Romanow - One Year Later
Date: Thursday, December 04 2003
If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear? Is anybody, especially the forest rangers, really listening? Look at the politicians make like a tree and leave. If health care is like a forest, then just look at the damage from the clear cutting.
So what can we expect next? It`s been a year now since Roy Romanow submitted his report which was a reflection of what Canadians would have liked to see materialize into a revitalized, and much improved,universal public health care system. It took Mr.Romanow about a year before that travelling the country, listening to Canadians concerns. Before that, we witnessed in the 90s decade serious cuts made by both federal and provincial governments to our most cherished of social programs. But even as far back as the early 1980s, we as Canadians were being warned that although we have a system that is the envy of the world, it is under assault! The warning went unheeded, and we are where we are today.
Puzzling to see a Jean Chretien, who apparently was trying to build a legacy for himself, just sit on his hands! In fine Canadian political fashion, our government, when it wants to buy time, yet make it appear like it is 'addressing the concerns of Canadians,' erects a 'report', or an 'inquiry', or a 'commission.' Why has the government stalled? Who do they really represent? The same corporate interests who are just salivating to get access to our health care? Can we expect Paul Martin to address this concern in favour of the Canadian public, which clearly has stated, that health care must be not only restored, but expanded to include prescription drugs and homecare?
We all know, including the politicians, that the provisions of NAFTA and its ominous chapter 11 will kill what`s left of Canada`s public health care system if privatization is continued to be allowed, whether its in the form of P3 hospitals, private MRI`s, and doctor`s fees. So when we see provincial premiers like Alberta`s Ralph Klein try to stifle a proposed nation-wide body to govern health care, and when we see the federal government continue to stall, one can`t help but come to the conclusion that our so-called leaders don`t care! It is up to the Canadian people, to put relentless pressure, on all levels of government, to ratify Romanow`s report!
It`s an odd climate we`re in, politically. It parallels the climate change we see as a result of pollution and clear cutting, no doubt. When I see people like James Coutts, former Trudeau aide, praise Brian Mulroney for 'at least not dismantling our social programs', I have to pinch myself. Just like Mulroney enacted a trade agreement to do the dismantling for him, Ottawa and the provinces are doing the exact same thing, just by sitting and waiting!