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Hope is real

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Oct. 13, 2012
… The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy… discovered that the failure of the poorest kids was not preordained. Nearly 20 per cent of youngsters who started out as vulnerable, or in need of help, ended up meeting Grade 3 expectations… with the right types of interventions, we can work to ensure that over time there are more positive deflections than negative ones.

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Posted in Education Debates | 1 Comment »

Wealth, not health care, extends life

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Oct.12, 2012
It has been estimated at least three quarters of the increases in life expectancy in the developed nations over the past 100 years has been due to increased prosperity and improved nutrition, housing, sanitation and work safety. In fact, how much a society spends on health care has not been found to be directly related to any health outcome tested… The effect of income appears to be stronger than many other variables that affect life expectancy

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

An end to the perpetual welfare trap? Guaranteed incomes debated

Monday, August 27th, 2012

22 August 2012
… the idea is a no-brainer. Replacing Manitoba’s complicated welfare system could free up social workers to do what they do best — help people deal with addictions, get skills training and find daycare and decent housing, instead of parsing a huge menu of welfare rules. And it could shrink the city’s burgeoning poverty industry — food banks, charities, non-profits and social-services agencies that eat up millions in government funding.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Compulsory voting here should be on the table for discussion—before it’s too late

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

13 August 2012
Perhaps it is truly time to take mandatory voting out for a spin… Australia is perhaps the best known of the countries with mandatory voting laws, but there are about 30 countries in the world where voting is a legal requirement. Penalties for not voting mainly include fines. In Belgium you will face difficulty getting a public-sector job if you didn’t vote. There is no question mandatory voting drives up turnout.

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | 1 Comment »

Sinclair inquiry to look at social conditions surrounding child’s death

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

24 July 2012
… “this inquiry needs to extend beyond the strict parameters of the operations of the child welfare system… The child welfare system alone cannot be expected to address the underlying social conditions which lead children into being in need of protection.”… those social conditions include poverty, limited economic and employment opportunities, homelessness and substance abuse.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

A roundup of the usual child-poverty suspects

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

June 4, 2012
Poverty is about more than material deprivation. It also involves exclusion from participating in many aspects of society and considerable stress… child poverty leads to poorer educational outcomes… Reducing child poverty will increase the number of skilled workers available… poverty produces real economic costs… reducing childhood poverty is both an important health promotion and an important crime-control strategy. Our governments tend to ignore the economic benefits and argue the costs of poverty reduction are too high. That is bad economics.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »

Cost of the public sector in Canada

Friday, June 1st, 2012

May 29, 2012
By any standard, government exercises substantial control over the nation’s economic resources and has a large presence in the lives of Canadians. While some would like to see the public sector expand further, so that it represents 50 or even 60 per cent of GDP, following this path would necessitate significantly higher taxes across myriad revenue sources — personal and business income taxes, consumption taxes and payroll and property taxes, among others.

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Posted in Governance Delivery System | No Comments »

Finley defends pension reform but does not address poverty concerns

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Feb. 21, 2012
The federal government is stepping up its rhetoric to justify plans to cut public pension benefits, but remains silent on how it will address seniors’ poverty… Government officials have made it clear that when cabinet ministers talk about reforming old age security, they are lumping in the guaranteed income supplement with the basic benefit that delivers about $500 a month to 98 per cent of Canadians over 65… Unless Ottawa takes steps to separate the top-up from the basic old age security benefit, poor seniors would stay on provincial welfare rolls for an extra two years.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Anger rising over plan to reform OAS

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Feb. 2, 2012
“He is not only dumping on the vulnerable senior citizens,” Rae told the House of Commons. “He is also dumping on the provinces, dumping on municipalities, creating a cascade of injustice because of a totally manufactured crisis on his side.” Harper shrugged off the accusation, calling his assertions “nonsense” and “fear-mongering.” Harper reiterated in the Commons Wednesday the planned changes to the pension system won’t affect today’s seniors or those close to turning 65.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

Liberals must commit to protect vulnerable

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Jan. 30, 2012
Protecting the vulnerable is what liberalism is all about. In today’s terms, it means improving the level of support to those who must rely on social assistance. It means increasing the inventory of affordable housing for low-income tenants. It means assisting those who face a future perplexed by dementia. It means generating meaningful employment opportunities for the unemployed and under-employed. It means helping those criminal offenders who are candidates for rehabilitation to find a productive and law-abiding future. It means a health-care system that provides quality care to all our citizens…

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

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