- Roy Romanow comments on Medicare as a major part of Canada's identity:
The achievement of universal health care took a long, acrimonious and protracted road. It is no surprise to me that Saskatchewan was at the forefront of this journey. The province’s citizens learned many hard lessons during the desperation of the Great Depression and the sacrifices of the Second World War. They learned about generosity, about hardship and fairness, about boom and bust. They learned about the imperative for co-operative action. They came to understand that the notion of shared destiny was key to our existence.
And so it is with other regions in Canada, where geography and demographics may vary, where many waves of immigration began with an initial sense of isolation, but where we all learned to see survival and progress as a test of our ongoing ability to come together and to remain united around shared values.
(T)he well-being of our citizenry goes beyond health care; it is dependent on preventing illness and tackling the more fundamental barriers to good health, including social, economic and environmental factors. How we treat the environment has a direct impact on our health and the longevity of a sustainable economy. The growing gap between the rich and poor directly affects our health and the fiscal demands on our health-care system.
Every day, Canada faces new challenges that prompt key questions about what kind of people we are and what kind of future we wish to shape.
As we celebrate the birth of our nation and of medicare, we must ask ourselves: What kind of Canada do we want? Because, as I see it, the choice Canadians make about health care is fundamentally intertwined with our values and future.- Meanwhile, the Cons are backtracking on their much-criticized cuts to refugee health care by declaring that they only want to leave some refugees high and dry. But it's still highly dubious the Cons are even more explicitly taking the power to pick and choose among new arrivals to Canada to determine who they want to have access to health care.
- Speaking of the Cons' unaccountable and opaque political decision-making, Don Lenihan theorizes that the Harper reign will be seen as the culmination of centralizing pattern started under Trudeau while pointing out why that's a problem:
The lesson here is simple: too much centralization undermines legitimacy. The more scope a government thinks it has to act unilaterally in the name of effectiveness, the less legitimacy those actions will have.- But while we should be on the lookout for ways of making governance more open and democratic, Barbara Yaffe's musings about a no-party system don't strike me as a particularly realistic or desirable response.
- Finally, Dr. Dawg runs down some of the important stories of public dissent that were largely whitewashed in favour of all-jingoism, all-the-time Canada Day coverage.