Public services and privatization

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It is becoming far too common. Many of us have a parent, relative or neighbour who has struggled to get the home support they need. Perhaps they have even waited in hospital because residential care or rehabilitation services were not available. 
Home and community care services in BC—home health care, assisted living and residential care—require urgent attention. For the past 16 years, underfunding, privatization and fragmentation of the system have left many seniors, their families and communities patching together care and even going without. This report shows that increasing access to home and community care doesn’t just benefit seniors, it is widely acknowledged as key for reducing hospital overcrowding and surgical wait times.
Despite the BC government’s recent $500 million injection of funding into the home and community care system, much remains to be done to provide adequate care for seniors and improve health care wait times for all British Columbians, says a new report released today.
For the past 16 years, underfunding, privatization and fragmentation of the system have left many seniors, their families and communities patching together care and even going without. Learn more.
During the 2015 federal election, the Liberals promised to establish a federal infrastructure bank to provide low-cost financing to municipalities. However, in the Fall Economic Statement, they proposed that it rely largely on private institutional finance. The federal budget, to be released on March 22, is expected to provide more details of the government's plans in this area.
OTTAWA—Private financing of the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank could double the cost of infrastructure projects, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The Trudeau government promised to establish a federal infrastructure bank to provide low-cost financing to municipalities, but the Fall Economic Statement proposed that it rely largely on private institutional finance. The federal budget, to be released on March 22, is expected to provide more details of the government's plans in this area.
In the Fall 2016 Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  (CCPA)Saskatchewan’s Simon Enoch penned Getting to Know Brad, introducing Canada’s most popular premier – Brad Wall - to the country. He ran down Wall’s list of “accomplishments”. What made Simon’s analysis so interesting (and at the same time, disheartening) was how Wall has rolled out such a regressive agenda while remaining so popular.  He noted that the rest of Canada needed to pay attention to Wall as he was beta-testing a number of conservative policy experiments that we could see replicated elsewhere.
The news that Manitoba Hydro will shed 900 employees hit the community like a tonne of bricks. The new government said cutbacks were coming, but 900 is a staggering number; 15 percent of Hydro’s workforce. Not only is this a tragedy for the workers and their families, it is a real blow to our economy. It is unclear how this will impact hydro services we rely on.
Last Monday the Manitoba Minister responsible for the status of women, Rochelle Squires declared the third week in January “gender equality week”. However the new provincial government needs to carefully consider what steps are needed to achieve true equality for Manitoba women.  The answer lies in starting with equity, targeted investments and supporting strong public services.
It feels a bit counterintuitive, after a tumultuous 2016, to be talking about the mundane matter of tax reform. This is normally a time of deeper reflection on the year that was and the trends and challenges to come. Slow growth in the global economy, the collapse of mega-regional trade deals like the TPP and TTIP, the election of a sexist, race-baiting bully in the U.S.

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