the purported savings are compelling, shifting spending from private drug plans to the public treasury is much less so. Not to mention that the provinces are, at best, lukewarm about the idea… The premiers want the escalator to increase to 5.2 per cent before they even consider pharmacare.

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Liberals’ ‘middle class tax cut’ is not a tax cut at all

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

What we are left with is a $6-billion handout to just about everybody except those who need it most. And all of it is borrowed. With the deficit already in excess of $20-billion and headed higher, the government is proposing to borrow another $6-billion annually, and give much of it to people in the top half of the social register… Unthinkable: Tax cuts for the rich! Maybe. But it sure beats handouts to the rich, doesn’t it?

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Care for Canada’s seniors shouldn’t be offloaded onto foreign multinationals

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

There are areas in which the federal government should undoubtedly play a role in this country. Senior care is not one of them… Surely, this needs to be the sole purview of the province. Why are private care homes protected from facing fines when they fail to live up to their obligations? They can only be temporarily taken over or closed down permanently… Maybe if they were fined they’d clean up their act before that was necessary.

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Canada is rich – and cheap

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Canada is the third-richest country in the G7 and the best in class with government finances… [On military spending or Official Development Assistance] Whether Ottawa likes or doesn’t like input or output measures, or GDP or GNI ratios… these are measures of burden sharing… That was the essence of Mr. Trump’s criticism of Canada this week at the NATO Summit.

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Ontario using new law to suppress suits alleging negligent government conduct, lawyers say

Monday, December 9th, 2019

By making the government immune from lawsuits for negligence… the law sets a dangerous precedent: it harms the individual right to hold government accountable, and permits government “to circumvent the rule of law and deny access to justice.”

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A tricky operation: Finding a place for private health insurance in a public system

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Every health insurance program in the developed world, public and private, is struggling with a daunting triple challenge: An aging population, the soaring cost of new technologies and rising consumer expectations… private sector efficiency is a myth. Private hospitals keep patients longer, order more tests, prescribe more drugs and provide a lot of low-value or no-value care. They overtreat and overcharge… private hospitals are not going to solve the woes of Canadian medicare

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Posted in Health Policy Context | 1 Comment »


Canadian high school students among top performers in reading, according to new international ranking

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

… we are in the … position where we can focus on the small improvements that will impact the struggling students, rather than having to focus on the majority of these students not even having basic literacy skills… Among the 79 countries that participated, five outperformed Canada in science. Meanwhile, nine outperformed Canada in math… governments and teacher-training programs have started focusing on the math skills of educators.

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Do tax policies that contribute to competitiveness also create inequality?

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Tax levels are rarely the first consideration for investors, unless the “investment” is a tax dodge… regulations matter, proximity to markets matter; and so do… a healthy and well-educated work force, well-maintained infrastructure, reliable energy, transportation and communications systems, and a robust justice system backed by widely trusted social institutions.

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The great transformation: How to achieve a ‘Green New Deal’ for Canada

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Key sectors of the economy – information and communications technology; power and electricity; transportation and logistics; real estate – are fast decoupling from fossil fuels in favour of ever-cheaper solar and wind energies and the accompanying clean technologies, green business practices and processes of circularity and resilience that are the central features of a Green New Deal… Canada needs to establish a bold new economic vision if it is to adapt and prosper.

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In new minority reality, unprecedented opportunities await Canada’s Senate

Friday, November 15th, 2019

In the past, tough topics around health care, mental-health challenges, legalization of cannabis, rural and urban poverty, constitutional reform, official-languages policy and the structure of foreign aid have been thoroughly, openly and constructively addressed by Senate committees… Every region of Canada is represented in the Senate, and its demographic and skills mix is representative of Canada as a whole.

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Posted in Governance Debates | 1 Comment »


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