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PM Justin Trudeau's Canada

Looks like the Trudeau gov't is considering funding Contraception and Diabetes related medications/devices in an effort to assuage the NDP while avoiding full pharmacare a bit longer.


Should this come to pass, I would pronounce myself happy, as these are the exact 2 areas I advocated for rolling out first.

They are comparatively cheap to deliver, and the former in particular shows pretty much 100% payback, if not a bit more, over time, by reducing abortions (covered by provincial health plans), unwanted child births, and reduces the number of children born to teens/low-income earners, thereby reducing social program expense.

On the latter, I have yet to see a comprehensive study on the payback rate, but the phenomenon of people rationalizing insulin is not unknown, and the attendant consequence of health risks and inordinate ER visits is a thing.

I think we need to do more to ensure there are no financial barriers to taking medically necessary medications, but this would be a good start.
 
I don't think that off-the-cuff Ministerial Statement will actually shift many votes.

I think you underestimate the vitality of comments like this. I agree with the policy and I still think it's dumb to say it out loud when you know how it will be spun by the opposition.

Also, do you remember what the "War on Cars" did for Rob Ford? Do you want that kind of energy added to the CPC column?
 
I think you underestimate the vitality of comments like this. I agree with the policy and

Perhaps, but I think the Liberal ship is likely sunk regardless, and if they some how eeked out another minority (unlikely, but never say never); I don't see this as the deal breaker to the voters they have/need.

I still think it's dumb to say it out loud when you know how it will be spun by the opposition.

No question about that.

Also, do you remember what the "War on Cars" did for Rob Ford? Do you want that kind of energy added to the CPC column?

No, I don't; but I think the CPC probably have most of the vote who would shift over that comment already locked up.


****

We're not disagreeing it was a dumb off the cuff comment, which is, at best, unhelpful to any Liberal fortunes come the next election. I'm only suggesting that I don't think its the pivot point for Liberal electoral failure/success.
 
You're not wrong. The Liberals are toast. But they should at least try and avoid alienating too many voters on the way out.
 
The ones they have are not the ones upset by conservative spin about roads.

You must imagine that everybody upset about roads already votes conservatives. That's not how it works though. Every wedge issue peels off more voters. So now it's roads. Next week, it'll be something else. These keep piling up.

And the worst part about this? The policy hasn't changed. All that changed was rhetoric. Literally losing swing voters for no reason.
 
Of Interest to those interested in our economy, GDP, personal ‘wealth’ and the effects of our current taxation system. This is an opinion piece from the Globe and Mail. Paywalled.

Rob Kreklewetz is a tax lawyer with Millar Kreklewetz LLP.


Toronto Maple Leafs hockey star John Tavares has been in the news lately, but not for his play.


He is in a fight with the Canada Revenue Agency over how much tax he ought to have paid in 2018 on his $20-million signing bonus with the Leafs. I pulled and read his Notice of Appeal in the Tax Court of Canada – mainly because I am a tax lawyer by trade and this is what you do when you are a tax lawyer by trade, you read legal things that look mildly interesting.


At issue with the CRA is how Mr. Tavares had structured his compensation. The structure has less of the compensation as salary and more of it as a bonus, so that Mr. Tavares could pay less taxes.


It’s a common structure for players in the National Hockey League. But now the CRA wants a bigger cut. It is saying that, regardless of the structure, all of Mr. Tavares’s compensation is salary and should be taxed at a higher rate.




It is beside the point whether you sympathize with Mr. Tavares (a great number of us might not, particularly as we toil though our mundane lives earning incomes far less than his one-year bonus on a contract worth about $100-million). Mr. Tavares’s case underscores a wider problem: For a long time, domestic NHL teams have been at a disadvantage to their U.S.-based counterparts, who have been able to better attract players because they are in lower-tax jurisdictions.


And this is a disadvantage that all industries face. It is a disadvantage that follows directly from Canada’s current income tax system, and one of a number of really disastrous hidden consequences that all Canadians need to wake up to.


First this is an income tax system that is driving many of Canada’s current problems.
Hockey fans, do you wonder why the last Canadian NHL team to win the Stanley Cup was the 1993 Montreal Canadiens? Boomers, do you wonder why it is that you or loved ones are waiting so long for specialist appointments? Parents, why is it that there is a shortage of trained pediatricians in Canada today? Why is it that the Canadian economy is always lagging the U.S. economy and our loonie is perennially 30 per cent lower than the value of the U.S. greenback, making our out-of-Canada vacations so expensive?

The answers are all connected to Canada’s “progressive” tax system.


While Mr. Tavares’s 2024 top marginal rate in Ontario is now about 54 per cent, top marginal rates are high for the middle classes. Here, I am not just talking about the doctors and the lawyers of the world. What follows applies to anyone that has worked all their lives to get ahead, but still finds themselves barely meeting the cost of living. Business owners. Electricians and plumbers. First responders and nurses. Teachers and scientists. Engineers and innovators. Many of these folks will pay top marginal rates of 43 per cent to 48 per cent.




