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Taming inflation can be worse than inflation

Friday, December 17th, 2021

While Canadian inflation is running at 4.7 per cent, Canadian wages are also rising. For some of the most disadvantaged workers (new hires), average wages are growing at the impressive rate of 10 per cent a year — putting them well ahead of inflation… And this booming labour market may get better yet, as contracts expire and new ones are negotiated at a time when workers are wielding more power than they have in decades.

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Its critics call it ‘birth tourism.’ But is the practice real? COVID-19 is providing clues

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Griffith estimates that the percentage of “tourism births” has now reached one per cent of all births in Canada in an average year. “This is really a question of the integrity of the citizenship program… This is legal but it’s still a loophole that allows basically fairly affluent women and families to shortcut the process, find a backdoor entry and without going through the standard process of becoming a Canadian citizen.”

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The migrant worker floodgates have opened. It’s a decision we might come to regret

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

… public policy is rowing against market forces and demographic trends, to keep things cheap. The larger the share of migrant workers in a job market, the lower the wage growth. In our endless search for a cheap deal, let’s not pit ourselves as consumers against ourselves as workers… This nation of immigrants, the tenth-largest economy in the world, has two wishes, one of which will be granted: lower prices or better jobs. 

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It’s time for this generation’s political leaders to tackle the hard issues in Canadian health care

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Provincial health-care systems differ widely over titles, practices, pay and performance metrics. Their contribution to wider sharing of best practices could be agreeing to some shared definitions, targets and an agency to measure performance… as the pandemic revealed, provinces in a health-care crisis must support each other.

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New Brunswick gets a $10-a-day daycare deal, leaving Ontario as the lone holdout

Friday, December 10th, 2021

… licensed child care in Ontario remains “startlingly unaffordable” for many families, despite the existence of parental fee subsidies and a refundable tax credit…. economists… recommend… that special care be taken even after a deal is reached to ensure lower-income families are not at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the benefits of the new program… policymakers will need some kind of sliding scale… [and] dramatic expansion of non-profit child care

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Better health data means a healthier Canada

Friday, December 10th, 2021

Health care data collection and analysis can be complicated in Canada — we have 13 different health systems… Here’s what we need now: More comprehensive data… More timely data… More sharing… Give researchers access to health data so they can inform problem solving on important files like health equity; and work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis health organizations to ensure they have access to the data they need to meet their priorities.

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Human Rights Day: Individual rights come with collective responsibility

Friday, December 10th, 2021

People opposed to COVID-19 restrictions… commonly refer to [UDHR] Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”  Conspicuously overlooked is Article 29, which… recognizes there will be times like this when reasonable limits on individual freedoms are necessary for the collective good. Protecting the public from a deadly pandemic is certainly important to our global health and to our shared humanity.

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Thousands of Canadians died because COVID-19 delayed surgeries, doctors say

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Statistics Canada… estimated 19,501 excess deaths in Canada, or 5.3 per cent more deaths than would be expected if there were no pandemic after accounting for changes in the population, such as aging… The report looked at backlogs for eight procedures: breast cancer surgeries, coronary artery bypass graft, CT scans, MRI scans, colectomies, knee replacements, cataract surgery and hip replacements, and found backlogs due to COVID delays ranged from 46 to 118 days.

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Unchecked inequality is driving child poverty

Sunday, November 28th, 2021

Ontario was richer than ever.  Yet we still had half a million children in poverty… Canada’s Big Six banks… made $46.6 billion in profits in 2019. Their CEOs’ salaries averaged more than $11 million… Wealth and poverty sit side by side in every part of Ontario. There is money here, and it’s more than enough to wipe out child poverty — if we decide to… We need to increase transfers, boost parents’ wages, and make life more affordable… Good policy is not enough, though. What we need is political will.

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Food banks are a blessing, but they’re no fix for poverty

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

“Until we address the systemic chronic stressors that are producing and reproducing vast inequalities in our communities, we will never be resilient to the acute shocks that occasionally arise,” the report said. “The time to act is now. We urgently need to protect low-income households who continue to struggle with job losses, reduced employment hours and precarious housing.”

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