health care

The Informer

Politics

14 Comments

QUOTED: Prime-Minister-in-Waiting Rob Ford thinks public-funded healthcare is stupid

(Images: Rob Ford, ; survery, Army Medicine)

(Images: Rob Ford, Blind Nomad; survery, Army Medicine)

“I don’t believe in all this public-funded health care…I don’t mind two-tier health care. If you want health care, pay for it.”

Rob Ford, who made his inaugural appearance on Washington D.C. radio show The Sport Junkies this morning. Given the fallout from yesterday’s damning new allegations, we might have expected the mayor to opt out of his new weekly gig giving NFL picks. Instead, he duly phoned in and even added to the controversy, categorically denying that tried to buy the infamous crack video, as well as slamming President Obama’s healthcare law and scoffing the notion that the Cleveland Indians or Washington Redskins should pick more politically-correct names. Ford didn’t fare better when he steered the conversation back to football. When one host asked him about women winning football bets, Ford said, “They just look to who’s the cutest guy … that’s how they pick ’em.” You can listen to the full clip here. [The Sports Junkies] »

The Informer

Features

21 Comments

A Life Interrupted: Hassan Rasouli’s journey from an earache to a high-stakes battle over end-of-life decisions

Two years ago, Hassan Rasouli checked into Sunnybrook hospital to have a brain tumour removed, fell into a coma, and provoked a Supreme Court battle over who decides to pull the plug. Then, one day, he awoke

A Life Interrupted

For the past two years, the Rasouli family has visited Hassan daily at the Sunnybrook ICU (Image: Christopher Wahl)

Early in the summer of 2010, Hassan Rasouli, a 59-year-old engineer, had a problem with his right ear. He noticed sounds were coming in muffled and indistinct, as if through a ball of cotton. By August, his hearing loss was getting worse. The ear was slightly numb, too, and at times Rasouli caught himself feeling dizzy. He didn’t think much of it. He had moved from Ishfahan, Iran, to Toronto just four months earlier with his wife, Parichehr Salasel, a family doctor, their 27-year-old daughter, Mojgan, and their 22-year-old son, Mehran. They’d come to Canada with the capacity for risk particular to the new immigrant, the kind that leads someone to abandon a life of familiar comforts for an uncertain world where the possibilities might open up a little wider. They were excited about creating a new life.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

Comments

The Argument: Why is quintessentially American writer Richard Ford’s new novel about Canada?

The Argument | Ford NationThe day after George W. Bush was re-elected president, the American novelist Richard Ford got in his car and drove across the border to Saskatchewan from Montana. He did not come in search of political asylum—something many American liberal intellectuals loudly and half-jokingly yearned for that day—but for a flu shot, which his U.S. health care provider had deemed him “not old enough or sick enough to merit.”

Ford had made the journey north often enough, but this time it was different. “I crossed that border, and I just felt the world lift off my shoulders,” he says. “I realized there was something about Canada that was very established as good in my mind.” The burden of being American—of being from a politically fractious, sometimes violent place—suddenly vanished. “For many Americans, Canada has long been seen as a place of refuge.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

2 Comments

A report recommends three safe-injection sites in Toronto, but the province doesn’t agree

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto took four years to produce a hefty report on safe injection sites, which recommends three such facilities in Toronto. Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews took only minutes to reject the idea, illustrating that the facilities can be a tough political sell. For instance, though Gord Perks threw his support behind the report (he called it “good solid Canadian evidence” that safe injection sites could save lives and health care dollars), Doug Holyday worries the sites would attract unsavoury types who wouldn’t otherwise come to Toronto. Meanwhile, Public Health board chairman John Filion, wouldn’t answer a question about whether he’d let a site open in his ward. As the debate continues, we expect this question of where the sites would go to be at the centre of the discussion. Read the entire story [Toronto Sun] »

The Informer

Politics

4 Comments

Are Rob Ford’s proposed 2012 budget cuts essentially equivalent to health care cuts?

(Image: Christopher Drost)

A group of health care professionals visited city hall early this week with a petition in hand containing nearly 300 signatures and calling on Rob Ford and his council cronies to spare community programs from the axe. The group warned that many of the proposed cuts to city services were tantamount to health care cuts—a move that will likely amplify the growing backlash against the 2012 budget and make the task of selling cuts to the public that much harder for the mayor. 

