“Silly” Healthcare Summit 2004

paul-martin-healthcare-meeting.jpgIn what has largely been described as a summit of posturing and promising what has already been promised, Paul Martin’s summit to hash out a “fix for a generation” is going as smoothly as expected for a meeting between the premiers and the man who ripped funds out of healthcare and now promises its “fix”.

“We should put out a chart tomorrow that (shows) $1 trillion that the provinces will spend on health care in the next 10 years … Then they can put out a chart tomorrow (showing) how much they’re going to spend in the next 15 years. We can then put out for 20 . . . You can get into these silly numbers all day long” — Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba

“Maybe next time they’ll be talking about a 40-year plan. And then you just keep increasing the size of the numbers accordingly.” — Dalton McGuinty — Premier of Ontario

“A generational fix should not be a one-time fix of funding today and gone tomorrow; a generational fix should not be high expectation now with a declining federal share after two years.” — Bernard Lord, Premier of New Brunswick

“Remember etch-a-sketch? You sort of put it on, you shake it all up and it would disappear on you. You can’t build a health-care system on the basis of an etch-a-sketch plan.” — Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia

“While the numbers have been debated to some extent, all agree that the federal government will have a significant surplus which will increase with time — while the provinces and the territories are dealing with chronic deficits.” — Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario

On blaming Paul Martin himself for the need for a “fix for a generation”:

“Those Draconian cuts ….. were the start of it all … There was a unilateral [and] sharp decrease in federal transfers.” — Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec

Queen’s blogging talent

Leonard-Hall-Queens-University.jpgAh, frosh week has come and gone for the new undergraduates at Crazy Go Nuts University and like blogging superstar Joey Devilla, a fellow alum from the aforementioned university, I’ve been enjoying some of the new blogging talent from Queen’s U.

Hypothesis.ca is one such blog that’s brought me back into the madness that was froshweek. Their special on matress-flipping, I must say, was masterfully crafted and more informative, than say… Dan Rather during that same week. Keep up the good work John!

CPC Policy Convention in Montreal Announced

olympic-stadium-montreal.jpgYesterday Stephen Harper announced that the Conservative Party of Canada will hold its first policy convention in Montreal in mid-March on the 17th through the 19th.

Montreal is an ideal location as Harper has stated that a full 25% of the delegates will be from Québec and it’s true that the Western party faithful will follow the convention wherever it might have been held. I believe that it’s a good strategy to show that the CPC is a national party and a real alternative to the Liberals. One thing the conference must have to be successful, in my opinion, is the presence of key Québec political figures. Will Brian Mulroney make an appearance? Jean Charest a renewed Tory? Mario Dumont? (Sorted in order of increasing levels of ‘Highly unlikely’), yet more radical shifts have occurred in a period of six months. This policy convention cannot show emptiness in Québec but must rather show potential gains and real representation in that province.