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Thread: The Justin Trudeau Report Card

  1. #241
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    Re: The Justin Trudeau Report Card

    We have the lowest corporate tax rates, and that's where the $4.5 billion were cut, not personal taxes. (12% was tied for lowest already).

    And when you refer to the "fallacy that makes the assumption that earnings don't belong to those who earn them in the first place", are you referring to the corporation and it's shareholders deserving the profits, or the usually underpaid workers that made those earning possible in the first place?

    Alberta fell behind in spending efficiency long ago because they were so focused on the bottom line that they neglected looking at outcomes. In health care, it is more expensive initially to prevent illness, but saves lots of money later if you don't have to treat it. BC, Quebec, and Ontario made those initial investments, and it is paying off now.

    I'll give you a very specific example in the field of health that I work in. Assertive Community Treatment teams are used to treat patients with severe and persistent mental illness (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). This model of treatment was developed in the 70's during deinstitutionalization, where up until that time these patients had essentially lived in psychiatric hospitals. As treatment options had gotten better, it was assumed that they could simply be discharged into the community en masse. However, within one year, 90% of these patients were back in hospital, in jail (the other "institution"), or dead. It turns out that they didn't just need good medication, they needed support in the community. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) provided intensive support to the sickest of the sick, the "frequent flyers" that were so ill that they didn't even understand that they were ill or were too disorganized from their illness to attend their own needs properly, so while they would improve in hospital, upon discharge they would stop their medication, not attend their follow-up appointments, and become ill again and require acute hospitalization again, at great expense to the system. ACT brings the treatment to them, with one therapist assigned to no more than ten patients so they can find them in the shelters and group homes and park benches, and prevent the relapses in the first place. However, the treatment is so intense, it does not save any health care dollars compared to chronic hospitalization. What doesn't show up in the savings in health care dollars is the savings in other areas: reduced legal costs, reduced housing costs, reduced costs of family members taking time off work to deal with them, in some cases, these patients, despite being so ill, get better enough that they can work or volunteer and contribute back to the system. Other provinces saw the value in this model and invested in them decades ago (Ontario committed $50 million per year back in the late 90's to setting up 50 teams across the province). Alberta saw no savings in the health budget, and so did not. It wouldn't have cost any more money, but it didn't cost any less, so they stuck with the status quo. And patients and their families have suffered because of it. For the past 15 years I have worked as part of a group to piece these services together from existing resources. Finally, over the past few years, the NDP paid more than just lip service to addressing mental health issues in this province, and we started to finally get resources to move us closer to the model as it is described in the literature. And then, the UCP got in, and that progress has come to a crashing halt. And that is only a single example: the "super lab" and safe injection sites have been more publicized as initiatives that had high start up costs but would have created much more efficiency very shortly are already cancelled or on hold.

    The spending problem is trying to win an election right now, and not considering investing in the future. Continuing to subsidize the already obscenely profitable (but slowly dying) oil industry instead of investing now in diversifying the economy to be less reliant on world oil prices or if another province blocks a pipeline. Moving back to outdated curriculums and standardized testing (that assumes that all kids learn the same way and there is only one way to measure that) while classroom sizes get larger and larger, instead of investing in the kids that will one day be taking care of us and running this province. Pretending that climate change doesn't exist and not investing in changes now, when cleaning the damage will be multiple more times more expensive in just a few short years. One example after another of the waste that the UCP has resumed after one term of NDP couldn't clean up the mess left by 44 years of conservative rule quickly enough.

  2. #242
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    Re: The Justin Trudeau Report Card

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugoagogo View Post
    Valid points.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of Mr. Kenney. I mean, the first bloody thing he did was go after GSAs in schools. That's telling.
    "Of all the so-called virtues, the most over-rated is faith" - Christopher Hitchens

  3. #243
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    Diesel is offline The Ayatolla of Rye & Cola

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    Re: The Justin Trudeau Report Card

    Alberta DOES have a spending problem.
    Massive, abhorrent one at that. Throwing more money at under performing sacred cow institutions will solve nothing. Canada's standard of healthcare has steadily declined compared to our global neigbours and we keep shoveling money into it. Definition of insanity

    The sacred cow institutions need a massive renovation, not another coat of paint.
    I hit them as hard as I could on the mouth right from the start of the game so they were thinking this was going to be a long day. Sooner or later one of us had to quit. And it wasn't going to be me.
    - Dan Kepley

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