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How Canada can fix primary care crisis

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

In every neighbourhood in the country, just as there are schools for our children, there should be a primary-care home — or centre — served by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, therapists, social workers, and others. Each person has an ongoing relationship with a primary-care clinician in this publicly funded team. The team is connected to other parts of the health system and social services. It’s a one-stop shop for your health related needs.

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Doug Ford has bungled affordable housing and now Ottawa is rubbing his nose in it

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

The federal government now says it will send funding directly to municipalities, cutting Ontario out of the equation entirely… Why can the two levels of government come together to build subsidized factories, but not subsidized housing? … Ultimately, the friction over funding may have less to do with personalities than priorities. In Ford’s Ontario, unaffordable factories count for more than affordable housing.

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Mark Carney had a chance to weigh in one of the defining issues facing Canada. The answer he gave suggests he isn’t ready for public life

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

Around the world, almost no serious person continues to believe that cutting taxes on the wealthy will unlock growth for working and middle-income people. Most advanced industrial democracies are dealing with inequality and challenges to economic growth by rejecting market fundamentalism and investing in things like public transit, child care, affordable housing and ensuring that low- and middle-income people have money to spend in the local economy.

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Wealthy Canadians get huge tax breaks, even with budget changes to capital gains

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

The tax system is much tougher on working people, who make up the vast majority of Canadians, including almost everyone in the lower and middle class. Working people pay taxes on their full working incomes, with few exemptions, and their taxes are deducted before they even receive their paycheques. Then there are those who own capital — stocks, bonds and other property… “A buck is a buck is a buck.” The budget’s tax changes are a small but important step in that direction.

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Canada disability benefit severely underfunded in Budget 2024 and Canadians with disabilities will pay the price

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

One-in-seven people who access food banks nationally rely on provincial disability income support. In many provinces, that means living more than $800 below the poverty line each month… it was never about seeing just another income support program come into effect. It was about extending the type of tangible support to Canadians with disabilities living in severe poverty, helping them overcome its relentless cycle.

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We are rich Canadians and we support higher capital gains taxes

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

Ottawa wants to raise taxes for Canada’s ultra-rich. Rich people like us want that, too… with 1 per cent of the country’s residents holding over a quarter of all wealth. We need higher taxes to level out this rising wealth inequality… to fund new spending on priorities like Old Age Security, clean economy, medical care, child care, and housing, but it doesn’t go far enough to address class distortions… we’d also like to see a “super wealth tax,” an inheritance tax, and progressive property taxes

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Trudeau would be wise to raise the GST to 7 per cent instead of reforming the capital gains tax

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

… the GST has underwritten Canada’s social safety net for more than 30 years. In 2006… the GST accounted for 30.6 per cent of all federal tax revenue… Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and finance minister Chrystia Freeland have sought refuge in progressive populism with their plan to expand the capital gains tax. But the sustainable policy choice would be to put those two points back on the GST.

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Ottawa puts up $50M in federal budget to hedge against job-stealing AI

Sunday, April 21st, 2024

“There is a significant transformation of the economy and society on the horizon around artificial intelligence”… Some jobs will be lost, others will be created… AI is an issue “across sectors, but certainly clerical and customer service jobs are more vulnerable… two types of skills it makes sense to focus on in retraining — computational thinking, or understanding how computers operate and make decisions, and skills dealing with data.

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Appointing judges will not fix the criminal delay problem

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Numerous zero-tolerance policies, which forbid dropping certain categories of charges in exchange for mediation, restitution or non-criminal sanctions put an additional burden on the system. Minor matters, which could be diverted out of the criminal justice system with non-criminal resolutions, are treated the same as serious ones… The criminal delay problem will not be solved by judicial appointments, as delay is a result of the policies and procedures administering an overburdened criminal justice system.

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We need to revolutionize how we organize health care in Canada

Friday, April 19th, 2024

… “achieving high value for patients must become the overarching goal of health care delivery, with value defined as the health outcomes per dollar spent.” … Our government should focus less on who they are paying, and more on what they want to buy… This would facilitate innovations in care delivery across the system, and allow for more investment in integrated care programs that span the full continuum. Funding could focus on all-in coverage… including drugs, home care and virtual innovations.

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