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Premier Ford cries poor but subsidizes $700 million for fossil fuel consumption

Monday, August 5th, 2019

In the last year alone, Ontario provided nearly $700 million in subsidies for fossil fuel consumption… No one wants to see public dollars wasted, least of all the Government of Ontario. If it takes the opportunity to buckle down on fossil fuel subsidies and reinvest those millions wisely, not only will it set the province on a path to a more sustainable future, it will also prove itself to be Canada’s vanguard for smart, fiscal efficiency.

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Ontario must fund the fixes to long-term care homes

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Ford’s administration has pumped up the provincial deficit and fears of it to such heights that it makes spending money seem like a failure of government rather than a proper and necessary response to public need… there’s no excuse for the Ford government to delay concrete improvement by claiming the whole system needs to be revamped… Changes designed to prevent another healthcare serial killer also provide a path to improve the quality of life in these homes.

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Ottawa finally challenging Ford government’s plan to cancel out-of-country medical coverage

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

The federal health minister noted correctly that the Ontario government’s decision, which is due to take effect Oct. 1, was “inconsistent” with the Canada Health Act, the law governing medicare. That law sets out the criteria that provinces must meet to be eligible for federal medicare funding. One criterion is portability — the requirement that provincial medicare plans cover residents who are temporarily travelling elsewhere in Canada or abroad.

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Cuts to legal clinics a sinister plan to harm the most vulnerable

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Band-aid solutions are not the answer to address systemic issues, so the clinics saw their work as demolishing systemic barriers. Changes in ODSP, housing, employment insurance, and employment equity are directly correlated to the significance of legal clinic organizers building power… Legal clinic boards are not stewards of austerity or executioners of their already pared-down budgets: they should pride themselves of their role as defenders of the public good and of the welfare of their communities.

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Do prisons perpetuate problems they are supposed to solve?

Monday, July 29th, 2019

Bill C-83 continues to segregate prisoners in rebranded “structured intervention units.” The bill also allows prisoners to be held in solitary indefinitely, though their health will be subject to “ongoing monitoring.” … “Prolonged administrative segregation causes foreseeable and expected harm which may be permanent,” the Court of Appeal for Ontario said in a March decision declaring that solitary confinement in excess of 15 days is unconstitutional.

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Ontario must not leave accused people high and dry

Monday, July 29th, 2019

In yet another display of indifference by the Ford government towards those who can’t afford a lawyer, the province has failed to close a legal loophole so that paralegals and student-staffed legal clinics can continue to serve clients in certain criminal cases… The Ford government has already stripped funds from legal aid… there’s no reason to further restrict access to the current level of affordable or free legal representation

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Ontarians pay their doctors $12 billion a year. So why can’t they know where their taxpayer money is going?

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

“We have a great shortage of doctors in needed areas like geriatrics, rehabilitation medicine and family medicine, at least in part because those doctors are underpaid relative to other specialties,” Glazier said. “Having the right mix of specialties to serve the population matters to everyone who cares about our health system and population health.”

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We must take better care of our caregivers — paid or unpaid

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

… PSWs look after the sick, disabled and elderly at a fraction of the cost of institutional care by keeping them at home, where they want to be… the work of PSWs is undervalued through poor wages, non-existent benefits and untenable working conditions that make half of them leave their line of work for greener pastures. The problem, in a nutshell, is that the work of caregivers, paid or not, is undervalued and held in low esteem.

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Mental health reform in Ontario is no easy matter

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Without innovative new approaches to treatment, the rising cost curve will place unprecedented pressure on already soaring health budgets… Experience shows that CBT yields impressive results with far shorter treatments, and can be delivered by other regulated health care practitioners, not just psychiatrists.

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Here’s why the Liberals won’t brag about closing tax loopholes

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Morneau learned the hard way that raising taxes (or closing loopholes), unless in a manner that targets only a small number of extremely rich people, is a tricky business. However unfair or ineffective the loopholes, there will always be vociferous opposition to their closing, not least when those who have benefited most can well afford the best lobbyists.

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