More CanWestGlobal Bias Against Social Welfare

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CanWestGlobal has issued yet another political statement regarding how their corporate media body sees the future of Canada and our social welfare system. They oppose it and communitarian measures to ensure an egalitarian society where all get equal access to the best health care possible.

Connected to a story about the election of the two-tier-profit-glitter-eyed Dr. Brian Day as the new head of the CMA is a CanWestGlobal poll on whether we think public-private partnerships in health care are acceptable now. PPPs, or P3s, are a cheap rhetorical device for privatization, a word that polls poorly.

The online poll heinously lacks journalistic integrity as it asks if we think health care P3s are fine or need more study. There are merely TWO options in the poll. We are not offered the choice of disagreeing with P3s. Either we are fine with them or we need to study them more. Further to annoy us, is the fact that we can’t view the poll results until we vote.

And while the poll is not scientific because participants are self-selecting by people who would bother to visit their galling website in the first place, and because the poll cannot reflect a representative sample of the Canadian population, this poll will provide “legitimate” mileage for the proponents of sucking the communitarian spirit out of Canada.

But the worst part is the lack of a practical spread of options in answers.

The results of the poll as of 5:50pm and 6:50pm Vancouver Time today are below. What is not included is the raw numbers of voters–another insult to the intelligence of the Canadian population.


With the election of a private clinic owner as head of the CMA, the issue of public-private healthcare partnerships is one…

…that needs to be studied more.

33.84 % [5:50pm] then 34.61 % [6:50pm]

…whose time has come.

66.16 % [5:50pm] then 65.39 % [6:50pm]%

The story on Brian Day and good reasons to not trust doctors in this country is below. A disturbingly difficult statement appears at the end of it: “Although Day will be the voice of the CMA when he becomes president, the association’s policies and positions are set by the membership at annual meetings and by the board of directors.”

While true, the fact that the CMA membership voted for this guy lets us know that what Tommy Douglas fought in Saskatchewan decades ago–profit-hungry doctors–is a threat to our social fabric still today.

Kevin Newman and his Gemini Award, promoted on the same page as the poll, should be ashamed of themselves.

Tuesday » August 22 » 2006

Private clinic owner elected head of CMA

Canadian Press

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CHARLOTTETOWN — The choice of a private-care doctor as president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association is at least partly an expression of frustration with the current health-care system, officials with the association said Tuesday.

Dr. Brian Day, the owner of a private surgical clinic in Vancouver, was named president-elect of the medical association following a secret vote by doctors attending the CMA’s annual meeting in Charlottetown.

Day defeated fellow Vancouver physician Dr. Jack Burak, a last-minute challenger nominated from the floor who was put forward as a voice for public health care.

The vote count was not released.

Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai, the medical association’s past-president, urged people not to read too much into Day’s election.

She said it was not a referendum on the public-versus-private health debate.

“It is not necessarily a shift in ideology,” Collins-Nakai said when asked the meaning of Day’s election.

“I think you are seeing a level of frustration by doctors on behalf of their patients in terms of the lack of access to care. Physicians are frustrated by the fact they cannot provide the care patients need in a timely fashion.”

Day’s election upset CUPE Nova Scotia president Danny Cavanagh, who called the association’s new chief “a privatization pusher.”

Cavanagh called the election “a bad omen for the future of our public health care system.”

The medical association, which represents 62,000 doctors, earlier approved several motions relating to public-private care that will become policy, including a resolution recognizing the strengths of the publicly funded system.

Many of the motions and arguments in favour of public health care came from young doctors.

“We’re appealing to that fire all of you have inside,” Dr. Devesh Varma, an opthamology resident from Saskatoon, said as he asked doctors to support the motion endorsing public health care.

“Somewhere deep down, buried after all those years of frustration, there’s still that fire you started with and we want you to find that and use it to recognize the merits within our publicly funded system.”

Some doctors say the association is sending mixed messages about its position on public-versus-private care.

“As physicians we have to make choices that would improve access to health care for all our patients and not just a few,” said Dr. Danielle Martin of the newly formed group Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

“We all agree that access to health care should be based on need, not ability to pay. But we have to walk the talk and ensure that our decisions are based on our patients’ welfare.”

For his part, Day said his position on expanding the role of private care has been blown out of proportion — mostly by people living east of the Rockies.

Day, who was born in Liverpool, England, where he went to school with future Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison, said he believes in universal medical care.

“I have never supported the privatization of health care,” he said.

“Those propagating that myth have deliberately set out to distort my beliefs into an extreme viewpoint I have never supported. I believe there is a place for the private sector and private-public partnerships. Defining that role is a task the CMA is pursuing.”

Day said the competition offered by private care has helped improve efficiency and accounting in public hospitals.

“I will commit to a policy that all Canadians receive timely access to medically necessary services regardless of ability to pay,” Day said following his election.

“But I believe the Canada Health Act must be updated for the 21st century.”

Day will serve as president-elect of the CMA for the next year. He will become the organization’s president in 2007-08.

Although Day will be the voice of the CMA when he becomes president, the association’s policies and positions are set by the membership at annual meetings and by the board of directors.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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