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

99 Comments

Michelle Dean: I ♥ N.Y. (Not T.O.)

I Love N.Y. (Not T.O.)

(Jack Dylan)

Dear Toronto: I’d like to say that it’s me, not you, but I’d be lying. It is you. You have no passion, no ambition. You elected Rob Ford! I’m leaving you for another city

About a year ago, in what felt like defeat, I moved to Toronto. I was looking to overhaul (some might say “ditch”) my career. I’d spent five years in New York as a corporate attorney, warring with myself from the get-go over whether I could stay in a city that I loved on employment terms I despised. When I was finally laid off and I decided to leave practice altogether, Toronto was the obvious choice for a crash landing. Though I’d never lived there, I had a lot of friends in the city, there were cultural events aplenty, and rents seemed shockingly cheap after Brooklyn and Manhattan. Maybe, I thought, I’d been crazy to stay away.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

9 Comments

Tim Hudak spent his life climbing the Tory ladder and now he has a shot at taking over Queen’s Park—but can he convince voters he’s more than just Mike Harris lite?

Tim Hudak

Tim Hudak is riding in the back of an RV, a big, bouncy RV wrapped in an enormous picture of his smiling face, and he’s coming to see you. He’s really happy. So happy that he’s tweeting about it on his BlackBerry. “Outstanding,” he types, and, “On my way…” Now he’s peering out the front window, over the driver’s shoulder, toward one of the event venues where he’s going to meet you. “Shit, has this thing started?” He doesn’t want to be late. He wants to look you in the eyes and tell you what he thinks, and he wants to listen to you, too. The whole big meet-and-greet ball of wax: he loves it. This is who he is. “It gets in your blood, right?” he asks. Although that’s not actually a question. Putting “right?” at the end of certain things he says is just Tim Hudak’s way. “You are who you are, right?” he says. “I’m Tim Hudak.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

3 Comments

Why Dalton McGuinty isn’t worried about a record provincial debt, an exodus of trusted MPs and the Tim Hudak surge

Dalton McGuintySix months ago, Ontarians had barely heard of Tim Hudak. Now he’s roaring toward victory. How do you plan to overcome his lead in the polls?
If we were to knock on a hundred doors and ask people what their top concern is, they’re not going to say the polls. They’re interested in good schools, great health care and the economy. Those have been our priorities for eight years, and we’re going to keep strengthening them.

Some would say that your legacy will be defined more by the eHealth scandal and the G20 policing fiasco.
I expect people will take the really good things and the less-than-stellar things into account, as they should.

Voters have swung to the right federally and municipally. Do you think that trend is feeding Hudak’s momentum?
The political firmament has been reorganized in some ways. But I can only be who I am, and our government can only do what it does, and that’s to continue to be informed by the values of Ontarians. You know, my dad was the MPP for Ottawa South before me. He was shovelling snow off the back deck and had a heart attack and died at age 63. When he was alive I said, “I’m never going into politics—who needs this?” But it has been incredibly rewarding to shape the future.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

4 Comments

How academic pressure may have contributed to the spate of suicides at Queen’s University

Jack Windeler

Jack Windeler was 18 years old and in his first year of university when he died. (Image: courtesy of the Jack Foundation)

Early one Saturday morning in March 2010, Eric Windeler and his wife, Sandra Hanington, arrived home after a spinning class at the Granite Club to find an urgent message from the police. They called back, and the police said they’d be right over. Windeler and his wife quickly took inventory: grandparents fine, two of their three children safely at home. Only the eldest, 18-year-old Jack, was unaccounted for, away at Queen’s University in Kingston. “We texted him and called him. There was no answer.”

Then a police officer was at their door. “I’ve got terrible news,” he said. “Your son has died…We think it was suicide.” The couple called their other kids into the room and told them what happened. Then the four of them collapsed in a tangled heap in a single chair.

Jack Windeler’s was the first of a string of deaths at Queen’s. In the ensuing 14 months, five more students would die, three by suicide, two by what the cops call misadventure (likely alcohol related). Queen’s, widely considered one of the best universities in the country, is a popular destination for students in the top five per cent of their graduating class. The entrance grade average in 2008 was 87.3 per cent. These were kids who seemed headed for success, which made their deaths all the more shocking.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

1 Comment

Can Dalton McGuinty’s bland-and-boring image withstand the increase in Internet attack campaigns?

