Why did Bank of Canada hike rate again? Summary release to explain decision 

WATCH: Cost of borrowing money goes up as the Bank of Canada increases its benchmark interest rate again

The Bank of Canada is set to publish its first summary of deliberations Wednesday, giving Canadians a peak into the governing council’s reasoning behind its decision to raise interest rates last month.

Following a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund, the central bank announced in September that it would begin releasing summaries about two weeks after an interest rate decision starting in 2023 in an effort to improve transparency.

“I think it’s a good idea. Most major central banks do release some kind of minutes or meeting summaries,” said Douglas Porter, BMO’s chief economist.

The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate for the eighth consecutive time since March on Jan. 25, bringing it to 4.5 per cent. At the time, the central bank signalled it would be taking a pause on any further hikes to let the impact of its aggressive hiking cycle sink in.

Wednesday’s summary is expected to shed light on what the governing council discussed while making that decision.

Giving insight into the deliberations is already common practice at the U.S. Federal Reserve, where meeting minutes are released three weeks following an interest rate decision.

Although the minutes can be insightful, Porter said they typically aren’t market-moving and instead serve as historical record.

The Bank of Canada hasn’t said much about what the summaries will look like, leaving the depth and format of the summaries to be discovered on Wednesday.

But Porter said he isn’t expecting them to match up with the detail offered by the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes.

The Bank of Canada’s governing council is responsible for the central bank’s monetary policy and consists of the governor, senior deputy governor and four deputy governors. Unlike the Federal Reserve, where the 12 members vote on interest rate decision, the governing council’s decisions are consensus-driven.

That means all members of the governing council come to the same decision at the end of deliberations.

Faced with higher borrowing costs, Canadians and businesses are expected to continue to pull back on spending in 2023, thereby slowing the economy and inflation.

Price growth has slowed in recent months, however, inflation is still well above the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target. In December, the annual inflation rate was 6.3 per cent.

After its quarter of a percentage point hike last month, the Bank of Canada made it clear that the pause on future rate hikes was conditional, keeping the door open to more increases if inflation isn’t tamed.

According to its latest monetary policy report, the central bank expects inflation to slow faster than it had previously anticipated. It’s forecasting the annual inflation rate will fall to three per cent by mid-2023 and to its two per cent target in 2024.

Central banks around the world have also been raising rates as countries struggle with high inflation.

Last week, the Federal Reserve hiked its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point and signalled more rate hikes should be expected. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced a half percentage point rate hike and said it will raise rates at least one more time.

Porter said the main question he’s hoping to see answered in the summary is whether the Bank of Canada is pausing interest rate hikes, or if they’re planning on jumping back in.

“It’ll be interesting to see whether they’re really set on staying on the sidelines, or whether this truly is just sort of a temporary waystation.”

“Maybe this summary could could help answer that question a little.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

3 police cruisers, 1 vehicle into hydro pole after crash in Brampton

Peel Regional Police say they are investigating after a vehicle crashed into a hydro pole and three police cruisers were involved.

Police said the crash happened near Clarence Street and Rutherford Road in Brampton at around 3:02 a.m. Monday.

Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries, police said.

In another update, police said five people were taken into custody.

It is unclear how exactly the crash happened.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

China slams U.S. for shooting down suspected spy balloon: 'Indiscriminate use of force'

WATCH: China threatens repercussions after U.S. shoots down spy balloon

China on Monday accused the United States of indiscriminate use of force in shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, saying it “seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing Sino-U.S. relations.”

The U.S. shot down the balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America. China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft.

Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said he lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. Embassy on Sunday over the “U.S. attack on a Chinese civilian unmanned airship by military force.”

“However, the United States turned a deaf ear and insisted on indiscriminate use of force against the civilian airship that was about to leave the United States airspace, obviously overreacted and seriously violated the spirit of international law and international practice,” Xie said.

