Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne comments on the biggest of the Cons' many lies about the role and capacity of the federal government:
Canada’s $18.7-billion deficit has (its) roots in failed economic policies, decisions made before the world financial crisis, including reckless corporate tax cuts.

Remember, because the Conservatives would like us to forget, that this is a government that inherited $13 billion in surpluses.

They quickly emptied the cupboard with one tax cut after another.

Harper’s deficit has become, in many ways, a manufactured and convenient bogeyman. Bogeymen are useful especially when your goal is to convince Canadians we can’t afford public services or a social safety net, including universal medicare which is currently under immense attack.

A deficit is also handy if you are looking for an excuse to sell Canadians on more austerity, more public service cuts.

But the federal Conservatives have a few problems with the narrative they are so desperately trying to tell.

On the one hand they preach about their ability to manage the economy, and yet, when examined closely, their economic record is anything but stellar.

And a dwindling number of Canadians are buying into the big lie.
- But for those thinking big dishonesty is limited to the Cons, Karen Howlett offers a devastating look behind the scenes of Dalton McGuinty's exit from the Ontario Libs - featuring specific discussion about creating a "salacious" story around an opponent's wife in order to distract from the deserved public-relations fallout from scandal and cover-ups.

- Emily Chong is the latest observer to point out that the supposed trade-off between wages and jobs is illusory - as an increased minimum wage which helps workers stay out of poverty doesn't significantly affect the number of jobs available.

- And Carlito Pablo reports on the exploitation of migrant workers who are tied to a single employer (and thus unable to point out its abuses).

- Finally, Ryan Meili weighs in on the CMA's report on the social determinants of health:
We've known for decades, through Dr Marmot's famous Whitehall study and many others that health care is only one element in determining health outcomes; a far less influential factor than income, education, housing, nutrition, and the wider environment. However, this information has had little impact on how medicine is practiced, and this can be frustrating for doctors, uncertain of how to translate this understanding from the conceptual to the clinical.

A paper released by the CMA at that Yellowknife meeting on the role of the physician in achieving health equity tackled the issue head on, and encouraged doctors to think differently about how they can address the social determinants of health in practice. 
Pharmacare, Housing First, a national food security program and guaranteed annual income: these are ideas that could be considered quite radical.

They would certainly be outside of what most Canadian politicians would openly discuss as options. And yet, here they are, coming from what is thought to be one of the most conservative professional organizations in the country. Why? Because whatever self interest may influence physician politics, the purpose of the profession is still, at its heart, to work for the best health outcomes for patients. The weight of the evidence for the social determinants of health, and the need for creative, system-wide policy changes to address them, is simply too great to ignore.

1 comment:

  1. The very best single thing we can do for our country, is to get rid of Harper.

    I am very happy to hear, the F.N. are challenging Harper, on his evil FIPA deal with Communist China. Everyone I know signed the petition against, Harper's FIPA deal with China.

    No-one in their right minds would want Red China, on our Canadian soil for a minimum of 31 years.

    There is also Harper's Omnibus Bill that permits China to sue Canada if, anyone blocks China's invasion into our country. China sued in BC, to take 200 mining jobs from BC miners. BC people want the Chinese removed. Chinese miners earn, $800 per month. There are 18 mine permits on Vancouver Island. There are nine mines and mine expansions, going into Northern BC. Wonder just who, Harper will give those jobs to? Harper needs, a full mental evaluation. Harper is a traitor to Canada and, belongs in prison.