Tuesday, July 04, 2006


CanWest reports on yet another area where the Cons are actively undoing what little the Libs bothered to do while in office, as Health Canada has pulled back from previously-scheduled actions to require provincial compliance with the Canada Health Act:
A meeting scheduled for March between federal and B.C. officials on longstanding federal concerns at private surgery and diagnostic clinics, which has led to several federal fines imposed against the B.C. government, was cancelled and no new meetings have been scheduled, according to federal and B.C. officials.

Meanwhile, federal Health Minister Tony Clement imposed a freeze shortly after the Jan. 23 election on the previous Liberal government's attempt to force the New Brunswick government into arbitration to settle Health Canada's complaints over that province's refusal to ensure access to abortion...

The documents also indicate that the current Tory government is reluctant to push the Quebec government to crack down on surgery clinics in that province suspected since March 2000, of charging user fees.
While the article notes Harper's response to Klein's "Third Way" proposal, it looks like Harper now believes that one bit of posturing is enough of a defence of public health care to justify ignoring possible ongoing violations of the Canada Health Act. Needless to say, it's time to let Harper know that that kind of assumption won't hold water - and it shouldn't be hard to do so in language he'll understand.

After all, the Cons are always fond of phrasing their message in terms of a "play by the rules" ethic. But such an ethic surely has to apply to the provinces who are currently refusing to do so. And if Harper and Clement are willing to undermine efforts to ensure compliance by the provinces for no apparent reason, that'll do as much damage to the Cons' own message as it does to a health care system which depends on proper enforcement.

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