The race is on for private health care

Which province will pass legislation to legalize private health care first?

Quebec’s “new era” joins the likes of Alberta’s “third way” and British Columbia’s, um… “whatever they call it“, in the pursuit of a public/private mixed health care system. In response to last years Supreme Court ruling, asserting the ban of private health care as unconstitutional, the Quebec Government has announced today a new plan that will make limited private health care legitimate.

Under the “new era” system patients will be ‘guaranteed’ a minimum wait time within the public system. If they are queued past the ‘guaranteed’ amount of time the province will seek treatment under the private system. If suitable treatment cannot be found under the private system, the province will look out of province for treatment. Under this plan, no one should be forced to wait an unreasonable amount of time for health care; a key argument in the Supreme Court decision.

It appears that Quebecs move, although somewhat more limiting, is just another step in what appears to be an inevitable move toward a two-tiered Canadian health care system.

~ O’Smiley ~

All the news that’s unfit to print

Better than Ezra
The problem with a free market place of ideas is that when a shameless self-promoter peddles controversy, too often he succeeds in passing it as legitimate content.

“I’m doing something completely normal. I’m publishing the centre of a controversy. That’s what news magazines do.”- Ezra Levant

~ Manatee

Mr. Emerson’s Greatest Mistake (Update)

Hmm, perhaps I was wrong about Mr. Emerson’s decision to jump parties being his greatest mistake. Apparently, Mr. Emerson’s defection is ‘different‘.

“What David Emerson did, I would suggest, is different, in the sense that he has done this early after the election in hopes of continuing the important work that he was doing inside a government which he was obviously very disillusioned with, … …Unlike other moves, it didn’t happen at a critical juncture that propped the government up. There wasn’t that sense that there was strict reward or leadership ambition.” – Peter Mackay

Apparently crossing the floor to become a Minsiter is not a strict reward. I would have guessed otherwise, but hey, if Peter MacKay thinks its different, then it must be different.

~ O’Smiley ~

Mr. Emerson’s Greatest Mistake

It’s one thing when your old buddies don’t like you anymore, but it’s a whole different story when nobody likes you anymore. Dave Emersons acceptance to swap parties to become a Conservative Minister only weeks after his election as a Liberal may the greatest mistake of Mr. Emerson’s political career.

The reaction to Mr. Emerson’s defection has been harsh to say the least. From the early outrage of his constituents, to outrage from his former party members (going as far as allegations that Emerson blew the softwood lumber talks), to his election supporters demanding their money back, and now members of his ‘new party’ calling for his resignation. Dave’s decision to cross the floor my be edging dangerously close to receiving the Grewal seal of approval.

Joking aside (it honestly has miles to go before it is of the ridiculousness that is Grewal, I just love bringing up Grewal every chance I can), I think it will be a very difficult campaign for Mr. Emerson in the next election. Unfortunately for Mr. Emerson, the way things are shaping up, the next election will likely be sooner than later.

~ O’Smiley ~

The more they stay the same

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper” isn’t as bad as a I though it would be, not when compared to “Justice Minister Vic Toews”. It is two unexpected surprises that have me smiling this morning though.

The appointment of an unelected person to cabinet certainly has a basis in tradition, though it is a surprising move for Harper, who generally uses the term “unelected” to mean “tyrannical and oppressive subverters of democracy.” Our appointed Senators don’t dare vote down anything that passes the House, and our appointed judges are being undemocratic when interpreting constitutional law, but an unelected cabinet minister being brought in to run Public Works, hey, that’s democracy. Then again, cabinet material is slim pickings from the Conservative caucus, so who can blame him. I think Jason Kenney was next in line, so let’s just count our blessings.

And my personal favourite: former Liberal minister David Emerson jumps ship into a government cabinet post. It will be a rough first few days, as many of his caucus colleauges are sure to denounce him as a whore, prostitute, and dipstick. I respect his right to cross the floor, to a party which recieved 19% of the vote in his riding, and look forward to the next election.

It’s only Day One, and Harper is already living up to my expectations. With material like this, the blog writes itself.

Yet even with my visceral dislike of the new government, at least things are better here than to the south in the Republic of Gilead, where even the noble institution of NASA is falling victim to censorship through the fundamentalist filter of the Bush administration.

~ Gnomes