The presence of the balloon in the skies above the U.S. dealt a severe blow to already strained U.S.-Chinese relations that have been in a downward spiral for years. It prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a high-stakes Beijing trip aimed at easing tensions.

Xie repeated China’s insistence that the balloon was a Chinese civil unmanned airship that blew into U.S. airspace by mistake, calling it “an accidental incident caused by force majeure.”

China will “resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, resolutely safeguard China’s interests and dignity and reserve the right to make further necessary responses,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden issued the shootdown order after he was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, U.S. officials said. Military officials determined that bringing down the balloon over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) would pose an undue risk to people on the ground.

“What the U.S. has done has seriously impacted and damaged both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing Sino-U.S. relations since the Bali meeting,” Xie said, referring to a recent meeting between Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Indonesia that many hoped would create positive momentum for improving ties that have plunged to their lowest level in years.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning provided no new details on Monday, repeating China’s insistence that the object was a civilian balloon intended for meteorological research, had little ability to steer and entered U.S. airspace by accidentally diverging from its course. She also did not say what additional steps China intended to take in response to Washington’s handling of the issue and cancellation of Blinken’s trip, which would have made him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have stated that this is completely an isolated and accidental incident caused by force majeure, but the U.S. still hyped up the incident on purpose and even used force to attack,” Mao said at a daily briefing. “This is an unacceptable and irresponsible action.”

Balloons thought or known to be Chinese have been spotted from Latin America to Japan. Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told reporters Monday that a flying object similar to the one shot down by the U.S. had been spotted at least twice over northern Japan since 2020.

“We are continuing to analyze them in connection with the latest case in the United States,” he said.

Mao confirmed that a balloon recently spotted over Latin American was Chinese, describing it as a civilian airship used for flight tests.

“Affected by weather and due to its limited self-control ability, the airship severely deviated from its set route and entered the space of Latin America and the Caribbean by accident,” Mao said.

Washington and Beijing are at odds over a range of issues from trade to human rights, but China is most sensitive over alleged violations by the U.S. and others of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Beijing strongly protests U.S. military sales to Taiwan and visits by foreign politicians to the island, which it claims as Chinese territory, to be recovered by force if necessary.

It reacted to a 2022 visit by then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by firing missiles over the island and staging threatening military drills seen as a rehearsal for an invasion or blockade. Beijing also cut off discussion with the U.S. on issues including climate change that are unrelated to military tensions.

Last week, Mao warned Pelosi’s successor, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, not to travel to Taiwan, implying that China’s response would be equally vociferous.

“China will firmly defend its sovereignty, security and development interests,” Mao said. McCarthy said China had no right to dictate where and when he could travel.

China also objects when foreign military surveillance planes fly off its coast in international airspace and when U.S. and other foreign warships pass through the Taiwan Strait, accusing them of being actively provocative.

In 2001, a U.S. Navy plane conducting routine surveillance near the Chinese coast collided with a Chinese fighter plane, killing the Chinese fighter pilot and damaging the American plane, which was forced to make an emergency landing at a Chinese naval airbase on the southern Chinese island province of Hainan. China detained the 24-member U.S. Navy aircrew for 10 days until the U.S. expressed regret over the Chinese pilot’s death and for landing at the base without permission.

The South China Sea is another major source of tension. China claims the strategically key sea virtually in its entirety and protests when U.S. Navy ships sail past Chinese military features there.

At a news conference Friday with his South Korean counterpart, Blinken said “the presence of this surveillance balloon over the United States in our skies is a clear violation of our sovereignty, a clear violation of international law, and clearly unacceptable. And we’ve made that clear to China.”

“Any country that has its airspace violated in this way I think would respond similarly, and I can only imagine what the reaction would be in China if they were on the other end,” Blinken said.

China’s weather balloon explanation should be dismissed outright, said Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert on Chinese military affairs and foreign policy at Stanford University.

“This is like a standard thing that countries often say about surveillance assets,” Mastro said.

