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A forensic accountant’s take on the Ontario budget

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Ontario taxes more and spends more, per capita, than Ottawa… Before annual debt costs, both Ontario and Ottawa are just treading water… Ontario has a $4.1 billion operating surplus ($280 per person). Ottawa’s operating surplus is $9.4 billion ($252 per Canadian)… Ontario — spending cuts for many, more money for a few… Among the 19 losing ministries are: … Children and Community Services… Environment… Indigenous Affairs… Training, Colleges and Universities

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The legal advice Wilson-Raybould should have taken

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

… the prime minister tried to persuade her to hire a lawyer to give her further legal advice in an attempt to find a solution to the standoff between them. He proposed the most distinguished lawyer in Canada, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Honourable Beverley McLachlin. Not a bad offer. She refused… I think I know what advice she might have gotten from McLachlin. And that explains why she didn’t want, and never accepted, that offer of legal advice.

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Omnibus bill shows it’s still politics as usual for Trudeau government

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

… this year’s was less than half the length of last year’s 800-plus-page opus magnum. But, as has become the custom with both Liberal and Conservative governments, it rolls together numerous pieces of legislation touching a wide range of issues that have little to do with the spending of government money… With proper planning, the government could have dealt with… separate pieces of legislation well in advance of the budget bill coming out and steamrolling over informed debate.

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Nova Scotia is showing the way on organ donation

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

This is the first time what’s known as “presumed consent” legislation will become law anywhere in Canada or the United States. But it’s far from new elsewhere in the world… The fact is about 4,500 people are on waiting lists for organ donations in Canada in any given year and the wait for a transplant can be up to six years. Sadly, about 250 people die each year waiting for such organs as hearts and lungs.

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Changing disability definition a dangerous mistake that will harm thousands

Monday, April 8th, 2019

The government is holding consultations on these changes right now. We do not know who has been invited. And we have no commitment that what they are told will be made public… it should leave anyone who cares about those who suffer from arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, mental illness, addictions, and many other conditions that can disable people intermittently, or from which they may recover in a few years, extremely worried.

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NDP pharmacare plan sets a new standard

Monday, April 8th, 2019

… families now enjoying private drug insurance would save $550 a year on average under a universal public scheme. Employers that offer drug coverage to their workers would pay on average $600 less per employee. In short, Canadians would pay more in taxes for pharmaceuticals but less overall. The NDP is sketchy on the politics of its plan, particularly on how to get the provinces to agree.

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Ontario should get tougher on raising vaccination rates

Friday, April 5th, 2019

The numbers gathered by the Star from public health units around the province show vaccination rates vary considerably, but are too low to provide so-called “herd immunity” for the general population… The province should move toward eliminating non-medical exemptions for the vaccinations that children must have in order to attend school… Better to act now than to put health and lives at risk.

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Students across Ontario walking out of class Thursday to protest Ford’s education cuts

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Students across the province are planning to walk out of class Thursday to protest the Ford government’s proposed changes to public education… as part of the student-led action dubbed #StudentsSayNo… [to]mandatory e-learning for high school students, a ban on cell phones in classrooms unless used for educational purposes and increased class sizes from Grades 4 to 12, which would result in the elimination of teaching jobs.

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As usual, Doug Ford has it wrong on carbon tax

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

… the real threat to our long-term future is precisely what the carbon tax is designed to head off — climate change… Economists of all political stripes agree that a carbon tax is the most effective way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions… the way the government has structured it, most people stand to come out ahead once they’ve collected their tax rebate. The idea… is to raise the price of carbon-intensive activities and give people a financial incentive to reduce them.

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New Ontario law allows less pay for overtime

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Time-and-a-half pay in Ontario is usually mandatory when employees work more than 44 hours a week, unless an overtime-averaging agreement in place. Under Bill 66, employers will have expanded use of these agreements and will be able to average workers’ hours over the course of a month rather than two weeks, resulting in less overtime pay… the new measures will encourage employers to assign erratic schedules to workers in order to minimize overtime payments.

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