I wish a little truth could prevail; this is about establishing the image that money is being saved, so staffing dollars are being rejigged.
The real savings would be in cleaning house in the Executive Management category and above; were the incompetence is harboured and bad expensive decisions on an epic scale are made. This is were the real money drain is happening. This needs to apply to the federal union management as well, since they are part of the problem; big time.
It is time for Harper to stop toying with the rank and file, and rebuilt from the top down; cause it's broke. He has the mandate and the opportunity; if he blows it, history will judge him accordingly.
Tens of thousands of federal employees are bracing for the axe to begin dropping April 11 when the government notifies the largest number of departments and agencies yet about pending job and service cuts.
Health Canada announced last week that $5 million of the $74.2 million to be cut from the department’s budget this year will come from eliminating the National Aboriginal Health Organization, which oversaw research and outreach programs.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement the organization had “repeated organizational problems.”
“The National Aboriginal Health Organization has had repeated organizational problems. Health Canada worked with NAHO in an attempt to resolve these issues but, unfortunately, they were not addressed. This has led to some member organizations withdrawing their support from NAHO.”
Aglukkaq says the government has ensured that aboriginals will not be forgotten in the wake of the organization’s closure June 30.
“To show our continued commitment to the well-being of First Nations, the budget tabled last week had significant investments for health, water, and education,” she said.
“Our focus at the federal level will be on preserving front-line health-care services to First Nations and Inuit. We continue to make major investments in aboriginal health, nursing, and research, and are investing over $30 million per year in aboriginal health research and approximately $2.2-billion in the First Nation and Inuit Health program.”
Meetings are scheduled this week at Veterans Affairs Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and others as the government moves ahead with its plan to cut 19,200 federal public servants over the next three years.
Last week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. announced it would be cutting 650 jobs, including 475 positions this year, to absorb a budget cut of $115 million by 2014-15.
On Tuesday, CBC informed staff of a breakdown of some of the cuts, including the elimination of 88 full-time job from CBC News to save $10 million in operating costs.
Six jobs will be lost in the CBC North operations.
So we have to endure 20 minutes of commercials for every hour of Television; well that was the deal and it was free. Now Bell which owns CTV want to us to pay for all Television programing even if we get it on antenna.
So much for 60 years of a social contracts; next CBC will ask for fees to watch it as well, plus take our tax dollars to run it.
If the programming was worth while and their were no adds ....maybe .... aahh NOT.
If you are on the east coast, point your dishes at the European 'Birds' that is were the only 'free to air channels' while be.
The rest of us will have to dig up all those VHS tape we made off of regular TV and watch that.
I trust Canadians will cancel their satellite and cable services in the droves unless they have money they don't know what to do with.
"The Piss-ant Swamp grows as the Dark Forces prevail"
Bell through CTV wants to charge for regular programming
Some days, it might seem as if nobody watches broadcast television any more. All you hear about are the buzzy shows on cable (HBO’s Girls, AMC’s Mad Men) and alternative distribution platforms (iTunes, Netflix). But then you glance at the ratings and realize that most of the top 50 shows are still on good old-fashioned network TV. More related to this story
Astral goes mobile with HBO app Bell buys Astral: Another brick in the wall of bland BCE-Astral deal likely to spur job cuts
Which is why a hearing that unfolded at the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday could hold a nasty surprise for millions of viewers across the country: the death of free television.
Bell Media, the vertically integrated TV Godzilla that already owns more than two dozen specialty channels and is on track to pick up another clutch of them if its parent company’s acquisition of Astral Media Inc. is approved, has asked the court for the right to charge viewers who want to watch its flagship broadcaster, CTV.
Canadians are so accustomed to paying money to cable and satellite companies (known in the industry’s bland parlance as “broadcast distribution undertakings,” or BDUs) that they may not realize that broadcast television remains free, just as it has been since TV first came to Canada about 60 years ago.
The system has served all the parties pretty well: In exchange for plucking the broadcasters’ signals out of the air and then sending them out to customers, BDUs help the channels snag eyeballs by placing them at the low end of the cable or satellite dial and offering them in their basic packages. BDUs also help the broadcasters by blocking the U.S. signals of shows whose Canadian distribution rights have been bought by those domestic channels. (That’s why we end up watching Canadian commercials during the Super Bowl, so the money from the ad sales flows to CTV rather than NBC.)
But when the recession started to dry up their advertising sales a few years ago, Canadian broadcasters began enviously eyeing the business models of their specialty-channel competitors such as TSN, Showcase and Bravo!, which have two revenue streams – ads and subscription fees – and harrumphed about being left out of the subscription game.
They asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for the right to negotiate fees from the BDUs – they called it “fee for carriage” or “value for signal” – and the CRTC gave them the green light. Rogers, Telus, Shaw and Cogeco – some of the country’s largest BDUs – pushed back, insisting that the commission had overstepped its jurisdiction. The last thing they wanted was to have to add new fees to already rising cable and satellite bills.
Which, in time, is how it came to be that Canadians learned on Tuesday that some of Madam Justice Rosalie Abella’s favourite shows air on CTV.
In a delicious follow-the-money case study, BCE Inc., which owns Bell Media, originally sided with the other distributors. Then it snapped up CTV and promptly changed its position on the matter. And everyone seems to have forgotten that the original justification for changing the system – that the broadcasters were in danger of dying – is no longer the case: Revenues are back up, as are profit margins.
In its court papers, Bell argues that fee for carriage would enable market forces to work properly, “to determine the fair value of programming services.” That’s a knee-slapper (all right, maybe a free-market enthusiast is the only type who would find it funny) because the Canadian TV industry is one of the most intensely regulated in the country. It is as much a creation of the federal government as the private sector, and it is now dominated by three massive players – Bell, Rogers and Shaw – which effectively form an oligopoly. Market forces have never been much of a consideration, and they still aren’t.
In the United States, where market forces have a little more sway, the system has spawned some riveting battles between broadcasters and cable companies, with viewers serving as pawns. A couple of years ago, millions of Cablevision customers missed out on the opening of the World Series after News Corporation pulled its Fox channel and took out newspaper and radio ads attacking the cable company. Cablevision responded in kind, but it caved in the end: Cable companies almost always give in, because they’re the ones taking the phone calls from angry viewers who just want to watch the goddamned game.
It could be even uglier up here, where Bell-owned CTV might snub a perfectly reasonable offer from the BDUs and then roll out a marketing campaign playing up the fact that – whaddya’ know? – Bell’s own satellite and FIBE services is still offering the channel. Timed right – say, just before the Oscars, or the Super Bowl – it could force the cable companies to accept outrageous prices just to secure those marquee shows, rather than deal with angry mobs. Rogers and the others aren’t going to have much luck explaining to customers that they’re just trying to keep their bills low.
“Try to imagine what would occur if a blackout occurred on the eve of the [Olympic] gold-medal hockey game,” a lawyer for one of the cable companies said on Tuesday. “You’re striking fear into our hearts,” one of the judges said.
More related to this story
Why Canadian TV didn't have the big Super Bowl ads (and how you can watch them anyway) Shaw appeals CRTC ruling BCE's Cope forges ahead with convergence Rogers exits video-store business Canada needs to reinvent CRTC, outgoing head says Rogers, BCE vying for a bite of Apple’s iTV
This is over 2 years old now but given the politico elite duk'in it out in the Wild Rose Province for the coming election. The cry of the wild brown tailed nut-bar can be heard; "Climate change is not real " .... " the evidence is inconclusive" ....
Well it seems, to turn Gwynn Dyer loose again, was timely.
Gwynne Dyer: Climate Wars, the global effects of unchecked climate change
"Social-Contracts" the thin edge of the wedge it would seem. The flash point seems always easy to dismiss as silly; when what's another $300.00 a year in tuition, but this is like a huge vast fungus of discontent whose hyphae are making their way through the soils and roots of our society.
I think the folks in charge are asleep at the switch and are dramatically underestimated what is to come as the promises of our "Fathers" are just buried whenever they mushrooms. .... but then no one expects the 'Zombie Apocalypse', least of those at the helm.
Cheers for the Fungus among us and may it continue to mushroom where it is least expected.
Students are enraged over a tuition fee hike, although many in the province believe it was necessary and long overdue.
What's going on in Quebec right now is - frankly - a puzzle to many outside the Canadian province.
Every day and night now for nearly a month, and only a little less frequently for more than two months before that, many young Quebeckers have taken to the streets, waving banners, chanting slogans and occasionally flinging rocks, smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails.
More than 100,000 of them came out to mark 100 days of protests on Tuesday.. Canada protests against tuition-fee increase continue
Montreal has witnessed most of the mayhem: subway systems have been shut down, bar patrons pepper-sprayed by police, windows smashed, thousands arrested.
Dozens of schools of higher education have been closed as students boycotting classes are refusing to let others study.
And for what?
Government plans to hike college and university tuition by about $300 a year until 2019, that's what.
These increases will make Quebec's already low post-secondary tuition costs - still among Canada's least expensive - even after all the hikes are implemented.
And never mind the United States, where one year of undergraduate education at an Ivy League school can set you back $50,000 or more. Or the United Kingdom, where David Cameron's coalition government has made the country's once-free universities among Europe's most expensive.
What's the fuss about?
Right now, Quebec's young scholars shell out just over $2,000 a year for a university degree, not including their living costs. That will be closer to $4,000 if the government gets its way. But even in the rest of Canada, the average is between $6,000 and $7,000.
As many Canadians, Americans, Britons and others have been asking, what's all the fuss about?
As always, it depends on who you ask and what your politics are.
Here's what the students - and their supporters among teachers, unions, left-leaning politicians and artists - say:
Quebec has a social contract, a collectivist sense of itself, and its inexpensive post-secondary education has been a part of that for generations. Until the 1960s, the Roman Catholic church and right-wing politicians held huge sway and the province's education system was the country's worst.
Reform in the 1960s ushered in sweeping social change and promises of universal access to higher education.
Quebec's current provincial government is breaking that promise. Many students and their adult fellow travellers on the left virulently oppose the administration's slightly right-of-centre approach to public finances and what they call its "neo-liberal" policies.
Then there's the government's point of view. Throughout the nine years that the current Liberal Party administration has been in office, there has been pressure to raise tuition fees, significantly from universities themselves. Studies show a marked decline at Quebec's post-secondary institutions, and this government has tried several times before to hike fees.
Even former leading figures of the opposition separatist Parti Quebecois - a more left-leaning party - have said it's time to end Quebec's cheap tuition.
Provincial finances in general are not good. Taxes in the province are already the highest in Canada, thanks in part to an extensive system of entitlements.
That includes post-secondary tuition, which is less expensive in real terms than it was in the 1960s, when Quebeckers first started going to university in droves.
The provincial government also points out - correctly - that only a third of students were actually boycotting classes. Most just want to finish their education, whatever it costs.
Lead by their powerful students' unions, the protesters have said all along - even before this latest round of protests - that they wanted talks with the government, which finally consulted them last month when the demonstrations were showing no signs of ebbing.
The talks produced nothing but more disagreement, although there were hints of compromise on both sides. A very moderate compromise. But students' demand for a tuition freeze, contrasted with the govenment's demand for a tuition hike, meant that there was no common ground whatsoever.
Then the gulf grew wider.
The students upped the ante in mid-May when protesters roamed through a Montreal campus, enforcing a boycott with verbal and physical force. They called students attending class "scabs" as if they were breaking a strike at a steel mill.
The government's response was quick and harsh. Emergency legislation temporarily closing strike-affected colleges was introduced. So were fines on strikers and even stiffer penalties on their leaders and students' unions.
The "emergency law" passed after a marathon debate, amid widespread criticism of its more draconian aspects from lawyers and human rights groups. Again, opinion polls indicate solid public support for the idea of ending the strike - if not all of the harsh penalties aimed at demonstrators.
So far, the new law has only exacerbated matters, with students vowing to defy the law and police using tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrests to quell "illegal" protests.
It seems like a lot of fuss for an extra $300 or so a year. But with both sides so entrenched, it's looking like they view compromise as the most politically expensive option.
The streets of Quebec don't seem likely to calm down anytime soon. A provincial election is due before the end of next year, and many are wondering if this issue - at once seemingly trivial, yet evidently so serious - might just be best turned over to the voters.
[Fritz]This is unfortunately true to the name of the thread. The video is amazing to watch; the way the fire crosses the highway. It is a a scary situation for the folks in the Timmins and Kirkland Lake area.
The investigation quickly brought police to a studio apartment overlooking an expressway
A global manhunt was under way Friday for a Canadian porn star suspected of dismembering his boyfriend and mailing the body parts, after a video of the grisly killing surfaced online.
Interpol posted the picture and profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who is being hunted across Canada over the killing, first brought to light when a human foot was sent to the headquarters of Canada's ruling Conservative Party.
A hand was later found in the mail at an Ottawa post office, and a torso was discovered in Montreal. Police believe the remains belong to a man who was dating Magnotta -- and that Magnotta is to blame.
Authorities say they believe the suspect, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, may have fled the country.
Interpol said it had issued a "Red Notice" wanted persons alert for Magnotta to its 190 member countries.
"There is no country in the world that is not talking about him," Montreal police commander Ian Lafreniere told public broadcaster CBC Thursday, adding that police have evidence he fled North America.
"There's a lot of heat on him. There's a lot of pressure on him, so we believe that it's going to be hard for him."
The video circulating online shows a man repeatedly stab another man with an ice pick and dismember him, as a song from the soundtrack of the film "American Psycho" plays in the background.
"It's a video of the murder," police told the daily Globe and Mail. The newspaper also reported that the footage showed acts of cannibalism.
Despite efforts to take it down, frustrated police said Thursday the gory 10 and a half minute video first brought to the attention of Canadian authorities by a Montana lawyer has kept popping up all over the Internet.
US civil litigation lawyer Roger Renville told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) he came across the video last Saturday, and informed police in the United States and Canada.
"What I saw in that video exceeds your worst nightmare. It's Jeffrey Dahmer-esque," he said.
When Renville spoke to Canadian police on Sunday, he said they were "very skeptical."
A police officer "suggested that whatever I was seeing must be fake. And he suggested that special effects are pretty good these days and it'd be hard to tell if it was real or not," said Renville.
An investigation was launched Tuesday when a package sent from Montreal was partly opened by the receptionist at the Conservative Party office in Ottawa, who called police after seeing blood stains and being overwhelmed by the smell.
Hours later, a second suspicious package was intercepted by Canada Post at a nearby mail sorting facility. It "contained a human hand," said police.
The probe soon shifted to Montreal, where a torso was discovered by a janitor in a suitcase in a pile of garbage. Police said the torso belonged to a white male but was difficult to identify because of the missing body parts.
The investigation quickly brought police to a studio apartment overlooking an expressway in the neighborhood where the torso was found.
After combing it for evidence, the doors and windows were left open to air out the "pungent" smell of death, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
A CBC reporter, who was let in by the building superintendent, said he saw blood stains on a bed mattress where police say the victim may have been killed, around a bathtub drain, and on other furniture.
Only two months ago, Magnotta wrote in his last known public comments on a blog: "It's not cool to the world being a necrophiliac. It's bloody lonely."
Police have not said whether there was evidence of sexual assault on the victim.
Several websites describe Magnotta as a washed-up porn star and hustler, who allegedly posted videos online of himself torturing kittens.
Online reports also said Magnotta once dated Karla Homolka, who was convicted in 1991 of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the rape and murder of two teenage girls and her sister.
Homolka had claimed in testimony that helped send her husband Paul Bernardo to prison for life that she was abused and an unwilling accomplice to the grisly murders.
But videotapes of the crimes later surfaced showing that she was a more active participant than she had claimed. She was released from prison in 2005 and moved to Montreal.
In a 2007 interview with a Toronto newspaper, Magnotta denied knowing Homolka, who is reportedly now married with three children.
"...O'Canada...True North Strong and Free..." . Though this story is brought to us from the Fox news north.
Jesse Sansone, 26, holds his four-year-old daughter Nevaeh in this undated photo. Sansone is upset because he was arrested Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, after his daughter drew a picture of a man with a gun in her kindergarten class
Source: The SUN Author: MICHAEL COREN Date: 2012.06.09
Credits: FAMILY PHOTO Jesse Sansone, 26, holds his four-year-old daughter Nevaeh in this undated photo. Sansone is upset because he was arrested Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, after his daughter drew a picture of a man with a gun in her kindergarten class.
The name Jesse Sansone may not register with most readers, but how about the Crayon Dad?
This was the 26-year-old man who earlier this year in Kitchener, Ont., was handcuffed, arrested, and strip-searched by the police, and whose three children were removed by Family and Children's Services, all because his four-year-old daughter had drawn a picture at school that a teacher considered worrying.
"I didn't even know why I was being arrested for a long time," this disarmingly gentle, rather innocent man explains. "I went to pick up my daughter from school, and the police were waiting for me. I was handcuffed, put in the back of the cruiser, with children from my daughter's school looking in. When I asked the police why they were doing this, they advised me not to say anything."
The charge was, it turned out, possession of a firearm.
Earlier this week, the police issued a rather perfunctory apology, not for arresting and humiliating him, but for the strip search.
"It doesn't seem enough," Sansone says. "I believe I deserve something more. Nobody has ever seen the picture, as it was rubbed off the board. They say it was of me shooting monsters. But so what?"
The teacher who made the complaint apparently thought the alleged picture drawn by a four-year-old of daddy fighting monsters merited calling Family and Children's Services, who decided to involve police, and Jesse and his wife's horror began. They have been sweethearts since they were teenagers, they are happily married, religious and law-abiding people. Good folks.
"At no time did anybody actually call me, and ask me anything," he says, a little nervous and clearly still stunned by the whole thing.
"I mean, the school had offered me a job not long before, and the principal knew me. He later called to apologize, said he knew nothing about it, which I find difficult to believe."
His children have had to move to another school of course, after the ritual humiliation and traumatization. Pathetically, his daughter thought she had hurt daddy. And his reputation was hardly improved by the number of cops and social workers getting involved. Yet at no time was there any evidence of any wrongdoing or any gun.
When the school authorities were asked about the appalling case, a pompous twit at the board explained that they "co-parent" with parents. The audacity and arrogance is breathtaking!
Those who work at the school itself have said very little, and the panicked teacher has not shown any contrition or, as far as we know, been penalized or suspended. The police, who according to Sansone misled him and gave him no chance to explain, built a blue wall around those officers and their superiors who thought this civilized behaviour in a free society.
As for the social workers, they of course have escaped consequences because social workers almost always do.
Jesse would like a genuine apology, and while he is not asking for it, surely deserves compensation.
If he was an Islamic terrorist, there would be lawyers all over him. Alas, he's a simple, working-class guy living an ordinary life, and those people apparently don't matter very much in modern Canada.
Oh my; when the Banksters start indicating the sky might be falling one has to wonder what is afoot. It remains to be seen what the shell games will be this time or what expectations are being managed.
And we are told we are in better shape then the US ?
Bank of Canada paints bleak picture of global meltdown
Source: Times Colonist Author: Gordon Isfeld, Financial Post Date: 2012.06.14
OTTAWA — Canadian households be warned: Your finances could soon be hit with a big shock.
The spillover from an unbridled European financial crisis would carry over to this side of the ocean, first rocking the U.S banking sector and then ours.
Already debt-burdened households would begin defaulting on their mortgages, banks would start tightening their lending, jobs would be lost and the hot housing market would go into the deep freeze, as fewer people would be able to buy.
Oh yes, interest rates would jump.
That’s the bleak picture painted by the Bank of Canada on Thursday in its bi-annual Financial System Review.
Given all the uncertainty that engulfs the euro crisis at the moment, this may not even be the worst-case scenario. “Conditions in the international financial system are fragile,” the central bank said in the review.
“If the sovereign debt crisis in Europe continues to intensify, it would further weaken global economic growth and prompt a general retrenchment from risk. In turn, the weaker global outlook would fuel sovereign fiscal strains and impair the credit quality of bank-loan portfolios.”
Over the past six months, these growing concerns “reflect widespread doubts about the capacity and resolve of policy makers to address unsustainable fiscal situations, the capital adequacy of some euro-area banks and the underlying balance-of-payments problems within the euro area,” the review says.
The central bank warns that “if these issues are not dealt with in an orderly way, the contagion, effects on global financial conditions could be significant.”
In Canada, the high indebtedness of households and bloated house prices “require continued vigilance.”
“These conditions make households especially vulnerable to adverse shock,” the bank said, adding that high household debted levels continue to be “the most important domestic risk to financial stability in Canada.”
To be sure, some Canadian consumers have heeded calls for restraint from the likes of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney.
The central bank noted that households have been piling on debt at a slower rate recently, with the ratio of debt-to-income basically unchanged from a peak of 150.6% in the last quarter of 2011 — but that’s still higher than households in the U.S. and the U.K.
Growth in borrowing — both for mortgage and non-mortgage purposes — has slowed from an annualized 6% between May and October 2011 to 4% from November 2011 to April 2012.
“Households need to be cognizant of the fact that borrowing rates will eventually normalize and ensure that they will be able to service new and existing debt over the duration of their loans.”
The Bank of Canada went even further in its analysis, saying households could be hit by two inter-related shocks — a big drop in house prices and a “sharp deterioration in labour market conditions.”
“The initial decrease in house prices may be amplified by the links with the real sectors of the economy as lower confidence and lower household net worth lead to reduced household spending and employment. These interrelated factors would reduce economic activity and increase strains on household balance sheets.”
The “elevated” supply of condominiums entering the market over the next few years “is particularly noteworthy,” the bank said.
“Adjusted for population levels, multiples under construction in major metropolitan areas, especially Toronto, are above historical highs. If these units are not absorbed by demand as they are completed over the next 18 to 36 months, the demand-supply imbalance will become more pronounced.”
Also under the bank’s shock scenario, Canada’s jobless rate would rise by three percentage points and lengthen the average period of unemployment by six weeks.
“When subjected to a persistent unemployment shock that reaches its peak in 2013, the proportion of household loans in arrears at domestic financial institutions is projected to rise to 1.3%, compared with roughly 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Public service jobs of the people of Ontario have been outsourced to the U.S. for profit.
Sign for an Authorized Issuer of Fishing Licenses from the Ontario Ministry of Natural resourcesToronto (28 May 2012) - Sarah Campbell, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Kenora-Rainy River, is calling on the province's Privacy Commissioner to investigate increasing concerns that residents' personal information is being compromised by a Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) decision to outsource hunting and fishing licenses to a Tennessee company.
After raising concerns about the outsourcing just over a month ago, Campbell says her offices have received a number of calls from residents concerned with their personal information being stored across the border.
"When a member of the public calls the MNR licensing phone line, they are now warned that personal information will be stored outside of Canada, and will be subject to the laws of the jurisdiction where it is stored," Campbell wrote in a letter to the commissioner.
While the Ministry claims its contract with the American company forbids the use of information collected, American laws like the Patriot Act can require that private information be turned over to a third party.
In Question Period, Campbell grilled the Minister of Natural Resources over the decision to outsource the services.
"Why are Ontarians losing out on jobs because services are being sold off to companies in other countries, all while putting our privacy at risk?" asked Campbell. "There's close to 600,000 people out of work in this province and now, more jobs that could very well be performed by people in this province as a public service have been outsourced to the United States for profit."
So let me understand this. The Provincial government systematically cripple Private Family Practices, to the point where a single family practice is not viable to run; forcing doctors into a myriad of health models run by LHINS ( classic shell game divide and conquer ); that are run by non health care individuals (adding yet another layer of people and cost that doesn't go to providing health care and appointed by the government). Now the government have Healthcare Professionals by the short and 'curlys' and the government is going to cut back on Healthcare Professionals and reduce the healthcare provider's income. Well folks as you lie dying somewhere waiting for healthcare; remember you voted this government into power twice.
And for the rest of the country, if the Ontario government gets away with it; this is the solution for the rest of the Canada; all Healthcare Professionals with be salary civil servants with a bureaucratic empire above them telling them exactly what to do and not do for their patients. Great Britain tried this and surprise, surprise, it failed.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has arbitrarily delayed
Source: OMA Author: Dr. Doug Weir, OMA President Date: 2012.08.24
Ministry Delays PEM Applications
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has arbitrarily delayed the processing of applications for patient enrolment models (PEMs), which is negatively impacting family physicians and patient access to care in many communities across Ontario.
The Ministry has stated: “The processing of applications is being delayed pending a review of policies and procedures related to registration of groups/physicians in the various primary care physician compensation models. The policy review is intended to ensure that assignment of physician resources in the primary care models is directed in areas of greatest need through the introduction of a needs-based assessment tool, which will include input from the LHINs.
Assignment of commencement dates for new groups/physicians (excluding physicians signing the Comprehensive Care Model agreement, replacement physicians and contracted/locum physicians) is delayed as this policy review proceeds. New physician applicants are being held in a queue and will be processed in order of receipt, and in accordance with the amended policy, as soon as possible.”
The Ministry has provided no firm answer as to when this review will be completed and when the processing of applications will resume.
The OMA is working to investigate this delay and provide support to affected physicians. These delays are one of the consequences of the government’s unwillingness to bargain in good faith with the OMA so that such problems could be solved in a co-operative fashion before they adversely affect patients and physicians.
Questions regarding the PEM process may be forwarded to the Ministry’s toll-free line at 1.866.766.0266.
Health Quality Ontario Expert Panels
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has been working to establish expert panels and reaching out to various clinical specialties in an attempt to garner their support and participation to assist the Ministry in resolving health service delivery problems that have arisen as a result of its unilateral changes.
Recently, general and family physicians have been requested to participate in expert panels associated with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), an independent agency funded by the provincial government through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
The Section on General and Family Practice (SGFP) has asked family physicians to refrain from participating in the HQO panels.
The SGFP notes, “We view this as the government trying to achieve their goals outside of negotiations and as an attempted ‘end run’ around the OMA. Despite the call for family MD participants, we are asking family MDs to not participate in these groups until the government decides to embark on meaningful negotiations.
Ultimately, family physicians need to be involved for HQO’s initiatives to be clinically relevant and realistically implementable, and we look forward to helping develop guidelines and identifying efficiencies once the government decides they actually value physician participation in Ontario’s health care arena.”
The OMA strongly supports the Section’s position. The issues associated with these expert panels should be dealt with directly at the negotiations table. Further, we do not support the Ministry attempting to bypass the representation rights of the Ontario Medical Association and proceeding with a “divide and conquer” tactic.
Dr. Doug Weir
CONDITION CRITICAL: Rating the health of Ontario's LHINs
Hamilton’s Local Health Integration Network ranks 11th out of Ontario’s 14 LHINs, based on the results of a massive health-care report card created by The Hamilton Spectator.
The Spectator’s groundbreaking analysis compares the performances of Ontario’s LHINs across a wide spectrum of 266 different variables that measure population health, wait times, access to care and health system efficiency. The variables were further broken down into seven categories, such as cancer, cardiovascular issues and chronic diseases.
It’s believed to be the first time that Ontario’s LHINs have been compared and ranked on such a comprehensive scale.