Contrary to the hysteria from conservatives, health care spending continues to decline as a percentage of the provincial budget. Last year, health care accounted for 38.5% of total expenditures, this year the government plans to bring it down to 38.3%. This continues the trend downwards since 2003/4 when health care accounted for 40% of total expenditures. Austerity Redux The provincial Budget reports that program spending is going up an impressive sounding 2.99% and health care spending is going up 2.3%. Although that sounds like a larger than expected increase in these days of austerity, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Health care spending continues decline
By: Humanitarian Coalition | Press Release: OTTAWA, May 14, 2013 – Today, the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies are launching a national joint appeal to raise funds to assist the 6.8 million Syrian civilians affected by the ongoing conflict in their country. Almost five million civilians have been forced to leave their [...]
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By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Last week, the Auditor General reported that the Harper Conservatives can’t account for $3.1 billion of the $12.9 billion allocated to the Public Security and Anti-Terrorism Initiative [PSAT] for the period 2001 to 2010. The New Democrats are demanding action and accountability. Via a motion that was scheduled for [...]
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The Ontario government just lopped another $2.1 billion off their 2012-13 deficit estimate, cutting it from $11.9 billion (as of January) to $9.8 billion. This means that since 2010 when they started their public sector austerity drive, they have now cut their deficit estimates by $18.1 billion.
Deficit (in billions of dollars) 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 Total 2010 Budget 21.3 19.7 17.3 15.9 74.2 2013 April 19.3 14 13 9.8 56.1 Reduction in Deficit (billions) 2 5.7 4.3 6.1 18.1
Since the 2012 Budget, (Read more…) government has repeatedly cuts its deficit forecast for 2012-13. It started this year estimating a $15.2 billion deficit (just slightly lower than it estimated in 2010, as noted above). It now puts the deficit at a whopping $5.4 billion less.
That is one mighty big error over the course of just one year.
To put it in perspective, the government only hoped to . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario Finance Minister plans cuts in public services
After significantly cutting outpatient physiotherapy at hospitals across Ontario, the government is finally putting something back. The Ministry of Health says it is making a major investment in community-based physiotherapy, exercise classes and falls prevention services that will benefit up … Continue reading →
By: Canadian Health Coalition | Press Release: OTTAWA, April 17, 2013 – The Canadian Health Coalition issued an urgent alert to Canadians in light of today’s news that the Harper Government is terminating its funding of the Health Council of Canada. “This announcement signals Harper’s intention to withdraw essential federal leadership from [...]
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The “cost per weighted case” in Ontario hospitals in 2010-11 was $5,143, according to a new report from CIHI. (This indicator measures the relative cost-efficiency of a hospital’s ability to provide acute inpatient care.) The Ontario cost per weighted case compares with a Canada-wide average of $5,230.96.
In other words, the Canada-wide average is 1.7% higher than Ontario. Ontario has improved its position relative to the other provinces since 2009/10, when the Canada-wide average was only 0.08% higher. Ontario’s lower costs are especially significant as (presumably) Ontario hospital wages (like other wages) are higher than most other . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Hospital costs lower in Ontario
The Ontario government likes to suggest that the planned annual 4% nominal increase in “home and community care” funding will offset their cuts to hospital services and squeeze on long term care beds.
But it’s not totally clear that this funding will offset cost pressures on home and community care arising from the rapid growth in the elder population — never mind growth in the entire population, never mind inflation, never mind unmet home care needs, never mind hospital cuts, never mind the squeeze on long term care beds.
The Ontario Ministry of Finance estimates that those aged 85 and
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Homecare funding falls short – of even aging cost pressures?
More hospital savings. Joanna Frketich reports Hamilton Health Sciences needs to find $20 million to $25 million in savings, while Hamilton St. Joseph’s is cutting $10 million to $12 million, and Burlington’s Joseph Brant must cut $4 million. In total, $34 to $41 million in cuts for Hamilton area hospitals. That is in the range of 1.7% to 2.7% of the hospitals’ budgets. This is on top of earlier cuts. Over the past year the three hospitals found $30 million in savings. The government would no doubt focus on the increase in home care funding of
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Hospital cuts in 1.7% to 2.7% range
Last week over 100 students from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, concerned about how government funding cuts will impact the future of the university, disrupted a Board of Governors’ meeting to announce a political manifesto.
