Will B.C. gov’t keep fighting against parallel, private health care?

A male patient is prepped to have a cyst removed from his right knee at the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver. Dr. Brian Day, a self-styled champion of privatized health care, has brought his fight to the B.C. Supreme Court.


Doctors and B.C. citizens are only too aware of the severe deficiencies of our health-care system. Examples include the inability to find a family physician, long waits in emergency departments (and with many scheduled for admission lying in gurneys in corridors for up to days), long waits while in pain that often prevents work for definitive investigations, then a long wait to see a surgeon and another wait for non-urgent-but-curative surgery.

The reason given to justify this pathetic situation by successive federal and provincial governments is that health care is exorbitantly expensive, costs rise continually and — without actually stating it outrightly and truthfully — is unaffordable. This is what faced many other, mainly European, countries similar to Canada. They have evolved parallel, private, health-care systems funded mainly by insurance that have been remarkably successful in fulfilling a patient’s constitutional right to expeditious health care. Quebec has proved that this can be legally done in Canada.

In B.C., the lone wolf howling courageously regarding this issue is Dr. Brian Day. Along with patients who have suffered in our inadequate system, he has taken the B.C. government to court to advocate for change as above. The former Liberal provincial government’s response was to employ an array of lawyers, at vast public expense, to try to outwit Day’s small team and to bankrupt it. This is akin to the extremely damaging tactics the Liberals took toward the teachers and public education.

Is the new provincial government planning to continue such nefarious tactics or cure the cancer that has spread its tentacles throughout our inadequate health-care system?

Dr. John Stewart, West Vancouver

Lefties praise killers

I was having coffee in Starbucks the other day when I noticed a young man proudly wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and loudly applauding the movement to destroy all statues of “oppressive colonists,” including Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister.

How are supporters of this movement able to wear T-shirts of murderous dictators like Mao Tse Tung, Stalin and Fidel Castro that appear to be popular with the political left?

Patti Milsom, Vancouver

Hate is hate

In her column on Tuesday, Daphne Bramham writes that Vancouver resident Shawn Shirazi, who immigrated from Iran, is angry that there is a growing unwillingness of people to criticize radical Islam for fear of being labelled racist. I agree.

This failure to criticize is also evident in the media and by our political leaders, who choose silence when racism, especially anti-Semitism, is being spewed in Canada, not by white supremacists, but Muslims. There have been many recent cases of imams in Canada calling for the death of Jews, and a recent rally in Ontario where the crowd threatened Jews with chants, “Oh you Jews, the army of Muhammad will return,” in reference to Muhammad’s army that slaughtered Jewish tribes.

Hate is hate. We shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled Islamophobic to expose and condemn it, regardless of the people who spread it.

Steven Feldman, Surrey

New cages not great

Consumers shouldn’t be fooled by new “enriched” cages for laying hens, which have been introduced by some B.C. egg producers.

Enriched cages, while bigger than battery cages, still restrict natural behaviours like running, full wing-flapping and flying, and don’t permit unrestrained perching and dust-bathing. They retain many of the welfare problems inherent in battery cages. In short, cages are cages — and they can’t give hens a good life.

Peter Fricker, Vancouver Humane Society

Maloney full of baloney

Joseph Maloney’s piece on the oil and gas industry’s contribution to B.C.’s climate-change efforts is just more of the self-serving baloney we come to expect of an industry that must all but disappear if we are to be successful. Indeed it’s still up to them to improve their carbon footprint even as the industry winds down over the coming decades.

But the notion that emissions can be incrementally reduced to zero while they expand the industry and its products is absurd.

 Ron van der Eerden, Vancouver


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