Mental health, substance use and COVID19: Getting ahead of a perfect storm

What can we expect from the combination of social isolation, sky-high stress, job losses, food and housing insecurity, grief, closures of regular services and supports, access to cannabis and alcohol, and an overwhelmed and preoccupied health care system? A perfect storm for mental health and substance use issues, at a…
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Getting a grip on essential medical supplies

A version of this blog was published as an op ed in the Toronto Star.  Canadians won a reprieve when the Trump administration and 3M, a leading manufacturer of N-95 respirators, struck a deal allowing the company to continue supplying customers in Canada and Latin America. The U.S.-based multinational will…
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Face to face with COVID-19: How do we care for care workers? 

In the midst of a global pandemic, are workers in long-term care (LTC) and home care in Ontario getting the support they need to do their jobs and get home safely? No, they’re not. Not by a long shot. These workers are on the front lines of the battle against…
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The COVID-19 budget: Queen’s Park takes a stand

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips presented his Economic and Fiscal Update at Queen’s Park today, tabling the Ford government’s battle plan to combat the health and economic crises brought on by the accelerating spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world. Phillips’ intervention is a big one. Today’s update includes…
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COVID-19 crisis response must address gender faultlines

With each passing day, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming into sharper view. Cancelled events, shuttered offices, suspended classes—we are all affected. There is mounting pressure on families and communities, on Canada’s economy and the key support systems in place to protect us.  Women are at the forefront…
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Bold Action in an Extraordinary Time

The coronavirus has brought about a global public health and economic crisis with breathtaking speed. In Canada we are entering a time of emergency on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend or anticipate. The pandemic has quickly exposed the gaping holes in our social safety net—particularly with respect…
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Federal support package: the pros, the cons, and the next shoe to drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure…
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COVID-19: Nurses need support from next week’s Ontario budget statement

On March 17, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mandating the immediate closure of everything—from recreation centres and public libraries to restaurants and bars—until March 31. Prohibiting public gatherings of 50 people or more, the Ford government also shared a breakdown of…
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AFB2020 as COVID-19 policy response: A plan to protect workers and the public from an unprecedented crisis

Canada and countries across the globe face a daunting challenge with the advent of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a pandemic, as countries the world over try to contain the spread and health authorities race to treat casualties under incredible pressure. These are not…
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