Latest report on Canada’s shoddy child care is unlikely to reduce government neglect

A recent report on Canada’s abysmal failure to protect and care for the country’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens – its children – made headlines and stirred ripples of shame and outrage. Compiled by Children First Canada and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, the study found that children in Canada suffer from shockingly high … Continue reading Latest report on Canada’s shoddy child care is unlikely to reduce government neglect

Trade union issues get scant coverage in the modern mainstream media

Back in the 1960s, 1970s, and into the ‘80s, almost all of the large newspapers in Canada had a reporter who specialized in labour-management relations. Wilf List covered labour for the Globe and Mail for an amazing 35 years. I wrote a labour relations column for the Toronto Star for 15 years (1968-1982), and the … Continue reading Trade union issues get scant coverage in the modern mainstream media

Official rates of employment overlook poorly-paid jobs, poverty, inequality

The recent Statistics Canada report that Canada’s unemployment rate had dropped to 5.7%, the lowest in four decades, was greeted with great jubilation by politicians, most economists, and the mass media. They welcomed the “good news” that the vast majority of Canadians now have jobs and so presumably are being spared the stress and strain … Continue reading Official rates of employment overlook poorly-paid jobs, poverty, inequality

Science fiction helps us to encompass the future as well as past and present

When I started reading science fiction, in my teens, it was widely regarded as a disreputable form of literature. This was not surprising, since at that time – the early 1940s – sci-fi was confined to pulp magazines with lurid covers, often depicting scantily-clad heroines shooting ray-guns at BEMS (bug-eyed monsters). Living in Newfoundland at the … Continue reading Science fiction helps us to encompass the future as well as past and present

No excuse for government refusal to improve our inferior social programs and help kids in millions of poverty-stricken families

“Where’s the money coming from?” That’s the question thrown at any individual or group seeking increased funding for health care, education, child care, or public pensions – and, most urgently, for the elimination or at least sharp reduction of the disgracefully high rates of poverty in Canada. The presumption underlying this question is that the … Continue reading No excuse for government refusal to improve our inferior social programs and help kids in millions of poverty-stricken families

More people are living longer, but suffer from lack of a genuine health care system

Canadians are living longer, with current life expectancy now averaging 81. Statistics Canada reports that last year 750,000 Canadians were in their 80s and 305,000 in their 90s, with women significantly outnumbering men in both categories. (Of the 305,000 nonagenarians, more than 200,000 are female.) But StatsCan can’t measure the well-being of these senior citizens. … Continue reading More people are living longer, but suffer from lack of a genuine health care system