A civil society needs to hold government to account

At all of our Town Hall and Roundtable events in St. Paul’s we benefit from hearing from the knowledgeable people who work in organizations in our community dedicated to identifying the real needs of our citizens and our global responsibilities, and to finding real solutions. From Dying with Dignity, to Community Living, the Cancer Society and SPRINT, these organizations contribute to finding better policies, and deliver real supports and services. There is also a crescendo of concerned voices across Canada warning us we are going to have to totally rebuild civil society in Canada.

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New budget unveils plan to build up Ontario

The new provincial budget follows through on our government’s long-term plan to build Ontario up through infrastructure investment and economic growth. It’s not simply a breakdown of taxes and spending for another year. It’s an important checklist of goals and priorities to get our province moving, and for which our government will be held accountable.

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Necessary conversations for better end-of-life policies

On Feb. 6 the unanimous Supreme Court of Canada ruling extended the “sanctity of life” provision in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the “passage into death.” This is huge. As Sean Fine reported in the Globe and Mail, it puts Canada in the company of a small group of countries that permit doctor-assisted death. But we will not get this right without listening to Canadians.

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A clean, prosperous Ontario means tackling climate change

The health of our children and the future of our planet hinge in part on our ability to confront climate change and alter the way we consume energy. That may sound dramatic, but science and weather patterns have shown us there is no time left to delay. Curbing the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing politicians and policy makers around the world.

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A salute to my amazing role models

As a little girl, I didn’t really understand feminism. I lived it and wasn’t exposed to the need to fight for it. In our family, my mother was a very dominant force. My sister and I were always surrounded by amazing women, most of whom had never married after the war, and all of whom inspired us with their impressive careers — professor, actuary, travel agent, banker, educator.

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Tobacco hurts everybody, not just smokers

As we approach the new year, many Ontarians will want to make a change and embrace a more healthy lifestyle. For many that will include quitting cigarette smoking. If you are planning to quit smoking, that’s excellent news. Not only will you feel healthier and happier, but you will have a lot more disposable income that you won’t be spending on cigarettes.

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