Health, health care system, pharmacare

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Canada is only months away from legalizing and regulating the production, sale and use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Yet, as we explore in our cover story this issue, the plan is rife with contradictions: a fledgling industry populated by former police chiefs; the fact bills C-45 and C-46 will create dozens of new pot-related offences in the process of removing some of the old ones; the continued prohibition on growing more than four or five plants at home while Canada's "licensed producers" are expected to make billions.
Illustration by Katie Raso
Illustration by Kara Sievewright   Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press January 17, 2018 Manitoba’s health care system is undergoing major changes. Many Manitobans fear that the changes are more about saving money than improving health, and that privatization of parts of the health care system may be a slippery slope towards the erosion of our treasured single-payer public health care system.
This report card reviews the federal government's progress in 16 key policy areas at the halfway mark of their term. It finds that, despite some positive first steps, the Liberals’ ambitious talk hasn’t been backed up with the action needed to make these promises a reality. With two years left in the term, the report card includes suggested next steps to help the Liberal government fulfill the progressive agenda they committed to leading up to the election. Among the recommendations:
On September 28th, 2017, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) will release its estimates of the costs of “single-payer universal first-dollar prescription drug coverage” run by the federal government. While that report will provide an estimate of the costs associated with such a system, it is equally important to identify the savings that would result from its implementation. 
Illustration by Raymond Biesinger
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