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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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The Ontario treaty deal is a game-changer for Indigenous rights 

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

The $10-billion settlement announced this week between the Robinson-Huron First Nations, Ontario and the federal government signals a tectonic shift in Indigenous-government relations… Major developments of the Ring of Fire mineral properties and other northern Ontario projects are slowed by the absence of agreements with First Nations. A new prosperity-sharing formula will be critical in breaking future logjams.

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A significant milestone in lifting people with disabilities out of poverty

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

This is a significant milestone, potentially the most important addition to Canada’s social safety net since the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors was introduced in 1967…  The CDB is desperately needed. About one in five Canadians live with a physical, developmental or psychiatric disability… The new benefit should, in theory, lift more than 1.4 million Canadians living with disabilities out of poverty.

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What we can learn from 20 years of the Youth Criminal Justice Act

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

The passage of the YCJA has resulted in a 95-per-cent decline in youth custodial sentences, while youth carceral facilities have closed across the country… This incredible transformation happened because the YCJA emphasizes restraint at all levels of the criminal justice system, from police intervention to charging, detaining and sentencing, and by using “extrajudicial measures” to divert young people away from the traditional court system.

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The provinces’ poor-us act on health care is wearing thin

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

The provinces chose to ignore those tax-point grants in the recent funding debate. But a new round of tax-point transfers makes sense: it would put the ability to generate health care dollars – and the responsibility for how well they are spent – in the hands of the provinces that deliver the services.

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A long-term plan for long-term care

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

… it’s time for a new plan, one that a number of other countries have already adopted: a Canada Long-Term Care Insurance Plan, to provide a guaranteed quality of life for the elderly who are frail…  long-term care insurance promotes better care, and ultimately saves the government money, by increasing the years people are able to live in their homes in older age and reducing the time spent in nursing homes and hospitals.

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Canada is failing to meet the moment on the cost of medication

Saturday, March 11th, 2023

They have threatened repeatedly that these reforms will halt the entrance of new drugs into the Canadian market and… will hamper “the country’s ability to attract investment to our life-sciences sector.”… threats like this are only rhetoric, not reality. Britain, Sweden and France have all achieved lower drug prices while maintaining higher rates of research and development than Canada.

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How much money does Canada’s health system really need?

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Internationally, Canada spends more per capita on health care than many other OECD countries, but performs very poorly. … other than for long-term care, there is no need for health-care costs to rise dramatically over the coming decades – not if there are appropriate structural reforms and more integrated management.

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It’s time to close the breach at Roxham Road and enforce Canada’s borders

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

It’s not mainly a question of money. The people working to receive and care for asylum seekers are limited. The number of new classes we can add to accommodate children, many of whom are distressed or traumatized, is limited, and that’s not to mention the shortage of teachers… housing… We have therefore asked the federal government to settle new asylum seekers in other provinces that are capable of supporting them with dignity.

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Canada’s vanishing health care crisis

Saturday, February 18th, 2023

Health care spending is actually declining this year on average, once population growth is factored in… Only the three Maritime provinces are planning to boost health care spending faster than the increase in the federal transfer…  the contrast between the urgent rhetoric of the premiers and the tepid growth of spending underscores, again, the need to firmly place the responsibility for health care funding on the provinces.

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