Government Education Plan Threatens Democracy, say Trustees
Privatization conference draws protest
by Dan Keeton
Clearly emboldened by the recent Supreme Court decision allowing Quebecers to buy private health insurance, Canada’s key privatizers of health care met in Vancouver November 11-12 to discuss plans for further privatization of Canada’s health care system.
The forum was entitled “Saving Medicare,” and drew big name participants such as Reform Party founder Preston Manning, Vancouver private clinic owner Dr. Brian Day and Liberal Senator Michael Kirby, a well-known advocate of private health care. Participants included keynote speaker Ida Goodreau, CEO of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, and BC Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon.
Rudy Lawrence, president of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations (COSCO) of BC, called the forum’s moniker “insulting.” He said governments are responsible for health care, not private insurers, many of which were at the conference. Also on hand were representatives of right-wing organizations the Fraser Institute, the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation and the National Citizens Coalition.
COSCO organized a rally of some 200 outside the convention at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 11. The early hour was so that veterans in the demonstration could then attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Day, conference chair, claimed the forum was “trying to build a better system.” He cited a recent World Health Organization study that found Canada’s health care 30th in terms of efficiency, but third highest in costs. Manning promoted a mixed public-private system found in 24 countries that reportedly cost less than Canada’s.... continued
Civic Election 2005. Who We Like
by Jim Lipkovits, Marco Procaccini, Glen Erickson
November 19 is the day the British Columbians get to elect municipal, regional, school board and various other local administrative representatives. It cannot be underestimated how important these positions are and how critical it is to choose representatives that will act in the public interest and the well-being of the community, not catering to elite special interests and intimidating corporate lobbies.
Unlike much of the other media, we, at the Columbia Journal, don’t like to tell people how to vote. We, with our very limited resources, would rather present the facts and perspectives that are shut out of the corporate monopoly media, and to present these with as much integrity and accuracy as possible—something else that is sadly lacking in the corporate press. People can then make their own decisions.
None the less, with the usual legions of candidates across the Lower Mainland claiming to be “of the people,” the Columbia Journal wants to say who we think actually is “of the people” and who we’ll be voting for on Saturday.... continued