I am not a parent. It’s not that I didn’t want to be, I love children, and they seem to tolerate me well enough; events in my life have thus far prevented me from being a father. Which, of course, does not preclude it from happening in the future, and as time marches on, I […]
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.
- Sean McElwee discusses the crucial distinction between wealth and merit – while recognizing which actually serves to improve the condition of those around a particular individual: Because the wealthy are no longer willing to use their wealth for good, they have decided to glorify the wealth itself as good, thus, Harry Bingswanger writes in Forbes, Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on (Read more…)
Is this the management model in the Alberta Health Services executive suite? Actual Alberta health ministers or AHS administrators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: AHS Administrator John Cowell, ex CEO Duncan Campbell, new co-CEO Brenda Huband and new co-CEO Rick Trimp (no relation).
This just in! Alberta Government replaces Alberta Health Services CEO …. again!
The revolving door to the AHS executive suite is now spinning so quickly somebody’s going to get hurt. Unless, that is, everybody stays calm….
Now, it’s true that Duncan Campbell, who was put in the top job at AHS just 30 days (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- The National Post offers an excerpt from Susan Delacourt’s Shopping for Votes discussing the role branding played in the election of John Diefenbaker. And Jeffrey Simpson discusses the continued drift toward consumer politics.- But in commenting on the Nova Scotia provincial election, Ralph Surette reminds us what’s lost when voting decisions are made based solely on snap impressions rather than any effort to determine who’s capable of managing a government: There have been several televised debates. To anyone watching them from the point of view of substance rather than mere performance, Liberal (Read more…)
Last night, the US Government shut down all ‘non-essential’ services. The reason? Because a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives had a hissy fit over funding health care and tried to slam riders onto the budget legislation which would defund it, and the Senate refused to pass the amended legislation.
The end result? A stalemate, and the wheels of government brought to an abrupt halt.
Republicans have been trying to block “Obamacare” since day one. At the end of the day, they have lost at every turn. It has been passed in both houses, their court challenges against (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Andrew Jackson discusses why attacks on Old Age Security – including the Fraser Institute’s calls for increased clawbacks – serve no useful purpose: The principled argument for not clawing back OAS benefits is that all seniors should be entitled to a bare-bones public pension as a basic building block of the overall retirement income system. The OAS benefit is very low and is added to a meagre Canada Pension Plan benefit that replaces just 25 per cent of average earnings up to a maximum of $12,144 a year.…
Receiving the full OAS benefit (Read more…)
I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]
I was asked at a talk I gave at Leeds Skeptics in the Pub on Monday what lesson I would import to the UK from Canadian skepticism. My answer was an effective science lobbying group like Bad Science Watch, which I helped announce last summer (and was initially involved until life took over).
Not a lot was heard from Bad Science Watch immediately after its launch but that silence was hardly indicative of the work being done behind the scenes by Executive Director Jamie Williams and Chair Michael Kruse (as well as the other members of the Board, Advisory Committee, (Read more…)
This story has been bouncing around the Canadian media since last May. Camille Parent, the son of a nursing home resident, set up a hidden camera in his mother’s room for four days after she (the nursing home claimed) was assaulted by another patient. The results were appalling. Watch here:
The nursing home immediately fired the four staff members seen in the video; the contract of the director was not renewed. The police, however, have decided not to prosecute; the legal case for pressing assault charges, they said, is a lot narrower than what you or me would consider abusive.
Another visually riveting moment in the history of Alberta Health Services – from left to right, CEO Chris Eagle, Health Minister Fred Horne and just-appointed Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton, exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason speaks for the opposition; new AHS Administrator Dr. John Cowell.
Methinks the minister doth protest too much.
OK, I didn’t count. But Health Minister Fred Horne, Alberta Health Services Chief Executive Officer Chris Eagle and Janet Davidson – we’ll get to who she is in just a moment – kept insisting at their press conference yesterday (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Frances Russell laments the state of Canada’s Potemkin Parliament (and the resulting harm the Cons are inflicting on our political system and our country alike): Poll after poll show a majority of Canadians regularly confuse their parliamentary system with the American presidential-congressional system.
This inaccurate but endemic assumption has allowed successive governments to gradually toss out the foundations of Canada’s British parliamentary heritage, one by one. By stealth and incrementalism, they have turned upside down the British traditions of parliamentary democracy where the government of the day answers to Parliament and is effectively (Read more…)
Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith, looking for all the world like a future premier, lands a few easy punches on the government after the release yesterday of the health care queue-jumping inquiry report. Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and former AHS CEO Stephen Duckett, both assailed in the report by Commissioner John Z. Vertes.
Time will tell if the report of Alberta’s inquiry into medical queue jumping turns out to be the skillful strategic win for the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford it appeared to be when it was released yesterday morning.
But one thing is virtually (Read more…)
Poverty is making Canadians sick, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), “the national voice of Canadian physicians.”
The post Poverty the biggest barrier to good health for Canadians: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
A new report by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy says today’s Canadian physician earns nearly four-and-half-times more than the average Canadian, even as the price of health care continues to rise.
The post In Canada, doctors cashing in despite cash-strapped health care system: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
There are many causes worth fighting for. This is definitely one of them.
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Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Joseph Stiglitz makes the case for free trade talks to be based on the public interest rather than the further entrenchment of corporate power and siphoning of wealth to the top. But there’s little reason to expect a meeting of corporate and government figures to produce that result – particularly when (as the New York Times editorial board points out) the main area of agreement between the U.S.’ main political parties involves a mutual willingness to make public services and regulatory bodies subservient to the immediate interests of the business (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Richard Eskow offers up some ugly facts about corporate wealth accumulation and tax avoidance.
- David MacAray writes about the challenge facing labour activists when much of the public has been trained to engage in gratuitous union-bashing even while fully agreeing with union priorities: A union official I correspond with (the International Vice-President of a West Coast labor union) recently shared an interesting anecdote. He said that whenever he meets someone for the first time and they casually ask what he does for a living, he answers by saying he’s a (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Chris Lehmann discusses the destructive impetus behind the ever-present austerity scolds: In their new book The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills, Stuckler and Basu show distressingly consistent increases in such key public-health indicators as suicides, heart disease, alcoholism and HIV infection in societies embarking on steep reductions in social spending. Correspondingly, societies (such as Iceland, Sweden and Finland) that have refused to pare back their welfare states in hard times exhibit steady—and, in some case, increasing—signs of public health. Oh, and more straightforward economic indicators, such as low unemployment and broad middle-class (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Scott Sinclair discusses how CETA could create extreme and unnecessary risk in Canada’s banking and financial system: The failure of a single company (such as Lehman Brothers in October 2008) or unchecked growth in markets for high-risk financial products (such as sub-prime mortgages) can quickly cascade out of control, threatening the integrity of the entire system. Especially during a crisis, financial regulators need to act decisively, without worrying about expensive lawsuits from disgruntled foreign investors. But that’s precisely the toxic ingredient the CETA negotiations have introduced into the mix.
The EU insists (Read more…)
I was in the middle of writing a post about my plan to get back into an exercise routine… when I broke my foot. Doing almost nothing. Walking along in the mall, on my way to get my hair cut and then go to work, my ankle turned over sharply. I was horrified, thinking it was yet another ankle sprain. But no… turns out it’s a three-part fracture in my foot.
I was worried at first: if I could break a bone just by walking, is there a problem with my bone density? Are my bones becoming fragile? But I’ve (Read more…)
Health Minister Fred Horne, at the wheel of Alberta Health Services, reverses course on some unpopular policies faster than you can say “take action to improve care.” The actual AHS does not actually resemble an NDP-orange Dodge Charger from Hazzard County, Alberta. Below: AHS Administrative Officer Janet Davidson, at right, with the real Fred Horne.
If you ever wanted proof there’s more to democracy than just elections, and that democratic protest can really make a difference, all you have to do is think about the screeching bootleg turn executed by Alberta Health Services yesterday.
The G-forces must have been (Read more…)
By: Ontario Medical Association | Press Release:
TORONTO, June 17, 2013 – One year after the implementation of a series of changes to federal coverage of refugee health care, Ontario’s doctors are seeing a negative impact on the delivery of care.
Under the new Interim Federal Health Program rules, the federal government no longer covers health care for certain refugee categories, even in circumstances when the patient is in urgent need of care. It also transfers the burden of paying for this care to the province, specifically through hospital services, because patients will not be turned away. If a patient (Read more…)
The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec (FMEQ), condemn the federal government’s cuts to essential health services for refugees.
This press release:
OTTAWA, June 17, 2013 – On June 17th, 2013, National Day of Action Against Refugee Health Cuts, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) and the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec (FMEQ), together representing all Canadian medical students, express their firm stance against the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) cuts.
The CFMS has repeatedly expressed its staunch opposition to the changes to the IFHP since their inception last Spring, and continues to support (Read more…)