Basic Income

Kitchener City Hall

Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region
Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region

Today is the Provincial Basic Income Pilot Consultation at Kitchener City Hall.

Done right, universal basic income would be awesome.

The provincial government is looking for 3 places in Ontario in which to conduct the pilot program.  Waterloo Region be one would be excellent, as Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region will tell you.  The more people who come out to support this, the better. Basic income would replace other social subsidies, it should improve your circumstances. Done well it can take the stigma out of the social safety net and even eliminate poverty.

If you haven’t, you should consider attending.  Register here:
https://www.ontario.ca/form/register-attend-session-basic-income-pilot-consultation

You can make an online submission until January 31, 2017

“Basic income is an idea which provides a different approach to income security and reducing poverty,” the statement said. “It’s important we hear as many views as possible to ensure we get this right.”

The ministry says it’s particularly interested in thoughts about how the pilot program is designed, including who should be eligible, which communities to include, and how it will be evaluated.

“What they’re doing is trying to collect information in order to build a position. It’s very difficult (for us) to take a firm position at this point because we don’t actually know what the province is going to end up doing,” Bartholomew-Saunders said. “They’re collecting information to determine what they’re going to be doing.”

— Kitchener Post: Public invited to have say on basic guaranteed income

Find out more on the province’s page:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/basic-income-pilot-consultation

And Basic Income Waterloo is a good resource:
http://biwr.ca/what-is-basic-income/


PS: I almost forgot the details (in Whoa!Canada’s shiny new calendar)
Basic Income Consultation

When:  Fri, 13 January, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Where:  Kitchener City Hall,
200 King St W, Kitchener,
            ON N2G 4G7, Canada (map)
June 2016 Basic Income Waterloo Region discussion at Queen Street Commons, Kitchener
June 2016 Basic Income Waterloo Region discussion at Queen Street Commons, Kitchener
Advertisements

Kitchener Stop Bill C-51 March TODAY

Keep Canada free - STOP Bill C-51

Today there will be a Stop Bill C-51 march in Kitchener [here’s a map]

Concerned citizens will leave Montgomery Park at 5:00pm and march to Victoria Park.

The march will be followed by discussion and a barbeque in Victoria Park.

march route

On Saturday there will be a STOP BILL C-51 CONVERGENCE at Parliament Hill, fittingly at the Human Rights Monument, where concerned citizens will protest this dreadful proposed legislation (currently before the Senate) that will render Canadian civil rights protections meaningless.  Protests will again be held in a Canada Wide DAY OF ACTION.  There are buses being arranged to take concerned citizens from Toronto to Ottawa.

Canadian civil rights are supposed to be protected by the Canadian Bill of Rights introduced by Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of the Canadian Constitution repatriated by Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.  These rights we have are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is NOT a partisan issue, this is a Canadian issue: we ALL need civil rights.

It is legally unconstitutional to breach these rights, and yet Mr. Harper plans to do it anyway (and has been so far been shamefully supported by the Liberal Party.)   Kind of tells you what the Harper Government thinks of our Constitution.

The Senators are indeed partisan which has been proven time and again as Prime Ministers from Brian Mulroney to Jean Chrétien to Stephen Harper have proven by stacking the Senate again and again and again as the Senate provides its rubber stamp to increasingly bad legislation.

Stripping Canadians of civil and human rights protections will not make us safe; that is the Big Lie.

Civil rights protect us.

If the Senate follows along like sheep on an issue of this magnitude, an issue that strikes at the heart of every Canadian, it would resoundingly prove that there is no hope for this body to ever provide Canadians with sober second thought, and I will finally come to agree with Mr. Mulcair’s intention to remove it from the Canadian political landscape when his NDP forms government this fall.

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Kitchener Stop Bill C-51 Info Picket at 11am Saturday

Kitchener City Hall Stop Bill C-51 Rally

Despite widespread opposition to Harper’s so called anti terror bill, Harper is pushing forward this piece of legislation which aims at criminalizing dissent and although this legislation will affect all it will specifically be used to target native peoples just struggle for self-determination, muslims and immigrants. As such all should take a stand in defence of the rights of all!!!!

Julian Ichim

Come out and stand up for our civil rights before they’re gone…
if they Pass Bill C-51 the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be only a memory.

Where: KITCHENER CITY HALL
When: Saturday April 18th, 2015
Time: 11:00 am

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Democracy Week 2013 Continues

25,000 signatures!

