Will a sympathy vote save COVID’s new poster boy from the wrath of American voters?

George Will, the great Washington Post political columnist, has a way with words. Consider the opening sentence from his column on the ghastly Donald Trump-Joe Biden debate last week:

“The putrescence of America’s public life was pitilessly displayed Tuesday when, for 98 minutes, whatever remains of the nation’s domestic confidence and international stature shriveled like a brittle autumn leaf.”

Covering Trump and the 2020 U.S. Election (Part 1)

With all eyes on the presidential election in the United States, we have put together a series of blog posts on important aspects of the campaign. First in our three-part presidential election primer is an examination of the challenges facing journalists covering an extraordinary politician like President Donald Trump by Bruce Gillespie. Bruce is the chair of Wilfrid Laurier’s Digital Media and Journalism program and an accomplished journalist and author.

Covering Trump and the 2020 U.S. Election (Part 1)

National standards for long-term care are coming, eventually

“The situation for too many people in long-term care homes is unacceptable. It’s time for it to change and it will change. So we will start working as of today with the provinces and territories in order to establish new national standards for long-term care.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sept. 23, 2020.

No election for Canada. Nothing but trouble for the United States

With a fall election no longer in the cards, much of the drama has leeched out of the return of Parliament and the Speech from the Throne on Wednesday.
MPs, in attendance physically or virtually, will find the capital in mourning and flags at half-mast to mark the passing on the weekend of former prime minister John Turner who is well remembered as a great House of Commons man.

Let’s go down the rabbit hole with the Conservative leadership race

“’Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Today’s Conservative Party of Canada is a curious movement. Even curiouser are its leadership race and its upcoming pair of television debates – French on Wednesday, English on Thursday.

The debates, to be broadcast from Toronto, may be the only opportunities for national audiences to take the measure of the four candidates who are vying to take on Justin Trudeau in the next federal election. Voting by ranked preferential ballot is to take place in August.

Will the hard lessons of the pandemic be lost in the preoccupation with recovery?

Political and public attention is shifting from stopping COVID-19 to the delicate and uncertain challenge of recovering from it – to returning daily life to something close to what it was pre-pandemic and to getting the economy firing on all cylinders again.

In British Columbia, for-profit nursing homes spend $10,000 less per patient for care than non-profit homes.

Last week, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government gave itself the power to take over temporary management of long-term care homes that are unable to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

One might ask why Ontario waited so long. British Columbia, which has been more successful in holding off the coronavirus, made the same move six weeks earlier.

Urgent: Forget the expense, screw the profits. Fix long-term care!

Forest Heights Long-Term Care Centre in Kitchener, a for-profit nursing home, is at the epicentre of the COVID-19 crisis in Ontario’s Waterloo Region. As of last Thursday night, 45 Forest Hill patients had died.

That was 45 of 98 deaths in the region, which encompasses the cities of Cambridge and Waterloo, as well as Kitchener. To put it another way, one nursing home was responsible for 45 out of 79 deaths in all the long-term care (LTC) homes in the three cities.

Why for-profit nursing homes are especially dangerous in a pandemic

Public officials in Canada, as in other countries, are turning their attention from self-isolation, social distancing and keeping businesses shuttered to strategies for a cautious reopening of society.

They see a flattening in the curve of new cases of COVID-19. They feel growing pressure from cooped-up families, from 7 million unemployed workers and from business owners to let the country return to normal.

A pandemic lesson: Make long-term care part of the public hospital system

“In Canada, we shouldn’t have soldiers taking care of seniors. In the weeks and months to come, we will all have to ask tough questions about how it came to this.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, April 23, 2020.

Questions are good. Answers would be better.

Opinion-Policy Nexus is a forum of opinion and commentary on topics related to public opinion and public policy. Views expressed in any blog entry are those of the author and do not reflect LISPOP's positions.


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