Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Canada needs an official poverty line

Having a clearly-defined poverty line enables a government to set targets and focus its policy agenda on effective change

Canada needs an official poverty linePoverty is hard to measure. There are many aspects besides living on low income, including having disabilities or costly health problems, not being able to find decent housing, not being able to understand and communicate in an environment with increasing technological and legal complexity, and being unable to find nutritious food at reasonable prices. Still,…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report released recently by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movement

The focus on consent has made men all over the world stop and think. Am I one of those men?

Time for #MeToo to shift to the #IRegret movementStrangely, this weird moment in history is a good time to be alive. I've been a feminist most of my adult life, at least since I realized power imbalances were rampant in present and past societies. After dedicating most of the 1990s and 2000s to fighting the good fight in the trenches, I burned out and left…

Prevention cuts demand on the health system

Increased spending has entrenched an inefficient system that has inflated the cost of getting the same outcomes. It’s time for change

Prevention cuts demand on the health systemProvincial ministers of health and finance seek to ‘bend the health care cost curve’ but year after year, provincial budgets bend the curve in the wrong direction, adding billions of dollars to provincial health spending. We’ve doubled spending on our medical treatment system in Canada since 2005 – and what did we get? Not improved…

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in care

A much greater emphasis needs to be put on dual placements – whenever possible, mothers and children should be placed together

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in careGirls who spend time in the care of child protection services have higher rates of teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers are more likely to have their child taken into care. Teenage mothers who give birth when they’re in care are also more likely to have their children taken into care. Until recently, we didn’t know…

A global uprising against rape case injustices

Something is deeply wrong with legal and political systems in which the accuser and not the accused is on trial

A global uprising against rape case injusticesTens of thousands of people marched in Spain in April, protesting for three days over a court’s failure to convict five men of the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman during the Pamplona bull-running festival in 2016. The men had offered to walk the teenager to her car but instead they took her to the…

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportBy Helen Ries and Becky Rossi EvidenceNetwork.ca, University of Winnipeg A combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer…

Putting our health-care workers to better use

It’s not just about having more doctors. It’s time we used all the skills that the wide variety of health workers have to offer

Putting our health-care workers to better useDoes Ontario have enough doctors? Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes, we may have enough doctors. How is this possible when many people don’t have a doctor, or wait days, weeks or even months for a medical appointment? We have more doctors than ever before, but many aren’t located where we need them and many aren’t…

How to shorten hospital wait times in Canada

We can address the supply of surgical procedures, the demand for surgery and improve co-ordination within the system

How to shorten hospital wait times in CanadaLong wait times are the vulnerable soft underbelly of the Canadian health system. Canadians treasure our single-payer, publicly-funded program of physician and hospital care, virtually as a defining part of our national identity. And yet, increasing legal and political pressure over quick access to elective surgeries – cataract extraction and joint replacement, for example –…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains in our…

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…