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Follow the money: The growth of private health care in Canada

Red medicare umbrellas in Victoria, January 16, 2012.

Health care reform has been on the agenda of every level of government in the country for the past two decades, not to mention every health and academic institution and think tank. Citizens have been bombarded with messages that the public system is not sustainable without “meaningful” system change. A common theme heard from elected officials is how hard it is to push change, there is just so much public resistance. 

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Privatization of reserves promoted by liberalization gurus

Peruvian economist and World Bank poster child Hernando de Soto Polar visited Vancouver in October to speak in favour of the establishment of individual property ownership ("fee simple") on First Nations Reserves in Canada.

The First Nations Property Ownership (FNPO) conference -- hosted by the First Nations Tax Commission -- paired de Soto with a select roster of indigenous leaders, lawyers, economists, and scholars from across British Columbia and Canada to promote a proposal that would allow fee-simple title on reserves.

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Privatizing potash was a costly mistake

The greatest tragedy in BHP Billiton's $38.6-billion (U.S.) bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) is that the Government of Saskatchewan previously sold PCS for just $630 million. This privatization was the worst fiscal decision in the province's history and has been aggravated by subsequent royalty giveaways to private potash companies.

PCS was created in 1975 as a provincial Crown corporation. The Saskatchewan government privatized it in 1989, selling all of its shares by 1994.

Presumably, the proceeds were deducted from the provincial deficit. Borrowing $630 million at 10 per cent interest, compounded over two decades, would have added $4.2-billion of provincial debt by now.

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The privatization by stealth of Canada Post

Did you know that the Conservative minority government is smuggling certain controversial measures into its upcoming federal Budget Bill C-9? While all eyes are on the Rahim Jaffer/Helena Guergis scandal, some other shady business is getting overlooked.

Items that might prove unpopular, exposed to the light of public scrutiny, are being packaged and sold as part of a Budget that is quickly working its way through Parliament. The Conservatives are counting on the opposition's reluctance to have an election to get their Budget approved. But it is essential that the package is opened and its contents handled with care.

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Capitalism beware: Rethinking imagination to regain our collective purpose

Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons

by Max Haiven
(Zed Books,
2014;
$24.95)

Has capitalism colonized how we all imagine and express what is valuable?

In Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons, Max Haiven looks at the corporatization of education, the privatization of creativity and the power of finance capital in contrast the the power of imagination and the growth of social movements and political activism. Haiven argues that capitalism is not in crises, it is the crises and we need to move beyond it in order to survive.

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Redeye

Maude Barlow on the future of the world's water

March 30, 2014
| A recent UN report says the energy sector has great political clout but water lacks any influence. It's this lack of influence that Maude Barlow has been fighting to address for more than a decade.
Length: 33:27 minutes (30.63 MB)
March 26, 2014 |
a significant number of private clinics are both billing OHIP and charging patients fees on top ranging from $50 - $3,500 or more.
March 24, 2014 |
Urge Health Minister Deb Matthews and health critics France Gelinas and Christine Elliott to put aside partisan differences to ensure that confidence in our blood system remains intact.
Asia Pacific Currents

International Women's Day in the Asia Pacific

March 8, 2014
| International Women's Day edition of Asia Pacific Currents: Labour news from the Asia Pacific region and an interview about the Korean railway workers' strike.
Length: 28:03 minutes (12.85 MB)
Penney Kome

P3s are a pox on the public purse: Allyson Pollock

| March 3, 2014
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