Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Third Way" Makes Debut 

“There may be violations (of the Canada Health Act) but we don’t know yet because there are all kinds of steps to go through. But hemorrhoids are uncomfortable.”

With these carefully weighed words at a press conference yesterday Premier Klein provided a glimpse into the future of two-tier health care in Alberta. He went on to say that in Alberta people have to wait up to a year to receive treatment for hemorrhoids and those with money should be able to receive quicker treatment to relieve their suffering.

Alberta Health spokesperson Grace Perogee fielded reporter’s questions and provided additional details on the government’s new hemorrhoidal initiative.

“The Conservative caucus has enthusiastically endorsed the nine point plan for virtually eliminating pain and suffering from hemorrhoids for those Albertans that can afford it” she said. “Many caucus members related heartbreaking stories of their own personal battles with the diabolically debilitating disease. There wasn't a dry eye in the room”

"What we envision is a number of private clinics situated throughout the Province," Ms. Perogee went on to say. "We’ll leave it up to private industry how they staff their facilities and what type of hemorrhoidal extraction methodologies they use. We want to encourage innovation and we want sufferers to have choice of how they get those nasty suckers out of, you know, down there. We will insist that all new facilities rigorously police themselves and operate to the highest standards of cleanliness they feel they can afford. "

When asked if the government would dictate how much could be charged for the hemorrhoidectomies she responded that price would be left strictly to the market. "They can charge by the hemorrhoid or by the pound, we don’t care. They only involvement we will have as a government is ensuring that the wait times for the procedure in the public system remains no less than one year. This should provide a steady stream of clients for the new facilities."

In addition to her duties as spokesperson for Alberta Health Ms. Perogee is also co-owner and operator with her husband Pete of the Ponoka Six Minute Minilube and Hemorrhoid Removal Palace.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

For Alberta - A Wish Comes True 

The Alberta Right Wing Dream Team

We got a Texan and two Albertans running things now.

Canada - we're coming to get you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What is Mr. Harper's real position on health care? 

The media has been giving Mr. Harper a "free ride" on the issue of health care. They have generally ignored the position Mr. Harper has taken during the past eight years, and he has given no clear explanation as to what his position is now.

In 1997, Mr. Harper quit being a Member of Parliament for Calgary Southwest to lead the right-wing lobby group, The National Citizens Coalition. It is important to note that the National Citizens Coalition was originally formed to campaign against public health care in Canada.

Mr. Harper's avowed reason for the switch was that he wanted "to speak his mind more freely than being an MP allowed." And Mr. Harper certainly spoke his mind:

• In 1997, he said, "It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."

• In 2001, Harper said, "What we clearly need is experimentation (in health care) with market reforms and private delivery options."

• In January 2001, in an open letter to Alberta Premier Ralph Klein on the "Alberta Agenda," Harper urged Mr. Klein to "resume provincial responsibility for health-care policy. If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in the courts. If we lose, we can afford the financial penalties that Ottawa may try to impose under the Canada Health Act."

• In April, 2005, Harper's ideological colleagues Preston Manning and Mike Harris issued a joint report calling on Ottawa to get out of medicare and let the provinces experiment with private health services. They called for "critical surgery" on medicare. Ottawa, they said, should cease funding the system and transfer more tax powers to the provinces. They also recommended that the Canada Health Act should be scrapped or drastically reformed to eliminate all barriers to private services. Mr. Harper has never disavowed, condemned nor rejected this report of his Fraser Institute colleagues.

So just what is Stephen Harper's position on our system of public health care?

Has Mr. Harper changed his mind?

If so, how do the people of Canada know that, if the Conservatives take power in Ottawa, he won't change his mind back to the position he held before?

This article was sent in by a concerned Albertan from Edmonton.

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