Many Canadians live in the comfortable belief that municipalities exist as a distinct level of government. But that’s not what the constitution says. Does a lack of autonomy make municipalities more vulnerable to corrupt practices?
Why do we find systemic corruption in municipal politics in Montreal? We will not get very far if we simply ascribe the institutionalized political corruption unearthed by the Charbonneau Commission to a character flaw in Quebecers or to some component of their political DNA.
Clearly Montreal and Quebec are not alone in North America when it comes to urban political corruption. With the Charbonneau Commission shedding light on the corrupt practices, setting the stage for appropriate sanctions and new regulations, Quebec is doing more than many other North American political jurisdictions about these problems.
Simpson has written numerous critical columns on the state of health care in Canada. He has not only been a reliable weathervane for the changing critique of medicare but, as a leading mainstream journalistic voice in English Canada, he also shapes the views of his readers. It is not surprising, therefore, that considerable attention has been lavished on his latest book, Chronic Condition.
Increases in life expectancy, low birth rates, low economic growth and volatile financial markets have turned pension policy into a prominent public issue in many industrialized countries. In recent years, all OECD countries have introduced pension reforms to ensure the sustainability and, to a lesser extent, preserve the generosity of earlier commitments.
Accordingly, the future financial sustainability of the welfare state in general and health care in particular is crucial to Swedish society. Several projections of future demographic developments indicate that the present organization, financing and functioning of the Swedish health care system will require a substantial increase in taxes. Will the aging population create financial strains that ultimately make it necessary to abandon universal access to health care?