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Ottawa should change tax rules to encourage donations to charity

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

… the Trudeau government… should broaden the tax exemption on capital gains for charitable donations. It can do that by giving the same tax treatment to donations of shares in private companies and real estate as is now given to gifts of publicly traded shares. Experts who have looked at this idea estimate it would result in additional donations to charities of about $200 million a year. That’s a big chunk of change that would go to organizations like the United Way and local hospital foundations.

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MacLeod needs to build on past successes

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

… the needs of children with autism… and the needs of their families are complex, treatments are evolving and no one has yet gotten it perfect… It may feel good in the moment to suggest that everything past was wrong but that kind of thinking does children a disservice and that is what should matter to us all… If we don’t even try to build on what has been successful in the past, if we don’t even try to listen to each other and the people on the front line, in this case the parents, then we are bound to fail spectacularly.

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Doctors get new contract with province after 4-year battle

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

… the board ordered that the two sides strike an “appropriateness working group” to eliminate or restrict inappropriate or overused physician services — $100 million worth in 2019-20 and another $360 million worth the following year… The arbitration decision provides doctors with redress, eliminating most but not all of the fee cuts imposed by the province in recent years, effective this coming April. As well, it awards physicians with increases of 0.75 per cent for 2017; 1.25 per cent for 2018; 1 per cent for 2019; and 1 per cent for 2020.

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Ontario autism program changes ‘best for all children,’ says social services minister

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

… the government has promised to clear the wait lists for diagnosis and therapy, and will introduce a childhood budget allowing families to choose the services they want. Families will be eligible for up to $20,000 a year for children under 6 — up to a lifetime maximum of $140,000. Children older than that can access up to $5,000 a year up to age 18, to a lifetime maximum of $55,000. However, only families earning less than $55,000 in net income will qualify for the full funding amounts.

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Treats are nice. But they don’t replace funding for crisis centres

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Charitable gifts serve to remind women that they have not been forgotten. What does that even more effectively is making sure a qualified person answers the crisis hotline, and that counselling will be available during a woman’s greatest hour of need. But the wait-list for counselling at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre… is a staggering 18 months. “You should not have to wait a year and a half to get access to the services you need”

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Toronto needs to pay for the needs of a major metropolis

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

… spending is low. A few shrill voices on the right squawk on about waste at City Hall, but the facts show the city is actually spending less per resident now than it did back in 2010, when the figures are adjusted for inflation… But how does Toronto compare to other cities? One measure is the annual growth in spending over the past few years, and there it turns out Toronto ranks right near the bottom — 27th out of 29 Ontario cities listed in a Fraser Institute survey last fall.

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Ontario’s looming health care reforms are being rushed through to limit public scrutiny, critics say

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

TheStar.com Politics/Provincial Politics Feb. 11, 2019.   By ROB FERGUSON, Queen’s Park Bureau The Ford government’s looming health-care system “transformation” is being rushed through with little explanation to limit scrutiny by the public, the Ontario Health Coalition charges. Citing confidential draft legislation and other documents leaked to the New Democrats indicating elements of the plan — […]

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Student fees bankroll ‘crazy Marxist’ councils, says Premier Doug Ford

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Only programs that support transit, health and wellness — like athletics, walk-safe programs or counselling — and career services will be mandatory… “He seems to think his opt-out plan will help students and defund radical organizations. What he will actually defund are diversity clubs, student newspapers, (LGBT) centres, food banks, walk-home programs, Indigenous centres, and other important programming,” said Hunter.

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The Ford government should invest properly in child care

Monday, February 11th, 2019

The Ford government could invest wisely in child care, as so many other provinces do. It’s not only the right thing to do for families; it’s the right thing for businesses and the economy as well. Study after study shows that affordable, accessible, quality child care does the most to help women get back into the workforce, boost family incomes, improve early childhood skills for poor kids, add to government tax coffers, reduce child poverty, and shrink the wage gap.

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Experts call Ontario’s full-day kindergarten ‘visionary.’ The Ford government is eyeing changes

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program is in a class by itself. With a full-time teacher and full-time early childhood educator working together, it provides a unique staffing model and two-year curriculum for the province’s 4- and 5-year-olds… a hasty change that will likely inhibit the social and economic progress being made, is irresponsible.”

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