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Can Canada pivot from pandemic to progress?

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

… the Liberals’ Throne Speech on Sept. 23 will be an opportunity to set out policies and programs to carry us forward in ways that are more inclusive and equitable… a guaranteed livable income, along with adequate wages and benefits for the employed – as well as other social and health supports such as child care, education, pharma, mental health and dental care – would be a way to protect all Canadians.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »


B.C. moves to dramatically increase access to safe alternatives to illicit drugs

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

… the province significantly expands access to a “safer supply” to combat record overdose deaths caused by toxic street drugs…. the changes are the first step in undoing decades of harm caused by bad drug policy, and show that policy makers are listening to people on the ground. “Now the work begins on what drugs are available, what drugs we can access… we cannot continue to give drug users the least-sought-after drugs and expect them not to access the contaminated supply.”

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Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »


A vaccine may not be the simple solution we are hoping for

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

We… need to set realistic expectations for the possibility that vaccination does not eliminate COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene, improved ventilation of indoor settings, and indoor mask use are now a part of our daily routines, and will be with us for some time. This is the new normal and we should continue living by these principles to keep community rates as low as possible.

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It’s time to get rid of civil juries

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

The Ontario government should take steps to effect much-needed changes to the civil jury system. It is possible to provide injury victims with timely and fair access to the civil courts, while decreasing the civil case backlog. The right to a civil jury should be reserved for a small subset of cases, such as those that trigger the public interest or where community values are at stake.

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Posted in Child & Family Delivery System | No Comments »


Private pay is not the cure for the Canadian health system’s wait-time crisis

Monday, September 14th, 2020

… sometimes more money is what’s needed. But the evidence is clear that fixing wait times, including for the kinds of procedures at issue in the Cambie trial, does not require endless new resources…. Teams that involve non-physician professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and more, can also see people more quickly… The work of getting there will be tough; it requires leadership on the part of governments, system leaders, doctors and more.

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The landmark Charter challenge over private health-care wasn’t about what you thought it was

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

the heart of the plaintiffs’ argument… If governments are to impose a monopoly over the funding of health care, they have an obligation to see that it is provided in a timely fashion… User fees and private insurance may not be the answer to wait times, but it is not impossible that the system could be reformed in such a way as to make more efficient use of resources, without harm to the principle of universal public funding.

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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »


The ‘supply crisis’ in Canada’s housing market isn’t backed up by the evidence

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

… Common complaints include a lack of new housing, burdensome regulation and flawed zoning… The vested interests behind the narrative are relentless, since there are billions in profit to be had. Why let pesky facts get in the way? … housing affordability will suffer to the extent that policy makers either buy into the misdirection, or use the narrative to deflect public pressure to take substantive action.

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With the pandemic war still on, can we afford a postpandemic Throne Speech?

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Team Trudeau’s original 2015 idea of using that extra borrowing to pay for a temporary surge in long-term investment fell by the wayside. There’s a strong hint it might be revived later this month. Would that make sense? The only fair answer is: It depends on what the money is being spent on… If it’s permanent, how will it be paid for?

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The pandemic can spur long overdue change for Canada’s workers

Monday, September 7th, 2020

… it’s time to reinforce our social safety nets to ensure affordable housing, accessible child care and support for the unemployed. We didn’t need a pandemic to show us that too many workers in Canada are often living paycheque to paycheque and worried about the future of their families; that women and racialized workers often make up the majority of those doing precarious, low-paid – but essential – front-line work.

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Posted in History | No Comments »


The Liberals seem to think they have abolished scarcity. Let’s hope they’re right

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

There was widespread public consent earlier this year to the proposal that the economy should be put into a coma, to prevent the spread of a deadly disease… Spending hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money to keep the lights on in the midst of a once-a-century pandemic made sense. Borrowing billions more to fulfill every Liberal dream, political or ideological, does not.

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