« Older Entries |

Time to fight for universal Pharmacare

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

August 21, 2012
Provincial drug plans cover only limited populations, such as seniors or social assistance recipients, or limited costs… Private drug insurance is a perk not easily obtained by Canadians who are retired, self-employed or employees of small companies. The patchwork of drug coverage in Canada has consequences that cost us all.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Health Debates | No Comments »

Ottawa appears to back off on refugee health cuts

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

July 3, 2012
… on Friday, Citizen-ship and Immigration’s web-site was changed to say supplemental benefits would not be cut for a large group of refugees, specifically those selected and resettled from abroad by the government (government assisted-refugees) and those privately-sponsored refugees who receive federal financial assistance… the minister’s press secretary firmly denied there had been any change.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Universities have been taken over by administrators

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May 15, 2012
Today, there is a fundamental conflict between academics and administrators. Teaching, research and scholarship have as their overriding purpose making public new ways of thinking or recovering forgotten old ways. Professors are as competitive as anyone else, and they enjoy making discoveries and introducing superior insights. They see the university as a means to that end. Administrators see university as an end in itself and teaching and research are just the means. They think that the curriculum, for instance, should reflect what students, their parents, or maybe government bureaucrats want.

Tags: ,
Posted in Education Delivery System | No Comments »

Tax cuts would hold aging workers

Friday, April 13th, 2012

April 12, 2012
At a time of continued concern about the federal deficit, it may seem strange to suggest that the way to deal with rising retirement costs and looming labour shortages in Canada is for the federal government to collect less tax from workers. But unless we undertake a major overhaul of Canada’s progressive income tax system to bring tax policy more in line with public policy, a growing number of older Canadians are going to leave the workforce, taking their skills with them and reducing their ability to save for a more secure retirement in their later years.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Debates | No Comments »

How to destroy a good poverty line

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012
The MBM [market basket measure]… is intuitive and easily understood because it is based on the actual cost of basic goods and services… a simple and uncomplicated way to describe poverty, and they were so much simpler to understand than the Statistics Canada low-income cut-offs (or LICOs) traditionally used by most poverty analysts… Regrettably, we are forced to recommend – once again – that the MBMs not be used until they are fixed.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Children ask Harper to ‘Have a Heart’ and improve education on reserves

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

February 15, 2012
The Have a Heart campaign aims to raise awareness about the problems facing aboriginal children in government care. It’s part of a major publicity campaign surrounding a Federal Court judicial review brought by aboriginal child-advocacy groups against a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to dismiss a case against the federal government.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Education Debates | No Comments »

Not a pension crisis, but reform opportunity

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

February 2, 2012
Lowering the threshold at which the OAS is taxed back would have the same effect on the bottom line as pushing back the age of eligibility, but it would still allow people to retire without fearing poverty at 65. Rather than legislate a solution during the current session of Parliament, the government should publish a white paper that lays out the problem that needs to be solved along with a range of possible solutions… An equitable solution should leave no aggrieved interests for opportunistic politicians to champion.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Best pension reform would be to take from the rich seniors

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Feb. 2, 2012
A much savvier political option for the Harper Conservatives than raising Old Age Security eligibility to 67 from 65 would be taxing back all benefits from all 65-plus seniors not decidedly low income. If they do anything else, they will be pegged as mean-spirited and excessively ideological. Because the truth is, Canada, while better off than most developed countries, continues to have a fair number of low-income seniors, mostly women – a group that inspires empathy from most Canadians.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Poverty, not inequality, should be the target

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Jan. 10, 2012
… this urgent issue is poverty, not inequality per se. In other words, it doesn’t matter much how high the top end soars; what public policy ought to concern itself with is how low the bottom drops. This quibble isn’t just theoretical… there’s little doubt that a widening gap reflects bad news for people lower down on the income scale… [but] focusing on where to set the poverty bar and how to ensure everybody clears it is far more important than fretting about what portion we and our neighbours have of some other guy’s wealth.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

… Public policy that is based on evidence

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Dec. 28, 2011
… politicians must… be responsive to the concerns of members of the public, corporations, lobbyists, think-tanks, and yes, journalists… and given what’s at stake, it’s imperative that politicians commit to supporting evidence-based policy… This means that regardless of their political ideology, they should propose and implement policies that, according to the evidence, will actually reduce crime or homelessness… we have heard a great deal about populist politics… Now it is time to hear about evidence-based politics…

Tags: ,
Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

« Older Entries |