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To bolster health, would basic income — not pharmacare — make more sense?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

… shouldn’t the priority of policy-makers be to ensure that all Canadians can afford necessities such as food and housing, not just prescription drugs? … Affordable sickness care is important, especially if you’re sick. But the way to keep people healthier longer is to ensure that they have a decent income, a roof over their heads, healthy food, a good education, a sound physical environment and sense of belonging.

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Yes, to national pharmacare – because we already paid for it

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

We are paying, in effect, three times: through federal research grants, through disease-focused charities, and then at the pharmacy. A national pharmacare program could change this if… the cost of a drug over the life of its patent was calculated to recognize the public support its development received. Manufacturers would submit a funding history with a tentative pricing. A fair rate of return would be permitted for the life of a patent based on that information.

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The Ontario government is wrong to offload autism services onto families

Monday, June 24th, 2019

If the health and well-being of children with autism are really the priority here, then the government should build a needs-based autism service program; invest in the human capital of experts and families with lived experience; utilize available public infrastructure and capacity at regional centres; coordinate services and supports across systems; and bring all of these pieces together by helping guide children and families along their journey toward the best life possible

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Canadian corporations may have avoided $25-billion or more in taxes in 2018: PBO

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Canadian companies transferred more than $1.6-trillion in 2018 to low-tax countries known as offshore financial centres and conduits to these nations, according to a new report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer… if just 10 per cent of that amount was transferred to avoid taxes, that would mean Ottawa lost out on $25-billion in federal revenue. Billions more would have been lost in provincial corporate taxes.

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First Nations prepare for influx of new members amid removal of sex-based discrimination from Indian Act

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Canada’s largest First Nation is introducing a citizenship code to take control over its membership lists as the federal government prepares to enact legislation that could create tens of thousands of new status Indians while removing the last vestiges of sexism from the Indian Act… The concern of the First Nation is that many people who can trace a distant ancestor to the community will turn up after Bill S-3 takes effect to claim a portion of scarce resources…

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Report goes all in on pharmacare, and that may be a mistake

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

The bottom line is that Canada’s inconsistent drug coverage can’t be fixed without government intervention of some kind. That includes lowering the nation’s drug bill by creating a government system of bulk purchases, limiting drug co-pays and regulating premiums.

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Five decades in the making, our national pharmacare still has a long way to go

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Canada should take a leap forward here and look to include in a national formulary not only with the most important medicines, but the most important medical devices. The secret sauce in all of this will be smart, strategic negotiations on behalf of all Canadians with drug and device manufacturers to reward real breakthroughs and the backbone to say no to coverage for drugs and devices that just don’t deliver on value for money.

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Putting values into practice on pharmacare will come at a cost

Friday, June 14th, 2019

The catch is that there would be a massive shift of drug costs from private plans to public plans, an “incremental public cost” of $15.3-billion… Practically, it also means the feds would have to raise taxes by at least $15-billion a year. That, not poor values, is the single biggest impediment to national pharmacare. The other related hurdle is that a national plan would require an unprecedented level of federal-provincial-territorial co-operation.

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The genetics of genocide: I’m healing so my future daughter doesn’t have to

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Genocide? In Canada? Maybe your first instinct is to deny it. I challenge you to hear the truth in it. All of my relatives already know this to be true because of what we’ve experienced. We’re intimately aware of the reality that Canada doesn’t want us to exist… When you remove women from our communities, or disenfranchise them, the seeds of genocide are planted. Unlike a massacre, with genocide you don’t really see the bloodshed. Instead there is just loss, and it’s usually invisible to those committing it – or worse, denied.

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Ontario moves to transfer recycling costs from cities to waste-producing companies

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Ontario is moving to force large food retailers and product manufacturers to pay the full cost of recycling, in a major shakeup aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment… Ontario would join British Columbia as the only other province where large food retailers and consumer packaged-goods companies fully cover recycling costs, a system known as extended producer responsibility, or EPR.

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