Friday, February 29, 2008

Is Jim Bradley "fobbing off" doctor shortage in Niagara?

After five years of Liberal rule, the doctor shortage in Niagara remains virtually unchanged.

Peter Downs wrote in “Is there a doctor in the house”, (St. Catharines Standard, Feb.16, 2008) that “20,000 people in the city are searching for a doctor.”

20,000 out of a population in St. Catharines of what, about 130, 000? Are these the kinds of numbers that St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley is proud of?

Wrote Downs: “St. Catharines is short approximately 20 family doctors, while the region as a whole is down about 95, according to Ministry of Health figures.”
Downs wrote of some doctors who are interviewing potential patients before taking them on, for a variety of reasons. No mention was made in the article as to MPP Jim Bradley’s views on this blow back to his Liberal government’s Comittment to the Future of Medicare Act. Bradley’s government has forced patients to only compensate their doctor through the government’s medicare-monopoly-middleman. Will Bradley’s Liberals now begin forcing doctors to accept any and all patients, too? Will the Liberals simply enact provisions forcing all doctors to become salaried state employees?

Back in Nov.17, 1999, when Jim Bradley was in opposition, the St. Catharines Standard wrote in “Witmer, Bradley don’t see eye to eye: Health minister 'fobbing off' duty to alleviate Niagara ophthalmologist shortage, MPP says”:

"Health Minister Elizabeth Witmer "fobbed off responsibility" Tuesday when confronted with the issue of Niagara's eye doctor shortage, St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley says.
Bradley, speaking in the legislature, raised the issue in the form of a question to the minister. He demanded the lifting of an annual billing cap that may cause at least some of Niagara's 13 ophthalmologists to close their doors.
The request wasn't granted.
Instead, Witmer referred to the role of the physician services committee in establishing policies that govern billing cap exemptions. She also stressed how much the government is spending on health care.
"There's no question they're looking for ways of worming out of their commitment to health care," Bradley said afterward by telephone from Toronto.
A news release from his office says he was "disappointed that the minister ... fobbed off responsibility for the shortfall to the physician services committee. ..."”

Bradley was quoted saying: "Minister, will you now do the right thing for the people in the Niagara region -- for patients, particularly elderly patients, in the Niagara region?
"Will you now remove the cap on ophthalmologist billings in the Niagara region so that patients in Niagara can receive the kind of eye care they need and deserve?"

So, there was a link in Bradley’s message at that time (when Good Ole Jimmy was in opposition) between the lifting of salary caps and doctor productivity. Yet, why doesn’t Bradley continue this line of endeavour now (seeing that Jimmy's monopoly-pushing Liberals are in power) for any doctor in any specialty?

Upon whom is Bradley “fobbing off” the doctor shortage today, after five years of his Liberal rule?

When Bradley talked then about “worming” out of health care commitments, it’s ironic that in 2004 his Liberals proceeded to delist previously covered (and supposedly "universal") health coverage, AND to gouge Ontarians with a multi-billion dollar new Health Tax.

The St. Catharines Standard (Jun.7, 2000) reported in “Need a doctor? Look in Hamilton: "Please note that there are currently no family physicians accepting new patients in St. Catharines at the present time." Telephone message at the Lincoln Academy of Medicine” that “The number of family doctors in Niagara dropped about 17 per cent between 1996 and 1999, says a recent report compiled by Niagara's physician resources planning task force. The task force estimates about 100 more family doctors are needed in Niagara.”

The story also reported:

“The doctor shortage in St. Catharines is so critical that some people have been told to look outside Niagara for a family physician.
"I've told a couple of people who were really desperate to go to Hamilton," said Niagara Health System interim chief of staff Dr. Heime Geffen on Tuesday.
Several family physicians in the Hamilton and Stoney Creek area are accepting new patients, according to the Hamilton Academy of Medicine.
"It is regrettable they (doctors) have to give people that advice, but it's understandable in the current situation," said St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley.
His office receives about six calls a week from concerned Niagara residents who can't find doctors for themselves or family members.
"There is no question it is an acute problem," said Bradley. "The crisis has been on our steps for the past five years."”

Yet again we need to ask: after five years now of Bradley’s Liberals - what’s changed?!
The shortage remains essentially the same: Niagara region reportedly needed 100 doctors in 2000; it is still short 95 physicians now in February of 2008 - under Bradley’s Liberal government.

It was a "CRISIS" Bradley (along with a giddy, ever-helpful St.Catharines Standard) crowed back then - yet the numbers of doctors Niagara needs essentially hasn't changed; so why isn't Bradley calling it a "CRISIS" today, under his own government's rule?!

And now that is Bradley and his Liberals who are in power, well... ummm... the St.Catharines Standard can't be bothered to focus on that!!

It was “understandable” Bradley said back then…why? …because Bradley, safely in opposition, could conveniently "fob off" the shortage at that time onto the then-Conservative government?!

How many patients are calling Bradley’s office today, looking for doctors?

Has Bradley told us? (The St.Catharines Standard hasn't! Can't embarrass ole Liberal Jimmy - only Conservatives!!)

Have these patients, who were seeking doctors, miraculously vanished from Bradley's office on the very day Bradley's Liberals took office?! I wonder if Bradley finds this “understandable” now in 2008?

Certainly thousands upon thousands of Ontario patients don’t find Jim Bradley's wormy Liberal health-care duplicity “understandable”.

Liberals have bluelined with Diaper-Man

Christina Blizzard wrote in “Earth to George Smitherman” (Sun Media, Feb.29, 2008):

“Health Minister George Smitherman must surely be one of the most high profile and kamikaze examples of arrested development I have ever seen.
Look at his history of public confessions of things that are best left private. First there was a front-page picture of him weeping over the plight of abused people in long-term care facilities.
Then in 2006, he admitted to using "party drugs" at a time he was under stress because his father had been incapacitated by a stroke.
Last year, the openly gay minister mused in a scrum that he was considering wearing a thong to his wedding. And he's forever agonizing publicly about his weight. Talk about insecurity!
This week, the one-time Liberal attack dog left reporters scratching their heads after he announced that as "a matter of conscience," he has "seriously been considering" personally testing a new type of adult diaper.
Frankly, the image of Smitherman in a thong was bad enough. Now, we have seared in our collective consciousness the vision of him in a soiled diaper.
Hello? Earth to George. Too much information.
If anyone else in cabinet displayed that kind of erratic behaviour, there would be speculation that he was, well, a tad overwrought emotionally and that maybe he should take a break from his work to pull himself together.”


It’s alarming that this Liberal is the sole minister responsible for the health care of some 13 million people in Ontario.

Let’s not forget to add to the above list the time Smitherman called Ontario’s optometrists terrorists.

Or, when Smitherman ridiculously 'deputized' Ontarians to be on the hunt for an evil Cleveland medical-diagnostic firm which wanted to cross the border to set up mobile screening clinics in Ontario.

Or, when Smitherman described himself in a Toronto Star column (Feb.19, 2005): "I'm as full of piss and vinegar as always". That might be figuratively correct, but now that Smitherman’s proposing wearing test-diapers, this may turn out to be a literally nauseating result as well.

I initially wondered whether Smitherman might have been planning to wear an industrial-size diaper on his head absorbent enough to soak up some of his excess Liberal rhetoric. Just where was he planning to wear this diaper for his experiment - casually around the office; over at the Legislature; at meetings with his constituents? I’ve heard that compulsive gamblers even use these diapers at casinos so as not to miss a potential lucky streak.

Speaking of streaks, the adult diaper can supposedly hold its contents until a blue-line streak materializes to indicate it's ready for changing. The controversy is whether adult diapers do the job sufficiently, rather than having incontinent patients looked after more frequently. Again, in our universal, Utopian, Liberal health-care-monopoly, the patient has little say in the matter – patients are lucky to get whatever George Smitherman and some union boss cook up and agree they can live with.

Rick Patrick wrote in the Toronto Star (Feb.21, 2005):

“George Smitherman insists that he's full of piss and vinegar. I agree. He is piss and vinegar personified. I live in a small town where I'm still on a waiting list for a doctor. My wife and I drove 100 kilometres on Thursday to order new eyeglasses and have our eyes examined. The examination, which used to be covered by OHIP, cost us $140, to add to the $450 extra we now pay for health premiums. That's $590 more than I paid last year, and eats up the entire amount of my pension increase for this year (1.7 per cent). And what did I get for my money? Nothing, except piss and vinegar.”