But wait there is more. Pay 48 per cent tax on your last $100 of income and you take home $52. But spend that $52 and you have to pay additional GST/HST. Your $52 is really only worth about $45 if you actually want to spend it.

Jack Mintz, an economist that people quote when trying to look smart, says that, “Canada has one of the highest personal tax burdens … among OECD countries.”


Business leaders have been saying this for years: Our income tax rates are immorally high and are causing people like Mr. Tavares (and Canada’s best and brightest) to either move away or stay away.


Want a competitive hometown NHL team? Want access to your own family doctor? Want quick access to medical care when you really need it? Want a Canadian economy that will give your child a good job and the an opportunity at the “Canadian dream?” Well, first we need a system of taxation that allows for that.




Yes, Canada needs income tax reform. While the rest of the world has been lowering income taxes in favour of consumption taxes, Canada is going the other way.


If Canada significantly reduced personal income taxes, Canadians would be able to save money for our first homes or for a university education for our children or for our retirements.


When we spend that money, why not let Canadians spend on essentials such as clothing without being taxed any further by the GST/HST? Yes, when we spend the money on non-essentials, for sure, apply that GST/HST, maybe even at a higher rate.


This is the system in Britain and in Europe: Relative lower personal income taxes and relative higher consumption taxes. Why is Canada chronically playing catch-up?




Lower personal income taxation and Canada will attract back the best and the brightest – and the most athletically gifted.


Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that essential food purchases are subject to GST/HST. This version has been updated.
 

NDP says it has reached deal with Liberals on pharmacare legislation​


An NDP spokesperson confirms the deal but says some final details may still be worked out over the weekend.

The deal includes full coverage for contraceptives in line with what British Columbia covers, which includes IUDs and emergency contraception

It also includes all insulin for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as additional diabetes drugs and a fund for supplies such as glucose monitoring.

 

NDP says it has reached deal with Liberals on pharmacare legislation​





I'm very pleased by this. As previously noted, this is exactly what I suggested to both parties; as these 2 classes of medications actually show net positive cash for gov't in short order; by saving on abortions, unwanted children, particularly in low-income households, and reduce ER visits due to insulin shock when people ration or miss does of diabetes meds.

I certainly support more robust pharmacare, but this is a solid start!
 
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Want a competitive hometown NHL team? Want access to your own family doctor? Want quick access to medical care when you really need it? Want a Canadian economy that will give your child a good job and the an opportunity at the “Canadian dream?”
One of these things is not like the others...
 
I'm very pleased by this. As previously noted, this is exactly what I suggested to both parties; as these 2 classes of medications actually show net positive cash for gov't in short order; by saving on abortions, unwanted children, particularly in low-income households, and reduce ER visits due to insulin shock when people ration or miss does of diabetes meds.

I certainly support more robust pharmacare, but this is a solid start!
I share an enthusiasm for this and related projects. I do worry about how this will be delivered, our propensity to build enormous bureaucracies to administer the benefits and the Ying and Yang of financing the programs. The Ying being that the program is wanted, and the Yang being that we all want to enjoy the tax burden we could in, say, Alaska, Delaware, Tennessee, Florida ….. ( all below 6.5%) Tax burden is defined as the proportion of a person's income that goes toward taxes. In the USA, tax freedom day is April 18th, in Canada it is June 15th.
 
I share an enthusiasm for this and related projects. I do worry about how this will be delivered, our propensity to build enormous bureaucracies to administer the benefits and the Ying and Yang of financing the programs. The Ying being that the program is wanted, and the Yang being that we all want to enjoy the tax burden we could in, say, Alaska, Delaware, Tennessee, Florida ….. ( all below 6.5%) Tax burden is defined as the proportion of a person's income that goes toward taxes. In the USA, tax freedom day is April 18th, in Canada it is June 15th.

As noted, I feel that based on real world experience in other jurisdictions, these particular sets of medications/devices should cost next to nothing to deliver on a net basis to government. Birth Control for 2 years is roughly the same cost as one abortion; its also a lot cheaper than the costs associated w/unwanted children, especially in low-income scenarios.

Likewise, treating those suffering from un-treated diabetes and/or insulin shock is a significant, avoidable cost.

Certainly, there are other aspects of full, comprehensive, pharmacare, but they're not as bad as most would think.

Consider that gov't pays for drug benefits for civil servants, police, ems, teachers, professors, most municipal employees etc. That's a lateral cost move from a corporate drug plan to a state one.

At the high end, in net cost, You're looking at 0.3% of federal spending.

And that can be mitigated with low co-pays, if desired.
 
Consider that gov't pays for drug benefits for civil servants, police, ems, teachers, professors, most municipal employees etc. That's a lateral cost move from a corporate drug plan to a state one.
This was one of the first thoughts that came to my mind, not only in relation to public employees but private corporate benefits plans. I've been out of the bargaining unit benefits loop for many years, but things like insulin pumps and related supplies used to be quite costly, and diabetes in general was a significant benefit load to insurers (I don't remember if contraceptives were covered). I can only hope, perhaps in vain, that these savings will be passed on to employers and employees. Lowering employment costs makes us more competitive.
 

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