Friday, December 23, 2005

Le grand poulet orange

Babble on.

It's not often you see a political leader in Canada with true courage. Here's Jack Layton talking about health care in Quebec yesterday:

Speaking in Montreal, Layton singled out Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

"I came here to deliver a message, one that he needs to hear. Back off," Layton said.

"You are not going to destroy public health care. New Democrats won't let you. Make no mistake about it."

Oh, wait.

Jack wasn't in Quebec, he was in Alberta. And he was addressing his remarks to Ralph Klein, not Jean Charest. Ooops. My bad.

Well, at least he was picking on the province and premier who have done the most to let private health care into their system.

Oh, wait.

Ooops, my bad again.

Well, at least he's being fair by blasting both Alberta and Quebec with the same strong language, as evidenced by his last speech in Quebec.

Oh, wait.

Well, Jack! is an honourable guy, so there has to be a good reason for this.

I mean, it couldn't be he's avoiding the fight in Quebec because he knows his fundamentalist view of healthcare isn't popular with the people of Quebec. Y'know, the ones who vote, the real bosses in a democracy.

It couldn't be that yet another eastern elitist, no-fat-latte-sipping, limousine socialist politician is just scoring cheap political points at the expense of his Chardonnay-tasting-club's favourite punching bag, Ralph Klein and the rednecks that voted him in.

It couldn't be that Jack! refuses to walk the walk by standing up for what he believes is right even where it's unpopular.

It couldn't be he's chicken.

Could it?

Babble off.


At 6:48 p.m., Blogger Duke said...

Well, Jack Boot knows that the so called red necks in Alberta are the only tolerant people in Canada.

Why, becaue they are big people. People who know what they want and are willing to do what it takes to get it ..ON THEIR OWN!

The rest of the child citizenry balk at innovation and self-reliance like it's rude and evil.

Good post Babs.

At 11:24 p.m., Blogger Dave T. said...

You have a good point with your post here. Quebec has more private care than Alberta, and Alberta is often an unfair punching bag for politicians who say they want to defend medicare, but come on ... "eastern elitist?" What is this, George W. Bush versus John Kerry or something?

At 11:57 p.m., Blogger Noasshats said...

On Dec. 2, Paul Martin launched the Liberal campaign on the well-polished platform of medicare. “One of two people is going to become prime minister: it’s going to be Stephen Harper or it’s going to be myself… We have very different perspectives, whether it be the support of the public health care system, which Stephen Harper has made it very clear is open to debate.”
Standing at his side was Buzz Hargrove.
… the medicare system works well for the likes of Buzz Hargrove. When he injured his knee last year, he had an MRI the next day and surgery the day after - all in the public system. Ordinary Canadians might wait two years for such service. His type of “two-tier medicine” is only for the privileged few. People of influence use this technique regularly - a scenario reminiscent of those of the Communist Party Central Committee in the former Soviet Union. No wonder Hargrove wants to keep the system as it is. - Brian Day, MD, Vancouver, in a letter to the National Post.
A year or so ago, a little mentioned “perfect storm” was brewing in Saskatchewan - a Toronto Star editorial noted (no longer available online):
“In this latest attempt to do an end run on medicare rules, the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation plans to build the clinic on land it owns in Saskatoon. The band has teamed with European investors to build the clinic, which will offer magnetic resonance imaging to paying customers. The Saskatchewan government objects because it sees this scheme for what it is: an attempt to breach the Canada Health Act by introducing two-tier medicine in the province. But the province fears it is powerless to stop it. First Nations, such as the Muskeg Lake Cree, are exempt from provincial rules. Aboriginal-run medical facilities do not have to live by the health act, which forbids queue-jumping for those who can afford to pay for medical service. So, it’s over to Ottawa. Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew and the rest of the federal cabinet should put a stop to this immediately.”
How thoughtful of them. Perhaps, if the editorial board were writing at desks in Oxbow or Lucky Lake or Kelliher they’d be more sympathetic to those growing numbers of Saskatchewan residents now driving to Alberta to obtain diagnostics at personal expense.
I wonder how the Toronto Star would respond had a First Nations reserve proposed, instead of an MRI clinic, a pay-for-service emergency clinic in an unserviced northern community? Would they demand that someone “put a stop to this immediately”?
In Saskatchewan, the New Democrats were listening. To advance this theme, delegates passed a resolution this fall at a party policy convention to prohibit Saskatchewan residents from providing MRI results obtained in private facilities in other jurisdictions to their doctors, in the hopes of speeding treatment.
The truly frighting aspect to the health-care debate is that after three generations of political indoctrination to convince Canadians that it is possible to transform a commodity into a “right,” no political party can risk speaking truth to this state of denial. In some political circles, like the Saskatchewan New Democrats, the denial is more dangerous that the cynical hypocrisy exhibited by the politically privileged - these people are true believers. In their world, suffering, financial ruin and premature death are an acceptable price to extract to ensure that those who do have the assets to pay for their own health care are prevented from “jumping the queue.”
In a CBC item that was published in June, we see an example of such thinking over the issue of Tamiflu stockpiling, where “equity” is offered as an argument to prohibit the practice, for “At $5 per pill, not everyone will be able to afford a personal stockpile.”
In other words, simply having the financial resources to purchase your own medications is reason enough to be denied access to them.
With a shelf life of five years, a family’s investment in Tamiflu works out to $1 a year per pill, per person. In the insanity that has become the Canadian health-care system, this fact is actually cited as a reason not to allow Canadians access to it. Until every Canadian can afford to set aside a handful of $5 pills, “death equity” is advocated as official Canadian Government policy.
This is what Trudeaupia has come to. We are creeping past the “equity” of months long waiting lists and zero-tier health care prohibition zones into a hyper-socialist model where “universality” is a government policy that applies as equally to health care denied as it does health care provided.
The question facing Canadians isn’t whether we should allow private health-care delivery, or whether a “two-tier” system is acceptable. We already do, and it already is - for hypocrites like Buzz Hargrove, Paul Martin and Joe Clark, for professional atheletes, for those with family connections to medical care professionals.
The question we should be asking is how can we best open the doors to the rest of us.
Kate McMillan
December 23, 2005

At 8:39 a.m., Blogger Greg said...

In the spirit of Christmas, I won't argue with you Damian. I will share with you these lines from Layton's speech though:

"So I’m telling Ralph Klein, Gordon Campbell – and Jean Charest too.

New Democrats will defend public health care." (and he repeated this part in French too)

In the words of someone you admire, "Some chicken. Some neck." Merry Christmas, big guy.

At 9:38 a.m., Blogger eugene plawiuk said...

Gee Kate you forgot one group of hypocrites, injured workers on WCB. Wanna kick their crutches too?!

At 6:55 p.m., Blogger Candace said...

greg, if Jack were serious about "coming after" Charest, why wouldn't he say it in Quebec? Do you think, perhaps, it's because coverage of the party leaders outside Quebec is probably minimal inside Quebec?

Just askin'

And Eugene, I guess by acknowledging that WCB claimants access a different system, paid for by WCB rather than healthcare, you're acknowledging that, in certain circumstances, 2-tiered is okay?

Babs: What say you on Harper's announcement in BC today? (Since I haven't a clue about the military...)

At 7:04 a.m., Blogger Greg said...

Candace, If he wasn't serious he wouldn't have repeated that particular section of the speech in French and I would have jumped on him. He did, so I won't.


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