Despite all this; despite that these Liberals have themselves blue-lined with their health-care rhetoric a long time ago - they unfortunately weren’t changed in the Oct.07 election, so Ontarians will have to live with these kinds of stench-ridden political stunts until 2011.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Global-warming has nothing to do with climate-change

Watched the Michael Coren Show (CTS, Feb.27, 2008) with guests Ted Woloshyn, David Menzies and Marilyn Churley. Woloshyn was right on in condemning Toronto's school board for not teaching about the Soviet man-made famine-holocaust in Ukraine under Stalin.
The debate turned to “global warming”, and in an exchange between Menzies and Churley, Churley blurted something to the effect that ‘global warming’ isn’t the issue/problem – that it’s 'climate change.'
An exasperated Menzies said that well, the climate is changing…and has for eons.
The more I listen to Churley, the more insufferable she becomes. Her tranformational defense of the whole global warming act (so zealotly pushed the likes of Jack Layton) to now say it’s really about climate change just makes one wonder what the flick this former Ontario NDP politician (shudder) is talking about??
If the subject being blabbed ad nauseum by Suzuki, Gore, et all isn’t about "global warming", what is it about? Haven't they been claiming all along that it's all about global warming – more specifically MAN-MADE, anthropogenic carbon emissions – that cause the greenhouse effect leading to climate change? Isn’t that exactly the narrative being peddled by the kyodiots for the last number of years??
Marilyn Churley is now denying ‘global warming’ and morphing the cause as now being ‘climate change’ ??!! Well, Marilyn, OF COURSE the climate is changing! Tell us something we don’t already know. This is some great revelation to her? But, what then is 'changing' the 'climate', Marilyn?? Is it no longer the supposed/alleged GLOBAL WARMING CAUSED BY MAN?!
It’s like she’s talking in circles.
"Climate change" safely encompasses both global warming and global cooling camps. So when anthrpogenic global warming is laid to rest, the Churley's can still say see - the climate has changed! Yes, Marilyn, it snows in winter and gets hot in the summer, we have weather cycles and seasonal cycles, the sun rises once a day, rivers flow downhill............doh.
Climate stasis – now there would be a real concern, where nothing ever changes for all time. No planetary effects, no man made effects, no effects whatsoever from the sun…that would be something for Marilyn Churley to chew on.
In a related story (aren't they always somehow related?), the Canadian Government on Feb.26 released its 2008 Budget - which included millions of dollars to build NEW ICEBREAKER SHIPS to patrol the Arctic.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dangerous U.S. Democrats want to "hammer" Canada over NAFTA

The National Post (Feb.27, 2008) carried this story “Clinton, Obama target NAFTA, Canada Warned; Candidates would seek to renegotiate”:

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama last night threatened the United States could opt out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if either is elected president, warning Canada and Mexico the deal is dead unless America wins concessions to strengthen labour and environmental standards.
During a nationally televised debate in Cleveland, the two Democratic presidential candidates suggested Canada and Mexico would be given just six months to make compromises on the deal in order to satisfy the U.S. government.
"I will say we will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate," Ms. Clinton said. "I have said we will renegotiate NAFTA [and] you would have to say to Canada and Mexico, 'That's what we are going to do.' "
Said Mr. Obama: "We should use the hammer of a potential opt-out" to force Canada and Mexico to reopen trade talks.
The heated rhetoric over NAFTA -- a signature achievement during Bill Clinton's administration -- came as both Democratic candidates fought for votes in economically troubled Ohio, which has lost tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the past decade.
The trade deal has become the central point of contention between Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama over the past week, with the former first lady accusing her rival of falsely claiming she has been a supporter of a deal.
When confronted about past statements praising the deal, Ms. Clinton acknowledged NAFTA has helped boost the economy in other parts of the United States.
But Ms. Clinton maintained that, if she is elected U.S. president, her administration would "immediately have a trade time out" to write new, enforceable labour and environment standards into the deal.
"I believe Senator Clinton has shifted positions on this," Mr. Obama said.”


Looks like we received the answer to this Feb. 25 post: [Obama blames Canada and NAFTA for Ohio job losses]

So the Nut-O-Crats do want to dismantle the NAFTA agreement which President Clinton (Bill) signed with Mexico’s Salinas and Canada’s Chretien in 1993 !!

And all this nonsense is just to pander for votes in Ohio?

Where specifically are all these jobs that these Democrats claim have gone to Canada?

Both Clinton (Hillary) and Obama acknowledge that, on the whole, free trade has been beneficial for the U.S. So why are they using Ohio to wedge their issues against the other states of the Union? Don’t these presidential aspirants know that there are Canadians who are complaining that our jobs are being lost to the Americans !!?

Do these Democrats seriously believe that the United States somehow got a raw deal in the agreement that Democrat Bill Clinton signed almost fifteen years ago? Has Bill Clinton explained specifically where the agreement which he signed has failed??

If Obama and Hillary Clinton want to abandon NAFTA using the six-month-notice period, perhaps Canada should beat them to the punch – let’s opt out of NAFTA first. Let Obama and Hillary get their oil somewhere else. Let the Americans cut down their own forests. If the Yankee Democrats want a trade war, Canada should be ready. If these fake-free-market Democrats want protectionism, we should certainly retaliate. Canada could impose massive import duties on every U.S. product crossing the border. Is this what Democrats want? What, do Democrats think trade is only going to be a one way street?

You just can’t help but see the comparison to the blustery windbag Liberal Jean Chretien saying the same kind of stuff during his election campaign in 1993, when he was running for Prime Minister. He used Canadian nationalist chauvinism with a dollop of anti-Americanism to pander for votes. Then, he became the PM and became Mr. Free Trade personified! That’s probably the same playbook these American ‘Liberal’/Democrats are following.

These Democrats need a “time-out” on their own silly, dangerous rhetoric. Obama should put away his “hammer” threatening Canada and start building real prosperity, rather than creating false boogeymen and portraying NAFTA partners like Canada as some kind of job thieves. Canada should not be used as a convenient political strawman by manipulative American Democrats angling for votes. Ms. Clinton should be honest enough to stand behind her husband’s Free Trade agreement – it was good business for all parties involved.

Whether on health care, or on trade, these Democrats are dangerous. Canadians should recognize the trade threat that American Democrats pose and wish the Republicans well.

Ontario Liberals ignore Quebec's "profound" health-care changes

Rheal Seguin wrote in “Profound' changes to Quebec health care proposed”, (Globe and Mail, Feb.19, 2008):

“A task force has proposed “profound” changes to Quebec's health care system, including a greater role for the private sector and a bigger contribution from taxpayers.

Among the working group's more radical proposals is that doctors be allowed under certain restrictions to practise in both the public and private systems and that private insurance companies be authorized to insure services currently covered under the public health program.
The government should also allow private firms to manage hospitals by testing their efficiency through pilot projects that could eventually lead to “productive new options” according to the report.

The head of the task force, former Liberal minister and insurance company executive Claude Castonguay, said people are demanding changes to an “incoherent and rigid” system and should be given the freedom to choose the kind of health care services they want.”

A working group headed by the man known as the father of Quebec's medicare system is recommending that people pay every time they visit a doctor.

“People can choose what car they want to buy, what suit they want to wear, what house they want to live-in, but when it comes to their health, they don't have a choice. That's what I'm against,” Mr. Castonguay said in an interview Tuesday. “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise a freedom of choice.”

“All good ideas are welcome,” Health Minister Philippe Couillard said Tuesday of the report by Mr. Castonguay, the man known as the father of Quebec's medicare system. But Mr. Couillard was quick to shoot down at least one proposal — that the Quebec sales tax be increased to finance a special health fund.

“We don't intend to raise the TVQ,” Mr. Couillard said, using the French-language acronym for the tax.

University of Toronto law professor Colleen Flood, scientific director at the Canadian Institute of Health Research and an expert on public-private health care financing, said she was surprised the task force would go as far as to recommend that doctors be allowed to practice in both the public and private health care systems.

“In my view that is the sort of irrevocable step towards a two-tier health care system,” Ms. Flood said in an interview Tuesday. “Once physicians are able to work in the private system then you will start to see the real flourishing of that private system. Doctors will have a financial incentive to spend more time in the privately financed system … and there is already a concern that there aren't enough doctors in the public system.”

A similar dissenting view was expressed by task force member Michel Venne, who nonetheless supported many of the report's other recommendations.

The task force proposes the creation of a “health stabilization fund” financed by up to a 1-per-cent increase in the provincial sales tax.

Funding would also come from a maximum 1 per cent to 2 per cent deductible based on income and the number of times a person uses the health care system.

“This is not a user fee,” Mr. Castonguay insisted. “We reject user fees.”

The new funding scheme would collect slightly more than $2-billion and would be used to curb the projected 5.8-per cent growth in government spending for health care to 3.9-per cent.

Health costs currently makes-up 44-per cent of the total provincial budget.

Another cost for patients would involve charging a maximum $100 “annual contribution” to become part of a health clinic and obtain access to a family doctor and other services. Statistics show that one in every four Quebec residents does not have access to a family doctor. The measure would act as an incentive for doctors to take-in new patients and give all Quebeckers access to a family doctor within five years.

The task force insisted that the recommendations comply with the spirit of the Canada health Act but urged the federal government to change the law which “hampers the evolution of the provincial health systems.”

The report argued that the Canada Health Act was too restrictive and failed to meet the increasing need for more private sector involvement in the health care system.

Hospital budgets should also be set differently to make health care institutions more efficient. The task force proposes that hospital budgets be determined by the services they provide to patients creating a financial incentive to treats patients adequately. “The money would follow the patients,” Mr. Castonguay explained. “Patients would no longer be viewed as an expense but rather as a source of revenue for hospitals.”

The report also responded to the needs of the province's aging population. It recommended that the government focus on improving home care services and that medical, nursing and certain specialized care be universally covered by the public system. However the tax credit offered to cover the cost of home care should be subject to a means test according tom income.”

Are McGuinty’s Liberals listening to and watching what Quebec is doing on the health-care front ??

