The city put out street sweeping notices this morning, a sure sign of spring in Ottawa. I gathered numerous links this week—thanks in part to some tab cleaning—so let’s get into it:
- The cover story (ish—it was featured on the cover) in yesterday’s Globe and Mail is a fairly in-depth discussion of Canadian healthcare inefficiency—that is, directing existing money toward providing better care. I particularly liked the call-out that Canada does not have a healthcare system, but public health insurance—with patchy coverage at that. (I didn’t like the logically flawed line that “[COVID-19] restrictions were needed to protect hospitals, even though Canada’s per capita hospitalization rates have mostly been lower than those in Britain, the United States and France”, but I’ll leave that criticism as-is.) Thinking about structural solutions, yes!
- Two more interesting pieces on economics and public finances (can’t believe I’m writing those words): one, on the effects of inflation on higher education student loans; two, on who actually pays for roads (gas taxes are but a small part of the story—non-drivers actually subsidize drivers’ road use!). (The latter led me to CAA’s driving costs calculator, which seems to me a helpful input for reckoning about car ownership when budgeting.)
- Some good Twitter threads this week (threads aren’t really a medium, but also they’re kind of a medium?):
- In a concerning turn for freedom of information, a town in New Jersey sued a woman for filing about two records requests a month, saying they were “voluminous” and “burdensome”. An absolute waste of public funds to try to shut down attempts to access information like this.
- Researchers investigated modern-day buildings in Florence, finding remnants of San Pier Maggiore, a church deconstructed in the late 1700s—fascinating to see how its architectural details persist today, hundreds of years later, in the buildings that grew to replace it.
In non-web reading, I started Human Acts by Han Kang, for a book club with friends. It’s a good illustration of why we ought to be hesitant to call in the military for domestic operations—though the police aren’t really a better option. Sigh. Violence solves nothing. On a more optimistic note, the book’s also a good illustration of the importance of community—of stepping up to help others. Thank goodness for that.
All the best for the week ahead!