Confronting what makes us sick

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I attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) as a representative of Canadian Doctors for Medicare last year. The meeting was not at all what I'd expected. 

The CMA, as a professional association representing doctors, has often been seen — fairly or unfairly ­— as working primarily for the interests of the physicians it represents with patients and health equity appearing at times to be an afterthought. This impression was particularly prevalent during the presidencies of Brian Day (2007-8) and Robert Ouellet, (2008-9), both vocal advocates for privatization (and owners of private, for-profit health care facilities) who used their tenure to advocate for greater private payment for essential health services. 

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Sun News: denied but (sadly) not forgotten

Today Sun News Network was refused mandatory carriage by the CRTC. That means that cable networks won't be forced to include Sun with every cable subscription; Sun claims mandatory carriage is essential to their survival.

Wondering what every Canadian cable subscriber might now miss out on? Check out this highlight reel of some of the best moments from Sun broadcasts.

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The deteriorating health of the working poor

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Last year the Metcalf Foundation released a report on working poverty in Toronto. It found that 113,000 people were living in working poverty in the Toronto region in 2005, a 42% increase from 2000. The report's findings indicate that people living in working poverty most commonly work in sales and service occupations; work comparable hours and weeks as the rest of the working population; are over-represented by immigrants; and are only slightly less-educated than the rest of the working age population.

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Open for business, closed for workers: employment standards, the enforcement deficit, and vulnerable workers in Canada

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Daniel Tucker-Simmons recently completed his Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck Human Rights/Social Justice Internship at the Broadbent Institute. Tucker-Simmons was compensated for his work.

Download the full version of this article (in .PDF format) here.

Legislated employment standards are a cornerstone of a strong, healthy society, as well as a robust, thriving economy.  They ensure that everyone who works earns a minimum wage for their labour, and that nobody is subjected to inhumane working conditions or unduly harsh treatment at the hands of their employer.  It is because of employment standards that workers in Canada have the right to rest periods during and between shifts, to maximum work hours each day and week, to extra pay for working on public holidays, and to a couple of weeks of paid vacation every year.  In short, employment standards are there to shield workers – especially non-union workers – against the natural tendency of the labour market to gravitate towards overwork and underpay.

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