Castonguay’s report is certainly profoundly and boldly different than anything any Canadian politician has said regarding health care in decades; maybe even since Tommy Douglas.

Ontario Liberal health minister George Smitherman once crowed: “For years, we have been shadow-boxing with often obscure voices agitating for two-tier healthcare” (Ottawa Citizen, Sept.11, 2006) Well: now in Feb. of 2008, will Smitherman or any of his Liberals be ‘shadow boxing’ with Castonguay??

It’s astounding that several years ago when Alberta’s Ralph Klein proposed mild, almost benign “third-way” changes to his province’s health system, Liberals across the country were castigating Klein.

Wrote the Toronto Star (Apr.2, 2006):

“McGuinty's ablest political pit-bull, Health Minister George Smitherman, attacked Klein's "third way" scheme for greater private- sector involvement in health care as "getting pretty close to two- tier."
"Our government firmly believes in a single-payer, universally accessible health-care system, where the breadth of your wallet is not a determinant in whether you're getting more timely or higher quality access to health-care services" said Smitherman last July.”

So where are the Liberals today who’re castigating Castonguay? What, is Smitherman letting Flood do his PR?

Castonguay is talking about CHOICE!!

He’s talking about the Canada Health Act being too restrictive!

He’s saying it hampers the evolution of Quebec’s health system!

He’s saying patients should not simply be viewed as expenses!

Yet, when one tries to say the same things to Ontario Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, this arrogant Liberal can’t be bothered to consider or respond to a constituents’ concerns. [read: Liberal Healthcare Duplicity, An Ontario Overview 2003-2007]

Bradley and his Liberals are stubbornly years behind Quebec in awareness of the severity of Ontario's health-monopoly problems.

Ontarians will be forced to suffer in health-care limbo as Ontario's Liberals wait for the McCreith/Holmes charter challenge against Ontario's health-monopoly to wind its way through the courts. Maybe only then will Jim Bradley and his Liberals be prompted to change their monopolistic ways, as Quebecers, (post-Chaoulli) have realized they must do.

How many Ontarians must suffer before these Liberals get it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Don't get a stroke in a Liberal-run, universal-health system hospital

A National Post story by Sharon Kirkey (Feb.21, 2008) carried this headline: “Hospitals in Ontario aren't good places to have a stroke”:

“One of the worst places to be if you have a stroke is in a hospital, new research suggests.

A study based on thousands of Ontario residents found patients who have a stroke while they're already in hospital wait twice as long for a brain scan and twice as long for a clot-busting drug as people who come to an emergency room with a stroke. They are also more likely to die.

"You would think, naively, that if someone has a stroke while in hospital -- given that we keep emphasizing that the sooner you get to treatment the better -- you would anticipate that they would have the best treatment," says Dr. Frank Silver, co-principal investigator of the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

"They're in hospital, there's no delay in getting to hospital." In other words, the so-called "stroke to arrival time" is virtually zero.

That means more of them should be eligible for drugs that break up clots and reduce the risk of brain damage -- drugs that can't be used past a deadline of three hours from the onset of stroke.

But instead of doing better than people who have a stroke at home or work, the hospital patients did worse.

Unlike the emergency response, when a patient goes into sudden cardiac arrest, most hospital wards have no system of calling for help when a patient has a stroke, Silver says.

The study "really tells hospitals that they need to get their act together in terms of being able to educate their staff so that they recognize when a stroke is occurring in a patient, and that they have a system in place to deal with it on an emergency basis," Silver says.

Warning signs of stroke include sudden numbness, weakness or loss of feeling down one side of the body, slurred speech or trouble speaking, sudden dizziness, double vision and a sudden, severe headache.”

So: in Ontario's supposedly-Utopian, universal, government-run, single-payer health monopoly, the hospitals still “need to get their act together in terms of being able to educate their staff so that they recognize when a stroke is occurring in a patient, and that they have a system in place to deal with it on an emergency basis" ??!!

With all the billions of tax-dollars that the Liberals are dumping into health care, the universal health care system still hasn't figured this out?

Ontarians are better off getting a stroke when they’re NOT already in the hospital ???


Is this the kind of government-run health care Michael Moore fantasizes about?? Is this what U.S. Democrats desire?? Don't they know that Canadian patients are being forced to the States for treatment because medicare can’t provide for them here?

Let’s remember, this is happening in Liberal-run Ontario, where MPP’s like Jim Bradley pretend there is nothing wrong with his Liberal sicko health care monopoloy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama blames Canada and NAFTA for Ohio job losses

The FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between the U.S. and Canada was signed on Jan.2, 1988 by Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney, coming into effect Jan.1, 1989. It was opposed by Ontario Liberals like David Peterson, and federally by Liberal Party leaders such as John Turner (in the 1988 federal election), and then by Jean Chretien (in the 1993 federal election).

NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) added Mexico, and was signed on Dec.17, 1992, pending final approval by each country's legislatures. NAFTA came into effect Jan.1, 1994, and was proclaimed by Jean Chretien’s Liberal government.

This was despite Chretien’s 1993 Red Book campaign promise to renegotiate NAFTA if his Liberals won the election. The Liberals did not accomplish any re negotiations, and it was Jean Chretien and Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA. (The Liberal liar Chretien also broke his Red Book promise to get rid of the GST)

The Toronto Star (May 20, 2004) wrote:

“Take Jean Chretien's Liberals. In 1993, they ran on a platform opposed to Mulroney's trade deals.
In particular, Chretien promised not to sign the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Mexico unless Canada won ironclad concessions on energy exports.
The Liberals were elected. Chretien asked the U.S. to renegotiate the energy elements of NAFTA. The U.S. said no and Chretien signed the deal anyway.”

The Globe and Mail (Nov.7, 1990) wrote:

“Mr. Chretien told reporters later that he remains convinced that the Canadian-U.S. free-trade agreement signed in 1988 must be renegotiated to restore Canadian control over the economy.”

The Toronto Star (Jan.13, 1990) wrote:

“Chretien told reporters at a Scarborough Liberal reception he would renegotiate the deal if he won the next federal election.
"In three years' time, we will see what has been the devastation and accordingly, go to the Americans and repair what is no good.
"And if there are some parts of it that are good, we keep it."”

Apparently, there was not that much “devastation”, was there? Chretien bragged at how well NAFTA was performing for Canada’s economy. Chretien’s Liberals ‘kept all the parts’.

The Montreal Gazette (Dec.7, 1993) reported:

“Prime Minister Jean Chretien said Canada will join the North American free-trade pact Jan. 1, despite his failure to negotiate a new deal on energy.
Chretien wanted the same energy protection as Mexico, but the U.S. refused to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Under the current deal, Canada must supply energy to the United States during shortages.
Chretien says Canada is protected by a government document that states Canada "will interpret and apply the NAFTA in a way which maximizes energy security for Canadians." Trade experts say this document holds little power because it's signed by Canada only.
The prime minister reassured Canadians by reminding them Canada can withdraw from NAFTA by giving the U.S. and Mexico six months notice.”

As much as they pretended in their campaigns that they were against free trade, Chretien’s Liberals, throughout 12 years of subsequent Liberal majorities, did nothing to stop it. The Liberals never gave this supposed “six months notice” to withdraw

The Toronto Star (Dec.3, 1993) wrote: “Prime Minister Jean Chretien has been accused of breaking his first election promise by deciding to proclaim the North American free trade deal without improvements he promised on the campaign trail.
Premier Bob Rae said Chretien has broken a promise and caved in on free trade.”
Bob Rae was then the NDP premier of Ontario; he has now morphed  into a federal Liberal,  hoping to run for the Liberal leadership! Funny, that. What does Rae really stand for?

The National Post (May 29, 1999) wrote:

“Last January marked the 10th anniversary of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, and the fifth anniversary of Mexico's entrance into the expanded North American Free Trade Agreement. Both events passed with little official fanfare, in part because the governing Liberals, even though they now embrace the continental trade pact as their own achievement, were perhaps disinclined to blatantly trumpet an arrangement they once promised to rip up.
But, better late than never, last month Trade Minister Sergio Marchi published a glossy, 75-page booklet titled The NAFTA Partnership at Five Years. "By any measure, it has been an unqualified success for Canada and for our NAFTA partners," said Mr. Marchi, his air-brushed visage surrounded by equally buffed rhetoric. The agreement, he said, "has helped us to build a true family where our peoples can collectively enjoy the benefits of a unique political, economic and cultural partnership," fine words from a man who once won election by denouncing free trade as a sell-out of Canadian sovereignty.”

Joe Hueglin wrote in the Toronto Star (Apr.18, 1997):

“Jean Chretien is a hypocrite for “celebrating the 40 per cent growth in trade since the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed three years ago” (Too close for comfort, April 11).
Didn't he oppose the agreement? Didn't he campaign against it in 1993? If anyone is given credit for export growth to the U.S. it must be the Conservatives. It certainly can't be the Liberals.”

