This and that for your Thursday reading.
- The Broadbent Institute has released a new set of polling (PDF) as to Canadians’ values. And it’s particularly worth noting that even on the Cons’ signature issues such as tax cuts, austerity and crime – where millions upon millions of public dollars have been spent in a combined effort at branding and persuasion – 60% or more of respondents (including new immigrants) side with a more progressive option.
- But as Steven Shrybman notes in criticizing Jeffrey Simpson’s blase view of universal public health care, we still have our own Village working (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Paul Krugman draws a much-needed connection between austerity politics and Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine: What Smith didn’t note, somewhat surprisingly, is that his argument is very close to Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, with its argument that elites systematically exploit disasters to push through neoliberal policies even if these policies are essentially irrelevant to the sources of disaster. I have to admit that I was predisposed to dislike Klein’s book when it came out, probably out of professional turf-defending and whatever — but her thesis really helps explain a lot about what’s going (Read more…)
Here, on how all of Canada could lose out if Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals are able to follow through on their plans to eliminate the Therapeutics Initiative which has provided needed information about the effectiveness of prescription drugs.
For further reading…- More background about the current status of the Therapeutics Initiative is available here and here. – And the efforts to reduce public purchasing costs for generic drugs discussed in the column include the national initiative reported on by CBC, as well as Alberta’s more recent push. – But hopefully my concern will be rendered moot by (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Arthur Haberman argues that our universal public health care system helps contribute to a more democratic society: There is something that political philosophers — those like Tocqueville and Mill in the 19th century — have come to call living democratically. By this it is meant that voting is but a small part of what being in a democracy is about. It also includes volunteering in small ways to make our communities better, participating in decisions about what happens to your town or your neighbourhood, judging your fellow citizens by the quality of their (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- David Olive writes that the dangerous effects of long-term unemployment (caused in no small part by gratuitous austerity) are just as much a problem in Canada as in the U.S.: With our persistent high levels of long-term unemployment, Canada is at risk of creating a new permanent underclass. The world’s economic policymaking elite, Ottawa’s included, hasn’t grasped that its enslavement to the “austerity chic” of severe cutbacks in government’s contribution to the economy is retarding the recovery it claims to be promoting. It’s like watching a grainy newsreel of Herbert Hoover’s (Read more…)
Council of Canadians denounces Harper decision to kill the Health Council of Canada By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Canada`s leading progressive citizen’s advocacy group says it`s appalled by Harper’s decision to kill the Health Council of Canada. In a press release issued earlier this week, the Council of Canadians said it’s “sadly not shocked” by [...]
The post Appalled by Harper’s decision to kill the Health Council of Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
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 [...]
The post Harper cut to Health Council of Canada could signal end of national health care appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Thomas Walkom points out that banks are far from the only corporations who are conspicuously moving jobs offshore to the detriment of Canadian workers and citizens: Unions are being ground down; wages are being ground down. Jobs are being ground out of existence. With the economy so weak and foreign competition so fierce, domestic firms find it harder to expand.
For many, the only solution is to squeeze their workers.
Before the Great Recession, goods moved easily across borders. So did capital. But what’s new about this slump is that labour has become
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
The neoliberal Harper economy at work: a Toronto street scene, last week. Below: Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper and Margaret Thatcher.
Here’s some free advice for a couple of would-be Canadian prime ministers who are both in the news these days, the NDP’s Tom Mulcair and the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau: Hammer Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the economy.
Both of them were with their party faithful yesterday – Mr. Mulcair at the final day of the NDP’s policy convention in Montreal and Mr. Trudeau at his coronation as Liberal leader in the evening in Ottawa. Either of them, it (Read more…) said here, has the potential to form the next government of Canada if the planets line up the right way.
But that means, to succeed, something is going to have to go wrong for Mr. Harper – because, as we pretty well all know, more often . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Advice for Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau: Hammer Stephen Harper on the economy
Not surprisingly, the social policy resolutions up for discussion this weekend include a wide range of issues – and I’ll avoid highlighting the resolutions dealing with either familiar topics of discussion like gun control, marijuana decriminalization/legalization and housing.
Instead, I’ll point out three resolutions which look to deserve particular attention: 3-39-13Resolution on the Impact of Economic, Social, and Environmental Factors on Individual Health Care Submitted by the Quebec SectionBE IT RESOLVED that the following clauses be added to Subsection 3.1(r) of the Policy Book:• Acknowledging that economic, social, and environmental factors impact individual, public, and community
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #mtlqc13 Priority Resolutions – Social Policy
India continues to pave the way for providing cheaper generic drugs for its citizens compared to other nations which have a heavy patent system. Previously India has produced drugs for 97% less than ‘normal’ costs as well as committing to the development of generic drugs. Looking out for their citizen’s wellbeing has got them in trouble with a Swiss pharmaceutical company though.
The company took the government to court and after seven years of legal battles the court sided with the government’s goal of providing affordable health care.
Healthcare activists have called on the government to make medicines cheaper in
. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: India’s Supreme Court Paves the Way for Cheaper Pharmaceuticals
By: Council of Canadians | Press Release: In response to the federal budget, representatives of the Council of Canadians made the following comments: “This budget fails Canadians. It continues a privatization agenda for water, a trade agenda that doesn’t equate to job growth, a health care agenda that will cut billions [...]
