TORONTO — Ontarians without doctors can dial in to a new Health Care Connect program that will try to match them up with a family health-care provider in their community. Doctors will be paid a one-time fee for each new patient they take on — $100 for someone under 65 years old, $120 for a 65- to 74-year-old, $180 for someone 75 or older, and $350 for a “complex, vulnerable” patient. Premier Dalton McGuinty said his government and the Ontario Medical Association are working together to help Ontarians who are unable to find a family doctor. “Our commitment is to get 500,000 unattached patients family care, and we’re absolutely convinced we can get that done,” McGuinty said yesterday. The service is available now by phone at 1-800-445-1822, and will be available later online at ontario.ca/healthcareoptions, which will also provide the nearest walk-in and after-hour clinics, family health teams and emergency rooms by typing in a postal code.
A new Stimulus Budget, Bill issued and the Taxpayer’s Money made available to shore up our schools and roads and bridges, infuse cash into new sectors like green energy and technology to sustain our economy for the long term OR some rather do offer a different prediction for a bill , budget that was loaded with potential abuse, wasteful spending, a stimulus that’s unlikely to have much simulative effect. Good intentions are not good enough, it is the end results that always still count but our Vigilance is still needed for there are too many mere spin doctors at work.. .
Harper says extraordinary measures needed to fight economic turmoil Fri Feb 13, 5:58 PM MONTREAL - “Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised Friday to act aggressively to help Canada weather the global economic crisis, making the vow as he announced a new contract for Montreal’s CAE flight simulator company. On Friday, Harper announced a $329.5-million federal contract for CAE for flight simulator training equipment and services for the C-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft. The program creates about 330 jobs for the first three years and 50 for the next 20 years. He said the announcement is a welcome example of good news in the midst of the worst global economic crisis since the Second World War. “There will be bad news,” he said in reference to the economic crisis. “But there will also be good news. There will also be private and public investments. This one today is an example of those investments.” Calling the recent federal budget “arguably one of the most important budgets in Canadian history,” the prime minister said it is part of a multi-year economic action plan designed to ensure Canada emerges from the current economic turmoil stronger than ever. “Extraordinary times such as these call for extraordinary measures,” he said. Although Parliament is still debating some of the budget measures, Harper said Friday’s announcement is an indication his government is pushing ahead with its initiatives. Harper acknowledged he still remains concerned with the so-called “Buy America” provisions in U.S. President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, which could cause difficulty for a number of Canadian exporters such as steel companies.”
NOW “Those worried about Stephen Harper changing his spots can rest easy. At heart, the prime minister’s the same old guy. True, he now plans to run big deficits to fight the economic slump. But Harper is also using the opportunity provided by this slump to quietly ram through laws that punish two groups his governing Conservatives have long had in their sights – public sector workers and uppity women. At the same time, he is quietly introducing measures to weaken environmental laws affecting rivers and lakes, limit federal oversight of most foreign investment and scale back some of Canada’s few remaining restrictions on foreign ownership.http://www.thestar.com/News/Insight/article/587488
All are part of the government’s so-called budget implementation Bill C-10. Most were mentioned barely, if at all, in the Jan. 27 budget that gave rise to this bill.
Still, thanks to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, every one is bound to pass. Ignatieff has pledged that his caucus will support the budget and any bills flowing from it.
Overall, Bill C-10 provides an insight into how a sly government can use the economic crisis to quietly slip through measures that have little or nothing to do with the problem at hand.
In this case, the Conservative attack on pay equity – the idea that men and women should be paid equally for work of equal value – provides the most telling example. Bill C-10 would end the right of federal civil servants to take pay equity complaints to the federal human rights commission. Instead, such issues would have to be dealt with as part of the normal bargaining process between union and management.
And in determining whether wage rates for men and women were fair, any arbitrator would have to take “market forces” into account.
The problem with this is twofold. First, as a federal task force wrote five years ago, collective bargaining involves tradeoffs. But a woman’s constitutionally protected right to be paid fairly is hardly something that should be traded away for an extra coffee break.
Equally important is the reference to market forces. Toronto lawyer Mary Cornish points out that pay equity was designed specifically to rectify a failure in the market that permitted systemic wage discrimination against women. To turn around and subordinate equity to this same market is to negate the entire exercise.
She notes that when former Ontario premier Mike Harris made a similar attack on provincial pay equity, the courts slapped him down.
Women aren’t the only target of the Liberal-Conservative budget bill. Federal government workers of both sexes face measures that would cap wage increases for the next two years at 1.5 per cent annually. That in itself may mean little. In hard times, it’s hard for any union to negotiate big pay raises.
But to add injury to insult, the caps are retroactive to 2006. According to the Public Service Alliance of Canada, that means some workers face wage rollbacks. Jail guards are already threatening a court challenge.
Harper is also using Bill C-10 to quietly legislate other measures on his agenda that have little or nothing to do with the economic crisis, such as:
Raising the threshold for government review of foreign takeovers from $295 million to $1 billion. The bill would also give the government new powers to refuse any foreign takeover on the grounds of “national security” (a measure prompted by recent Chinese attempts to buy Canadian resource firms).
Raising the ceiling on foreign ownership of domestic airlines such as Air Canada from 25 to 49 per cent. The Liberals used to decry this as selling out the national interest. However, in their latter years in government, and under pressure from Air Canada, they suggested something similar.
Amending the Navigable Waters Protection Act to let the cabinet exempt certain kinds of rivers and lakes from regulations that limit damming or dumping. Quebec New Democrat MP Thomas Mulcair, that party’s deputy leader, argues that this is a part of a broader plan to weaken environmental rules. And it’s true that, as the Star reported last month, Transport Minister John Baird has publicly mused about cutting back the scope of environmental assessment laws, saying they create too much red tape.
All told, it’s a modestly ideological agenda for a government that’s supposed to have been forced into centre ground. But it seems that Stephen Harper is still Stephen Harper. And, thanks largely to the helpful support of Ignatieff’s Liberals, he can get away with it.”
now we are wAIting for HARPER’S axe to fall
“ This week I received a single-sheet, black and white flyer from “Stephen Harper, MP” asking me to respond to the question “Who is on the right track to stand up for Canada?” and listing the names of the various federal party leaders. This type of mailing is known as a “10 percenter.” These are paid for with taxpayer money and were originally intended to keep constituents up to date with goings on within their riding — but a loophole allows for mailings to residents in other ridings. You may recall that before the last federal election, residents of Guelph received several of these mailings from Conservative MPs from as far away as Saskatchewan.At best this is a misuse of taxpayer money. At worst this is contemptible fraud. That money would be far better spent helping Canadians through this terrible economic downturn http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/439931 ”