- Trevor Hancock writes that if we're going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:
I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health officer to designate opioid drug overdose deaths a public-health emergency. But this is not the only, nor is it the largest, such emergency.- Frances Ryan points out that major social issues like child poverty and the failures austerity have been driven out of the U.K.'s headlines as a result of the Brexit vote.
Of the likely candidates for designation as a public-health emergency, none seem as important as poverty, especially in B.C.
Personal experience and common sense, as well as a great deal of evidence, tell us that poverty results in poorer health. There is little doubt that inequalities in income translate to inequalities in health, which translate into additional health-care costs. It is time the B.C. government recognized that if opioid overdose deaths are an emergency, poverty is a far greater and more long-lasting emergency.
We need a concerted plan to reduce poverty and the health inequalities and economic impacts that result. Among other things, this plan needs to include a fair minimum wage, so people who work full time are not left in poverty, a level of social assistance that respects human dignity and a solid commitment to ensure that no child in B.C. grows up in poverty.
- Don Pittis writes that we shouldn't expect the public to put up with trade deals which undermine employment, while Daniel Kitts interviews Maude Barlow as to what type of agreement would actually be worth pursuing. And John Holmes and Jeffrey Carey take a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership's fine print to see how it looks to undermine Canada's auto sector.
- James Wilt discusses how lobbying rules are easily evaded by the corporate interests whose influence over government is most problematic. And Mike De Souza reports on Jean Charest's secret meeting with the National Energy Board after he had been hired as a consultant by TransCanada as a glaring example.
- Finally, Christo Aivalis points out that the major issue in dispute between CUPW and Canada Post is the former's refusal to sell out future workers. And H.G. Watson outlines the issues being bargained while pointing out the need for the Trudeau Libs to rein in management run amok.