Fair Vote Canada Executive Director Anita Nickerson addresses the crowd in Waterloo Public Square on Monday
Fair Vote Canada Executive Director Anita Nickerson addresses the crowd in Waterloo Public Square on Monday

On September 16th 2013, Fair Vote Canada‘s “Declaration of Voter’s Rights” reached 25,000 signatures!

Fair Vote Canada will be holding a press conference and campaign launch event on Parliament Hill on Thursday, where Executive Director Anita Nickerson will proudly display a giant copy of the Declaration this Thursday ~ September 19th, 2013 ~ on Parliament Hill. Standing alongside FVC will be NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Stephane Dion (former Liberal Leader), Georges Laraque, Joyce Murray, Paul Dewar, Leadnow, Greenpeace and more! They hope to reach 100,000 signatures by 2015!

Watch the video at Craig Scott on the Principle of Electoral Reform

(editor’s note: I originally had the video embedded, but it was doing weird things so I removed it after the fact,)

My parents were born and raised in Canada, yet they couldn't vote till after WWII because they were of Japanese extraction, so I value the right to vote. I have voted in every federal election since I reached adulthood and have never voted for the party that formed the government. We desperately need Proportional Representation so that a diversity of values and perspectives may be elected." ~David Suzuki
“We desperately need Proportional Representation so that a diversity of values and perspectives may be elected.” ~ David Suzuki

Wednesday – La soirée des casseroles au Canada

protest march

The next time anyone tells you that it is too expensive to make post secondary education free to all Canadian students think about this:

“Cost of F-35 fighter jets over 20 years: $25 billion…
Cost of wiping out Canada’s student debt: $20 billion”

— Alice Klein, rabble.ca Quebec student protests by the numbers

Casseroles Night In Canada continues today in Kitchener and around the world.

Kitchener-Waterloo
Wednesday June 6th,
8:00pm ~ Victoria Park Clock Tower

The protest begins at the Clock Tower in Victoria Park, at the entrance to the park off of Joseph St, between Gaukel and Ontario, accross the street from the bus Station.

Next week on June 12th, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) is presenting:

A Discussion on the Quebec (Student) Strike 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
6:00pm

MC 4042 (Math & Computing Building, University of Waterloo)
This multi-media presentation and discussion will provide a recap of the history of student strikes in Quebec over the last thirty years, and offer critical reflections on the context and developments of the student strike in Quebec at this moment from an ‘on the ground’ perspective.

About the presenter: Emma is an organizer from Montreal who has participated in, and been heavily involved in the student strike movement in Quebec.

list of participating events

The Casseroles is a truly grassroots movement.  The fact of ordinary Canadians, English Canadians,  all Canadians all across Canada are hitting the streets in support of  Quebec is perhaps the biggest benefit to Canada so far.

Casseroles transcend the language problem, and have done more to cement Canadian unity and citizen solidarity than any of initiatives sponsored by the Federal government over the years.

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves

Waterloo Region Walk-In Clinics (Ontario)

Today a friend asked me if I knew of more walk-in clinics in Waterloo Region.

I have the dubious distinction of being an expert on this issue, having spent far too many years without a family doctor in this land of supposed universal health care. When you don’t have an MD, there are only two options: Walk-In Clinics, or Emergency Rooms.

It isn’t an issue if you’re healthy; and so, by and large, most people don’t really understand, because it doesn’t directly affect them. But it is a terrible thing when you’re ill; but it is far far worse when your child is sick.

This issue is destined to become much worse, very soon. Even if you have a family doctor, ask yourself when your MD will be retiring. Presently the largest demographic of MDs is the same as it is in every other part of society: most of Ontario’s doctors are baby boomers.

waiting list blues

When I moved here the waiting list I wanted to sign with was a year.  They had 2.5 doctors, with the “half” doctor practising half the time here, and half in another municipality.  But he was getting tired of commuting, and so gave both clinics the option of employing him full time.  Our clinic lost.  And after 10 years on the waiting list, they called to ask if I wanted to remain on it.

When I first moved to Waterloo Region more than a decade ago, it wasn’t that big a deal. We could go to the walk-in clinic near Fairview Mall.  They had a really cool set up of plexiglass display cases where model trains would chug along the tracks between the waiting room and though the examination rooms.  Back then, they were open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  These days the hours have been cut back.  If you arrive after 1:00pm on a weekend, chances are they will have closed the day’s intake.  Not because they want to, but because they don’t have enough doctors.   Oh, and sad to say, I haven’t seen the trains run in years, either.

