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Austerity is bad for your health

The Ontario government is expected to release the Drummond Commission report shortly. That report that is expected to substantially shape Ontario’s fiscal plan going forward. Don Drummond was appointed to provide the Ontario government with a plan to reduce the deficit. He has indicated that drastic cuts to budgets …

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Freezing welfare: The wrong decision at the wrong time

Yesterday, in advance of the Ontario 2012 Budget, Premier McGuinty announced that social assistance rates will be frozen for a year and that the scheduled $200 increase in the Ontario Child Benefit will be reduced to $100, with the remaining $100 being delayed until July …

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Review of Social Assistance in Ontario: Health & Health Equity Overview

In 2010, the province of Ontario established the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, led by Commissioners Francis Lankin and Munir A. Sheikh. The Commission’s Terms of Reference are to: Establish an appropriate benefit structure that reduces barriers and supports people’s transition into, and …

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Seven Priorities For The New TCHC Special Working Group, From Engaging Tenants To Enlisting Experts

It has members and a mandate, and now the new Special Working Group on the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), chaired by Councillor Ana Bailão, has about six months to chart a financially sustainable future for the city’s biggest landlord. The Special Working Group was …

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Health Equity Roadmap: Overview

I have been working with many researchers, practitioners, professional and community networks, LHINs, public health leaders, and governments on how to embed equity in health care planning, organization and delivery. This has covered a wide range of issues: from analyzing hospital equity plans and developing …

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As Ontario braces for Drummond report, lessons from Million Dollar Murray need to be considered

As Ontario braces for the report from economist Don Drummond on provincial public service spending, an early leak from his work raises a powerful question. In a Toronto Star column by Martin Regg Cohn, Drummond is reported to be ‘staggered by the statistic that a mere …

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Ontario Budget 2012: Duncan chooses path that hurts the poorest Ontarians

In the lead up to the Ontario budget, the Wellesley Institute asked whether Minister Duncan would choose a road of fiscal prudence, or whether he would adopt the austerity agenda of his opponents. Today he chose the austerity agenda. In his speech today, Minister Duncan …

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What to look for in the Ontario 2012 budget: Improving housing affordability

Although a good, affordable home is one of the most important social determinants of health and investing in housing not only takes pressure off of the health care system but is good for the economy, federal and provincial housing funding continues to be insufficient to …

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Response To The Social Assistance Review Discussion Paper

The Response to the Social Assistance Review Discussion Paper is the second formal submission that the Wellesley Institute, in partnership with a number of health sector leaders, has made to the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario. In this paper, we argue that: …

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