Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

The need for income security among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour market changes

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitableIn Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most…

Mental health therapies should be fully funded by medicare

Publicly funding comprehensive treatment for depression is cost-effective

Mental health therapies should be fully funded by medicareHeadlines tell us in detail about the mental health struggles of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain before their deaths by suicide. But what too often goes untold are the stories of thousands of people who die by suicide every year in Canada – our friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours. What’s also not well documented is…

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at risk

LGBTQ youth face additional mental health pressures associated with stigma and discrimination

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at riskIt’s now widely known that the Ontario Ministry of Education will be reverting to the 2010 sex education curriculum to teach youth – despite widespread criticism. Worse, youth in Grades 7 and 8 will actually be taught the 1998 sex ed curriculum. In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton got in trouble over Monica Lewinsky and…

Aung San Suu Kyi’s loss of Canadian citizenship should be applauded

Canada is making a powerful statement about her role in denying citizenship to others in her own country

Aung San Suu Kyi’s loss of Canadian citizenship should be applaudedThe House of Commons recently voted unanimously to call the killings, persecution, rape, abuse, destruction of homes and forced displacement of Rohingya from Myanmar as genocide. More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2017. Now, the House has voted unanimously to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship, which she received in 2007.…

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murder

Indigenous women are vastly over-represented among those sentenced to life

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murderWhat’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences? Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High-profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Bernardo, Olson, Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a situation can amount to murder in our law. When it…

Big health-care change takes big courage

The status quo is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner

Big health-care change takes big courageBy Karen Palmer and Noah Ivers EvidenceNetwork.ca If there’s one thing provincial governments across Canada can agree on, it’s that the status quo in health care is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner. Ontario’s Ministry of Health under the previous government led the way by…

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailty

Astronauts and seniors with frailty have much in common and innovative research may help solve problems for both

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailtyFor decades, researchers have studied the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what's surprising is one of the uses of that research. It turns out that understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to understanding what happens to us on Earth as we…

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimization

Why we need quality sex education for our students with developmental disabilities, too

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimizationThere has been a lot of discussion recently in Ontario and elsewhere about sex education. We’ve heard from diverse groups about what’s taught and what’s not taught in our schools. But one group’s voice has been missed. Our students with developmental disabilities need sex education, too. And no one’s talking about it. When my sister,…

Broadening health care’s perspective on pain

We don’t take pain into account when assessing where to invest health sector research and delivery dollars. That needs to change

Broadening health care’s perspective on painThe prestigious Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ annual meeting recently in Vancouver focused on chronic pain and, of course, the current catastrophe of opioid deaths was discussed. But most of the discussion was broader: What are the biological mechanisms underlying chronic pain? What are the experiences of those suffering from chronic pain? How could Canada’s…

How do we decrease emergency room visits?

Canadians have the highest rates of emergency room visits among high-income countries. We need a better care model

How do we decrease emergency room visits?You get home after a long day at work and the cough that’s been bugging you just doesn’t seem to be letting up. Your muscles ache, you have chills and you hear a slight wheeze when you breathe out. Do you head to the local emergency department? A walk-in clinic? Or does your family doctor…

Turning away from a valuable social experiment

The abrupt cancellation of Ontario's basic income project has broad impact on international research, as well as devastating participants

Turning away from a valuable social experimentI recently participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of basic income experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot project was received with stunned disbelief. On July 31, three months after enrolment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey could be…

Recognizing the many faces of poverty in Canada

To have effective policies, we need clear, understandable indicators for the most important dimensions of poverty

Recognizing the many faces of poverty in CanadaThe federal government is to be congratulated on its just-released Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy, running to over 100 pages, endorses the idea of an official poverty line, relieving Statistics Canada from the impossible task of finding a purely statistical basis of definition. It further endorses the idea that poverty has many dimensions – including…

How much does your vote really count?

Ontario’s recent election results signal Canada’s wider democratic dilemma 

How much does your vote really count?Ontario’s June election was one for change and Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives emerged the victors. Unfortunately, many voters believe their vote didn’t count. Thanks to our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, they’re right. Once again, there’s an overwhelming majority provincial government in Canada elected by a minority of voters. Just over 40 per cent of voters supported Ford's Progressive Conservatives.…

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disability

We desperately need a ministry that’s directly responsible and accountable for the broad portfolio of disability policy

Breaking down barriers for Canadians with disabilityBy Jennifer Zwicker and Stephanie Dunn EvidenceNetwork.ca Breaking Down Barriers is the galvanizing theme of a recent report from the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. It outlines urgently-needed recommendations to improve access to underused federal disability supports: the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). Some of our most…

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospital

It's clear the status quo isn’t meeting the needs of our aging population. So what can be done?

We must do more for seniors coming home from hospitalBy Ruta Valaitis and Maureen Markle-Reid EvidenceNetwork.ca Despite having diabetes and arthritis, Verne was a thriving independent 72-year-old who lived at home with his wife when he had a stroke. He had excellent emergency care in the hospital and began his recovery there. But he didn’t adjust well after arriving home. He started to show…