One in three mothers has had a traumatic birth experience, yet the province lacks a centralized system to track complaints of mistreatment Many women who suffer traumatic births don't file complaints, making it tough to tell how prevalent patient mistreatment is. (Richard Buchan/CP) At nine months pregnant with her third child, Lily Schumacher found herself comforting her own midwife, who was in tears. The midwife had told her that if they didn't induce labour, Schumacher would be putting the baby’s life at risk. Schumacher was two weeks past her due date but wanted to wait another couple of days, to give herself every chance of going into labour without medical intervention. Her obstetrician agreed that it was safe for her to wait, but her midwife insisted otherwise. “I wish I had never gone to the hospital. I really wish I had not gone to the hospital,” says Schumacher, who lives in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. “Even if I had, I wish that I had walked out because I could have done that, but I was led by fear. I was pushed by fear, and I was doing a lot to please everybody else.”
Taxes and Tax DeductionsCanada is a high tax jurisdiction. We expect necessary services in the area of education, healthcare, infrastructure and protection. These expectations have a cost. Each year the Fraser Institute in Canada proclaims “Tax Freedom Day.”Tax Freedom Day is defined as “an easy to understand estimate of the total tax burden paid by Canadian families to the provincial, local, and federal governments. In 2012, the average Canadian family must earn just under $95,000 and pay a total of approximately $42,000 in taxes, for a total tax bill of just under 45% of income.” Most Canadians are aware of major tax bills such as income tax and provincial sales tax and local municipal taxes. However, there are also a myriad of hidden taxes, such as those multiple taxes on gasoline and taxes on alcohol. The taxes don’t even account for the multitude of fees that are now charged for necessary services by all levels of government. These include car registration fees, increases in passport fees and the like.
Most people are aware they can claim some medical expenses on their tax return, but many don't keep a running tally because they simply forget or don't think it will add up to worthwhile savings. That's a potentially costly mistake, say tax experts as many medical tax deductions often overlooked. "I put it down as being one of the most well-known and least-utilized [tax credits]," says Alan Rowell, tax specialist and president of Hamilton, Ont.-based Accounting Place. The tax credit applies to any number of medical expenses — including prescription drugs, eyeglasses, health-related private nurses and personal support workers, dental work and even buying gluten-free bread or medical marijuana.