No guarantee of quality supports for disabled Canadians

The tangled web of disability governance and policy in Canada needs to clarified and centralized

No guarantee of quality supports for disabled CanadiansBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca At a recent Senate committee hearing on the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the father of a child with autism made a heartfelt plea and a chilling statement: “We are impacted by the inability to secure our son’s future. We are his…

Money targeted for health better spent on social programs

More spending on health care is an expensive way to buy health. Spending on social programs will make people healthier

Money targeted for health better spent on social programsBy Daniel J. Dutton and Jennifer Zwicker EvidenceNetwork.ca It’s budget season and Canadian provincial governments are continuing the tradition of spending more on health care than any other single portfolio. But that money is misspent. For example, Alberta spends almost half its provincial budget on health, an estimated $22 billion this year, which is more…

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistance

It’s more effective to supplement rents in times of high vacancy because each dollar spent gets the tenant more

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistanceIn the recent Saskatchewan budget, the government made the surprise announcement that it would slowly phase out a rental housing assistance program known as the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement. Given current rental housing market realities, the government ought to have done the complete opposite and expanded the program. High vacancy rates create a desirable climate…

Bill C-75 reforms too little, too late to respond to domestic violence 

Canada needs a national agency to review all domestic homicides and create an integrated domestic violence safety system

Bill C-75 reforms too little, too late to respond to domestic violence By Elizabeth Sheehy and Isabel Grant EvidenceNetwork.ca Domestic violence is a national crisis. A woman is killed by her current or former partner every six days in Canada. Indigenous women are killed by their intimate partners at a rate eight times higher. In Peel (part of the Greater Toronto Area) alone, five women were killed…

Drawing on rich traditions to nourish our children

Poor nutrition in Indigenous children, starting with colonization, through residential schools, continues today. It must stop

Drawing on rich traditions to nourish our childrenIndigenous peoples are inuwak, peoples of the land. We have a spiritual relationship with our mother earth; our food is from the land and is intrinsically related to our cultural and spiritual way of life. Food not only nourishes us physically, it impacts our mental attitude and is an essential part of many of our spiritual…

Lifting the veil off the role of women in health care

There’s a significant lack of gender parity in health leadership positions. Pay equity and workplace safety must also be addressed

Lifting the veil off the role of women in health careSometimes an issue can be so pervasive that it’s rendered nearly invisible. Take for instance the gender of the health workforce. Women comprise 82 per cent of health workers in Canada, in contrast to 47 per cent in the total labour force. This surpasses the global rate of 70 per cent. From 1997 to 2016,…

Turning the tide on the harm of opioids

Doctors must discuss pain management options with patients and not jump to the prescription pad for a quick fix

Turning the tide on the harm of opioidsBy Dr. Wendy Levinson and Dr. Laurent Marcoux EvidenceNetwork.ca As clinicians, we’re bound by professionalism and our ethical responsibilities to do no harm, and to do what we can to address the pain and suffering of our patients. When powerful pain-relieving opioid medications were introduced a few decades ago, they seemed to be a way…

How to provide consistent health care to all Canadians

We all must have access to high-quality health care. Unjustifiable variations are still too common across the country

How to provide consistent health care to all CanadiansBy P.G. Forest and Danielle Martin EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadian medicare would not exist without the actions of the federal government. But in recent years, there’s been an atrophy of the imagination about Ottawa’s role in health policy, as if federal transfer payments to the provinces and territories were the beginning and the end of everything. We…

When the doctor says sorry

It’s been a dozen years since health-care apology laws came to Canada. Do they work?

When the doctor says sorryMy introduction to the complex and emotional world of adverse events in health care occurred in 2001 when I chaired a committee to review an inquest report into the tragic deaths of 12 infants in a pediatric surgery program in Manitoba. Justice Murray Sinclair, who conducted the inquest, had concluded that at least five of…

Music’s power to improve the challenges associated with autism

Music interventions are evidence-based with positive results – so why don’t we use them more often?

Music’s power to improve the challenges associated with autismMy son is practising the piano as I write this and it’s the sweetest sound. He’s spent two years working slowly through the same level but it doesn’t matter; he’s improving and the benefits of both music therapy and music lessons have been clear and measurable. My only wish is that I had started sooner.…