The Manifesto for a Vibrant, Strong, and Independent NSCAD, which can be read in its entirety on a student-run website, outlines demands that NSCAD commit to being accessible, affordable, and dedicated to “critical thought and quality education in the production of art and culture.”
NSCAD is roughly $20 million in debt, $9 million of which is still owed (Read more…)
While many governments are cutting funding to the arts and disingenuously downplaying the economic importance of culture, Brazil may be headed in the opposite direction.
The South American country has announced that it planned to give workers a 50 real ($25) monthly stipend to be used on cultural expenses. Recipients could use the funds to visit a museum, buy a book or attend a play, for example.
“In all developed countries, culture plays a key role in the economy,” Culture Minister Marta Suplicy explained in a television interview. “Now we are creating food for the soul; Why would the poor (Read more…)
Austerity measures in Spain have increased taxes on nearly everything. Tax on theatre tickets was bumped from 8 to 21 percent, and in an already challenging economy, theatre companies were naturally worried about whether higher costs would keep the public away.
In the town of Bescanó, two hours north of Barcelona, one theatre applied their creative smarts to the tax issue and came up with a fresh solution. Rather than selling tickets, the 300-seat Teatre Bescanó began selling carrots.
You see, carrots are considered a staple by the Spanish government, and are therefore taxed at four percent.
“We (Read more…)
Another home care funding announcement came out today, this time for Mississauga-Halton. Mississauga The news this time was a little better, with a 4.1% funding increase for home care via $5.12 million for the Mississauga-Halton Community Care A… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Mississauga-Halton gets bigger homecare increase
Private funding of health care is increasing faster than public funding. Now the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that public funding is expected to fall to 69.7% of total funding in 2012.
Public funding has been much higher — in 1976 it provided 77% of all health care funding. After a slow, multi-year decline, it had stabilized by 1996. But it has now fallen three years in a row.
Canadian public sector health care spending is expected to increase 2.9% in 2012 while private funding is expected to increase 4.6% (more than half again as
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Public sector health care funding shrinks – again
Four months into the fiscal year, and we now know that long term care funding per bed is going up 1.47% in Ontario.
The area that will get the biggest increase will be “Raw Food”, which will see a 3% increase effective July 1. (The 3% is not counting a commitment by the government to continue extra raw food funding of 1.8% that was supposed to expire June 30).
Other areas that are connected to wages for long term care workers (raw food is not connected) will see a much more modest increase effective April 1: just slightly
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Long term care funding increase: workers bear the brunt
… is threatening to take away the power of locally-elected school boards if they do not come to the same contract agreements as did the province with the Catholic Board? In a memo obtained by The Globe and Mail, assistant deputy minister of education Gabriel Sékaly directs the boards to reach a deal with the [...]
It is the year 2040. China is the world’s dominant economic power, while North America’s decline has forced most of its citizens into degrading and menial jobs. In Toronto, two “silk-gatherers” collect and sell “spiz,” the remnants of secretions from giant arachnoids. Other jobs of the future include “digital janitor,” “baby-maker” and “human spam.” Such is the premise of a new Canadian film, Ghosts With Shit Jobs, premiered this week in London, England, and produced for only $4,000.
Is this “lo-fi sci-fi” the future of Canadian filmmaking? If the Harper government gets its way, corporate entertainment or art-on-a-shoestring
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Ghosts with Shit Jobs – Is this $4,000 “lo-fi sci-fi” the future of Canadian Filmmaking?
In late March, Senate Republicans torpedoed an effort by Democrats to repeal the $4 billion a year that is flowing to the oil companies in the form of subsidies. The Obama Administration had proposed ending the subsidies so that this unnecessary money for the oil industry could instead be directed towards renewable energy projects and emission reduction in the United States. But in Washington, big oil has paid off the right people and organizations to make sure that their subsidies and tax breaks never disappear.
