Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Third Way Or The Highway

I'll have more thoughts on Ralph Klein's "third way" once I take a look at all the details.

For now, I thought, I'd bring back this little blast from the past:
"Well, unlike Stephen Harper, I do care.... And unlike Stephen Harper, I will look Ralph Klein in the eye and I will say 'no,' unlike Stephen Harper, I will defend medicare."

UPDATE: I will look Ralph Klein in the eye...and blink.

In Ottawa, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said his initial reaction was positive.
"No user fees and no queue jumping are the linchpins of our medicare system," Dosanjh said in a prepared statement. "These fundamental characteristics of our system will continue to be protected for all Canadians. "
"I am pleased to see Alberta has reaffirmed its commitment to the Canada Health Act, and that the proposed package, in my view, indicates a generally positive step in ensuring better health care for Albertans."

Now...here's the real question: How long before Ujal is "Pettigrewed" and forced to retract his statement?

19 Comments:

  • Wait a minute- are you implying Paul Martin would go back on his word? I'm sure that can't be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:09 PM  

  • Did he say that to Jean Charest? Or even to his own health minister who, when he was with the Clark NDP government in BC, brought in more private health care than ever before.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 4:17 PM  

  • Well, I will note that allowing supplemental insurance to cover the costs of additional services (private rooms), chiropractic medicine and podietry, is already a reality in Ontario. If this is the bulk of Klein's reforms, the rest of Canada really doesn't have much to worry about. But I will wait and see on the details...

    By Blogger James Bow, at 4:57 PM  

  • Looks like Ralph is coming out guns blazing after teh Supreme Court Decision. My personal favourite quote from Ralph on the subject:

    “I don’t think it’s two tier,” Mr. Klein said. “I guess it’s subjective.”

    By Anonymous Halden, at 4:58 PM  

  • If Paul Martin really cared, he wouldn't have accepted these donations from private health care operators in Canada.

    Good post CG,
    Toronto Tory

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 6:06 PM  

  • See the latest press release on this subject from the Alberta Liberal Party:

    http://calgaryobserver.blogs.com/blog/2005/07/governments_thi.html

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 6:12 PM  

  • Your position that it is best to wait and analyze details seems reasonable. Too bad your leader, Kevin Taft, lacks the same political instincts. He was first out of the blocks today in formulating a response to the third way proposals, and, surprise, surprise, demanded that Ottawa step in and penalize Alberta.

    Unfortunately for Taft, both Roy Romanow and Ujjal Dosanjh were also interviewed, and neither one of them took the view that the reforms violated the Canada Health Act. The way I see it, this leaves Taft and the Alberta Liberals in a political no man's land. They are actually advocating that financial penalties be levied against Albertans for reforms that do not violate the CHA. Maybe someone should point out to the Alberta Liberals that they are being paid salaries by us, the taxpayers of Alberta. Their first priority should be to defend us from Ottawa's predations, not encourage them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 PM  

  • Anonymous:

    I have the OFFICIAL press release from the Alberta Liberals, and it does NOT say that Alberta should be penalized by Ottawa:

    Government’s “Third Way” Fails to Address Real Health Care Issues


    Edmonton – Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft says the province should be leading the way in health care by offering strong management of public medicare, not by leading the province towards a two-tiered system in which the health of some Albertans take priority over others.

    Taft said today’s “third way” announcement from the government failed to address major issues currently plaguing Alberta’s health care system.

    ”This government has a real opportunity to implement meaningful health reforms in Alberta,” said Taft. “It’s time this government takes action to pursue real reforms in health care delivery.”

    The Alberta Liberal Opposition has repeatedly proposed a number of suggestions for modernizing medicare in the province and for maintaining the integrity of the public health care system. Taft wants the government to implement these changes to make real meaningful reforms to our health care system:

    1) Ban junk food vending machines in Alberta schools to encourage healthy diet choices for Alberta’s children
    2) Establish a hot lunch program in Alberta schools
    3) Build the Calgary Southeast Hospital and the Edmonton Ambulatory Care Centre now
    4) Immediately expand specialized centres for orthopedic and other services with long waiting lists within the public system
    5) Expand home care and long term care services to free up beds in hospitals

    Taft wonders why the government seems to have forgotten the results of the health symposium last spring where more than half the international speakers warned private health care was a bad move that costs more for lower quality.

    “The health minister herself said she didn’t want to go down the road of privatization, so why now is she going back on her word and allowing private insurance in this province?” asked Taft. “Who is really going to benefit from these so-called innovations? The only real winners I see are insurance companies.”

    Taft points to energy deregulation and insurance reforms as prime examples of what happens when this government attempts to implement policy reforms. “Let’s hope this government doesn’t fail at health care reforms like they have with our electricity and auto insurance systems,” said Taft. “Judging by what was released today, they are already well on their way.”

    *******

    I don't know what your sources are, but I don't see anything about Ottawa or penalties in the OFFICIAL press release.

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 11:37 PM  

  • Calgary Observer, your post is really nothing more than a non-denial denial. As you note at the end or your post, the OFFICIAL press release doesn't deal with the issue of penalties one way or another.

    Let me ask you this: Are you (i) stating as a fact that Kevin Taft did not call on Ottawa to penalize Alberta for violating the provisoins of the CHA as a result of the reforms announced today, or (ii) are you agreeing with me that he did call for penalties, but since the call for penalties was not contained in the official press release, we, as Alberta voters, should simply disregard it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 AM  

  • I am only stating that up to now, I have not heard such a statement. I only have the press release and have not heard or read any other comments by Taft at this point. That's why I said: what are your sources?

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 10:30 AM  


  • Here
    is a reference to a ctv.ca piece containing the info upon which my original post was based. The offending portion reads:

    However, Liberal Party Leader Kevin Taft said: "There's no question we're headed towards a two-tiered health-care system from what I've seen today. That just goes against everything that we stand for in Alberta."

    Taft called on the federal government to penalize Alberta for violating the universality provisions of the Canada Health Act.


    CalgaryGrit's update to this post also contains a link to a story where the same paragraph appears.

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