David Tkachuk wrote in the Globe and Mail (Jul.31, 1998):

“We now have the Chrétien government actively promoting Roy MacLaren for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organization. This is yet another example of Liberal hypocrisy and revisionist history that the Chrétien government has refined to a fine art.
This is the same Roy MacLaren who ran as a Liberal candidate in 1988 when the Liberal Party's main plank was its opposition to free trade. And after the election, when the bill to implement the free-trade agreement was before Parliament in December of 1989, Mr. MacLaren voted against it. As well, as Liberal Opposition finance critic, it was Roy MacLaren who said that when things went wrong for the Mulroney government, the Liberals would blame it on the free-trade agreement, even if it wasn't responsible.
Indeed, this is the same Mr. MacLaren who campaigned with Jean Chrétien in the 1993 election, the latter vowing to kill the Mulroney-negotiated North American free-trade agreement. But once in office, as the new minister of international trade, Mr. MacLaren promptly signed the agreement.
Mr. MacLaren vacated his parliamentary seat in January of 1996 to accept the position of high commissioner to the United Kingdom, where he apparently awaits his next assignment.
In nominating him for this position, International Trade Minister Sergio Marchi said: "Mr. MacLaren's credentials as a free trader are impeccable."

Only the Liberals are brazen enough to make such a claim.
They are free traders all right -- freely trading on the policies of the former Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.”

The Liberals embraced (co-opted) the Mulroney Conservatives’ free trade initiative with fervour. Chretien jet-setted about the globe, inking trade deals.

As Dianne Francis wrote in the National Post, (Jun.15, 1999) : “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and the Liberals now ruling in Ottawa tossed out their old policies and adopted Mulroney's. Lest we forget: Prime Minister Jean Chretien was going to tear up free trade but is now a devoted free trader. Chretien and Finance Minister Paul Martin did not think deficits and debts were a problem in their first budget, then realized they were and became fiscally responsible and proud of it.”

A Montreal Gazette (Aug.30, 1995) headline read: “Israel and Canada pave the way for a free-trade partnership”.

The Edmonton Journal (Jan.30, 1995) wrote:
“Chretien ends a six-country tour of the region today in Costa Rica's capital where he meets with Central American leaders. About $2.7 billion in deals were signed by Canadian businesses in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Trinidad and Uruguay.
In an interview with Maclean's magazine published today, Mulroney said Chretien is doing the right thing by pushing for free-trade throughout the hemisphere by 2005.”

The Saskatoon Star Phoenix (Nov.19, 1996) reported that Chretien’s government signed a free trade deal with Chile.

The Globe and Mail (Apr.24, 2001) reported Chretien was signing a free trade deal with Costa Rica. And there was Chretien’s Team Canada trade mission to China in 1994, along with many others to Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean,and Europe.

The Kingston Whig-Standard (Dec.31, 1998) wrote in “Ten years later, Liberals singing a different tune”:

“The signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which marks its 10th anniversary tomorrow, polarized political debate in this country like few others in recent history.
It dominated the 1998 federal election. Critics, led by Liberal leader John Turner, claimed it would kill medicare. Canadian culture would be at the mercy of Hollywood. It would be open season on our energy and water.” [Kill medicare? We should be so lucky. No chance.] “I find it's worked very well," Chretien said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. "Our trade with the United States has multiplied enormously and Canada has adjusted very well to the situation."
That's a far different tune than the dark number Turner sang on the campaign trail in '88, when he declared his campaign to kill the accord was the fight of his life.”

Free trade has been good for Canada and its mutual partners, yet we still do hear Canadian protectionists, many of them NDP socialists, complaining about it.

But now in the U.S. presidential race, there is this Associated Press (Feb.25, 2008) headline:

Obama hits Clinton on NAFTA support in drive to win crucial Ohio primary”.

The story reports: “Barack Obama hammered Hillary Rodham Clinton on her long record of support for a free-trade agreement unpopular with working-class voters as he pushed to win next week's Ohio primary and possibly force his rival from the Democratic presidential race…
Recent polls show the race in Texas to be a statistical dead heat. In Ohio, polls show Clinton with a narrowing lead in the Midwestern industrial state where trade has long been a sensitive issue.
Given that backdrop, Obama has made trade the core of his drive to make inroads among working-class voters. He accused Clinton of trying to walk away from her long record of support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying the free trade pact with Mexico and Canada has cost 50,000 jobs in Ohio, a Midwestern industrial state.
At the same time, he said attempts to repeal the trade deal "would probably result in more job losses than job gains in the United States."
One day after Clinton angrily accused him of distorting her record on NAFTA in mass mailings to voters, Obama was eager to rekindle the debate, using passages from the former first lady's book as well as her own words.
"Ten years after NAFTA passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America," Obama said Sunday. "Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America — and I never have."
"The fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president," the Illinois senator told an audience Sunday at a factory that makes wall board, located in a working class community west of Cleveland.
"A couple years after it passed, she said NAFTA was a 'free and fair trade agreement' and that it was 'proving its worth.' And in 2004, she said, "I think, on balance, NAFTA has been good for New York and America," he said.
A spokesman for Clinton, Phil Singer, said the New York senator and former first lady was critical of NAFTA long before she ran for president. He cited remarks from March 2000 in which she said, "What happened to NAFTA, I think was we inherited an agreement that we didn't get everything we should have got out of it in my opinion. I think the NAFTA agreement was flawed."
Singer also said that in 2004 in Illinois, Obama spoke positively of the trade agreement, saying the United States had "benefited enormously" from exports under NAFTA.
The trade agreement has long been unpopular in the industrial Midwest, where critics blame it for lost jobs and shuttered factories, many of which once employed union workers who tend to vote Democratic.”

Obama is blaming NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico for 50,000 Ohio job losses??! This is the same kind of manufacturing sector job-loss accusation that Canadian socialists are blaming the Americans for!! Where in Canada did these thousands of jobs materialize? Does Obama realize that Ontario, Canada's manufacturing centre, is suffering a real manufacturing downturn? The question is, how much worse would it be if U.S. protectionism limited our export opportunities to just to our own small market? Should we stop importing U.S. made products?

And, one would think that Ms.Clinton would be supportive of NAFTA – after all her husband, as president, signed NAFTA along with Chretien in 1994!! So what "flawed" agreement did she say the Americans "inherited"? What does that mean?

Obama’s and Clinton's pandering to this anti-free trade niche in the States is troubling – it sounds just like the Liberal posturing and rhetoric Chretien used to peddle in Canada in the early 1990’s to gain the ‘disenchanted’ vote. Chretien then did exactly opposite of what he claimed he was going to do: saying he was against free trade, then spending the next twelve years promoting free trade.

When Obama says he has never thought free trade was good for America, this protectionist bent should be of serious concern to both Canadians and Americans. What’s his proposed alternative? Is Obama proposing that the U.S. give their six-month notice to the other NAFTA partners indicating that the Americans will be pulling out of the trade agreement??

Here is what Terence Corcoran presciently wrote in “It may be trade, but it's not truly free” on this very subject (National Post, May 29, 1999). Corcoran was writing about the tenth anniversary of free trade (Free trade @ ten conference) which had been held in Montreal and was attended by many influential dignitaries:

“Behind all the debate and triumphalism, the greatest gap in the conference is likely to be a sense of confusion over the nature of free trade itself. While the agreements are called free trade agreements, they are too often portrayed as simply vehicles for boosting exports, for expanding the markets for goods produced at home. The agreements themselves have turned much of North America into a tariff-free zone, but they have also entrenched many protectionist programs. In some key sectors, notably automobiles, managed trade and balanced trade remain the principal objectives. The battle for free trade is far from over, either among the NAFTA partners or elsewhere. In the United States, Pat Buchanan will soon be back on the election trail, spreading his message of protectionism and lost jobs and giant sucking sounds. His counterpart in Canada, Maude Barlow, still attributes all that happens in the Canadian economy to the free trade agreements. In a recent article in The Globe and Mail, Ms. Barlow managed to lump Canada's higher unemployment rate, rising rate of foreign investment, rising debt walls, child poverty, and executive salaries into a big stew labelled free trade. Without clear articulation of the principles of free trade from past and current political leaders, the Pat Buchanans and Maude Barlows will always have an opportunity to find an audience for protectionism. Jean Chretien sees free trade as a one-way street to promote Canadian exports. Many U.S. politicians, from President Clinton on down, push "fair" trade as if it were synonymous with free trade. But the apparatus of fair trade actually produces the antithesis of free trade. The idea of fair trade, in fact, is responsible for the recent U.S. push for access to Canada's magazine markets. By threatening a trade war with Canada over magazines, and with Europe over hormone- fed beef or with Japan over steel or autos, the United States engages in trade aggression that has no relation with the principles of free trade. Canada's behaviour is not much better. The objective of free trade is to allow the flow of good and services from the places where they can be produced most efficiently. When a country uses trade protection to block imports, using such fair trade dodges as anti-dumping and tariffs, it deprives its citizens of the greatest opportunities to increase their wealth. At the anniversaries of the North America free trade agreements, fair trade theory still dominates, and it's doubtful the principles of genuine free trade are fully understood.”

It looks like the names have changed, but the same political rhetoric is being recycled again.