China may have made a mistake and lost control of the balloon, but it was unlikely to have been a deliberate attempt to disrupt Blinken’s visit, Mastro said.

For the U.S. administration, the decision to go public and then shoot down the balloon marks a break from its usual approach of dealing with Beijing on such matters privately, possibly in hopes of changing China’s future behavior.

However, Mastro said, it was unlikely that Beijing would respond positively.

“They’re probably going to dismiss that and continue on as things have been. So I don’t see a really clear pathway to improved relations in the foreseeable future.”

AP journalists Tian Macleod Ji in Bangkok, Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and news assistant Caroline Chen in Beijing contributed this report.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Victim identified in alleged hit-and-run which Toronto police are treating as a homicide

Toronto police say an alleged hit-and-run that left one man dead in the city’s east end is now being treated as a homicide.

They say officers were called to the area of Danforth and Cedarvale Avenues shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday for reports of a person injured in a collision.

Police say the person hit by a vehicle was at a bar and the suspect was speaking with a group of people outside.

They allege the suspect left the scene, got into the driver’s seat of a vehicle and hit the person as he was walking along the sidewalk.

Police say the suspect left the scene in a dark-coloured SUV after the collision and say the pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

He was later pronounced dead and has been identified as Gabriel del Castillo Mullally, 25, of Toronto.

Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to come forward.

Toronto police tape off Danforth and Cedarvale Avenues.

Toronto police tape off Danforth and Cedarvale Avenues.

Marc Cormier / Global News

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Masking alone wouldn't have eased Ontario's respiratory virus surge in the fall: PHO document

RELATED: Rising hospitalizations raise the question about whether or not mask mandates should return

TORONTO — Introducing a mask mandate when respiratory viruses surged in the fall may not have eased the crush on pediatric hospitals, a Public Health Ontario science brief obtained by The Canadian Press concludes.

The brief — which was not proactively made public, unlike the reports done by the now-defunct science table predecessor — provides a glimpse of the evidence on which Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore made his decision to go no further than a “strong” recommendation on masking in mid-November.

The effects of masking on the transmission of COVID-19 are strong, the brief from late November notes. Mandates may not have produced more of a benefit than recommendations, its research suggests.

But with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, circulating at the time as well as COVID-19, the benefits of mask mandates became less clear for the group of experts.

“Current evidence suggests that adherence to masking, in addition to other layered measures such as self-screening, staying home when ill, and vaccination, are likely to prevent transmission of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 in children and youth, especially in indoor community settings where transmission is high,” the PHO document concludes.

“Given the number of respiratory viruses currently in circulation, there is less certainty about the potential magnitude of the effect on transmission.

“It is also uncertain whether potential decreases in transmission are sufficient to reduce pediatric emergency department visits, hospitalization, and ICU admission to preserve capacity within the health-care system.”

That brief settled the debate for the province’s top doctor.

“The body of evidence for strictly implementing a mask mandate wasn’t there,” Dr. Moore told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

“In no jurisdiction has there been a mandatory masking recommendation, nor has our expert panel recommended that to us.”

Moore said he does not see a mask mandate now or in the future.

In mid-November, Moore wasn’t so sure.

Respiratory viruses led to a massive surge in young patients who needed hospitalization. Intensive care units and emergency departments at the major children’s hospitals across the province saw historic volumes from October to December.

The surge forced children’s hospitals in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and London, Ont., to cancel surgeries in order to free up staff and beds to deal with the problem.

On Nov. 14, Moore held a news conference where he “strongly” recommended the public wear masks in indoor settings to protect children from circulating respiratory viruses. He said he was discussing and reviewing the possibility of mandating masks in schools again.

That same day, Moore’s office requested help from Public Health Ontario.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health requested a summary of evidence on the effectiveness of mask-wearing, particularly among children and youth, in the context of circulating influenza, RSV and COVID-19,” the brief said.

“Information about public acceptability of mask mandates was also requested.”

