David Gratzer

Entries by David Gratzer

Are Doctors Part of The Obesity Problem?

(5) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 12:41 PM

Are doctors part of the obesity solution -- or part of the problem?

Obesity is widely discussed, and increasingly doctors are weighing in. Here in Canada's largest province, the Ontario Medical Association recently called for food labeling and a tax on junk food to "help prevent thousands of...

Read Post

Why Canada's Definition of Austerity Is All Wrong

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 7:00 AM

The word "austerity" just won't go away. Early this year, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives held a seminar on a "post-austerity vision for Ontario." The Council of Canadians devotes a whole page of its website to "Canada's austerity agenda." On January 12, progressive activist Deirdre...

Read Post

Canada's Health Care's Not Much Better Than America's

(92) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 7:14 AM

In 1999, I wrote my first book, Code Blue: Reviving Canada's Health Care System. In it, I noted Canada's obsession with all things American when it comes to debating health-care issues -- as if the only alternative to Canadian medicare was the American system. My point? Many countries...

Read Post

The Case Against Taxing Soda

(42) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 11:35 PM

Can we tax ourselves to better health? Many think the answer is yes. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg champions a tax on soda; two California towns recently put the idea up for referenda; the Ontario Medical Association favours taxing sugary and fatty foods. (And, hey, the...

Read Post

Is it Dutch Disease or a Central Canadian Cold?

(3) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 11:01 AM

"Wrong." On Friday, Canada's most prominent economist weighed in. And with the Bank's research to back him up, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney told us that advocates of the so-called Dutch Disease theory have it wrong. The high price of oil isn't killing the Canadian economy, nor...

Read Post

Politicians Face Trending Scandal: FatGate

(4) Comments | Posted August 24, 2012 | 11:36 AM

Only a few years ago, if you'd attacked a politician for his weight, or complained about where she ate her dinner, it would be seen as poor form. Reporters could write about a politician's views on taxes and trade, but the burgers and buns on his dinner plate were off...

Read Post

Back to School for Striking Quebec Students -- But Not Back to Democracy

(19) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 8:27 AM

And so, it ends with a whimper, not a bang.

On Friday, college students at CEGEP du Vieux Montréal and at CEGEP Saint-Laurent voted to end the "strike"; in the days before, students at other CEGEPs across Quebec voted to return to class. Though many...

Read Post

If We're Rich Right Now, It's Because We've Been Damn Lucky

(19) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 2:04 AM

There's an old joke about a therapist and a young woman. The therapist shows her one ink blot after another and asks her what she sees. Each time, she responds "sex." After several ink blots, the therapist comments that the woman seems to be obsessed by sex. "Me?" she responds...

Read Post

Does Michigan Need a $550M Gift From the Canadian Taxpayer?

(6) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 5:26 PM

In mid-June, the federal government committed every Canadian man, woman and child to pay $15.79 to create jobs and build infrastructure in Michigan -- yes, Michigan -- whose per capita income is nearly the same as Canada's.

Weeks later, nobody here seems to have noticed. The foreign aid will...

Read Post

Obamacare Is in Anything But Stable Condition

(10) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 12:43 AM

Obamacare -- the signature legislation of President Obama's White House -- is constitutional.

Of course, Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling is more complicated, and some aspects of his health care reform have been reigned in. But, for the most part, the Supreme Court's decision is favourable to...

Read Post

Drummond's Prescription for Health Care Won't Cure the Spending Bug

(6) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 4:08 PM

Political debate in Ontario is now dominated by a simple question: Did Drummond recommend it or didn't he?

On February 15, rock-star economist Don Drummond turned in several hundred pages worth of recommendations to the government, providing advice on how to balance Ontario's budget.

Premier Dalton McGuinty...

Read Post

She's a Good Sheila

(6) Comments | Posted January 17, 2012 | 11:33 PM

It ended with a whimper, not a bang.

This past weekend, Sheila Copps fell just 26 votes shy of winning the Liberal Party presidency, against businessman Michael Crawley.

Sheila Copps has since suggested that she has run her last race and will focus on charity, in...

Read Post

Premiers' Health Care Meeting Will Be Loud But Fruitless

(11) Comments | Posted January 16, 2012 | 12:50 AM

Today, the premiers are meeting in Victoria. Top of the agenda: health care.

It's a meeting that will be long on rhetoric but short on purpose. Historically, such meetings allow premiers to bemoan the lack of stable, long-term funding from Ottawa. And Victoria was meant to be a part...

Read Post

The Biggest Story of 2011 for Me? Tory Majority!

(8) Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 8:23 AM

This week we have asked Huffpost.ca contributors to tell us what they considered the biggest story of 2011.

In 1997, on the eve of another winning Liberal campaign by Prime Minister Jean Chretien, two Canadian conservatives wrote a dispirited essay on our politics.

Conservative governance was unlikely to...

Read Post

Note to Our Ministers of Health: The World Is Fat

(2) Comments | Posted November 28, 2011 | 11:51 AM

Late last week, the federal and provincial ministers of health met to discuss future health spending, with an eye on replacing the current federal and provincial accord, which expires in 2014.

Demographics are often cited as a major future cost for our health care system. That makes sense: people in...

Read Post

Shattering Canadian Health Care's Conventional Wisdom

(26) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 4:15 PM

Canadian health care is wasteful, inefficient, and doomed to eat up an absurd portion of provincial budgets unless we do something big. Where to look for ideas? Consider the successes of some countries that rely more on private money and private insurance -- and, hey, still manage to cover all...

Read Post

Is the Liberal Party Dead?

(42) Comments | Posted November 20, 2011 | 11:21 PM

"Liberals have finally met their Armageddon. Get used to it." So writes veteran journalist Peter Newman in his forthcoming book on the Liberal Party of Canada.

When the Gods Changed is due out this week, but early press reports suggest that Newman sees the party as...

Read Post

More Than 7 Billion Served: The Case for Optimism

(7) Comments | Posted November 15, 2011 | 10:39 AM

The world's population just grew to a new high, with some speculating that we will soon have too many people on too small a planet. Scientists warn of major climate change. A new flu, possibly borne of pigs, poses a threat to our safety and could lead to a 1918-like...

Read Post

Harper and the Supremes (and What It Means for Our Democracy)

(1) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 12:19 AM

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau once commented that members of Parliament were "nobodies" 50 yards from Parliament. In a recent interview, Prime Minister John Turner modernizes the observation by dropping the 50-yard qualifier: "Who wants to be a member of Parliament when the job isn't worth anything any...

Read Post

How to Reform -- And Improve! -- Our Health Care

(32) Comments | Posted October 29, 2011 | 8:15 AM

Are we getting value for money with Canadian health care? And, if not, what do we do about it?

A paper mulling the federal financing of provincial programs doesn't seem particularly interesting. But Jason Clemens is no ordinary author -- he's bright and his thinking is clear. Clemens worked at...

Read Post