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Knowledge Exchange > Health Policy and Systems > Policy eUpdate > Posts > News — March 26, 2012
News — March 26, 2012


  • “New chair of Mental Health Commission sees wave of interest in mental illness”
    (Globe and Mail)
    “Renowned psychiatrist David Goldbloom has been named the new chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. He takes over from Michael Kirby, who led the MHCC since its inception in 2007. The former senator said he will remain active in the field. In the coming days he will officially launch a new group, Partners for Mental Health, a coalition he hopes will spur a social movement that rivals breast cancer in terms of public visibility and political influence. “We’re finally getting mental illness out of the shadows forever,” he said.”
  • “Ontario health agencies call for strong measures to tackle chronic illness”
    (Toronto Star)
    “Two provincial health agencies are calling for hiking tobacco taxes, banning smoking on bar and restaurant patios, setting minimum prices for alcoholic beverages and making phys-ed mandatory right through high school. The sweeping recommendations, contained in a report from Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario for release Tuesday, are aimed at addressing the high percentage of deaths in Ontario (79 percent) related to chronic but largely preventable illnesses. These include some cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes.”
  • “Ontario won’t ban patio smoking, says Deb Matthews”
    (Toronto Star)
    “Ontario won’t ban smoking on bar and restaurant patios, Health Minister Deb Matthews says, despite a push to do so by two health agencies. “It’s not something under active consideration right now but I know many municipalities are looking at strengthening the anti-smoking provisions,” she said Tuesday after calls for action from Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario.”
  • “Senate considers legalizing single sporting event betting”
    “Canadians who want to throw down a few dollars on the Leafs vs. the Habs — or any other single sporting event — could soon do so legally, thanks to the efforts of a Conservative senator and a New Democrat MP. A private member’s bill sponsored by Ontario Sen. Bob Runciman would overturn the section of the Criminal Code that prevents wagering on the outcome of a single race, fight or game.”
  • “Ontario health, university executives brace for budget pay freeze” 
    (Globe and Mail)
    “Hospital, university and electricity utility executives in Ontario are bracing for a pay freeze covering all aspects of their compensation, including bonus pay, in Tuesday’s provincial budget. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan signalled at a pre-budget photo-op on Monday that he is looking at extending a two-year freeze introduced in 2010 for all public-sector workers in the province who do not bargain collectively. He suggested that the freeze will be broader this time around, covering not just salaries but also bonuses and other incentive pay for CEOs and other executives.”
  • “Ontario budget: Child benefit increase being delayed and social assistance rates frozen”
    (Toronto Star)
    “Social assistance rates are being frozen and a planned increase in the Ontario Child Benefit delayed as the province tries to reduce its $16 billion deficit, Premier Dalton McGuinty says. McGuinty warned that Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s budget on Tuesday will be the “toughest” since the Liberals were elected in 2003. But on Sunday, the Premier stressed that “we are not prepared to balance this budget on the backs of families who may find themselves in difficult circumstances for the time being or on the backs of our children.”
  • “CMHA Ontario makes recommendations for social assistance reforms”
    (CMHA Mental Health Notes)
    “Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario) has responded to the Social Assistance Review Commission's second paper, "Options for Reform" with 13 recommendations in the Commission's five areas of interest. CMHA Ontario structured their submission to respond to many, but not all, of the Commission's questions with regards to the options they proposed for possible reforms to the current social assistance system in Ontario.”


  • “British Prime Minister proposes minimal alcohol pricing to reduce drinking”
    (Join Together)
    British Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed that the United Kingdom set a minimum price for alcohol, in an effort to reduce problem drinking. He is proposing that British retailers charge a minimum of 40 pence (63 cents) per unit of alcohol, according to The Wall Street Journal. A bottle of wine generally contains nine or more units of alcohol, the article notes.