In Canada,  Health Care is a provincial responsibility, but the money comes from the federal government.  Federal funding was cut dramatically several governments ago, and although the funding has since increased,  I suspect levels are still well below where they were.

Flying against a blue sky with a few wisps of coud.

doctor shortage: bad to worse

Doctors all over are retiring much faster than they can be replaced.  It used to be hospitals had waiting lists for family doctors. Not any more.   You can search the Ontario College of Physicians Website, but if you find an MD anywhere close, chances are they have stopped accepting patients by the time you call.

Over the years I’ve watched  our once great health system get starved into the shell we have today.  The example of Canada’s health care success has long been a thorn in the side of the private insurance lobby in the United States… and look what damage that caused.  Now the American Government has had to step in and implement their own public system.   The big insurance companies don’t like government meddling,  because they only get a fraction of the profit they do with private health care.  Canada’s health care system – covering every citizen – costs less per capita than the American system that only covered a small fraction of their population.

Canadians only got universal health care due to minority government horse trading.  My theory is that the ruling parties (and their corporate backers) don’t actually want universal health care, but they know citizens do,  so they don’t dare dismantle it.  Instead of attacking it head on, they have let it waste away.

Some years ago Ontario capped the amount of money any single doctor could make from OHIP in a year.  From a budgetary standpoint, that limits the amount of money the province has to pay to doctors.   Doctors near the US border have been known to go south after they hit their Ontario cap.  In under serviced areas, some doctors have even been known to tend patients without OHIP remuneration.   Other doctors have taken to charging patients for things not covered by OHIP.   And many stay on past the time when they would have retired because there is no one to take over their patient load.

We have a serious doctor shortage right now, but only a trickle of new doctors coming in.  I think this is because the government prefers it this way.  If there were enough doctors, the total amount of money the Provincial Government would be paying out would increase dramatically.

In the meantime, if you don’t have a family doctor, chances are good you don’t see a doctor until you’re good and sick, and probably have been for a long time. Sitting for hours in ER or a clinic is a last resort. Of course, this means there’s less chance of catching things early. And prevention? Forget it. Which means that many of us are less productive, and when we do go in, the procedures often cost much more.

Since so many of us are without an MD, we have no choice but to go to a walk-in clinic. Finding a walk-in clinic in the very under serviced Waterloo Region can be a challenge. And when you need one, you need one NOW.

Yet the yellow pages aren’t a big help, nor is the government website Walk-In Clinics – The Ministry of Health Can Help You: Find The Closest Walk In Clinic that popped up at the top of the Google Search.

The most comprehensive list of walk-in clinics is from the Region of Waterloo Public Health department:

Walk-in Clinics

Cambridge
Cambridge Walk-in Clinic
980 Franklin Blvd.
519-654-2260

Waterloo
The Doctor’s Office
170 University Ave West
519-725-1514

Kitchener
Weber Street Medical Centre
5A-1400 Weber Street East
519-748-6933

Kitchener
Laurentian Walk-in Clinic
750 Ottawa Street South
519-570-3174

Kitchener
Canadian Medical Clinic
100 The Boardwalk
519-279-4098

Kitchener
Urgent Care Clinic
385 Fairway Road S.
519-748-2327

Kitchener
Urgent Care Clinic
751 Victoria Street S.
519-745-2273

This is the list today, 13 March, 2012.  For the most current version check the Public Health Department’s page.

[note: edited for clarity.]

Happy Victoria Day!

The weather isn’t as dreadful as predicted (yet) for southern Ontario; probably saving it up for the predicted thunderstorm to douse tonight’s traditional Columbia Lake fireworks display. But at least the holiday weekend falls near Queen Victoria’s actual birthday, which is the 24th of May.

I’ve always liked Queen Victoria. Probably because I thought her statue in the park was pretty cool.

Left: looking way up the statue,  top right Statue in its roadside setting, cannon in foreground, bottom right, lion at statue's base

Of course, having your own cannon, not to mention a lion standing on guard for thee adds to the mystique.

Looking up at Queen Victoria

red maple leaf graphic

The poem I learned as a child went something like this:

“The twenty-fourth of May is the Queen’s birthday,
and if we don’t get a holiday we’ll all run away!”

I have to say that I was quite shocked that they don’t actually have this holiday in the UK. Guess its the case of the the colonies getting a bit carried away.

Drive safely.

a horizontal border of red graphic maple leaves