Rather than placing a tax on health needs -- as income-based drug plans do -- Ontario should consider a more positive road to universal pharmacare. Specifically, it should consider tax financing a universal drug benefit program that would give non-seniors the same coverage elderly residents enjoy today.
The results of the recent municipal election have produced a strong mandate for renewed investment in transit and transportation. In an era of fiscal constraint, how does the Ontario government get the biggest bang for its buck out of this fund? The answer is right under its nose: trust in the made-in-Ontario Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model. The government uses the AFP model as a means to leverage capital and expertise from the private sector to design, build, finance, and maintain major infrastructure projects. In doing so, the model transfers the risk of project cost increases and scheduling delays on to the private sector.
As a 26-year-old business professional I face very typical problems on a day to day basis, ones that many of you may face. I have to deal with traffic, I have to find parking in downtown Toronto, I have to deal with deadlines. But it wasn't that long ago that any of these trivial issues were not a concern to me as my only burden was finding my next meal. For two years I battled homelessness and my hope was dependant on youth homes and the kindness of strangers.
High quality public transit costs money. Someone needs to pay for it. At the moment, riders are paying a large portion of those costs. The City shouldn't change that. Someone working on Bay Street and living in King West probably doesn't need a free ride. But maybe someone at Jane and Finch needs a break on fares. A surgical approach is preferable to a blunt instrument.
The illness of a young girl is saddening, and the preceding topics are important and timely. But now, with this court case, we've gone off the rails into unhelpful territory. A growing number of people are turning away from, and against, science and modernity, and for a number of causes -- environmentalism, mistrust of corporations, dislike of secularism, traditionalism, and in extreme cases religious fundamentalism.
It must be fall, bringing with it Thanksgiving. This October, however, more than 16,000 families in Ontario will have no other choice but to visit a food bank for the first time in their entire lives. And while the idea of turkey dinner with all the trimmings certainly sounds delicious, for over 375,000 adults and children, it is simply not the reality of the season.
It has been so exciting to visit local markets, meeting the farmers who work so hard to bring us the very best, and there is no shortage of stalls anywhere you go in Ontario right now! Inspired by the vast variety the harvest has to offer, I filled my reusable bags with carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, kale, apples and more.
The need for food support does not, however, stop with students under the age of 18. Post-secondary and recent university graduates are one of the fastest growing groups of food bank users across the province. With growing tuition rates, on campus living accommodations, and money for textbooks it's no surprise the wallets of students are being stretched to the limits.
Last week, Canadian beekeepers filed a class action lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court (Windsor) against two massive chemical companies, Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, for over $400 million in losses allegedly caused by neonicotinoid pesticides to Ontario bees. This is the first Canadian class action lawsuit filed for harm to bees caused by these widely used pesticides.
Ontario, once Canada's flourishing economic and manufacturing hub, is in steady decline with slow economic growth and rapidly expanding government debt being a sad yet reoccurring story. An important example of Ontario's biased labour relations laws is in the area of worker choice. Mandatory union membership and dues is problematic for many reasons. First, it means that unions can be less responsive to their membership since members don't have the option to leave the union. Restricting worker choice also artificially strengthens unions which can manifest in higher rates of unionization. But when workers are given more choice, they more often choose not to join unions.
Ecology Ottawa Executive Director Graham Saul did things backwards."Most activists I know started at the grassroots level then worked their way up to the national or international levels," he says. "I've gone the other way because I'm more and more convinced we'll make a bigger difference working locally."
This week, two European tourists complained about the Canadian car culture after a brief stint in the 10 million square kilometer nation of over 35-million people. The British and Danish complainers now reside in Aarhus, Denmark. While I support criticizing a country, it is also good to have the facts in order. To that end, here are some stats Chabowski should have taken into account before making rush judgments on Canadian society.
There have been complaints about the three Ottawa doctors who won't prescribe the birth control pill. They don't prescribe it partly out of religious conviction, but also because they believe it's bad medicine. Research shows plenty of evidence against the pill. If conscience is overturned and doctors who disagree are forced to prescribe it, this will ironically mean the provision of inferior care. Using hearts and minds together is what conscience protection allows for. Does anyone actually want anything less in their doctor?
Bob Rae and Kathleen Wynne are hardly the only (former and current) politicians to engage in storytelling. Politicians of every partisan stripe do the same thing. But while stories are useful and guide us in a variety of beneficial ways, the rational side of human nature should revisit tales now and then, especially political ones. That leads to better, smarter government. Ontario is no exception.
This suggests that simply shifting our language from "epileptic" to "person with epilepsy" can alter the way others think about those living with epilepsy. Employers, colleagues, teachers, and peers may think of their friends differently if we all start referring to "people with epilepsy" instead of "epileptics."