Will Democrats force the unraveling of NAFTA?
Let's fast forwad to Don Pittis and his Jan.24, 2017 CBC report  to see that NOWHERE IN THE REPORT  - actually, another example of CBC's FAKE NEWS - does Pittis mention how the federal Liberals under Chretien (and the Ontario Liberals, such as MPP Jim Bradley. under David Peterson) were rabidly AGAINST free trade. Pittis purposefully - craftily - glosses over these specifics! Pathetic.
Funny how the CBC's revisionist "fake news" works, eh, slanted, biased and well, just cherry-pickingly all-around FAKEY!!
Canadian lefties were against free trade then, doing their best to slime and smear Mulroney.
Hey, now that Trump is doing what Maude Barlow wanted - why didn't the CBC interview her?
Hey: now that Trump is doing what Obama wanted to do, why didn't CBC's Pittis mention that FACT??
'Fake News' much, CBC??! Clearly, certain inconvenient facts get in the way of  today's anti-Trump narrative in 2017, just as they did in the anti-Mulroney narrative 25 yrs. ago.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Allow U.S. hospitals to open Canadian branches

My earlier posts...

 - Will Liberal Transport Minister Jim Bradley open new 'sicko' lanes at U.S. border to ease Canadian healthcare exodus? (Nov.26, 2007),


- Health-care Exodus: More Ontarians forced to U.S. for treatment (Feb.20, 2008),

...touched on the case of Windsor resident Rick Laporte being rushed across the border to the United States from Canada for emergency heart surgery which was mysteriously unavailable in Ontario's Liberal-controlled, state-run medicare system.

The Windsor Star carried these letters to the editor following up on their initial Nov.21, 2007 story:

George Shum wrote in “Health System Top Priority”, (Windsor Star, Nov.27, 2007):

“I read with incredulousness the story of Rick Laporte who was summoned to secondary inspection on the Detroit side of the tunnel. He was in an ambulance with lights and sirens activated en route to the Henry Ford Hospital after suffering a heart attack at the Windsor Regional Hospital. He was defibrillated twice at the WRH before the emergency transfer took place.
The case of Mr. Laporte illustrates an important point about our health care system, that is, we should not depend on the largesse of another country when it comes to the well-being of our fellow citizens.
Both Henry Ford and William Beaumont Hospitals have offered excellent medical and surgical services to Canadians who live in southwestern Ontario (for the right price of course). Since Sept. 11, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security have become so focused on their mandate to protect Americans that we are seeing increasingly unreasonable and absurd incidents taking place at border points.
Take the case of the Quebec fire truck that was responding to an emergency request for assistance in upstate New York.
It too was pulled over for secondary inspection and precious time was lost in the process.
Rather than trying to influence U.S. politics, we should fix deficiencies in our health care system so that the safety and health of our citizens will not be compromised and subject to the whims of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security.
It is time to re-evaluate our dependence on the Michigan hospitals for emergency, life-saving treatment.
We already have elective coronary angioplasty treatment at Hotel- Dieu Grace Hospital. Is it not a natural extension to include emergency angioplasty treatment to obviate the task of sending our citizens to the U.S.? To do this properly the Ministry of Health has to provide adequate resources to the hospital to perform these tasks and the community will likely need to recruit more cardiologists who perform this procedure.
It is gratifying to hear expressions of concern from Mayor Eddie Francis and Federal Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day.
It would be nice to hear what our Health Minister plans to do to safeguard the health of our citizens in southwestern Ontario.”
S. Fitzgerald wrote in “MP Brian Masse’s action infuriate NDP supporter”, (Windsor Star, Nov.29, 2007):

“I have been a longtime supporter of the NDP but I have finally thrown in the towel.
Windsor West MP Masse's actions this week made me rethink my support. It is unconscionable to me that he should use the Rick Laporte holdup at the border for political reasons and blame the federal government for their inaction.
This is not the first time an ambulance has been held up at the border. In fact, this occurs regularly, so why does Mr. Masse make an issue of this event in Parliament now? Could the fact that Mr. Laporte is a high-ranking member of the CAW have anything to do with Mr. Masse's actions? Was this another way of scoring points with the CAW?
Be very clear, without the votes from the CAW, Mr. Masse would not have a snowball's chance of getting elected here or anywhere else in Canada. I have been following Mr. Masse's political career and find him to be an opportunistic finger-pointer. It seems he is in way over his head, politically speaking, and in my opinion has no business being an MP.
I feel that Mr. Masse's actions contravene the NDP's platform of being a people's party. Remember several years ago when Mr. Masse posed, with the cameras rolling and the press at hand and holding up traffic in Windsor's east end, near a proposed railway inspection area? Opportunism shrieked loud and clear. It seemed a good way for Mr. Masse to score some good political points.
During a recent breakfast, Mr. Masse also took a potshot at local MPPs for their inactivity regarding the border issue. There he goes again pointing fingers. Why doesn't he use that finger to pen some real legislation that would address the border issue, in a real way and for all people, instead of just grandstanding when the opportunity arises? In politics there are show horses and work horses and I think it is clear which category Mr. Masse falls into.
Fortunately, the rest of Canada is not as politically naive as they are in Windsor so the NDP will never obtain true power. Who will help us if they ever do? Who will Mr. Masse blame then?”
Bob Hodge wrote in "OHIP’S inflexibility means family suffers", (Windsor Star, Nov.29, 2007):

“I have been following the story of Rick Laporte and his treatment in Detroit and am genuinely relieved that he is now OK.
While his case has demonstrated the inadequacies of health care provision in Windsor, it is indeed fortunate that he was able to go to Detroit for treatment.
My father-in-law is currently under assessment for a double lung transplant and we will find out if he is a suitable candidate just before Christmas. While acceptance on the list should be a reason for celebration it will also bring the whole family a lot of emotional pain and financial hardship.
To accept a place on the transplant list means that he will have to move within two hours of Toronto, effectively London or closer. OHIP will offer no financial assistance while he is waiting for the transplant, and this could potentially be for up to two years.
He will be isolated from family and friends, his lung condition means that even walking across a room is almost impossible and his quality of life is not very high. Presently we live from day to day and visit him at home in Windsor at every opportunity, but if he moves to London or Toronto time together will be much reduced.
There are only four hospitals in Canada which can perform lung transplant surgery (and one is only available to Quebec residents) so the problem is not unique to Windsor. What is unique to Windsor is our proximity to Detroit.
The transplant team in Toronto freely recognizes that there are world-class transplant facilities available in Detroit which could perform the surgery but OHIP will not pay for the treatment in the U.S.A.
If OHIP was more flexible my father-in-law could continue to live at home, surrounded by his family and friends and be within 20 minutes of a transplant hospital able to perform the surgery.
I wish any resident of Windsor and Essex County a quick and uneventful journey when they have to go to Detroit for medical treatment. I only wish that we had that option.”
Bob Harper wrote in "U.S. health-care offers advantages", (Windsor Star, Nov.30, 2007):

"I was very glad to hear that Rick Laporte's life was saved even after the inexcusable delay at the border.
In the Nov. 24 Windsor Star, it was revealed that Mr. Laporte is a CAW executive member and a member of the board of Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital. Isn't it the CAW and Mr. Lewenza who rail against the evil, terrible American private health care system for our much better Canadian socialist system? Meanwhile, in the same edition is an article from a lady whose husband waited two weeks to get to London for his operation where he died. Mr. Laporte tells us of his excellent care in Detroit with daily visits of three specialists and daily tests.
I hope Mr. Laporte and Mr. Lewenza go back to their brothers and sisters and tell them the advantages of the private health care system over our present fiasco in Canada.
A suggestion would be to allow one Detroit hospital to open a branch in Windsor accepting our OHIP cards and private payments. In a very short time, we would realize which system is better.”

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, Ontario's Transportation Minister, and Liberal health-care monopoly supporter, hasn't said much, if anything, about that Windsor situation, or about his Liberal government's health-care patient-export policies. I've asked.
It looks like the best hope for many of Ontario's patients is to obtain their 'universal health care' in the United States. That's the bottom line for Liberals: pretending they have 'universal health care', but actually delivering it by expediting patients to another country - whose system those very same Canadian Liberals would deem illegal if it was in Ontario !!
This is where blustery Liberal health-care rhetoric meets health-care reality.
Whose health system is supposedly sicko? The American one; or Ontario's, which relies on the American system to provide backup?
It's probably a matter of time before a similar border-delay situation develops here in Niagara.
Mr. Bradley, you refuse to provide answers when a constituent asks you questions about your Ontario government's failing heath-care monopoly.
Mr. Bradley, do you have any response, comments or answers to the health-care concerns which the above writers Shum, Fitzgerald, Hodge, and Harper raised in their letters?
Or will you and your Liberal government ignore Windsor's health-care concerns as well?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Health-care Exodus: More Ontarians forced to U.S. for treatment

Lisa Priest wrote in “Aneurysm lands man in health-care nightmare, A shortage of specialized services in Ontario hospitals has forced 164 neurosurgical patients to U.S. hospitals since April of 2006”, (Globe and Mail, Feb.19, 2008) of patient Ming Quon’s experience with the Ontario health-care system.

Priest reported Mr. Quon, 55, after experiencing an unusual, severe headache at home, was taken by ambulance to: “York Central Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, caused by a ruptured aneurysm.

But that was only the beginning of his troubles.

More bad news was to come: No Ontario hospital that provides neurosurgery could take him.

Unwittingly, Mr. Quon found himself smack in the middle of a health-care shortage, one that has forced 164 patients with broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or outside of the brain to Michigan and New York State hospitals since April, 2006.

