July 3, 2018

The Council of Canadians is dismayed by Ontario Premier Doug Ford's weakening of pharmacare for youth and seniors while at the same time he pledges to implement a massive corporate tax cut.

The previous Liberal government in Ontario introduced a pharmacare plan called OHIP+ that provided free access to 4,400 medications in a provincial formulary to 4 million children, teens and young adults under 25. The Council of Canadians - and its allies the Ontario Health Coalition, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and Unifor - welcomed OHIP+ when it was first announced in April 2017.

Toronto Star columnist Tom Walkom has commented that Ontario's Progressive Conservatives (under former leader Patrick Brown) do not like OHIP+ because, "It is a step on the road to universal pharmacare."

July 1, 2018

A water protector in MinnesotaA Line 3 opponent blockading traffic in front of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in downtown St. Paul.

On June 28th, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude from Hardisty, Alberta to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. 

June 30, 2018

Our handimation video and petition in support of pharmacare.

The Canadian Press reports, "Canada’s health ministers say they are moving closer to a national pharmacare program, but questions remain over who will pay for it and how broad it will be. After meeting with her provincial counterparts on Friday, federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said different models are being considered by an advisory council led by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, who spoke to the ministers."

The terms of reference set by the federal government state that the advisory council will study how to "best implement national pharmacare in a manner that is affordable for Canadians and their families, employers and governments."

June 29, 2018

The Doug Ford cabinet.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet were sworn in today at Queen's Park. Who are some of the key cabinet ministers with major responsibilities that we will be keeping watch on in the days and weeks to come?

- Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
As Stephen Harper's minister of natural resources Rickford refused to commit the federal dollars needed to complete the construction of Freedom Road for Shoal Lake 40. NDP MPP-elect Sara Singh says having a "part-time" minister devoted to Indigenous relations is just "not good enough".

- Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy Premier
As the party's health critic, Elliott has supported the private sector playing a bigger role in the health care system, including services such as MRIs, home care, cataract surgeries and dialysis treatment.

June 29, 2018

Mahone Bay town councillor Colleen O'Neill listens to South Shore chapter activist Marilyn Keddy raise concerns about BP drilling offshore of Nova Scotia.

The Council of Canadians South Shore chapter and its Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS) is pleased that the town council of Mahone Bay will be sending a letter to Dominic LeBlanc, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, expressing concern about BP drilling for oil and gas offshore of Nova Scotia and calling for public consultations on the matter.

On June 28, South Shore chapter activists Marilyn Keddy and Marion Moore made a presentation to Mahone Bay town council that included this offshore drilling fact sheet and their submission to the Canadian Environmental Agency. Moore adds, "We also offered suggested wording for a motion."