Within hours of being sworn in as Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott provided a small example of how the “efficiencies” that some are equating with draconian cutbacks can be achieved relatively painlessly. By tinkering with the so-called OHIP “Plus” plan, Elliott has left the intention of the plan intact—namely that no one under 25 should be without supplementary health coverage for prescriptions, while saving the taxpayers some money. Under the hastily cobbled-together Wynne plan the government program covered all under 25-ers—even those who were already covered by parent’s insurance. That made the plan more of a gift to insurance companies than to young Ontarians. Under the revised plan the government will become the second insurer, behind any existing private insurer. That seems to be a sensible approach. At a time when resources are scarce it is important that our social safety net funds go to those who actually need the assistance.
Municipal Severance needs review
For the dozens of Liberal MPPs who were defeated last month, there is not a lot of good news. But one comfort they will realize is that they will be receiving severance packages which will bridge them in to the next phase of their lives. Ontario politicians get severance equivalent to six months pay for less than four years service, one year’s pay for more than four years and less than eight years, and 18 month’s pay for more than eight years service . This gives a former member an opportunity to lick their wounds for a while and then get on with finding new opportunities. We think it is reasonable. We also think something similar should exist at the municipal level, if for no other reason than to encourage some new blood.