That includes 69 patients sent so far in fiscal 2007-2008, according to Health Ministry figures.

Although Ontario has the worst problem by far, it is not alone.

British Columbia has sent four patients with spinal-cord injuries to Washington State hospitals for care from May to September, 2007, though the recruitment of more staff and opening of new beds have helped alleviate the problem. Saskatchewan has sent patients to neighbouring provinces, including Alberta, for specialized neurosurgical services.

In Ontario, patients face barriers to receiving care at every turn.

There is limited access to teleradiology and operating-room time. There are too few intensive-care beds, a short supply of neurosurgically trained intensive-care nurses to staff them and too few neurosurgeons.

For Mr. Quon, it was "a scary thing," said his wife, a registered nurse who works at an insurance company.

Ms. Quon said her husband spent about 15 hours in emergency as staff worked to find a hospital that performs neurosurgery.

Bruce Harber, York Central Hospital's president and chief executive officer, could not comment on the case, due to patient confidentiality.

But he wrote in an e-mail: "We at York Central Hospital work closely with CritiCall [an emergency-referral service for physicians] to ensure that these patients are transferred to the most appropriate and available regional centre."

When Mr. Quon was finally referred to a Buffalo hospital, his wife raced home to grab passports, threw on a pair of slacks, forgetting to change out of the pajama top she was still wearing.

Treatment at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital came in the form of neurosurgery about 17 hours after Mr. Quon suffered his subarachnoid hemorrhage.

He underwent a craniotomy, an operation to open the skull, then had a small metal clothespin-like clip placed on the aneurysm's neck, to halt its blood supply.

He also had two endovascular coil embolizations, a minimally invasive procedure where a long, thin tube is inserted into the femoral artery near the groin, up to the aneurysm.

Small platinum coils then fill the aneurysm to prevent it from further expansion and rupture.

Michael P. Hughes, vice-president of public relations and government affairs for Kaleida Health, which includes Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital, could not speak about Mr. Quon's case, due to patient confidentiality, but said his institution is seeing an increasing number of Canadian patients.
"I'm glad he had a positive outcome," Mr. Hughes said.

Chris Wallace, head of the division of neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital (part of the University Health Network), said in Mr. Quon's case the wait to obtain neurosurgery did not make a difference to his outcome because he did not have a second cerebral hemorrhage.

"He's very brave and so is his wife," said Dr. Wallace, a neurosurgeon who has seen Mr. Quon since he returned from Buffalo.

"I'd be crying if the delay had led to a worse result. In this instance, it didn't."

In an effort to stem the tide of patients being sent to U.S. hospitals, the University Health Network has been provided an additional $4.1-million by the Ontario government to do 100 more neurosurgical cases by October, 2008.

Indeed, an expert neurosurgery panel report done on the shortage of neurosurgical services and authored by James Rutka, chairman of the division of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, made 21 recommendations to the Ontario government in late December.

That 84-page report recommended a two-phase approach: allocating additional neurosurgical services to one hospital to address emergency out-of-country transfers immediately, and increasing capacity in more centres in Ontario.

Alan Hudson, head of Ontario's waiting-time strategy and a former hospital president and neurosurgeon himself, struck the panel when he heard of the neurosurgical service shortage.

When told of Mr. Quon's case, Dr. Hudson said: "We've given some fairly detailed advice to the government for exactly this reason. We're looking forward to the government's response to the expert panel report."

Health Minister George Smitherman's press secretary, Laurel Ostfield, said "the government is currently awaiting further advice from the team who drafted the report on the best way to use the recommendations in our combined efforts to improve patient care for Ontarians."

Over the past three years, she said the government's track record has been to implement 80 per cent of recommendations received from expert panel reports.

As for Ms. Quon, she and her husband are not angry, "just very disappointed."

There were all sorts of problems to deal with upon their return, including threatening calls and notes from bill collectors, hounding her to pay various U.S. hospital bills.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan, which covers all costs of emergency surgery and the hospital stay, has since dealt with the matter.

In all, Ms. Quon said her husband's treatment, including surgery costs, diagnostic imaging and a hospital stay of more than a month, was about $250,000 (U.S.), according to a Health Ministry letter she received.

That doesn't include the costs she absorbed - $5,000 out of pocket to stay in a Buffalo hotel for more than a month, which is not covered by OHIP.
When they returned, it was difficult to get back into the health-care system.

She said the province should have a designated person who deals with patients who receive out-of-country care so things run smoothly upon their return.
Mr. Quon, meanwhile, has yet to return to work. He has trouble with short-term memory, is easily distracted and frustrated.
He has little memory of what happened after the subarachnoid hemorrhage, other than the initial pain he felt in the shower and sketchy images of nurses walking U.S. hospital hallways.

"It was hard on my family. The mental anguish and all that," Mr. Quon said.

"For me, I was just delighted to be down there."


James Rutka, chairman of the division of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, was appointed by the provincial government to head the expert neurosurgery panel. In his just released report, Dr. Rutka noted there was an "alarming trend" of sending Ontarians out of province for neurosurgery care.

"It is poor patient care to transfer people who need emergency care out of province or to make anyone who needs neurosurgery wait longer than they should and risk doing them harm," Dr. Rutka wrote in his 84-page report. Transferring patients out of province should only be done in exceptional circumstances, he said.

Some observations in the report:
About 65 neurosurgeons provide neurosurgery each year to more than 30,700 Ontarians in 13 hospitals in larger urban areas.

Neurosurgical conditions are a major cause of disability, morbidity and mortality that results in high costs to individuals, their families and society.

Dr. Rutka made 21 recommendations to fix the problem, including:

The heads of 13 hospital neurosurgical units should develop clear and simple criteria for determining when a patient needs a neurosurgical consultation and may need to be transferred to a neurosurgical unit. As well, they should develop a simple protocol for looking after minor head injuries in the emergency room. This information should be provided to every hospital in Ontario and posted in emergency rooms.

Hospitals with Level 3 and 4 (the most acute) neurosurgical units should dedicate resources, including operating rooms, equipment and staff for unplanned emergency cases.

Neurosurgical centres should provide updated bed information to CritiCall (an emergency-referral service for physicians) electronically at least twice daily.

The Ontario government should increase its full-time neurosurgeon-to-population ratio from 1 per 187,077 to the more appropriate level of 1 per 150,000. If that ratio were accepted, 15 additional neurosurgeons would be required.”


Once again, thanks to Buffalo, New York, and the Americans for helping another Ontario patient who was let down and shuffled off to Buffalo by Ontario's Liberal medicare monopoly. (Please, don't tell Michael Moore)

Of course, my local MPP, St. Catharines Liberal Jim Bradley, once enjoyed fear mongering about the evil, slippery-sloped Americanization of our health system, yet, oddly, his Liberals just can’t stop sending ill Ontarians to that same supposedly-sicko U.S. system for treatment which Bradley’s sicko Liberal health-monopoly is unable to provide here.

Priest wrote that “164 patients with broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or outside of the brain” were “forced” to obtain treatment “in Michigan and New York State hospitals since April, 2006.”

Can Jim Bradley confirm that this is an accurate figure? What about cardiac patients? What about burn trauma patients? What about cancer patients? Can Bradley provide any figures on how many patients in total his Liberal health-care monopoly is exporting to the States for health-care that is unavailable in Ontario?

I asked Bradley in Will Liberal Transport Minister Jim Bradley open new 'sicko' lanes at U.S. border to ease Canadian healthcare exodus?”:

“Does your Liberal government keep any statistics detailing how many Ontarians have been forced to the States to obtain treatment which is unavailable here, due to the inequities of your medicare monopoly? Or, does your Liberal government simply deem such incidents to be merely anecdotal anomalies; minor, expected but irrelevant blow-back, in your grand scheme that is ‘Medicare’?

Columnist Terence Corcoran’s story, “Bordering on the ridiculous” (National Post, Nov.24, 2007) notes that “over a year, an average 150 ambulances loaded with Canadians in need of treatment are shipped from Windsor to Detroit. It’s routine.”

Can your government, Mr. Bradley, confirm or dispute the claim that in Windsor alone an average of three patients a week are being exported by your health monopoly to the States for treatment? Is this an acceptable routine for your Liberal government?

What is the cost of this Liberal treatment-by-export health-care rendition policy, not only to the province (which McGuinty admits already spends 50% of its entire budget on healthcare), but also to Ontario patients in terms of potential peril, suffering and inconvenience?

Why should patients suffer by having to wait at the U.S. border for medical treatment, Mr. Bradley? Why should we be waiting in Ontario at all - with no options available to us - in the first place?

Forget the existential aspects in Waiting for Godot; Waiting for Smitherman is truly our health care horror nightmare.

Mr. Bradley, is it not your Liberal, statist, single-payer health ideology that caused patient Laporte, and many others, to be in ambulances speeding through the Detroit tunnel, away from Canada, to the States for health care?”

I asked Jim Bradley, back on Dec.4, 2007, if he could provide figures as to how many other ill Ontarians are also leaving Ontario at other border crossings, such as in Niagara.

At least writer Lisa Priest has provided some answers. Patients are apparently rushing down the QEW right through Jim Bradley’s St. Catharines riding on their way to get health-care in Buffalo.
My smug MPP, Liberal Jim Bradley, on the other hand, has never bothered to provide any answers.

