Canada Day is special no matter the circumstances

It’s sure to be a Canada Day like no other this year.  With limitations on gatherings as a back drop, we won’t be able to come together in the usual fashion.  Many main-stays of community celebrations such as parades, concerts, barbecues, and public firework shows will give way to more informal and much smaller celebrations.  With fewer options available, the differences will be stark, but Canadians will find numerous ways to mark the day and make it memorable.
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June 19

 Hughes praises Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing’s pandemic response in parliament 

People in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing are stepping up to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in their usual, can-do style according to MP, Carol Hughes who represents the area in parliament.
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June 19

Front-line workers remain critical to our efforts

With the flurry of activities related to a greater easing of pandemic-related restrictions, it is tempting to think we may have COVID-19 on the run but that’s not the case. We have been successful in our attempts to limit the worst effects of the first wave which is commendable.  That doesn’t mean the threat has expired, only that we are better prepared to face the next round which experts tell us will surely arrive. When it does, it is guaranteed that we will rely on...
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June 12

Elements of CERB will have to be extended

The Canada Emergency Response benefit is set to expire at the end of the month.  It was introduced to limit the shock to household budgets and the wider economy with the hope that people would be able to return to work once we made our way through the worst of the pandemic.  While some people are being allowed to return to work in Ontario, many are not. Included in this will be instances where parts of work-places, such as restaurant patios, will be able to open and return individuals...
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June 5

Uncomfortable is good if we are ever going to make progress on racism

We have arrived at a point where being uncomfortable about discussions on racism is no longer a valid reason to avoid the topic. We have spent too long worrying about the feelings of people who, ‘don’t want to hear about it.”  We have spent too long allowing casual racist comments to pass un-noticed, unchallenged and as a by-product, accepted as part of a normal conversation. We have spent too long avoiding the work we have to do on a number of important fronts, but we...
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June 1

Report on long term care a shocking wake-up for Canadians

For decades, New Democrats brought seniors issues to parliament explaining that too many are vulnerable or unable live in dignity.  While there was a time people were encouraged to worry more about minor tax breaks than Canada’s senior and vulnerable populations, the heavy toll that COVID-19 has extracted from Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) has proven those priorities were off-point.
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May 22

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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