In Brief: Transit report cards, funding for women's shelters and a dental care option

In Brief: Transit report cards, funding for women’s shelters and a dental care option

Transit advocacy group TTCriders handed out its report cards and were critical of both the PCs and, to a lesser extent, the Liberals. The straphanger group gave Wynne two red ratings of "derailed" (that's bad) on funding TTC service and keeping transit public. Wynne also earned two yellow "needs improvement" ratings on the other two categories, lowering fares and building more transit. The advocacy group supported lowered costs on UPX and GO, but disapproved of not picking up operating costs for the TTC.

But the group saved its harshest criticism for the PCs, and awarded them four "derailed" ratings, citing the party's lack of stable funding.

Of the three major parties, TTCriders gave the best rating to the NDP, which earned three checkmarks and one "needs improvement." But to give a bit more context the group's founding executive director, Jessica Bell, is running for the Dippers in downtown Toronto.

The governments of Canada and Ontario made a joint announcement today to say that they are spending more than $7 million to support survivors of domestic violence in the province. The funds will be allocated to two specialized shelters, Green Haven Shelter for Women in Orillia and Minwaashin Lodge, a 21-bed facility for Indigenous women and families in Ottawa.

Michael Coteau, the Minister of Community and Social Services, stated that the funding will make a difference for vulnerable women. "Funding announced today will allow two shelters in the province to make significant investments so that women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence will have access to services that are dedicated to helping them begin rebuilding their lives."

The C.D. Howe Institute has released a report arguing that it should be a "public option" to help fill in the gaps when it comes to dental care. Cheekily called "Filling the Cavities," the report warns that if the issue isn't tackled now, the consequences will only get worse. "Many Canadians today, including most of the working poor and the retired, are covered neither by government programs nor by private insurance. Lack of coverage is likely to worsen in the next decade as the baby boom generation retires and loses insurance coverage, and as more Canadians work in the gig economy, where insurance benefits are rare," stated report co-author Åke Blomqvist.

The authors argue that "a mixed model with competition between private and public insurance," would be the best way to address gaps in the system, adding that "increased competition could help make the dentistry sector more efficient."

Dental care will likely be an election issue, with the Liberals offering additional subsidies and the NDP arguing the Grit plan isn't comprehensive enough.

David Hains

QP Briefing Reporter

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