Bradley has still not even publicly revealed why (according to a Nov. 2007 CIHI study) the Niagara Health System, here in his own St. Catharines riding, was found to have the third-highest hospital death-rate in Canada.

Time to add "Waiting for Bradley" onto the list of existential absurdities, along with "Waiting for Health-Care".

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't suppress or diminish Liberal health-care failures in Ontario

Unlike writer Richard Murri in his Feb.15 Niagara This Week letter, I commend columnist Mike Williscraft’s attempt (Feb.1, 2008) to bring Ontario’s failing health-care system to the discussion forefront, because it sure wasn’t debated during Ontario's recent provincial election.

We need more discussion, not less; we need to realize that these instances of the health-system failing patients are systemic, not dismissively anecdotal and unimportant. How many anecdotes do we need to hear? There is even a constitutional health-care challenge now before the Ontario court!

Where do HMO’s exist in Ontario? It would be great to have that choice. What are the names of these "certain politicians" who Dick Murri claims “would love to grab a slice of the health care funding pie” (whatever that means)? In the last five years, for example, I have heard no Ontario politician or party having the guts to openly challenge our failing health-care monopoly.

The only politicians grabbing Ontario’s entire health-care-monopoly funding pie are Dalton McGuinty's Liberals, who, while blaming others, have themselves created a two-tier system by delisting health-coverage while concurrently creating a new multi-billion-dollar Health Tax. Doesn't Dick realize this?! (of course he does..!)

Let’s not forget that when McGuinty's first-term Liberal Finance Minister Greg Sorbara stood in the Legislature of Ontario on May 18, 2004 to introduce his hated Health Tax, Sorbara noted in his budget speech that:
"For the past five years, health care budgets in Ontario have grown by an average of 8% per year."
That's right: McGuinty's Liberals actually complained that for five years the Conservatives spent too much on health-care, and so the Liberals were now going to "control" that!
To “improve” health-care, Sorbara said, his Liberal single-payer-monopoly-pushing demagogues were going to “to delist” previously-covered "universal" health-care!
McGuinty and his Ontario Liberals cut health care from their very first days in office - then continued to spread the narrative that "harris" was to blame!

We need to know that the health-care climate in Ontario is not all settled.
We need to reduce the politicians' health-care-policy footprint which restricts our individual health-care choices.
We need to see that the Liberal’s Commitment To The Future of Medicare Act is a policy failure.
We need to understand that 'universal health-care' is not the same as 'government monopoly health-care'.
And - despite what the duplicitous Dicks say - we should also acknowledge and give a note of thanks to the maligned American system which is treating so many Ontarians who have been let down by McGuinty's monopolist Liberals.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shocking evidence of global warming in Toronto!

The CBC TV Toronto evening newscast on Feb.15, 2008 started out with a story that “alarming numbers” of people are going to emergency wards because they are slipping down the icy stairs at subway entrances. “Dozens injured on the TTC’s stairwells…Is the TTC doing enough to keep you safe?” the report asked.

Is the TTC [and its riders, for that matter] not aware that it’s winter in Canada?

Are they surprised at all the STORMS, ICE and SNOW??

Do they have their heads that far up Gore’s butt??

The National Post (Feb.15, 2008) wrote that Toronto councillor Michael Walker, a “26-year veteran of City Hall, has rarely seen his constituents as angry as they are today about the city’s snow clearing policies.

In less than two weeks, his office has received more than 1,000 complaints about shoulder-high snowbanks, ice-coated sidewalks and impassable side streets.

“People are out there to lynch politicians over this!” Mr. Walker said. Although Mayor David Miller yesterday announced an aggressive, $20-million emergency plan to cart the snow off side streets, the move comes more than two weeks after the first major blizzard of the year smacked Toronto on Feb. 1.

The mess that Torontonians have slogged through in the meantime raises the questions: What went wrong? Why can’t Canada’s largest city adequately deliver a service as basic as cleaning up after three big snowstorms?

Mr. Walker has a theory. “We’ve dragged our feet up until now,” he says, “because we’ve been hoping beyond hope that all this snow would go away and we’d only have to do a half-ass job.”

City officials are not afraid to admit the councillor has a point. Having grown accustomed to mild winters in which Mother Nature melts the snow after a storm, Toronto has no regular plan to remove snow en masse. The city salts and ploughs, but has not trucked the accumulated white stuff off residential roads in nearly a decade.

The last time Toronto systematically removed snow was the winter of 1999, the year the Canadian military rode to the snowbound city’s rescue.

“Snow removal on side streets is an irregular activity for the city of Toronto, unlike Ottawa or Montreal,” said Peter Noehammer, director of Transportation Services with the city of Toronto. “They not only gear up with equipment and operators, but they also budget accordingly to provide that service. [Snow removal] is a fairly costly occurrence. We don’t treat it lightly and we only undertake it when we absolutely have to.”

So far this month, Mother Nature has not co-operated with Toronto’s laissez-faire approach.
She dumped 70 centimetres of snow on Toronto in the first two weeks of February, smashing the record of 66.6 centimetres for the entire month set back in 1950, said Bob Whitewood, an Environment Canada climatologist.

Major storms walloped the city Feb.1, Feb.6 and Feb.12. After the second storm, the mercury plummeted, freezing the snow as solid as stone.

Although the city’s 200 salt trucks and 600 ploughs — two-thirds of which are operated by private companies — were deployed at full tilt, they were no match for the accumulation.
Problems piled up as fast as the snow. Many side streets, especially those with on-street parking, were reduced to a single lane where drivers were treated to games of low-speed chicken with oncoming traffic. In at least 286 cases, CAA service trucks had to cancel appointments because they could not safely drive down the street where a client was stranded. (However, snowbound cancellations amounted to only 1.6% of the approximately 18,000 calls CAA has responded to in Toronto since the start of February.)

“I think there is certainly room for improvement,” said Faye Lyons, a spokeswoman for CAA. “Both around policies and what they have for equipment.”

All that snow also hurt public transit, shutting down the Scarborough rapid transit line and causing delays on streetcar routes where poorly ploughed streets contributed to drivers parking their vehicles on or too close to the tracks.

Last Sunday, for example, TTC streetcars were delayed 20 times because of cars parked on the tracks. Four of those delays lasted more than 40 minutes, said Gary Webster, the TTC’s chief general manager.

All this explains why Toronto has finally turned to physically trucking out the snow. However, because that step is rare here, the city has not budgeted for it, nor does it have in place long-term policies that could mitigate problems such as getting cars off narrow side streets with parking on both curbs.

The strategy Mr. Miller unveiled yesterday will gobble up nearly a third of the city’s $65-million snow budget.”

And in a couple of months, the global-warming climatalarmists will come out of hibernation (John Moore in his Feb.18 National Post column already has) and begin revving up their political weather-making for another summer.

Little darlin', it's been a long, cold, lonely winter, with snow like we've not seen since 1950.

Let's remember that when the Gorzukions roar.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Liberal Pile of Grit

Grant Lafleche wrote an article in the St. Catharines Standard, Jun.10, 2000, titled “The menacing haze: Niagara's dirty air is shortening our lives and hurting our children. It may also be killing our crops”:

“Most agree Niagara's air quality is poor. The disagreements come over what can be done about it locally.
Some, like St. Catharines MPP and Liberal environment critic Jim Bradley, want the Harris Tories to do more to clear the air.
"They can legislate things like the level of sulphur in gasoline ... and the emissions from power generation and industry," he said. "They could fund public transit. For every person that is on the bus, that is one less car on the road."
Bradley also wants the provincial government to fund a GO train between Niagara and Toronto to cut back on the number of cars on the QEW.”

It's amazing how when Jim Bradley was in opposition, the air in Ontario was bad: children were being ‘hurt’; our LIVES WERE BEING SHORTENED; ground level ozone was seeping into our “increasingly toxic air” and “pillaging” our “lungs and plants”….yet, Jim Bradley has now been in a majority government since 2003: so have all these dire problems outlined by LaFleche in 2000 SUDDENLY DISAPPEARED under Bradley in 2008 ?!

Amazingly, under the Liberals, now there’s no more ground level ozone? Children aren’t being ‘hurt’? The air isn’t “toxic”? Farm foliage crops are no longer exposed to ozone, “stunting their growth”? Smog, the “complicated chemical witches’ brew” has vanished? The coal-fired generators have ceased spewing their “ill wind”, as LaFleche wrote in this 2000 article?

It’s a miracle – under Jim Bradley, there’s no longer a “menacing haze” over Niagara; now we have Clean Air in Ontario, and all the reporters are happy! Not too many stories lately about how “the quality of the air is consistently bad” in Niagara under Jim Bradley’s Liberal government!

Bradley, in 2000, while in opposition, talked oh-so-earnestly about the government doing “more to clean the air”! Bradley said the government could “legislate” the “emissions from power generation and industry"! Yet Bradley’s government lied about closing all the coal-fired plants which they said they were going to close by 2007! To this day, Bradley and his Liberals have done nothing at all about even ameliorating those emissions, let alone stopping them!

Bradley -ironically now Transportation Minister - was saying then: "They could fund public transit. For every person that is on the bus, that is one less car on the road." Yet by 2008, Bradley's hollow Liberal rhetoric has brought no GO Transit buses to anyone in Niagara!

