Thursday, December 30, 2010


Monday, December 20, 2010

Discrimination behind wage gap for immigrants? Although there is no single obvious explanation for lower pay, race issue can’t be ignored: Social scientist -

As analysts dissect the data to figure out why it is that newcomers to Canada these days are having a much harder time than previous generations of immigrants, they're bumping up against an uncomfortable answer.
Discrimination, they say reluctantly, can’t be completely ruled out. For 30 years, the landing for newcomers to Canada has become steadily rougher.
In the 1980s, the source countries for many of Canada's immigrants were in flux, shifting away from traditional English-speaking or European countries, and more towards Asia,says social scientist Arthur Sweetman at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Language and cultural barriers were, and continue to be, a set-back for immigrants hoping to close the earnings gap with Canadian-born workers, he says.
In the 1990s, immigrants were hit extra hard by the recession.
The widening gap of the early 2000s can be explained mainly by the dotcom bust. Canada had imported large quantities of technology workers during
the boom, who were left high and dry when the market suddenly turned.


Part of the answer is that Canadian employers are often suspicious of foreign credentials and experience. So immigrants who, on paper, look equivalent to Canadians in education and background, aren't valued as highly, says Mikal Skuterud at the University of Waterloo.

And part of the answer is that immigrants don't have the networks and links to good jobs that Canadian-born workers have established, Skuterud said.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Study says Alberta's health care system far from being patient-friendly

Lengthening waits for cancer therapy, surgery and specialist appointments make Alberta's health-care system one of the poorest in the country for patients, says a new study by a market-oriented think-tank.

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy found the province scored seventh of 10 provinces for the consumer-friendliness of its health system, despite the fact the government spends more per capita on care than any other jurisdiction besides Newfoundland.

"It raises serious questions about whether resources are being spent efficiently in Alberta," says the study's author Ben Eisen, "and it's a clear indication that you can't solve the problem with health care simply by throwing money at it."

Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick finished at the top of the third annual Canada Health Consumer Index because of waits that were shorter than the national average and patient outcomes that equalled or bettered the national standard. Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan were next.

Alberta's score equalled Nova Scotia, and was marginally better than Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Only better than average rates of in hospital mortality prevented Alberta from ending up at the bottom of the pile, the report said.

The province also scored poorly for access to a family doctor, patient satisfaction and online reporting of MRI and CT scan wait times.

In addition to wait times and patient outcomes, the Winnipeg-based group looked at patient rights and information, primary care and the range of service offered to arrive at its scores.

The Alberta government will spend $4,295 per capita on health care this year, compared to a national average of $3,663. Ontario, which was top-ranked in the Frontier Centre study, will spend $3,548 per person.

Eisen says none of the provinces scores as well as most European countries. He said Canada should consider patient-based funding models for hospitals to shorten waits and improve outcomes.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010