Auditions for Maria in Toronto's 'Sound of Music' begin Jan. 25
- Maria von Trapp hopefuls in Canada should start practising their "Do-Re-Mis" soon.
Open casting calls for the role of Maria in the upcoming Toronto stage production of "The Sound of Music" start on Jan. 25 in Toronto.
Casting directors will then move on to Montreal (Jan. 28), Vancouver (Feb. 1), Calgary (Feb. 3), Winnipeg (Feb. 4), Halifax (Feb. 8) and St. John's (Feb. 9). Location and times will be announced at a later date.
The auditions will be taped for the CBC-TV series "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?," set to air next summer. Read more
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Canadian Press.
#1 Feb 4, 2008
Is there going to be more auditions in Toronto?
“Continually Updated from Net”
Since: Jan 07
A PBS place in an MTV world
#2 Feb 5, 2008
Sorry We Don't While Living Storytime in Real Time
Finally and So Far:
George Smitherman Does the Right Thing Stopping Homecare Competitive Bidding...
At Least Temporarily
In 2001, just a few months after I came to the Ontario Health Coalition, we decided to research and write a report on the impact of competitive bidding in homecare. Called "Secrets in the House: Homecare Reform in Ontario 1997 - 2000", it identified some disturbing trends that had become apparent as a result of this Harris government policy.
At the time, we were hearing horror stories such as that of a friend of mine. She had profound disabilities and relied on home nursing and support to live. She was repeatedly left at home, alone, unable to move and silently panicking as her care staff didn't show up. The homecare company was unable to find replacement careworkers for absent staff. Staffing shortages became epidemic, as untenable homecare contract prices resulting from bidding competitions prompted careworkers to vote with their feet and leave the homecare sector.
Other issues we identified included extraordinary administrative costs and unnecessary duplication created in order to prop up the administrative structure required by bidding. Huge dislocations in personnel and serious concerns about quality and continuity of care also emerged as key themes.
We protested and lobbied over the years as the VON and Red Cross lost contracts in Kingston, Cornwall, Sudbury, and other communities. The Harris government structured the bidding system to enable for-profit companies to bid in and gain "market share". So experience in providing the service was not counted towards the so-called "quality measures" in the bidding process. How else would companies that had no employees or no previous existence in a community be able to win a contract? This bizarre notion of a "level playing field" between the non-profits that had provided services for a century and profit-seeking companies looking to gain revenues from government contracts continued under the McGuinty government.
Late in 2001, we released an update to the "Secrets in the House" report. Called "Dip and Skip", its title underlined how competitive bidding necessitated that that care work be reduced to "widgit"- like measurable chunks, each with an identifiable price, sacrificing care and flexibility so that pricing and bidding can occur. "Dip and Skip" was the term careworkers coined for the scant amount of time in which they were required by their companies to bathe frail, ill and elderly clients .
Revelations by the CCACs were becoming embarrassing to the Harris government. The Ottawa CCAC made public the significantly higher costs resulting from the government's directive forcing the CCACs to stop providing service directly and contract out. CCACs across Ontario were complaining about budget short-falls and problems with access. In a highly publicized case, the Kingston CCAC refused to take more patients causing a backlog throughout the hospital. Harris' response was a new piece of legislation that effectively wiped out all democracy in homecare, axing all community memberships in CCACs and allowing Cabinet to replace at will key Board members and CEOs. As was intended, the sector became totally secretive...
“Continually Updated from Net”
Since: Jan 07
A PBS place in an MTV world
#3 Feb 5, 2008
By the last year of the Harris government, the scope of homecare was being systematically cut. Home care was re-focussed entirely on post-hospital care. Home support services to allow the elderly to age in place were removed from public coverage. The dream of a system of long term care in the home was destroyed. This reduction in the scope of homecare coverage was completed in the first year of the McGuinty government. Literally tens of thousands of seniors lost their home support services.(Notably, the McGuinty government started to reverse itself on this last summer.)
In 2005, we updated our findings from the earlier reports, releasing "Market Competition in Ontario's Homecare System: Lessons and Consequences" in time for Elinor Caplan's review during the first moratorium on competitive bidding announced by George Smitherman. By this time, more than half of the homecare sector (which had expanded with steady budget increases every year) was taken over by for-profits.Com petitive bidding succeeded in winning "market share" for its biggest boosters.
Our 2005 report found startling turnover levels among staff (ranging from 24 -70%), and loss of continuity of care that affected more than 20,000 clients in just a few months of that year. "Quality" in bidding was just a paper exercise. And "competition" had become, in fact, oligopoly, in which a few large companies controlled almost all of the contracts. Most disturbingly, the culture of the sector had begun to shift. Providers were competitors, not colleagues, and secrecy blanketed the sector."Gag clauses" in the contracts that surely violate basic free speech rights, stop agencies and staff from speaking publicly. Non-profits took on the worst aspects of the for-profits, or lost bids. Large companies hired consultants to write bids and smaller community providers were cut out.
Today, Ontario's homecare is more expensive than other provinces'. The theory of competitive bidding is that it stifles inflationary wage and working condition pressures by creating job instability. This is true, and the destruction of quality of worklife has led to extraordinary turnover, loss of continuity of care, and an exodus of staff to the institutional sectors.
But the impacts on wages and working conditions do not result in overall lower costs - just cost shifting. The proponents of competitive bidding ignore the extraordinary costs of administration required to set up and maintain a competitive market. In order to maintain "competition", there need to be 8 - 10 companies operating in each area. That is 8 - 10 administrative structures, computer systems that need to talk with one another, bidding processes, pricing processes, oversight etc. In Ontario, there are duplications, redundant technology, and inefficiencies all through the system. In addition, profit taking eats further into wages and working conditions, as Professor Jane Aronson found in her Hamilton study. All of these costs take money away from care. In fact, Ontario's homecare dollars flow through no less than four sets of administration before one penny goes to care. Like in the U.S hospital system where studies have found 16 - 30% higher costs than Canadian hospitals largely due to administrative costs for billing and pricing, homecare in Ontario has become "bar code" medicine.
The Health Minister announced on January 28, that there is another moratorium on competitive bidding across Ontario. He noted that the Ministry has some policy work to do. This time we must make them listen. Competitive bidding is profoundly damaging to integration, democratic transparency, decent working conditions, continuity of care and cost. It needs to be stopped permanently. It is time to heal homecare.
Natalie Mehra, Director
The homecare reports outlined in this article can be found on the OHC website at
www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca (Click on "homecare" in the left-hand column or use the search function)
#4 Feb 5, 2008
a few Other Home Care items On Going for those who Cannot afford a Nanny
as they don't have enough Do-Re-Mis aka $ Cash DOe Don't REalize the Corruption Going on Till ALL Their TAX Money has Been Ferreted OFF Shore & then MISerable to have NOT Paid attention
eg. Who You & me will be another Song...
#5 Jul 13, 2008
Damn I missed this. I didn't know they came to Montreal for auditions. I would have loved to try. :D
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