Happy New Year! * It’s now official – 2014 was the hottest year on record for this blue planet of ours. * * This is the year that science and good climate policy will trump denial and fossil fool intransigence. I’m lucky to live in the largest Canadian province, Ontario, where last summer the newly-re-elected […]
In a recent long-term report on the economy, the Ontario government recognized that own-source Ontario government revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has declined over the last fifteen years. The decline is equal to 2 percentage points of the province’s GDP. That is more than $14 billion. With that revenue, the deficit would be gone and we would have money to spare.But the government also forecasts that own-source revenue as a percentage of GDP will continue to decline over the next twenty years as well.
The plan is to cut Ontario government revenue (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario’s answer to the deficit: 35 years of revenue cuts
With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it. Another option — increasing revenue from the wealthy is not mentioned. However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces. But the data also indicates Ontario has very low revenue Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below). So there is little reason to suspect that we have (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Deficit? Public spending ain’t the cause. Revenue, however…
Provincial government hospital expenditure per person in Ontario compared to the rest of Canada based on CIHI data.
A large gap has grown between what the Ontario provincial government spends on hospitals and what other Canadian provinces spend. Since 2004/5 the gap has grown from a mere $9.43 per person to $316.50 per person in 2012/13. Nine years ago, the difference was 1%. Now, the other provinces and territories (as a whole) spend 23% more per person on hospitals than Ontario does. That is an astonishing difference. Or at least the size of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Rest of Canada spends 23% more on hospitals than Ontario
In a democracy there are almost as many reasons to vote as their are voters. Some vote out a sense of civic obligation, others vote so they can still feel entitled to complain about the results. For some one issue not only dictates why they vote but how they vote. Others still will vote out […]
If you go to your polling station on June 12th and decline your ballot, you have not voted for anyone, or anything.
In fact, you have forfeited your right to vote and your vote has been suppressed.
REMEMBER: Voter suppression is a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging, or preventing people from exercising the right to vote.
The Decline Your Vote web site was launched by a Conservative and it promotes Section 53 of the Ontario Elections Act.
Section 53 of the Ontario Elections Act states:
An elector who has received a ballot and returns (Read more…)
The PCs have developed two papers on health care policy, one dated September 2012 and another (which “builds on that foundation”) dated February 2013. Here are some key excerpts, with some commentary, starting with the 2012 paper, “Patient CentredHealth Care”. Terminate the LHINs and CCACs and turn their powers over to 30-40 “hospital hubs”: “Build off of the existing high performing health infrastructure in 30 to 40 Ontario hospitals to create health hubs. Hubs will organize, plan and commission services for the patients in their respective regions.” “The health hub is a simple concept. Hubs (Read more…)
Below are excerpts from the Progressive Conservative policy paper, “A New Deal for the Public Sector”. It contains some very radical ideas that go far beyond even what former PC premier Mike Harris implemented. Cut public spending: “To balance the budget, government spending must be cut. Just slowing the rate at which spending increases will leave a balanced budget as a distant hope, not a real goal. Ontario does not have the luxury of time to address the problem.” Comment: Even the Mike Harris PC government increased public sector spending in its first term (by their (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: The lowdown on the PC plan for the public sector
By Joe Fantauzzi @jjfantauzziKey Findings and Recommendations:- Between 2003 and 2012, the number of temporary foreign workers admitted to Canada jumped from 102,932 to 213,573 — a difference of 107.5%.- Inquests are mandatory in Ontario when an on-the-job accident kills a worker employed at “a construction project, mining plant or mine, including a pit or quarry” — but not in the course of agricultural work.- Effective collective bargaining must be extended to migrant workers by Parliament.- Public health benefits must be extended to workers injured in the course of their work even after (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Illuminated By Street Lamps: Temporary Foreign Workers: What Canada Must Do To Protect A Vulnerable Labour Class
The Ontario public sector spends less than almost all other provinces on health care. And it’s falling further behind. Over the most recent four years per capita spending increased 9.7% across Canada, but only 5.2% in Ontario. With this, the Ontario public sector spends less per person than any other province except Quebec. Ontario public sector spending equaled $3,952 per person in 2013, but the all-Canada average was 6.3% (or $248) higher, at $4,200 per person, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Heading for the bottom: Quebec, (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: How Ontario public sector health care funding lags behind
For the fourth consecutive year in a row, wage settlements in the broader provincial public sector (i.e. public sector workers, like hospital employees, who do not work for federal or municipal governments) fell below the wage settlements in the private sector. In 2013, provincial public sector wage settlements averaged about 0.3% annually compared to a private sector settlement average of 2.3% according to Ministry of Labour data. That is a whopping 2 percent gap. In 2010 the gap was small, as provincial public sector settlements came in at just under 2% and private sector (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Provincial public sector wage increases less than private sector for fourth year
The OLP has a convention next week, if you weren’t aware. It’s their annual general meeting – the one that was originally going to be held in London, but got moved to Toronto due to speculated Spring Election concerns.
