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Opinion

Prescription for savings: how the feds can make pharmacare work for households and employers

By David Macdonald and Toby Sanger      

We have a historic opportunity to significantly improve our health-care system with the introduction of a national public pharmacare program, and also save billions a year by doing so. But it is important that it be designed properly, and progressively. This would not only be politically appealing, but will also result in a healthier population.

Canada's federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor. The best option for households is if a corporate income tax pays for pharmacare. Then middle-class households save over $600 a year on average, although employers likely wouldn’t be so happy seeing their net costs go up far more than their savings from lower drug insurance premiums. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Recent polling has revealed a growing proportion of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end, inching up six percentage points to 46 per cent in the last quarter of 2018. An additional 45 per cent of those surveyed by Ipsos on behalf of insolvency firm MNP Ltd. indicated that, to pay their living and family expenses, they will need to incur more debt.

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Easing of restrictions to non-U.S. travellers into Canada unlikely to be met with Trump backlash, could pave way for reopening of 49th parallel, say experts

News|By Neil Moss
'The core operating ideal within ... Ottawa is evidence-based policymaking and there are clearly other jurisdictions out there besides the U.S. that have done a better job in containing [the virus],' says Eric Miller.

WE Charity highlights loopholes for ‘celebrity’ and secret lobbying, warn observers who call for long overdue review

'I’m of the opinion that organizations understand the rules so well that we have seen that they will make sure they don't have to report if they don't want to,' says ethics scholar Ian Stedman.

Public services too ‘stretched’ to deliver student-grant program, says employment minister

Small Business Minister Mary Ng says the extent of her interactions with the organization was limited to that initial pitch, and did not extend to the since-cancelled contract for the student-grant program.

‘Weak’ trade growth in 2019 caused by ‘trade policy uncertainty’ and ‘mixed economic signals’, Global Affairs report suggests

News|By Neil Moss
Canada's export growth with China declined by 16 per cent in 2019 and growth in exports to the United States slowed to 2.5 per cent.

Venezuela winter elections will be fraudulent, warns envoy, calling for continued support

Last November, Canada officially recognized Orlando Viera-Blanco, a representative of interim president Juan Guaidó, as the country’s ambassador.

Official Languages Committee to probe WE Charity deal

News|By Palak Mangat
Liberal MP Sherry Sherry Romanado, who voted along party lines to oppose the motion, says the probe falls outside the scope of the committee's mandate.

‘Extraterritorial reach’ of national security law in Hong Kong could have chilling effect on freedom of speech in Canada, say activists

News|By Beatrice Paez
Cherie Wong of the Alliance Canada Hong Kong says Canada’s intelligence and police agencies appear to be ill-equipped to respond to the 'malicious and sophisticated' ways in which Beijing allegedly suppresses criticism.

WE was ‘at no point’ creating a program for feds, says top bureaucrat

News|By Palak Mangat
'There were many sources. Public servants wanted to help; ministers wanted to help. A problem had been identified and a multitude of ideas were put forward,' says Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart.

Upper Chamber staff harassment ‘more widespread,’ and could happen again, say former Don Meredith Senate employees

Sexual harassment is ‘more widespread’ in the Senate than the Don Meredith case, says one of his former staffers.
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