Ten days later, Public Health Ontario responded with a 14-page brief.

There was little evidence in scientific literature on the sole effects of masking on the transmission of influenza and RSV, it notes.

“We were unable to identify data on the effectiveness of community-level masking in preventing transmission of influenza or RSV,” the document says.

“However, widespread mask use in general or targeted populations may be expected to reduce the rate of transmission of viral respiratory pathogens in the community.”

The effects of masking on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is much stronger, the document notes, including evidence by the province’s now-defunct science table.

“It reported that mask mandates were associated with a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to schools without mask mandates,” the document says.

The brief references a Public Health Ontario synthesis of research in March 2022, which noted “positive effects of mask mandates in the community setting and reductions in COVID-19 case growth, hospitalizations and deaths. However, there was limited evidence to suggest greater effectiveness of mask mandates when compared to mask recommendations for the outcome of COVID-19 case rate reduction.”

The scientists also looked to Google to find any polling done on the public acceptability of mask mandates.

They found a Forum Poll conducted on Nov. 8 that showed 53 per cent of respondents agreed that a mask mandate should be re-implemented in Ontario. They also found a Nanos Research poll conducted for CTV News from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 that found 69 per cent of respondents would support the return of mask mandates to some extent.

The brief was never released publicly until The Canadian Press asked for it.

Public Health Ontario took a week to decide whether to release it, and the agency said it ultimately did in the interest of transparency. Public Health Ontario declined interview requests and only responded to questions through email.

“This document was not shared publicly as it was in response to a request from (Moore’s office) and not intended as a stand-alone document,” the email from PHO Media Relations said.

Moore did not answer a question about why the document was never made public.

The former scientific director of the old voluntary science table reviewed the brief after it was shared by The Canadian Press.

Dr. Fahad Razak called it an “even-handed assessment of the evidence.”

“It found what I believe to be true, which is that, in totality, the evidence suggests that masking does reduce spread in a school setting,” said Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a University of Toronto professor.

But Razak said the brief should have been made public when it was given to Moore in late November as debates around mask mandates swirled.

The former science table, which Public Health Ontario dissolved in September, published all of its work online at the same time it gave its reports and recommendations to the government, public health officials and the clinical community.

“As scientists and policy experts, we never believed that the decision was ours to make,” Razak said. “We believed that what was really important was providing timely information in a way that allowed best decisions to be made by the public and by decision makers,” he said.

Misinformation often occupies the space left in an information vacuum, Razak said.

“If you read the social media posts and the blogs and the concerns of people who distrust vaccines, for example, a lot of it stems from this idea that critical information is being kept behind closed doors,” he said.

“So that’s part of the thought process, which is driving misinformation and I think that’s one of the critical reasons why you want to establish transparency and timely reporting of data and analysis as a scientific body.”

The province’s new science table was formed under Public Health Ontario at the end of last year and Moore said it has only met a few times.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Conservatives launch radio ad campaign, taking on Trudeau over carbon tax

The federal Conservative party, flush with cash from a record haul in the fourth quarter of 2022, is launching a radio ad campaign in Atlantic Canada on Monday in which party leader Pierre Poilievre takes aim at the Trudeau government’s carbon tax.

The 30-second English-language radio spot, provided to Global News, will also air later in northern Ontario and in northern B.C. A French-language radio spot has also been produced on the same topic. A party source declined to say how much money it will spend purchasing time on radio stations other than to say it’s “a significant buy.”

While all parties and party leaders have been busy over the last several months on their own social media channels pushing their messages, the Conservative radio spots are the first paid ads from any party to appear on legacy media platforms since Poilievre was elected leader of the Conservatives last September.

The English-language version of the ad is voiced by Poilievre himself and the ad’s script targets what the Conservatives call “the costly coalition of the NDP and the Liberals” and the planned increase in the federal government’s so-called price on carbon pollution, a price which its political opponents call “the carbon tax.”