One organization that is flush with cash from the oil industry is the
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Institute for Energy Research Launches “Save Oil Tax Breaks” Offensive
The cast from InSecurity. The TV show will no longer be produced in Saskatchewan.
With the announcement of the axing of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit, we are effectively telling the rest of the film-producing world that Saskatchewan is closed for business. It’s a commonly known fact that film productions will not so much as consider a location that doesn’t have a tax credit program in place. In fact, even the ubiquitous Hollywood movie The Hunger Games, which made $155 million in its opening weekend, utilized a tax credit from North Carolina.
Being a movie lover, and writer /
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: That’s a wrap? – Killing Saskatchewan’s film tax credit is economic nonsense
Enbridge Landscape, an illustration by Harpy.
Protests voicing opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project are quickly expanding.
Public hearings on the controversial tar sands oil transport route — attracting hundreds of participants on the first day and igniting incendiary statements by Conservative politicians — provide evidence that political battles over Northern Gateway will come to shape contemporary debates on environmental justice in Canada.
Stretching from Alberta across northern British Columbia and into the ecologically sensitive coastal port of Kitimat, the pipeline will cross indigenous lands and territories that speak to Canada’s colonial reality.
In building a broader context
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Is Enbridge using art to greenwash the Northern Gateway?
NSCAD's modern new Port campus overlooks Halifax harbour. Photo by Rory Hyde.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary next year, The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design is the oldest of Canada’s four dedicated art universities. With slightly over 1000 full time students and spread across three campuses in downtown Halifax, NSCAD is widely recognized as a key catalyst for the Atlantic city’s cultural community. Over the past two decades, NSCAD’s financial situation has deteriorated dramatically, thanks to a number of factors. Today it is roughly $20-million in debt with a $2.4-million deficit.
This situation has prompted the provincial government,
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: What’s the value of an art school? – Contextualizing the crisis at NSCAD
There is a proposition that we Liberals instate a primary system for electing our next leader. This was clearly iterated in the Board’s document, “A Roadmap to Renewal.” It suggests having a new category of people called “supporters” who would not be members, but would still have the right to vote in leadership contests. This is a bold, new proposal, especially in Canada. However, I do not think it would be a good idea to have a new category of “supporters.” Instead, we have to work to get people engaged in Liberal activities, interested in our cause and when time . . . → Read More: The Happy Wanderer: No to Liberal Primaries
Thursday, January 5, 2012
A recent ad campaign linked to a top oil sands firm questions what drives the work of West Coast Environmental Law. Back in the ‘70s when a broad citizens’ coalition brought to a halt a proposed oil pipeline to an oil port at Kitimat, BC West Coast lawyers were there to support them. Our belief remains strong today, as then, that our salmon-rich north Pacific coast and rivers should remain free from oil supertankers and the threat of oil spills. This goal, like the other long-term strategic priorities of West Coast Environmental Law is
. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: Why West Coast is fighting Enbridge (it’s not the funding)
This week, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives sent a strong message to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – they’re not concerned about climate change. The NOAA had asked Congress for permission to create a new National Climate Service within the NOAA’s own offices, but Congress decided that the agency was just fine the way it is.
At a time when Congress is fiercely debating federal spending, it would seemingly make financial sense to deny additional funding to NOAA to create their new branch. But, in a rare occurrence on Capitol Hill,
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Congress Says No To Free Climate Service
A new report done by top economist warns Canada that it should stay with Universal Health care. It states that although Health Care spedning is growing too fast for revenue’s the principal of a public health care system should be kept. Him like me is worried about the future of our Public health care system. By 2030 Health care spending will explode and become between 70%-80% of the budget. In order to avoid this catastrophe the study states reforms that must be done. Including using technology for efficiency, billing rich seniors for their drugs and paying doctors on their quality
. . . → Read More: The Happy Wanderer: Economist: Universal Health Care is Good!