Several bloggers (myself included) of the Liberal persuasion (Ontario or Federal) have been inquiring for awhile since last year before Christmas to some of our contacts within the OLP hierarchy about the possibility of being present at this to live-blog or live-tweet it or social media it in general.. you get the idea – as we did for the OLP’s leadership (Read more…)
The Ontario Fall Economic Outlook indicates that 59% of the Ontario health care funding increase this year comes from the annual increase in funding from the federal government via the Canada Health Transfer (CHT). The federal transfer increase accounts for $752 million out of a total provincial health care increase of $1.272 billion. (Another $181 million comes from the increase in the Employer Health Tax revenue, with not much coming from other Ontario based revenue sources, like income or corporate tax.) The share of new funding paid for by new federal CHT funding is up from (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Harper health care cuts: $8.2 billion less for Ontario
Ontario has the highest private sector health care expenditure in the country, according to data in a recent report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Total public sector expenditure in Ontario in 2013 is forecasted at only 67.7% of total health care expenditure, significantly below the Canada-wide average of 70.1%. Public sector expenditures would need to increase 6.3% in Ontario just to meet the Canadian average — $248 per person. So it is perhaps not so surprising that private health expenditures are 5.3% higher in Ontario than Canada as a whole ($1,883 (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario has highest private health care spending in Canada
There has been a sharp increase in the number of physicians in Ontario and an even sharper increase in payments to physicians. Between 2008 and 2012 the number of physicians in Ontario has increased 18.5%. This growth is offset by population growth only very modestly: the number of physicians per 100,000 population has increased 13.5% over the same period.
Ontario Supply 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Increase Total Number of Physicians 23,043 24,515 25,044 26,163 27,300 18.5% Family Medicine 11,106 11,817 12,170 12,815 13,513 21.7% Specialists 11,937 12,698 12,874 13,348 13,787 15.5% Physicians per 100,000 (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Physician numbers up 18% in four years
By Joe Fantauzzi @jjfantauzzi
At the core of many modern democracies is the concept of freedom. Variations of the word “free” appear 27 times in the text of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Liberty” appears in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States. But the nature of freedom, liberty or whatever else a society chooses to call the ability to pursue those things that makes us better or happier as a species, is amorphous. Here, it is discussed in two schools: that of negative freedom, more expressly defined as liberty from interference, and that of (Read more…)
Lurking only slightly below the surface in the recent fight over changes to funding for physiotherapy is yet another problem with health care privatization.
The government is stopping the ability of 94 physiotherapy clinics to directly bill OHIP. Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews says that, over the years, licences to provide these services have been bought up by large corporations. Currently, two-thirds of the billing goes to four companies that are, she says, “behind the protests” against her reforms.
Moreover, she charges that the “existing 94 clinics have had an unlimited ability to bill the government and have become (Read more…)
With the release of the 2013-14 first quarter finances report, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has announced the start of his own consultations on the economy.
The focus (allegedly) is on “jobs and growth” .
The formal pre-budget consultations with a committee of the legislature usually start in the late fall or winter. So Sousa’s consultations (which have already begun) are getting the jump. If words mean much, the emphasis is quite different than under Dwight Duncan.
Sousa’s release headlines “The Path to Jobs and Growth”.
Duncan’s release of last year’s first quarter finances sounded more like his imitation of the (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: With 34,000 jobs destroyed, Ontario focuses on Jobs and Growth
By Joe Fantauzzi@jjfantauzzi Key Findings:
– The development industry is clearly engaged in the political process at Brampton City Hall.
– 233 development companies and development-affiliated individuals were publicly disclosed to have contributed money to Brampton candidates in the 2010 municipal election.
– Of those 233 developer donors, 48 were discovered to have proposals in various stages in front of Brampton City Hall between December 12, 2010 and May 22, 2013, according to city council minutes.
– The interests of 20.6 per cent ─ or about one in five ─ of the companies and individuals (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Illuminated By Street Lamps: In Brampton, Few Recorded Development Votes After Developers Contribute To Political War Chests
The real costs for the average hospital acute care patient are declining. As noted yesterday this is true for both Ontario and Canada, based on data just released from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. But the CIHI data also revealed other interesting trends, likely related. Administrative Costs Decline: Administrative costs continue their long decline in Ontario hospitals, falling again from 6.21% of total expenses in 2009-10 to 6.15% in 2010-11 and then down to 5.91% in 2011-12. With a total hospital spend in the range of $21 billion in Ontario, this (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ontario: 6.1 fewer hours of care per hospital patient