Atlantic Canadians, more than those in other provinces, rely on oil to heat their homes. The push from the federal Conservatives lines up with a similar message being pushed by the Progressive Conservative government in Nova Scotia. “A carbon tax will not help the planet and it will hurt Nova Scotians,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said last fall.

The Liberals, not the NDP, are the Conservative’s chief opponents in Atlantic Canada but in northern Ontario and northern B.C., Conservatives may look to be unseating New Democrat MPs like Charlie Angus in Timmins—James Bay or Taylor Bachrach in Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

The Conservatives hold eight of the 32 seats in the four Atlantic Canada provinces. The NDP hold none. The Liberals hold 24. When Stephen Harper won his majority in 2011, the Conservatives won 12 seats in Atlantic Canada. The Poilievre Conservatives will likely want to match or exceed that in order to form government in the next general election.

In the nine Ontario ridings north of the line running from North Bay through Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie, the Liberals hold six, the NDP two and the Conservatives one. In the three northernmost ridings in B.C., the Conservatives hold two and the NDP’s Bachrach holds the other.

Ever since Poilievre took over as leader, Conservatives have been attacking what he and his MPs call the “Liberal-NDP coalition” even though there is no coalition in the technical Parliamentary sense. But last year, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Prime Justin Trudeau did sign what they called a Supply-and-Confidence Agreement in which the NDP agreed to support the minority Liberals on any confidence votes until June 2025 and, in return, the governing Liberals promised to take action on certain priorities identified by the NDP, including on housing, universal pharmacare, and universal dental care.

On Facebook, current paid advertising by the Conservatives has focused on attacking the Trudeau Liberals on crime and bail reform; advocating against Bill C-11 and for freedom of expression; making appeals for funds for election readiness; as well as attacking the carbon tax.

The Conservatives can well afford almost any ad campaign they choose. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the party set an all-time record for fundraising by any party in a non-election quarter, raising $9.7 million in the three-month period ending Dec. 31. While federal law limits the amount parties can spend on political advertising during an election and for the period just ahead of a fixed-date election, parties are free to spend as much as they want on advertising outside of an election period.

No other party is believed to have purchased paid advertising on television, radio, in newspapers, or in other traditional media outlets. All parties, though, engage in paid advertising on social media channels.

The current paid advertising by the Liberal Party on Facebook is largely free of anything that could be described as critical of any other party. The Liberals are running ads touting their housing policies and ads which encourage party members to attend a party convention in June.

New Democrats, too, are not running critical ads on Facebook. Instead, the party’s current ad inventory features ads pushing its focus on affordable housing policies.

Facebook is alone among social media platforms in providing details about paid advertisements from political parties or candidates.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Campaign sees Guelph-Kitchener eateries promote local beef producers and help local food banks

Some local restaurants are coming together to help fight hunger and promote Canadian beef.

More than 90 restaurants across Canada are taking part in a national campaign called Burger It Forward organized by Canada Beef during the month of February.

According to a news release, the goal is to ‘beef up’ the protein portion of food bank offerings and to support local food producers and businesses as well.

“Canada Beef is working with provincial beef cattle associations,” said Joyce Parslow, executive director of consumer marketing at Canada Beef. “We are also working with local restaurants to help them recover from the pandemic.”

The restaurants that are participating in Burger it Forward across Canada are either locally or regionally owned. Parslow says while there have been fundraisers involving restaurants selling meals, this one is rather unique.

“I think this the first one that is kind of a ‘kumbaya’ kind of moment where community restauranteurs come together for an effort to raise money for food banks.”

Of the 43 participating restaurants in Ontario, five are from Guelph and two are from each of Kitchener and Elora: the 100 Mile Grille, Borealis Grille and Bar (in both Guelph and Kitchener), Park Eatery, the Badley, the Evelyn, the Lab Street Eats, the Works and the Wooly Pub.