Dalton McGuinty on the campaign trail (Image: West Annex News)

Premier Dalton McGuinty has a personal image (as opposed to a political image) that’s about as likely to inflame passion as vanilla pudding. People might rage about the provincial government’s positions on health premiums and eco-fees, but McGuinty’s personality never elicits the kind of anger that, say, Giorgio Mammoliti did this week. Of course, McGuinty’s personality (or lack thereof) is a huge part of the Liberal brand—borrowing Tory Bill Davis’s quip that “bland works”—and proved to be a big part of his success in selling himself as the safe alternative in 2007. But the problem for McGuinty and the Liberals is that 2011 isn’t 2007: today’s voters seem to be more willing to go with bombast instead of bland (see Ford, Rob), and that reality is being reflected most strongly in the Internet campaigns each of the political parties have launched in the lead-up to the October election.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Features

31 Comments

How Toronto’s lavishly rich Latner family is tearing itself apart

Albert Latner made his fortune in real estate, health care and casinos, and lavished his four children with riches. After his wife died, he gave them their inheritance early. Now they’re feuding over the estate, launching lawsuit after lawsuit and tearing the family apart. A cautionary tale about the burdens of love and money

Latner vs. Latner Joshua Latner

In February 2010, Joshua Latner was alerted by several friends about a photo posted on the Internet. He sat down at his computer, Googled himself and was disturbed to find his picture with the word “loser” scrawled across his face.

Joshua is not, and has never been, a man with a nine-to-five job. An enthusiastic collector of fine wines and rare antiques, he is 49 years old and lives in Zurich with his wife, Kendal, and their two young children. He also maintains residences in Toronto, Key Biscayne and Tokyo and on the Greek island of Mykonos, where he raises chickens and honeybees as a hobby. He inherited $150 million when his father, Albert Latner, a Toronto property developer and entrepreneur, decided to give each of his four children what’s known in high-net-worth circles as the velvet handshake—shorthand for early inheritance.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

2 Comments

Jack Layton accomplished the impossible (with a little help from the anti-Iggy movement)—now what?

Jack Layton

(Image: Daniel Ehrenworth)

I should start by telling you that you’re my MP.
That makes you my boss.

Great—so you have to answer all of my questions.
I’ll do my best.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for—a chance to show that the NDP is a viable alternative as a governing party. How do you make sure you don’t blow it?
We’ve been around for 50 years in the House of Commons and in public life—from our earliest days with the contribution of Medicare and our work around the CPP. We’ve shown we’re able to add to good legislation and governance.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

Comments

Grits trot out Chrétien and Trudeau to remind GTA that the Liberal Party used to be cool

In this election campaign, some things are a lot easier for the Conservatives than for the Liberals—not the least of which being that they don’t have to worry about surrounding Harper with previous Tory prime ministers for campaign help. Brian Mulroney is still thought to be radioactive, and Joe Clark was last seen urging people to vote Liberal. The Grits have no doubt been debating whether to let Michael Ignatieff stand on his own or be surrounded by former Liberal champions. This week’s news suggests they’ve decided on the latter. Hot on the heels of a Paul Martin appearance in B.C., the Liberals will be bringing out the p’tit gars de Shawinigan himself, Jean Chrétien.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

Cancer rates lower in Toronto than in the rest of Ontario: CCO

Cancer Care Ontario has released data suggesting that people in the GTA are dying of cancer at a rate less frequent than the provincial average. The Toronto Sun’s reporting suggests that there are three big reasons Torontonians are doing better than people elsewhere in Ontario: fewer smokers, lower rates of obesity and a mix of people from places with fewer instances of cancer.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

2 Comments

Five things Torontonians should look for in the federal election debates

This week, Canadians get to watch two debates among the leaders of the four official parties in the House of Commons—the English one is tomorrow night, and the French one the night after (apparently there’s a sporting event of some kind on, so the French debate was moved up a day). As with the last several English-language debates, Steve Paikin will be moderating the showdown, but unlike in 2008 this will be an entirely Green-free event. What can we look forward to when four white men get onstage and redefine “diversity” to mean “Jack Layton’s moustache”? Some ideas, tailored for Torontonians:

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement