Anticipating a second wave and limiting its impact

As we enter a third month of physical distancing and learn that our actions have helped us avoid a worst-case pandemic scenario, the challenges are increasing.  While we deserve a big pat on the back for our efforts to date, greater easing means we must become more vigilant in order to maintain our success. The lessons from the fall of 1918 cannot be forgotten since that was when the second, and more deadly, wave of the Spanish Flu pandemic settled in.  With some forecasts predicting...
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May 15

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility must be well defined

There’s no doubt there is an itch to get back to normal, but there are obstacles to that and, of course, questions about how much can and should be restored as we learn to work within the pandemic.  The first order of our recovery will relate to the opening of workplaces which is not always as simple as unlocking the doors, especially for bigger employers.  The government has been working with employers to preserve jobs, so we will be ready when emergency measures are...
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May 11

Raising awareness during Mental Health Week

There’s no doubt about it, these are stressful times.  Young or old, independent or not, your life has likely taken a significant change of course.  The uncertainty that accompanies upheaval is daunting as schedules and regular practices are set aside and new concerns arise around health and finances. A recent survey is reporting increased levels of general stress, and more people admitting they are feeling this all the time.  In many ways it is a natural response, but the...
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May 1

Northern internet woes magnified by pandemic

Expensive, sub-standard internet service was already a problem for many northerners, but as we adapt to the pandemic and are asked to do more remotely, some households are discovering their service either can’t handle the demand or is punitively expensive once their data limit is exceeded.  The problem has reached a fever-pitch and the only way it will be fixed is if the government prescribes it.
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April 24

Parliament sets its course as economic relief measures expand

As the pandemic stretches out and Canadians carry on with their efforts to limit the ravages of COIVD-19, parliament has developed a plan to get back to work.  This will allow for necessary legislation to be developed and maintains a level of transparency in accountability that the institution delivers.  The resumption was mandated by the agreement all parties struck 5 weeks ago and will feature one physical and two virtual question and answer sessions a week.  This ensures the...
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April 17

April 28th National Day of Mourning takes a different tone

Few among us would have imagined that we would find ourselves in a situation quite like this.  With the battle to quell, control, and ultimately vaccinate against the COVID-19 pandemic raging, most of us are relegated to the sidelines to do our part in the greatest unified effort this country has undertaken in generations.  Instead of soldiers, this battle is being fought by those providing essential services and, of course, our medical community who are the equivalent of front-line...
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April 14

Our health care advantage will need to be protected

This week Canada marked National Caregiver Day and World Health Day.  That these occasions coincide with our efforts to contain a virus which threatens our ability to meet our health care needs while placing care-givers squarely in the middle of our efforts is nearly poetic.  It’s also not a stretch to suggest that the challenges presented by the COIVD-19 pandemic are helping us understand how we may have under-valued or perhaps taken for granted the contribution of many...
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April 3

No time to let up

While we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is transforming our entire society, there are encouraging signs that our great collective effort is having a desired effect.  The general dampening of the virus’ spread in Canada is noticeable when compared to the experience of our southern neighbour.  An important consideration, however, is that we appear to be in the early stages of the pandemic, and it may take months of physical distancing to ensure the best possible...
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March 28

New benefits come from short sitting of parliament

It is no surprise that Canada is joining other nations by addressing the COVID-19 pandemic with stimulus spending.  It is our great fortune that we are among the wealthiest nations and able to direct resources that some other countries cannot.  Even with this advantage, our system requires that the government bring legislation to parliament to account for the extraordinary spending needed to maintain that economic advantage into the recovery period once the pandemic’s threat has...
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March 25

New benefit will reach more individuals in need

Ottawa – After presiding over the debate for the extra-ordinary session of parliament that delivered the first federal aid package in the COVID-19 pandemic, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes is pleased that parliament has been able to band together as opposed to descending into partisan quibbling.
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