Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Cathy Crowe writes that there's no excuse for putting off action to provide housing to people who need it - not only because of the inhumanity of waiting, but because there's plenty of evidence as to what works:
Over the years big money, at least according to my standards, has gone to academics and health researchers who examine the social determinants of health. For 30 years, I’ve studied their work and quoted from their articles and reports. I believe them. Poverty, lack of housing or shelter, racism, unemployment or low wages negatively impact on health and increase the chance of an early death.
This week Toronto Public Health released a glimpse of the homeless death data they are collecting. The numbers are shocking: 46 people died while homeless between January and June of this year. That number now surpasses Toronto stats for death by homicide or in traffic accidents. The average age of a homeless person's death is 50. That’s 30 years younger than the Canadian average. Shocking, but it confirms all the social determinants of health research.

What's more alarming is what we're not being told, what is being contemptibly held back by Toronto Public Health until the one year mark of the research in 2018. This includes: What was the gender breakdown of deaths, how many were youth, what were the medical causes of death, how many were suicides, how many were overdoses, how many were traumatic deaths such as hypothermia, how many occurred outside or in a shelter or hospital? So much information collected by the city that could guide solutions today but no, the gap between research and action just widens.

One has to wonder if it’s ethical to not release data when there is such widespread concern but perhaps more frightening, who is influencing the decision to stay silent and why?
- But sadly, the CP reports that the same Saskatchewan Party government which can't be bothered to fund housing programs which more than pay for themselves is looking to nickel-and-dime social assistance recipients to death.

- Matthew Yglesias notes that the U.S. Democrats are making a sorely-needed push for renewed antitrust enforcement.

- Andrew Nikiforuk examines how Christy Clark's plan for permanent high prices as the basis for liquefied natural gas development went so wrong in the face of entirely predictable market realities. And Jacqueline Hansen offers a warning about Canada's unsustainable reliance on real estate transaction fees.

- Alan Broadbent and Noah Zon offer some important perspective on Ontario's employment standards by asking which elements of the employer-biased status quo are actually defensible. And Morgan Lowrie reports on continued calls for needed protections in Canada's temporary foreign worker system - for the benefit of both immigrant workers and domestic ones alike.

- Finally, Valerie Wilson, Janelle Jones, Kayla Blado and Elise Gould discuss the persistent wage gap facing black women in the U.S.

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