We can’t afford not to have quality public services

In the 1930s and 1940s, our parents and grandparents learned the hard way that investing in quality public services was necessary to support and encourage growth.

Now we are having to learn that there are no shortcuts. As a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press made clear, when governments cut corners problems follow.

Underfunding of public services is only part of the problem. As the author makes clear, when outsourcing is proposed as a solution to underfunded public services, the situation can become far worse. In many cases, privatization schemes that were meant to save money have required expensive bailouts.

What does protect the public are measures like Manitoba’s Public-Private Partnerships Transparency and Accountability Act. Under this legislation, governments have to demonstrate that privatizing public infrastructure will save money and improve service. 

Federal transfer payments should make us “equal as citizens”

A new book by Nova Scotia author Richard Starr points to the gap between what federal transfer payments are meant to do and the current reality.

Federal transfer payments were meant to ensure Canadians in all parts of the country had equal access to public services – something Canadians overwhelmingly support. But the portrayal of those payments as a means for poorer provinces to “leech” off better off ones has made it possible to undermine federal equalization programs.

A Tyee article on the book points out that federal equalization payments are not seen as an exciting topic. But, with the role federal funding plays in public services like health care, lack of attention has dangerous consequences.

WOMEN ACTIVISTS

WOMEN ACTIVISTS skip Fri, 03/16/2018 - 01:57


CINDY BLACKSTOCK

CINDY BLACKSTOCK has been described as the ‘relentless moral voice’ for First Nations equality, a ‘rock star social worker’, and even ‘Canada’s Martin Luther King’.

SOME CALL CINDY BLACKSTOCK THE "RELENTLESS AND MORAL VOICE" FOR FIRST NATION'S EQUALITY, a “rock star social worker”, and even “Canada’s Martin Luther King”. She may be all that. But what Cindy Blackstock is most is a tenacious and victorious leader in the fight for, and defender of, the rights of our 163,000 indigenous children.

Cindy leads that fight as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is determined to have our indigenous children come to know how very much they matter in a world that tells them they don’t. Her basic premise is simple: First Nation’s children deserve to be treated the same as all other Canadian children.