April 13, 2005
Canada: Strong and Free
So Preston Manning and Mike Harris have released a document, called Canada: Strong and Free detailing their suggestion of privatizing Canada's medical system.

It's 77 pages long and you can find it here in PDF format.

I am in the process of digesting it. I went in to it cringing. The idea of the federal government getting out of the medical system on the surface scares the hell out of me. I am a person with medical issue that will be with me for the rest of my life. I have a fairly serious form of IBD as well as persistent migraines that slot me into the "chronic pain" category. I grew up listening to the stories that my parents had to scrape together payments for the doctor from next to nothing and that socialized medical is all that saved them. Conversely, my uncle in the US became bankrupt due to the lingering costs associated with his daughter's accident and ongoing quadraplegia.

So I went in with a fairly closed view. We need socialized medicare, but the question is how. Right now the system is burgeoning and failing the people that need it most. As much as is obviously not working, it makes me nervous to think what would happen if we didn't have it.

My first thoughts? Given that I'm only on Page 21 of 77, I have miles to go but am intrigued enough to open my mind to the idea. There are some thought-provoking statements related to the downfall of our society over the past few decades. The poor voter turnout and how we really need to work towards getting the average person involved in making this country a better place.

Just off the top, a couple of quotes that got my attention:

"Freedom cannot exist without personal responsibility"

"Canada has not yet reached it's zenith - the best is yet to come. And we believe this will always true. Canada is such a land of opportunity that the future can always be bigger, brighter, and better than the past, no matter how great our acheivements have been."

What I do know for certain is that the situation in our medical system today cannot continue unchecked. Serious changes must occur before more people die. The staff is overburdened, the equipment old and the demand just too great. Of course, maybe if government funds weren't being funnelled illegally into party coffers, there may just be the money available to fund the system properly but that's a whole other can of worms.

Just to give an example I know first hand where the medical system is lacking, my niece is currently on a wait list. She has a ganglion on her wrist, which of course is not considered critical nor life-threatening. It has grown so large now that it is cutting into the nerve and causes her severe pain and numbness. There are days when she can't pick up her baby and on those days, she needs us to help her. Her doctor has referred her to a surgeon but the earliest possible appointment for just the consultation is September! From there, we can likely expect several more months after that. She will not die, she will not have long term life effects from this, but she does have a lesser quality of life right now because of this. It should not take up to a year!

I urge everyone in Canada to take the time to read this report. Don't let what will likely be tossed around and ripped apart in the media sway your judgement. I am certainly not saying that I agree with all that is written - haven't even finished reading it myself yet, but it would be a disserve not to at least take the time to read the report and decide for yourself.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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