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Lawyers condemn Doug Ford government cuts to legal-aid funding

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

A large cut to legal-aid funding from Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government will leave some of the province’s most vulnerable and impoverished people without proper representation in court, lawyers warn, while also slashing Legal Aid Ontario’s budget for refugee and immigration cases by two-thirds… the cuts will mean more courtroom delays and a lack of legal help for people fleeing oppressive regimes, fighting for the custody of their kids or facing other court proceedings.

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That unexpected taste in Ontario’s budget? It’s austerity-lite

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

… even before Doug Ford was elected Premier, already had the lowest per-capita spending of any Canadian province. Tenth out of 10… Spending on… health, which claims roughly 40 cents on every government dollar, is budgeted to rise by just 1.6 per cent a year over the next three years. That’s less than the rate of inflation, and only about half the rate of inflation plus population growth… The government also plans to increase education spending by just 1.2 per cent a year over the next three years – while cutting post-secondary spending by 1 per cent a year and lowering spending on children and social services by 2.1 per cent a year.

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Federal government moves to lift alcohol trade restrictions, urges provinces to do the same

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

… the legislation, once passed, will remove the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another go through a provincial liquor authority… The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled last April that provincial and territorial governments have the authority to restrict imports of goods from other jurisdictions and that Canadians do not have a constitutional right to buy and freely transport alcohol across provincial and territorial borders.

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In Ontario, a battle for the soul of psychiatry

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

The ministry’s proposed new approach, modelled on U.S.-style, managed care, is designed to limit the type and amount of treatment individual patients will receive, regardless of their presenting symptoms… If it goes through, it will be the biggest change in psychiatry in the history of the discipline in Canada, and turn psychiatrists from “treaters” into “consultants” who will diagnose patients in a single session, and make recommendations for others to follow, then wave goodbye.

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Don’t believe a carbon tax can effect huge change? Just ask British Columbia

Friday, April 5th, 2019

B.C. strengthened its carbon tax on April 1, raising the rate by $5 per tonne to $40 per tonne… Since introducing pollution pricing in 2008, per capita emissions in B.C. are down by 14 per cent, while the economy has grown by 26 per cent… B.C.’s booming clean-tech industry is a prime example of the benefits of pricing pollution…

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Ford government to cut more than 3,400 Ontario teaching jobs over four years

Friday, April 5th, 2019

… for an estimated annual saving of $292-million by the fourth year… The job cuts would work out to an average of less than one teaching position for each of the province’s almost 5,000 publicly funded elementary and secondary schools… The teachers unions have objected to the plans for increased class sizes and mandated online courses for high schools – changes that prompted thousands of students to walk out Thursday.

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Conservative lies about the carbon tax need to be called out

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Perhaps the most prevalent deceit is the common conservative lament that the federal carbon tax is regressive and hurts the country’s poorest citizens most. Nothing is further from the truth. Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission estimates that 80 per cent of families will receive rebates greater than their carbon costs under the federal program… what’s really immoral is being a leader of a political party in this country with no plan to help fight climate change.

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Remember when the Liberal carbon tax was a conservative idea?

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

They’re an economically logical, pro-market way of lowering greenhouse-gas emissions. A way of using prices – the basic mechanism of free markets – to reduce pollution. A way of putting billions of small environmental decisions in the hands of millions of people, rather than handing them over to a big government bureaucracy. And a way to tax something societies need less of, namely pollution, while lowering taxes on things we all want more of, like business investment and personal income.

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IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST(S)

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

“The national economic interest” is not to be considered by the prosecution in deciding whether a prosecutor may negotiate a remediation (deferred prosecution) agreement… the purposes of the remediation sections added to our Criminal Code? There are six, one being: “to reduce the negative consequences of the wrongdoing for persons – employees, customers, pensioners and others – who did not engage in the wrongdoing while holding responsible those who did …”

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Ontario’s low-income tax credit gives fewer benefits than minimum-wage hike, watchdog says

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

The Ontario government’s new low-income tax credit provides fewer benefits than the cancelled minimum-wage increase, and will add $1.9-billion to the deficit, according to a new report from the province’s fiscal watchdog… On average, minimum-wage workers will receive about $400 less per year under the new plan… Under the proposed minimum-wage increase, 1.3 million people would have benefited, and received a net after-tax benefit of $810, the report said.

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