- Cameron Dearlove laments the fact that Canada is failing to recognize and replicate other countries' successes in using the social determinants of health to shape public policy:
Today we know that social and financial inequities — particularly the experience of poverty — has a greater impact on our health than our healthcare system, genetics, even lifestyle choices. For a society facing spiking healthcare costs, the social determinants of health (things like housing, food security, social inclusion, early childhood development, employment, and working conditions) arguably present the greatest public policy opportunity since the creation of our social safety net, after the Second World War. While Canada is at the forefront of research in the social determinants of health, we are laggards in turning this research into healthy public policy — while Finnish babies benefit from sleeping in their care-filled boxes, Canadian children rest outside the box.- Meanwhile, Donald Hirsch writes about the changing - and sadly spreading - shape of child poverty in the UK. And Barbara Howard offers a moment of perspective on how the disasters which some people can easily brush off cause far more problems for the working poor.
If the social determinants of health hold such promise, what are we doing locally, provincially, and nationally to apply these ideas? How do we rewrite conventional wisdom so that governments, institutions and communities are using the powerful social determinants framework to encourage longer, healthier, happier lives?
- Paul Krugman notes that the Republicans' tax policy continues to reflect little more than bare class warfare by other names in cutting taxes on the rich while raising them for everybody else.
- Heather Mallick traces the demise of Sun News to its constant bullying, while Christopher Waddell sees it as having been based largely on a failed attempt to game Canada's broadcasting system.
As an aside, others are asking how it is that a network seemingly set up to further the Cons' interests didn't actually get enough preferential treatment to survive despite its lack of merit. But I'll note that the government isn't the only force which could have kept the network afloat - and given the massive amount of money put into corporate communications, it's telling also that Canada's plutocrats didn't have any interest in footing the bill for a media outlet which seemed to fit their political interests.
- Finally, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach offer a detailed look at the contents of the Cons' terror bill. Thomas Walkom - who deserves plenty of blame as the media originator of the theory that no opposition party would oppose C-51 - is finally beginning to recognize that the NDP is in fact standing up for civil rights against the Cons' fearmongering. Stephen Maher talks to a former CSIS officer and finds even more reason for concern with what the Cons are trying to pull. And Don Lenihan writes that he sees the Cons primarily as having made Canadian politics more authoritarian rather than more conservative - though I'm not sure it's an either-or proposition.