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The Nonagenarian’s Notebook

The Nonagenarian’s Notebook

Will all Canadians enjoy prescription drug coverage soon?

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The federal New Democratic Party has called for Canada’s public health care plan to be expanded to cover the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. If the ruling Liberal government doesn’t provide this extended coverage, the NDP promises to do so if it wins the next election in 2019. While I applaud this NDP initiative, I have to add that it’s jolly well about time. The party should have made the expansion of medicare a top priority a long time ago. And not just to cover pharmacare, but to encompass dental, vision, and other vital health needs as well. Apart from the United States, that’s what all other major countries did when they first inaugurated public health care for their citizens. When Tommy Douglas pioneered public health care in Saskatchewan 56 years ago, he limited it to the services of physicians and hospitals. He would have preferred to make the coverage all-inclusive,…

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Do governments neglect social spending for corporate subsidies?

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Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The rich need no protection. — Wendell Phillips. When it comes to listing countries on the basis of the social services they provide to their citizens compared to the subsidies they heap on their corporations, Canada doesn’t fare well. A recent study from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy reports that our federal government and the four largest provinces spend $29 billion a year subsidizing business firms. The study’s author, John Lester, says that half of these huge subsidies fail to improve economic performance and therefore constitute a colossal waste of government revenue. “And because nearly one-third of all such subsidies just go generally to support specific industries or regions rather than to enhance economic development,” he added, “the proportion of questionable spending rises to 60% of the total.” Of the $29 billion in government handouts that corporations receive annually,…

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Don’t dread old age

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Old age need not be dreaded if it is the culmination of a well-spent life

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What makes a country happy?

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The happiest countries in the world are not necessarily the richest, but those with truly democratic governments

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Hiding wealth in tax havens deprives Canadian governments of massive amounts of tax revenue

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Letting Canadians get away with tax evasion hurts us all

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It’s time to end NAFTA

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A renegotiated NAFTA that satisfies Trump would benefit the U.S. — but only its abrogation would benefit most Canadians.

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Moving toward true universal health care

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Canada’s public health care system could soon be expanded to cover prescription drugs.

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The decline of collectivity

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Victory of individualism over collectivism a disastrous defeat for society as a whole.

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Going vegan at 91

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Conversion to a plant-based diet is the key to better health — for people and the planet.

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Acknowledging the labour movement on Canada’s 150th

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As we acclaim Canada’s builders after 150 years, the vital role of trade unions remains overlooked.

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Comprehensive health care still lacking in Canada

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Jimmy Kimmel deplores “pay-or-die” health care system in U.S., but coverage in Canada lacking, too.

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Is Trump a fascist?

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With the vast resources of propaganda and surveillance now available to our rulers, there’s no need to imprison citizens’ bodies when it’s so much easier to “imprison” their minds, writes Ed Finn.

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What hurts the public hurts the private

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Corporate attacks on the public sector and public employees inflict just as much damage on the private sector.

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How not reading impairs social and political participation

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“The greatest boon parents can give their children is to inculcate in them a love of reading at the earliest age…”

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Poverty rate shockingly high in the U.S., just as rampant in Canada

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Five million people in Canada are living in poverty.

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World’s super-rich are wrecking the planet

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But they plan to survive civilization’s collapse.

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We can fight neoliberalism and mitigate its impacts at the same time

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Whether or not global plutocracy can be toppled, its billions of victims need immediate help.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Beyond Banksters” by Joyce Nelson

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Joyce Nelson’s “Beyond Banksters” is an eye-opening, must-read exposé of a ravenous financial system.

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