• Social murder and the Doug Ford government

    In 1845, Friedrich Engels described the phenomena by which working-class residents in Manchester died prematurely because of their living and working conditions. He did not simply label the occurrence as we usually do today: “Premature deaths due to unfortunate circumstances,” but rather coined the term “social murder” to make explicit the source of these premature deaths. This extensive quote from his Condition of the Working Class in England begs careful attention in relation to the austerity agenda of Premier Doug Ford.

  • How Canada became an international surrogacy destination

    Many people want to be parents and can’t do so without surrogacy, but they live in countries where surrogacy is either prohibited entirely, or prohibited for them… Canada is one of the few jurisdictions left in the world that both allows surrogacy and allows foreign participation in it… Canada… does not allow discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation… Canada is also fairly efficient about granting legal parental rights… A big question is whether Canadians need to think about recovering medical costs.

  • Resources don’t match need for surgery

    We have just eight full-time neurosurgeons and four orthopedists serving the regional referral population of 2.4 million. Everybody has an elective wait list one to two years long. It is months before we can look after acutely disabled people. None of us in this province operates as much as we could under the resource restrictions of a system that has failed to match the simple growth of the population for decades, never mind the growth of technology and care options.

  • One solution to hallway medicine: outpatient hip-replacements

    Thirty years ago, this procedure would have required a hospital stay of up to seven days, and more recently it’s taken an average of three days… Women’s College is the only fully ambulatory hospital in Ontario, meaning it has no overnight beds. It describes itself as “a hospital designed to keep people out of hospital.” Part of its mission is to help improve the broader health system. One way it’s trying to do that is by spreading the word about the advantages of ambulatory, or outpatient, surgery.

  • Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

    … According to that report [by financial consultants EY Canada and released last week] Ontario could “reconsider application of universality to all programs,” opting instead for “means-testing to selected programs.” … It provides no specifics. But just about the only two services the province provides to Ontarians without a fee, regardless of their income, are health care and public education.

  • Doug Ford turns Conservatives to the hard right

    Everyone on Ford’s team… agrees the size of government must be cut and front-line delivery of services is best left to private and non-profit sector… Ford is expected to make major changes in social support programs, and slash the senior bureaucratic ranks in the health and education ministries… Fire sales may be held for the LCBO, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Ontario Power Generation. Also on the possible chopping block are eHealth and dozens of agencies, boards and commissions.

  • Ending the scourge of poverty

    The basic income pilot gained the attention of the international community and Canada because its aim was to eliminate poverty — the scourge of humanity for centuries. This hope was dashed, not because the project failed but because it was terminated before it finished. McLeod did not have hard facts to justify the cancellation; it was done on ideological grounds… the government simply dismissed further discussion by saying the project would “take away the incentive to work” and it did not fit with their vision of the future.

  • Higher minimum wage a boost for health

    Nearly two million people living in poverty in Ontario will suffer if the Doug Ford government follows through with plans to slam the brakes on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January. A higher minimum wage enables more Ontarians to maintain their health rather than fall prey to illnesses such as malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease, which impose far greater costs in the long run.

  • How poverty and precarious work killed a healthy Toronto man

    This man had been depending on odd jobs to meet his basic needs. His casual employers certainly didn’t offer sick days, and he simply couldn’t spare the money he’d lose by missing work to see a doctor. This man died from poverty. He died from precarious, unsafe work. He died from making just one of the many impossible choices that we saddle on people living in poverty: getting the health care that could have saved his life conflicted with a job that had so far allowed him to survive.

  • Provincial spending cuts will take people from bad to worse

    Ontario already has Canada’s lowest per-person program spending, including the lowest per-person investment in health care. There’s a reason school repairs are backlogged and hallway medicine has made a comeback. Now a 15 per cent cut threatens to take people from bad to worse. Already, Ford has cut $330 million a year from mental health and $100 million from school repairs… Working-class people are already struggling with low wages, no benefits and unaffordable everyday life.