Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Deborah Gyapong discusses CMA President Anna Reid's presentation to the federal All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus, with the positive response of MPs from all parties looking like a particularly noteworthy development:
The CMA put forward seven recommendations for governments at all levels to examine to improve health outcomes.

-- A comprehensive prescription drug strategy in consultations with the life and health insurance industry to make sure that 10 per cent of Canadians who lack access to prescription drugs can get them.

-- Ensuring low-income Canadians have access to rehabilitation, mental health, home care and end-of-life care.

-- Exploring options for funding long-term care services such as public insurance schemes or registered savings plans.

-- Expanding relief programs for informal caregivers such as family members caring for aging parents or a disabled child.

-- Recognizing "the importance of the social and economic determinants of health to the health of Canadians and the demands on the health care system.

-- Require federal Cabinet decision-making to include a health impact assessment.

-- Have the federal government "give top priority to the development of strategies to minimize poverty in Canada.

APAPC members said they hoped to bring Recommendation Five, recognizing the importance the economic determinants of health, to their respective party leaders.
- Brian Langille and Josh Mandryk outline how Tim Hudak's plans to attack organized labour go beyond even the worst U.S. right-to-work schemes:
Majoritarianism and exclusivity are the core democratic principles underlying our model of labour relations.
Majoritarianism refers to the principle of majority rule in union certification and internal union democracy. If 50 per cent of the workers in the bargaining unit vote to form a union, majority rules. The flip side is that workers who wish to form a union cannot do so unless a majority of their co-workers vote to do so as well.
Exclusivity refers to the fact that once a majority of workers in a bargaining unit vote for a union, that union becomes the exclusive bargaining agent of all employees, preventing other unions from representing workers in that unit as well as preventing individual contracts of employment for bargaining unit employees.
These are the same democratic principles that underlie our political democracy. The principles are very simple and familiar. You may not have voted for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives but that does not mean you do not have to pay your taxes. You cannot opt out. And it also means the federal government cannot exclude you from medicare coverage and so on because of how you voted. The government cannot “opt you out.” They are the government for everyone. This is how our democracy works. This is what the PCs propose to dismantle.
There is more. The Ontario PCs do not intend to do away with majoritarianism and exclusivity in their entirety. Doing so would open the door to minority unions, which would provide meaningful access to collective bargaining for workers in industries like banking and food services which have proven impervious to organizing under our model of labour relations. As they would have it, the benefits of majoritarianism and exclusivity would be repealed, but the burdens would remain intact. Those in the minority have no right to seek representation at all.
- Andrew Coyne discusses how denials and cover-ups are turning relatively minor issues into major scandals at all three levels of government in Toronto. And Martin Regg Cohn questions why part of Kathleen Wynne's attempt to change the channel includes an inexplicable defence of the Senate.

- Finally, Paul Adams wonders whether the post-Harper era has already begun. And I'm particularly curious as to whether anybody jockeying for position within the Cons will notice the level of popular support for more inclusive government and effectively run against Stephen Harper's command-and-control political model.

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