The final communiqué issued by the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance after a recent meeting in Ottawa suggests what might turn out to be a made-in-Canada globalContinue reading
Here, on how a change in government hasn’t done anything to slow the spread of Canada’s surveillance state – both in terms of intrusive newContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Frank writes that a progressive party can only expect to succeed if it places principles of equalityContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
– Don Pittis writes that it will take far more than words and sentiments to reverse the trend of growing income inequality. Elaine Power points out that Ontario’s social assistance programs – like those elsewhere – far fall short of meeting basic human needs. And Christopher Mackie reminds us that the effects of poverty go well beyond immediate financial consequences:
Canada has free, high-quality healthcare for everyone. So why do the richest 10% of people live seven years longer than the poorest? Deep poverty can be associated with a drop in life expectancy of 20 years or more. If we look at both life expectancy and years lived with disability, the rich are 39% healthier than the poor.
Income affects health in several ways, including the direct impact on the resources needed for healthy living, access to healthy physical environments and access to healthy social environments.
Poverty limits access to nutritious food, recreation opportunities, adequate housing, and the education needed to pull oneself out of poverty. Each year, the Middlesex-London Health Unit issues a report that compares the cost of nutritious food to income received from minimum or welfare wage. This Nutritious Food Basket Report consistently shows that it is impossible for people on low income in London and Middlesex County to afford healthy food once basic costs such as rent and utilities are paid.
The benefits of policies that address poverty go far beyond simply helping the poor. Research has consistently shown that everyone is better off in societies that are more equal. Comparisons of countries which are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consistently show that in societies that are most equal, even the poor are healthier than the rich in societies that are the least equal. In other words, greater income equality means better health for everyone – including the rich.
This paradox – that my income is linked with my health, but that my society’s income equality is also linked with my health – is not fully understood. One theory is that it is linked with the social environments we live in. More unequal societies tend to be more competitive, with fewer opportunities for upward mobility. This can be associated with stress and hopelessness. Stress is linked with a number of health problems from heart disease to cancer. Hopelessness can be devastating, reducing motivation to seek employment and leading a person to neglect their health or even engage in self-harming behaviours like addiction to alcohol and drugs.
In more equal societies, a feeling that friends, neighbours and fellow citizens will offer help when needed can be motivational, even leading to an increased sense of self-worth. Reduced stress can allow us to see past day-to-day challenges and make better decisions for the long term.
– Christopher Adams exposes how employers are exploiting millenial workers. And Evelyn Kwong and Sara Mojtehedzadeh report on a temporary employee’s workplace death in Toronto, while Adam Hunter discusses the appalling trend of people being killed on the job in Saskatchewan.
– Tonda MacCharles reports on the Libs’ discussion paper on security laws. And Jeremy Nuttall notes that there’s ample reason for concern that they want to make matters even worse by reviving dubious “lawful access” provisions rather than correcting even the overreach found in Bill C-51.
– The Star’s editorial board writes that we should be strengthening our universal public health care system rather than destroying it as Brian Day and others want to do.
– Finally, Kathy Tomlinson details how Canada’s tax laws are being flouted by the investors making millions off of the explosion of Vancouver’s real estate market.Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Hakan Bengtsson offers some useful discussion about the challenges facing Sweden’s social democratic system – as the sameContinue reading
A group of researchers from around the world have been discussing a plan for ‘open access’. Their goal is one that would remove barriers toContinue reading
Just reading Tim Harper’s latest, hot off the internets: “Vic Toews and his quest for the bench.” This part jumped out: The Court of AppealContinue reading
This news is a new low in the Harper government’s ongoing debasement of Parliament’s role in Canadian democracy: In the months leading up to theContinue reading
I was half joking in my post yesterday about the need for a #TellDaveEverything hashtag in the U.K. on the occasion of the U.K. ToriesContinue reading
There is a must read as context for the Canadian C-30 legislation that is pending, the lead from the New York Times today: “Police TrackingContinue reading
“OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis and Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian debate whether the powers proposed in Bill C-30 are needed to battle cybercrime. MoreContinue reading
This was the text of a motion passed in the House of Commons last night. The motion was brought by Liberals with a view toContinue reading
Case closed: Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae says one of his staffers was responsible for a series of anonymous Internet attacks aimed at Public SafetyContinue reading
So reports the Globe late last night: “Ottawa hits pause on Web surveillance act.” The Harper government is temporarily parking controversial legislation that would grantContinue reading
“The state has no business in the hard drives of the nation.” You go, Rick Mercer!Continue reading
More on C-30 here. On the one hand, there was this presentation from a Vancouver police official yesterday: “People need to focus and keep theirContinue reading
A recently unveiled border security agreement between Canada and its neighbour to the South requires Canada to step up security measures, and share more informationContinue reading
Well it’s a holiday of some kind in Ontario today, that Family Day thingy. Whatever you may be doing, have a good one. Here’s aContinue reading
There is a letter cross-posted at OpenMedia.ca that has been sent to the members of the conservative Free Dominion site. It’s essentially an appeal forContinue reading
Well now, he is the omniscient one: “Harper sensed cyber outrage was looming.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper had already made the decision to kick aContinue reading