Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 29, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 29, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 27, 2017
The vice-president of the United States has some less-than-complimentary words for Canada’s health-care system, which he accuses of certain “failings.”
Mike Pence made the remarks in an interview last week with Alaska radio station KFQD.
He was being asked about the Republican health legislation struggling to get through Congress.
Republicans appear to be wrestling to get a bill that would repeal Obamacare through the legislature before a procedural deadline later this month — and the effort is in deep trouble.
Pence warned that if the legislative effort collapses, the U.S. will be on a course for something similar to Canada.
That’s because the Democratic party is starting to rally to an unprecedented degree around the idea of single-payer health care as a long-term solution to the U.S.’s endless health debates.
“We have a clear choice here,” Pence said.
“You know, somewhere in between where I’m sitting in Washington, D.C., and (you) Alaska, is a place called Canada. I probably don’t need to tell the people Alaska about the failings of national socialized health care because it’s right in our neighbour and you see the results every day.
“Look, we’ve got a choice: It’s between big government, Washington, D.C., solutions that ultimately, I believe, will collapse into single-payer health care — or whether or not we’re going to repeal the (Obamacare) individual mandate.”
Canada’s health system is known to suffer from long wait times, especially for elective procedures. On the other hand, Canadians not only have longer life expectancies, but also spend far less on health care than Americans according to World Bank data.
The Trump administration has just received a fresh round of bad news about its health-reform effort: After John McCain, Susan Collins became the latest senator Monday to say she opposes the Obamacare repeal bill, almost certainly dooming it. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday September 2, 2017
Football can be a dangerous, brutal sport. It’s particularly bad for brains. So far, most of the supporting evidence for that has come from studying the brains of dead players. Today, we’re going to change that.
For more than two years, The Spectator has been involved in a unique collaboration with a team of McMaster University researchers. We’ve been conducting sophisticated brain scanning experiments on nearly two dozen retired CFL football players to measure the long-term impacts of concussions and repeated hits to the head.
We believe this is the first study anywhere to report findings from living former football players using such a wide array of tests.
The results are “shocking,” one of our experts said. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Meanwhile, In a span of less than a day, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats went from controversy to contrition over the hiring of disgraced former coach Art Briles.
Team owner Bob Young and CEO Scott Mitchell both apologized for adding Briles as assistant head coach on Monday, an offer that was rescinded following an outcry from fans and an intervention by the Canadian Football League.
“Clearly, what was being contemplated was totally unacceptable to the general public and the media,” Mitchell said Tuesday. “I think when we took a step back and had a chance to talk to the league and some of our partners and some of our fans, what we thought was an opportunity to give somebody a second chance was clearly not acceptable in relation to what had previously happened and what (Briles) had been involved with.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday July 12, 2017
After almost a decade of warnings that never came to pass, it appears as though the Bank of Canada is ramping up to hike its benchmark interest rate — possibly as soon as next week.
On July 12, Canada’s central bank will announce its latest decision on where to place its trend-setting interest rate, which has an impact on the rates that Canadian borrowers and savers get for their bank accounts, mortgages and other products.
Eight times a year, the bank’s board of governors meets to assess the latest economic indicators and decide whether Canada’s economy needs a shot in the arm from a rate cut, or a pump of the brakes by way of a hike.
And for the first time in 54 such meetings, it’s looking like the latter is in order.
It’s not like there haven’t been warning signs. By the time Stephen Poloz was named to replace Mark Carney atop the bank in 2013, the central bank had already been on the sidelines for more than two years, its benchmark interest rate set at one per cent.
But even as the bank kept loans cheap coming out of the financial crisis, the messaging from the top came early and often that Canadians should be forewarned — rates have to go up eventually.
As far back as 2014 Poloz warned Canadians that rates would rise “soon” — before oil’s plunge in 2015 caused the bank to lose its nerve. Instead, the central bank moved in the opposite direction, cutting rates twice that year to bring its rate to 0.5 per cent, where it currently sits.
At the time, those hikes were described as a temporary measure to help a Canadian economy that had been waylaid by an oil price that lost more than 70 per cent of its value in a matter of months. But in recent weeks the bank has started leaving clear signals that despite oil still being in the $40-per-barrel range, those temporary conditions are over and it’s time for a return to normalcy. (Source: CBC News)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday April 28, 2017
Hamilton’s contentious $1-billion LRT project has survived a high-stakes council vote to push ahead after last-minute provincial agreement to extend the light rail line to Eastgate Square.
Wednesday night’s 10-5 vote means provincial transit agency Metrolinx should be able to seek private sector bids to design, build and operate the project — now a 14-kilometre LRT line — as early as this summer.
It also appeared to convince at least some council opponents to pledge reluctant support to the project going forward, despite one last voting opportunity next year to derail LRT when council is asked to sign a final operating agreement.
“I hope that after today we come together as a council and say, we’re moving forward,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who acknowledged “frustration” among LRT supporters at apparent efforts to kill the project. “This has not been a short journey.”
Ward 5 Coun. Chad Collins, a vehement LRT critic, shocked observers by voting to submit the project study for provincial approval.
He made clear his preference would be to hold a referendum on LRT, but added by next year Metrolinx would have spent $80 million-plus on planning and property purchases. “There’s no turning back at that point,” he said.
Collins said he would continue to criticize the project as required, but also urged councillors to “make the best of a bad situation” and work together to ease challenges for affected residents. He warned the project will be a “gong show” if council and the community remain bitterly divided over LRT.
Ward 9 Coun. Doug Conley voted against submitting the study, but also served notice he would support council’s majority decision thereafter. “I really, really hope that it works out great … I have my doubts,” he said.
A late letter from Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca promising a three-kilometre line extension — but no new money — appeared to tip the scales for councillors like vocal LRT critic Terry Whitehead.
Whitehead was criticized by project fans for urging a vote delay earlier this month to investigate the feasibility of an Eastgate extension. He called inclusion of the commercial and transit “destination location” a critical way to strengthen the project for the whole city.
Del Duca said the province will “work with the city to explore ways to reduce costs to accommodate the extension” to Eastgate Square — the city’s original requested eastern end point — rather than stopping at the Queenston traffic circle.
He said project planners expect to reallocate savings from a recent decision to axe a spur line to the James Street North GO station, estimated at between $100 million and $125 million.
But Metrolinx has warned an Eastgate extension could cost anywhere from $150 million to $225 million. Del Duca’s letter doesn’t clearly spell out what would happen if the extension put the project over its $1-billion budget, but notes the change is contingent on “consideration of available funding to address any additional cost requirements, if necessary.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)