The post Federal Budget 2013 fails Canadians, says Council of Canadians appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Alberta Health Services Board Chair Stephen Lockwood demonstrates how to trim a provincial health care budget. Actual AHS board members may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lockwood in his official AHS portrait.
Two pernicious and slightly dissonant myths that cloud discussion of public health care are the idea that to get the best public-sector managers we must pay excessive private-sector style salaries and perks and the plainly preposterous notion the private sector always does everything better.
So it was interesting how Stephen Lockwood, the apparently cold-eyed and pragmatic trucking company executive from Okotoks picked by the
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta Health Services trimmers toss out a couple of market-fundy myths to save cash
A prompt this week to write about something in a health-care context brought out this story which, despite having been told over and over in my head, had heretofore not made it down in writing. It wasn’t quite 5:30 am and Janice was already waiting for me on the main floor of Union Station. Her … … Continue reading →
By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 25, 2013: Canadian refugee lawyers, advocacy groups, doctors and patients are banding together to file a lawsuit against the Harper government’s recent draconian cuts to health care for refugees. The group from the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL), Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC), and three individual patients, says the cuts READ MORE
Budget is an opportunity to start building a fairer, greener, more prosperous Canada By New Democrats (Press Release) |Feb. 21, 2013: OTTAWA – With our economy continuing to underperform and structural imbalances worsening, NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale – High Park) is calling on the Conservative government to change course and take action to better READ MORE
Fresh air and yogurt might have helped these guys live to be 160, but if they’d lived in Alberta, instead of Russia, where could they afford to sleep? Below, seniors care in Calgary, back in the day, before oldsters all carried tennis racquets, rode bicycles and looked like fashion models, only with white hair.
Do you remember that promise by the Alberta government to build 3,000 seniors’ beds? It turns out they only planned to rent them!
The problem with renting beds from private companies, of course, is the same as with any form of privatized medicare: it ends up
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Renting seniors’ beds is a formula for failure – and it’s time for Alberta to stop doing it
Members of the public line up at Forzani and MacPhail Colon Cancer Screening Centre. While it is true there are no actual well-heeled clients of the Helios Wellness Clinic in this lineup, actual lines of Calgarians awaiting medical tests may nevertheless not be exactly as illustrated. Below. Retired justice John Z. Vertes (Radio Canada).
Can we agree on one thing? Nobody pays $10,000 to $15,000 a year just for massages, yoga and diet advice.
Alberta’s medical queue-jumping inquiry continued this week with testimony from the principals of a high-end Calgary medical clinic – unfortunate turn of phrase, that, under
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta queue-jumping inquiry update: Who pays $10,000 a year for yoga and diet advice?
Wladyslaw Lizon, Member of Parliament for Mississauga Cooksville East (my own riding), is back in the news. The Conservative MP has teamed up with two of his fellow backbenchers in an attack on Canadian women’s reproductive rights.
The last time Lizon surfaced, he had “alerted” Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney that a Mississauga woman had worn a niqab during a citizenship ceremony. Thanks to Lizon and Kenney, face veils are now banned from those ceremonies. This man is anti-choice in more ways than one.
More recently, Lizon, Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin), and Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright) demanded that the RCMP
. . . → Read More: wmtc: mississauga m.p. calls for "investigation" of abortions: conservative m.p.s continue their anti-choice agenda
by Conference Board of Canada | Jan. 31, 2013: OTTAWA – Health care is a large and essentially recession-proof part of Canada’s economy, creating more than 10 per cent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP) annually and supporting more than two million jobs, according to a Conference Board of Canada analysis for its Canadian Alliance for READ MORE
Transcript here (h/t).
Filed under: Feminism, feminisms, health care, pro-choice, reproductive freedom Tagged: abortion, contraception, Feminism, Jessica Valenti, Planned Parenthood, reproductive justice
Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Nobel prize-winning organisation working on the frontline in remote and conflict areas, says vaccines bought with UK and other donor governments’ money cost too much and are not designed for the needs of hot and impoverished countries. When the pot of money subsidising the high prices of western pharmaceutical companies runs out, developing world governments will not be able to afford the vaccines and children will continue to lose their lives, MSF says.
MSF is concerned that the deals between the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), to which the UK
. . . → Read More: bastard.logic: Big Pharma Cashing In On Global South Vaccination?
This and that for your Saturday reading.
- Hamida Ghafour writes about the effect of tax avoidance by the world’s wealthy on the lives of the rest of the population – particularly when coupled with austerity pushed based on a lack of revenue: The OECD is a fierce defender of free-market capitalism. But Saint-Amans says politicians are realizing that rules set up in the 1920s need reform because allowing corporations and the very rich to hang on to huge amounts of wealth is bad for the economy. “When you have a political crisis, I am sad to say it, you . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Ray Grigg explains how Idle No More and other decentralized social movements may make for a crucial counterweight to the Harper Cons and their command-and-control philosophy: Systems are always bigger and more complex than the individuals who try to control them. So political systems, like ecological ones, can be influenced and guided for a while by the stringent and obsessive management of details, but the intricate convolutions within their countless interacting parts eventually expose the futility of such effort. This is now becoming apparent in the present Conservative government in Canada under the
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links