March 8, 2019

This guest blog was written by Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

Doug Ford’s new health care omnibus bill does not open a single new health care service. Not a single surgery to help tackle waitlists. Not a single new nursing home space. Not one new nurse, health professional, or doctor. 

We have an excellent quality public health care system. We have the most highly educated doctors, nurses, health professionals and staff in the world, according to international studies. We can be proud of our public health system and its principles grounded in equity and humanitarianism. But we do have a serious capacity problem. We need more care, desperately. Ontario has the fewest hospital beds left of any province in the country and of any developed nation, leaving patients to wait for days on stretchers.

March 7, 2019

Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow is in Paris, France as an invited guest speaker celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Eau de Paris,” the city’s public water system. She spoke in front of a hall full of people about the importance of ensuring water remains in public hands.

As described by the celebration organizers, “In 2009, the Parisian municipality decided to create a new operator, Eau de Paris, to manage the public drinking water service, from the springs to the consumers. 10 years later, the challenge has been met. The public company has become one of the benchmark services in the water sector for its economic and industrial performance, for the quality of the service provided and for its commitment as an actor in the ecological transition of territories.”

March 6, 2019

The federal government announced this morning that it will create a new drug agency and master list of prescription medications that would be available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. But the Liberals fell short of confirming a new pharmacare program would be fully universal, accessible, comprehensive, publicly-administered and portable.

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Eric Hoskins, the chair of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, made the announcement in Toronto.

Dr. Hoskins said the panel met with people and concerned groups and stakeholders across the country. “We heard loud and clear that what we have currently is inadequate, unsustainable and leaves too many Canadians behind.” “Simply maintaining status quo is not an option,” he added.

The panel is recommending that the federal government take three actions that would be the building blocks of a national pharmacare program including:

March 4, 2019

Please take a moment to send an email to the federal and provincial governments in support of the people of Grassy Narrows.

I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am by reading today’s Toronto Star report that the Ontario government is dragging its feet on commitments to search for mercury at the infamous Dryden mill site – mercury that may still be contaminating the waters of Grassy Narrows (Asubpeeschoseewagong) First Nation.

March 4, 2019

This past weekend, Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow talked trade with people who are concerned with how to make it fair.

The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) seeks to “inspire and coordinate a network of engaged civil society advocates and volunteers, along with business, institutional, and government leaders, in building a robust social movement that works to advance the values and vision of fair trade.”

Barlow addressed hundreds of delegates in Ottawa for the CFTN's 7th National Fair Trade Conference, speaking about the history of trade agreements and how they have evolved. She reviewed problems with trade agreements, such as how they give unbalanced power to corporations, and the opportunities that exist to make trade deals work in favour of people and the planet.

Other topics covered during the conference included Fair Trade Towns, living wage/living income, fair trade campuses and more.