Ontario Feature Posts

Low COVID-19 testing rates undermining fight against virus in Ontario

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has trailed the rest of the country when it comes to testing people for the virus. It’s been a fatal gap in the province’s pandemic response, since a key method of stopping the outbreak involves figuring out who has the virus, and then isolating them and their contacts. Doing public health without adequate testing is like telling the fire department to rush to a nine-alarm blaze, and...

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Protecting the most vulnerable from the coronavirus pandemic must be government’s highest priority

In neither the US nor Canada is there any evidence that we are "flattening the curve" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This is a very dangerous situation that risks overhwelming health facilities in the hardest hit regions in both countries. In the US, there were more than 31,000 new cases reported Friday. In Canada, roughly 1,140 new cases were reported. The US numbers are the highest one-day totals since the pandemic started and...

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How much do we really have to shut down to keep Canada safe? When will life be able to return to normal?

As public demands escalate for governments to do more to combat the ever-worsening novel coronavirus pandemic, two distinct camps seem to be forming: one essentially calling for a lockdown of the country, the other demanding a massive expansion of testing, isolation and monitoring. In other words, some are urging a "close everything down - everyone stay at home" approach with all the economic and social fallout that portends, while others are urging an aggressive effort...

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Mass testing could have stopped the coronavirus and governments knew it: Why didn’t the politicians act?

It is now becoming apparent that governments around the world have long had considerable knowledge about the risks of a coronavirus type pandemic and have had studies that accurately predicted the shortcomings in their health care systems that would hamper their ability to fight such a pandemic. The tragedy is that many countries failed to act on this knowledge and make the changes needed in their pandemic preparedness to keep their poupulations healthy. Earlier in...

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Ford government fires another Dean French connection as Ontario patronage scandal grows

  Another Ontario patronage appointee was fired Thursday as the Toronto Star revealed his ties to Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of staff, Dean French, who left government two weeks ago amid a growing cronyism scandal. Peter Fenwick, a senior bureaucrat in Ontario's cabinet office, was turfed by the Cabinet Office Secretary, Steven Davidson. Last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office announced a review of government appointments which included a review of the appointment of...

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Ford friend Taverner withdraws name for top OPP job – fired Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair claims vindication

Supt. Ron Taverner, a close confidant of the Ford family for years, has decided to withdraw his name for the top OPP job “to protect the integrity of rank and file police officers given the controversy surrounding my appointment.” “This decision is not an easy one for me to make,” Supt. Taverner said in a letter to Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Sylvia Jones, which was released by the government late Wednesday. In a...

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The Ford government’s war against children and women

In a series of announcements in recent weeks, Ontario's Doug Ford government has made changes to programs and policy that are harmful to women and children. Ontario's Doug Ford government doesn't seem to like women and children much. Witness the following: an internal memo the Ministry of Education sent to day cares, highlights changes coming to child care programs, including the reversal of a key protection for not-for-profit day cares. Advocates say the removal of...

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Ontario calls it quits on fighting climate change – and both the budget and the environment take a hit.

  Doug Ford has cancelled Ontario's cap and trade program and in addition to abandoning Ontario's fight against climate change, it is going to cost the Ontario treasury a lot. Cancellation of the cap and trade program coincides with a warning by the world’s leading climate scientists that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the...

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Will the Ontario Public Service Speak Truth to Power to Doug Ford?

Introduction In Doug Ford, Ontario has elected a Premier without a coherent governing agenda and with little knowledge of key government files. The Ford campaign, a tightly scripted production built around a series of populist slogans recited stiffly off a teleprompter, was just competent enough to keep a sure victory from slipping away. The fact that his nervous handlers were obsessed with keeping reporters at a safe distance from the PC leader, suggests that our new Premier is a...

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Ford populism and the 2018 Ontario election

Introduction This is the first in a series of articles on the upcoming June 7, Ontario election. The series will look at both the partisan political strategies and policy issues at play during the election. This article takes an in-depth look at the dynamics of Ford populism and the basis of its appeal to its supporters. The basic argument is that the core appeal of Ford populism is cultural resentment against the professional class as opposed...

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