“As restaurants, one of our responsibilities is supporting local producers,” said Jenna Snyder, marketing director for the Neighbourhood Group, the Guelph company that operates the Wooly Pub, Park Eatery and Borealis, as well as Miijidaa. “Local producers, local farmers, our food economy and our food future is vital.”

Co-owner of the Lab, Mike Gatto, says for him, taking part in this initiative was a no-brainer.

“One of the things we are passionate about is community,” said Gatto. “Being able to find ways to give not only local establishments some extra exposure, but anything to give back to the community is incredibly important to us.”

Each restaurant will designate one burger on its menu for the campaign. The Wooly Pub is serving up the Beef Smoky.

“It is the epitome of a local burger,” said Snyder. “Almost every component comes right from our backyard.”

The Lab is submitting the Just a Badass Cheeseburger.

“It’s one of those big, get-your-hands-messy, warm-your-belly, comfort food kind of burgers,” said Gatto.

To see the full list of the participating restaurants and their featured burgers, go to burgeritforward.ca/ontario.

Canada Beef will donate the equivalent of one meal to Food Banks Canada for every designated burger sold, up to a maximum of 20,000 meals (based on Food Banks Canada’s meal metric: $1 = two meals). Provincial beef cattle farmer and rancher associations in each participating region that have joined in the campaign will be making donations to regional food banks with a donation of either ground beef or cash.

In addition, Canada Beef is giving away a $500 pre-paid Visa gift card to one lucky winner who takes a photo of one the Burger It Forward burgers and posts it to their Instagram account using the hashtag #BurgerItForward and tagging @lovecdnbeef.

“Try one burger, try two burgers, try them all,” said Parslow. “It is an opportunity for people to get and celebrate the burger, and have a good time.”

The Burger It Forward campaign runs until Feb. 28.

 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Majority of Canadians support private options for health care, poll shows

WATCH: As the country's health-care system continues to buckle, an increasing number of Canadians are saying they support private health care in addition to the public system, revealed a poll by Ipsos. As Katherine Ward reports, that number is around 60 per cent.

As some provinces turn to the private sector to address pressures in the health-care system, a new poll suggests more Canadians than ever are open to the idea of private delivery of health care.

The Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News between Jan. 19 and Jan. 23, 2023 found 59 per cent of the 1,001 adults surveyed expressed support for the private delivery of publicly-funded health services.

Sixty per cent of respondents were also in favour of private health care for those who can afford it.

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, says in the 30 years he has studied public opinion in Canada, he has never seen such a shift in support toward privatization.

“This is the first time I can recall in which you actually got numbers like that, where you’d have a majority of Canadians saying they’re open to considering private methods of delivery,” he told Global News.

Until now, maintaining Canada’s public health-care system has been a “cornerstone” of Canadian politics and any mention of privatization has been met with strong resistance — even repulsion — and has elicited fears of moving toward an American-style system of access, he said.

But given that a vast majority of Canadians surveyed, 85 per cent, now say they believe “drastic changes” are needed in the health system to meet the needs of the community, attitudes toward privatization appear to be shifting, Bricker said.

“Where we are now is, people are feeling that the system is so challenged that they’re open to considering other types of options.”

But when it comes to how to pay for such a shift in health-care delivery, there does not appear to be a strong consensus.

Only 48 per cent of respondents believed the needed funds should come from the introduction of new user fees for private health services, according to the poll results.

Regionally, Quebec residents were most open to private health care options, the data showed, including strong support for private care for those who are able to pay. This idea had the support of 75 per cent of Quebecers surveyed, which is 15 points higher than the national average.

Quebec residents also showed more openness to increased user fees to fund additional health-care investments at 62 per cent.

The results come ahead of a meeting Tuesday between the premiers and prime minister over health funding. The premiers have been calling on the federal government to increase their share of health costs to 35 per cent from the current 22 per cent.

According to the polling, most Canadians believe the provinces can free up more money to allocate toward health care. Three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents said the health-care system needs more money and it should come from provincial governments cutting spending elsewhere.

