Tag: Canada

Transportation Issue: Public Transportation

Transportation Issue: Public Transportation

Good evening,

The issue I wish to discuss is public transportation and if the government, both provincial and federal, should be increasing the amount of spending in this area. I will be focusing on larger cities where public transportation is more widely used.

The main argument for public transportation is that it allows for the mass transit of individuals that would then not be using other modes of transportation such as gasoline powered cars, bicycles, walking and so forth. Without looking into specific studies, it should be common sense that the more humans riding public transit such as trains and buses, the fewer the number of other vehicles out on the roads. This means less harmful emissions, less congestion and more money that is kept in your pocket.

A monthly bus pass in large cities in Canada seem to cost around $100, significantly less money than it would take to gas up, maintain and park a car in a crowded urban environment. However, the trade off is time and convenience. Buses and trains are on specific schedules, stopping at specific places on specific days, which may change depending on if it is a holiday or if a major event is going on such as a hockey game or a concert. For many this is inconvenient and you would need to actively plan your day around them; it is a headache but not something completely outlandish.

For those who have never owned a car, this is just a fact of life and they just accept that this is the way that it is. For those who own a car and may be forced to use public transit due to a collision or loss of a job, the loss of that freedom to go wherever, whenever they want is astounding. Those with the luxury of having a steady job and sustainable lifestyle will likely not hesitate to spend the extra bit of money to own a car rather than ride public transit. For many humans, this is just not possible.

Therefore, I believe that the government should increase spending on public transportation to aid those who are less fortunate and may not be able to spend the money on a vehicle but still need to keep to a busy schedule. I do not believe that this will have much of an impact on current vehicle owners, other than having to be taxed slightly more. It is also possible that changing public transit significantly enough will actually draw in regular car owners, even if it is only for five days a week going to and from work.

One of the biggest examples for how properly fantastic public transport can be is Europe, in general, and Japan. Bullet trains, ferries, buses along with great energy efficiency and scheduling make these places some of the best in the world to live without a personal vehicle. The scheduling in Japan is so precise that two seconds off course for the bullet train makes international headlines.

The environmental impact of more energy efficient, electric or hybrid public transit alone should give the government enough reason to seriously consider the increased spending, at the very least in large metropolitan areas.

-IntellectForSale

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Domestic Policy Issue: Net Neutrality

Domestic Policy Issue: Net Neutrality

Good evening,

The next issue I will be discussing is net neutrality; this is the principle that internet service providers treat data on the internet the same and not give any special treatment to websites regardless of the user, content, etc.

I believe that internet service providers should not be allowed to speed up access to popular websites regardless of the fact of their owners paying a higher rate. This would allow traffic to be diverted away from less popular websites, where owners pay a lower rate, to more popular websites, even if the less popular website has the content the user actually needs.

The internet can be a great place and is a vast system filled with ideas and information that the world has not seen the likes of in the past as it is in its form today. While the internet has a dark and light side, we will only be discussing net neutrality and even so, only briefly.

Large corporations should not be able to use their wealth and power to sway or intimidate the changing of opinions and the actions of smaller corporations or service providers into doing something that would benefit them; either directly or indirectly. The service provider should be responsible for keeping a level playing field among all.

This is especially important when it comes to creating competition among corporations to sell their product or idea to consumers. If a larger corporation has an edge just because it can pay more to these service providers and divert traffic away from smaller businesses starting up, then consumers will not be getting all the information that could lead to a more thought out and well informed decision on how to proceed. Corporations have been found in the past to slow down file sharing, limit access to certain applications created by competitors and restricting access to certain websites altogether in an attempt to boost their own web pages.

Another problem is that if we do not have complete net neutrality then this could lead to humans around the globe having access to mostly biased, ill-researched and poorly presented information and ideas. This could create confusion and help spread bad or downright wrong information to others, and the affects could be quite damaging, depending of course on the type of information one may be looking for.

If one corporation cannot keep up with the market and cannot generate new and exciting products for consumers, then it should not be allowed to pay internet service providers more money to hinder its competition. If a sports team can no longer compete at the top level to win a championship, then it has no business purposely taking out other teams and hindering their progress; if you cannot compete adequately then you deserve to be at the bottom of the food chain.

-IntellectForSale

 

Healthcare Issue: Dental Coverage

Healthcare Issue: Dental Coverage

Good evening,

The next issue I will be discussing is that of dental coverage and if preventative dental care should be covered under Canada’s universal health plan.

Unfortunately for many Canadians, dental is not covered under the current universal health plan. Many Canadians cannot afford the high costs of preventative dental work such as cleanings, treating and filling cavities and root canals. While it is up to the individual human to take care of themselves and have good oral hygiene, it is not possible to perfectly defend against the many different types of bacteria and damage from them or from the foods and drinks that are consumed. Plague builds up over time and needs to be regularly scraped away to prevent long-term damage to our teeth.

Long term damage such as staining, gum disease such as gingivitis, dental caries and cavities can cause millions of dollars to Canadians every year. For those families with low annual incomes, getting treatment can be costly and many humans will choose to put off treatment until they can comfortably afford it. Cavities can develop quickly, especially due to high sugar, high carbohydrate diets, leading to pain in the roots and gums and possibly to actual breakage of the tooth because of compromised dentin and enamel.

We should note here that dental caries are more likely to be found in those humans in lower socioeconomic standing rather than those on the higher end. Therefore, they are in a more dire need of proper preventative and emergency dental care than those with money that can regularly obtain it more easily and frequently. Canada does not have to include dental care on its universal health plan for everyone but can limit it to those individuals or families that fall below a certain annual income line, re-evaluated every approximately two to three years for example.

Canada is known around the world for its universal health coverage, starkly contrasting the situation in many rich countries, including the United States, but it is lacking in many areas such as mental health, dental health, prescription drugs, among others. The Canadian government should want to keep its citizens healthy and re-evaluating health coverage would be the first step to accomplishing this.

-IntellectForSale

 

Healthcare Issue: Mental Health

Healthcare Issue: Mental Health

Good evening,

The topic I wish to quickly discuss today is of mental health with regard to funding and treatment, as well as the lack of understanding around it.

Now, I should say right away that my own knowledge of mental health is fairly naive.The general consensus seems to be that Canada and other developed countries around the world are not spending enough on mental health research and treatment, despite overwhelming evidence for the many disorders humans can have. Biologically, we know that what happens in your brain has a direct, and in many cases lasting, effect on the rest of your body and as such can greatly influence your physical health. Many anxiety disorders can lead to heart palpitations, fainting spells, headaches, fatigue and dizziness to name a few. Decreased productivity in the workplace or at school has lead to millions of dollars in avoidable costs every year for employers across Canada. Many people have disorders so intense that functioning normally day to day is a struggle that takes most of their energy.

The stigma surrounding mental health is one that should be quickly and drastically reduced. Mental health can affect anyone and over 30% of people experience at least one sort of mental health issue at some point in their lives. When scaled globally this amounts to billions of humans, so you are not alone when it comes to having mental health issues. The pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this by producing drugs to help people cope with their disorder. Often, however, this merely numbs the human and doesn’t actually address the issue.

Humans need to have an outlet and proper professional help and do so in the same timely manner as if they had obtained some physical injury. The Canadian government also needs to make sure that Canadians have this option in the first place. Education of mental health in the early years of public school will hopefully lead to adults that are more aware of not only their physical health but also their mental health. If the brain is not functioning at full capacity then the rest of the body is suffering needlessly.

-IntellectForSale