The results also showed six in 10 respondents (59 per cent) believe that provinces should show the federal government a plan on how they will deliver better care to get more federal dollars, whereas 41 per cent believe provinces should decide how to spend the needed health-care funds without any conditions.

Despite high levels of concern over access to health services, only one-third of those surveyed said they would be willing to go to the United States for routine health care if they needed it, and a smaller number – 29 per cent – would travel to the U.S. for emergency care.

However, younger Canadians in the 18-34 age range were more likely to say they’d travel to and pay for care in America and those who identified as “Gen Z” and “Millennial” were more likely to support the idea of private health-care delivery options.

Bricker noted that while it’s clear younger Canadians appear to be more open to privatization, older respondents — especially those over 55 — were less supportive.

“Older people … the people who are most likely to vote, are the ones that are most firmly attached to the system that we have today,” he said.

Dr. Rita McCracken, a family physician and assistant professor in the department of family practice at the University of British Columbia, said she is not surprised to see so many Canadians wanting change in health care, given the nationwide shortages of nurses and family doctors that have led to significant wait times for care in virtually every part of the system.

But she says those who may believe privatization could address the current problems may not understand that Canada does not have an unlimited number of doctors and nurses to staff private hospitals and clinics.

Canada has a fixed number of health-care resources — a reality that is a big part of the problem in the public system, she said.

“If we go to a private model, well, those people who can afford to pay for the private access will get better access,” she said. “But we are not going to be able to manufacture more doctors, more hospitals, more health services, so the people who have trouble right now getting access to service are going to have an even bigger problem getting access to those services.”

Introducing more private delivery of health care could also present a moral dilemma for many doctors, who will have to decide which system to work in, McCracken added.

“Am I going to work in the private system, where work might be easier, I might get paid more, but I know that I’m seeing a very elite group of patients – or am I going to work in the public system where increasingly resources are going to become more difficult to access, which we’ve seen in other jurisdictions internationally where we have this public-private divide?”

After spending years researching health systems and health-care delivery, McCracken says there are “mountains of evidence” showing the most economical and fairest way to deliver health care is through a single-payer, public system.

“It shouldn’t matter who you are, how much money you have (when it comes to) the quality of health care that you’re going to get,” she said.

“That has become a value that Canadians have identified with for decades … It’s not the right way — to say if you’re richer, you can have better health.”

Meanwhile, as more than five million Canadians struggle to access primary care due to a lack of a family doctor, a majority of people support expanding virtual care.

Eight in 10 respondents said they would support more virtual care options for services provided by a family doctor.

— with files from Global News reporter Katherine Ward

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between Jan. 19-23, 2023, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Woman dead, man seriously injured in Guildford apartment, IHIT called in

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has been called in after a woman was found dead and a man was found seriously injured in a Surrey apartment Sunday evening.

The man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Surrey Fire Service first discovered the scene at an apartment near 102A Avenue and 149th Street in Guildford just after 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Surrey Fire Service was on scene responding to a fire alarm and sprinkler activation in the building when they located the parties,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Vanessa Munn said in a statement.

“Police are currently in the evidence gathering stage; however, do not believe that there is any ongoing risk to public safety,” Munn added.

Surrey Fire confirmed no fire was in the building but said due to the sprinklers going off, all residents were forced to evacuate for an undetermined amount of time.

Anyone with informationis asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or email ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Penticton RCMP confirm body of missing senior, Doreen Abbott, has been discovered

Penticton RCMP confirms that the body of 89-year-old Doreen Abbott has been discovered.

The senior has been missing for the past 10 days.

Abbott left her home on the evening of Jan. 27 to visit a friend, but she did not arrive.

Her car was found a couple of days later on Greyback Mountain Road.

RCMP believes Abbott turned up the road by mistake, and her car got stuck in the snow.

Late Sunday afternoon, RCMP issued a news release stating that Abbott’s body had been located.

Police are continuing to investigate, but criminality is not suspected.

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