LaFleche wrote: “Bradley also wants the provincial government to fund a GO train between Niagara and Toronto to cut back on the number of cars on the QEW”.

How many years has Bradley got out of that blustery little chestnut? So, where’s the “GO train” now in 2008, Mr. Bradley? Where’s that GO TRAIN funding, Mr. Bradley, from YOUR Liberal provincial government, which would “cut back on the number of cars on the QEW”?

What a pile of….

Which brings me to this article by Ted Woloshyn (Toronto Sun, Feb.9, 2008) titled “New law a pile of fertilizer. Ban on pesticides hits a harmless herbicide – and allergy sufferers will pay the price”:

“The Ontario government is on the verge of banning the cosmetic use of pesticides for lawns. Many people are applauding the measure, set to impact lawns, gardens, schoolyards and parks. But this legislation is flawed.

Let me explain why.

The government wants to ban pesticides, which is a blanket term covering fungicides, insecticides, and most importantly for the purposes of this story, herbicides.

One of those herbicides is 2,4-D. It is a broadleaf weed killer and has been cleared by Health Canada, the World Health Organization, the New Zealand Pesticides Board, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to name a few -- as long as directions are followed.

You should also follow directions on bottles of bleach, and turpentine, to new name just a few household products. This isn't a new concept.

In September 2003, documents show the government of Quebec knew there was no scientific basis to support the banning of 2,4-D. "Certain herbicides in Schedule 1 (2,4-D, MCPA, Mecoprop) cannot be prohibited on a scientific basis (carcinogenic risk and others)," a report stated. And yet they banned it. But why? Because environmental groups would have seen retaining the herbicide as a step backward.

Now if 2,4-D is to be banned due to health risk, shouldn't that same ban cover agriculture?
"It is the same stuff our farmers have been using on our food since the 1940s. How can it be safe to eat, but not to walk on?" said Jill Fairbrother, director of registration and stakeholder relations for Scott's Canada. "It's based on fear. Every piece of junk science is repeated as true.""
Woloshyn writes: “The British Columbia Ministry of Forests has stated "2,4-D is possibly the most extensively researched off all pesticides, and the data have been examined by an unusual number of advisory committees and work groups. All have concluded it does not present an unacceptable risk when used according to product instructions."

Ask your MPP, or activist friend if he or she supports this cosmetic ban. Then ask if they know anything about 2,4-D. If they don't, then ask yourself why you're paying attention to them.”

Well, seeing that my MPP, Jim Bradley, was at one time the celebrated Minister of the Environment, admired by the likes of David Suzuki, perhaps Jim Bradley would provide detailed reasons for his government’s decision to implement this ban.

Do you support this herbicide ban, Mr. Bradley, and can you explain why?

Ontario's long Liberal health-care wait-times

The St. Catharines Standard wrote on Apr.15, 2006:

“Wait times for cancer care in Niagara are getting better. Or possibly worse.
Depending on your preferred statistics -- and who you talk to -- the issue is open to debate.
Erie-Lincoln Tory MPP Tim Hudak believes Niagara patients are waiting longer for cancer care.
In the provincial legislature earlier this week, Hudak claimed government statistics show wait times have increased 13 per cent in Niagara since last July -- and 38 per cent in Hamilton.
"Despite Liberal promises and a Liberal health tax, there has been no improvement. Things have gotten worse," Hudak said.
Not so, said St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley.
"In fact, this government is investing substantial amounts to bring those times down,' said Bradley.
"Month to month those times may vary, but the trend line is down."”

On Apr.29, 2006 the St. Catharines Standard reported in: “Province ponies up $2.7M to cut down on wait times”:

“Wait times for cancer surgery, joint replacements and other procedures in Niagara should be reduced by an infusion of $2.7 million from Queen's Park, says St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley.
"There are a number of issues when it comes to wait times, but one of the big ones is money," Bradley said in an interview Friday afternoon. "This should help the hospitals pay for more of these procedures and make inroads in the backlog of people waiting for them."”

Yet, here it is in 2008: Katie Simpson reported in “Ontario gets failing grade in cancer care report card”, (680 News, Feb.12, 2008):

“Cancer patients that live in Ontario are more likely to die than those in Western provinces, according to the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada.
"Cancer research funding is oriented toward bacteria, mice and cancer cells instead of how to prevent cancer and change people's behaviour, which is the main cause of cancer," said Dr. William Hryniuk.
The group said young patients are being ignored, clinical research is too slow, and medical staffers are being used ineffectively.
"Nurses are not nursing patients but they're nursing doctors and clinics and watering plants," he said, adding patients in Western Canada have access to new Blockbuster drugs, PET scans, and face shorter wait times than those in Ontario.”

When it comes to health care waiting lists, Jim Bradley’s Liberals say one thing, do another. Is the "trend down"?? The wait times in the Liberal government-run health-monopoly, despite billions of tax dollars being spent, are still unacceptable. When Liberals like Jim Bradley say they dumped “substantial amounts to bring those wait times down”, and yet we see that the wait times are still high, we can only wonder how appropriately Bradley’s Liberals are apportioning our tax dollars on our behalf. Or if these bumbling Liberal medicare-middlemen even know what they're doing.

Shocking evidence of global warming in Niagara Falls

The sign, obscured by a two-inch thick layer of ice, in a cloud of pelting mist-hail, says 'Welcome to Niagara Falls, Canada's Banana Belt'
Don't tell Al Gore: that's snow... and ice... and frost... and cold...
Get out the ski-doos.
The ice shelf on the Niagara River has increased in two days, now reaching the base of the Horseshoe Falls. The area in the foreground was still open water on Sunday Feb.10, 2008. (See previous post) Al Gore says: fascinating, yet illogical. This does not compute! The ice should be melting!Giant thirty-foot long icicles hang over the entrance to the forbidden Frozen Fortress of Solitude.
Table Rock plaque caked with ice. [Click on any photo to enlarge]
Compare this video, taken today, Feb.12, 2008, with the video taken on Feb.10, 2008, posted earlier. It can be clearly seen that in the last two days, the Niagara River has become frozen all the way to the base of the Falls. According to the Goracle, the ice should be RECEDING. We've had record snowfalls in Southern Ontario, and are now in the middle of a deep-freeze here and in upstate New York.

Help heat us, Al Gore!
Hey, David Suzuki: stop jailing people who don't share your enivro-mental fantasies, and knit us some toques!
Liberal Green-Shift-er hack Stephane Dion isn't here to see the Niagara Ice Bridge form and grow, either - he and his Liberal cowards are busy today, running away from their job in Ottawa: they've walked out en-masse refusing to vote on the crime bill in the House of Commons.

Astoundingly, all their Liberal hot-air is still not enough to melt the ice.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Niagara Falls then and now: mists cause global warming!

[click on photos to enlarge]
Above: Behold the smoky devastation in Niagara Falls that the American  and Bridal Veil (left) and Canada's Horseshoe Falls (right) wreak upon the environment. These Falls have laughed in the face of the Kyoto protocol for far too long, and now they must be made to pay for what they have done to the Planet. Look at all those deceptively beautiful, yet shameless, clouds of misty global-warming blatantly steaming out of the ice! Rainbows must be eliminated NOW. There is only a pot of environmental evil at their end. Rainbows represent the two greatest evils of global warming - the dastardly combination of sunlight and misty water vapour. If you see a rainbow - as you often can at Niagara Falls - RUN and hide in a dark, waterless cave, and, depending on which side of the border you're on, immediately report this sighting to Al Gore or Stephane Dion. They will ensure that those nasty rainbows get what's coming to them. A good tip: DO NOT exhale during your trip to Niagara. Human breath emissions, with all their Co2, damage The Planet... so you better stop it. The Ontario Liberal government has posted danger signs warning people - duh - not to stand on the ICE-ENCRUSTED LOW WALL BETWEEN THEM AND AN ALMOST TWO-HUNDRED-FOOT-PRECIPICE DROPPING INTO THE VAPOROUS VORTEX BELOW !!!
Yet: the Liberal government has absolutely NO SIGNS at all warning people of the dangerous vapour emissions from the morally-unacceptable global-warming mist-plume constantly surrounding Niagara Falls.
The inconvenient truth, apparently, is that when both polar ice caps melt, the resultant flood will leave Niagara Falls dried up!
[From “Jim McBee’s Mostly Exchange web blog”]

Play the video clips to see Evil Global-Warming Mists stealthily creeping over Niagara Falls on Feb.10, 2008.
Old man river, stop playing misty for me.
Your rainbow ride is over.
Peter Kuitenbrouwer wrote in “Finding faith in a storm's aftermath”, (National Post, Feb.8, 2008) of last Tuesday’s (Feb.5) snowstorm in Ontario: it was
“the most snow in one day in Toronto since 1966, Environment Canada says…

Yesterday, I took a day off from my ongoing series exploring greater Toronto's lakeshore to write about the remarkable wallop of snow we've been getting. Since November, 128.2 cm of snow has fallen at Pearson airport this winter, far higher than the average 90 cm of the past 30 years…

"We still have a few more weeks left of February and it is likely that we're going to see more snowfalls to add to this," according to Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson.

The city said it deployed 200 salt trucks, 600 snow ploughs and 300 sidewalk ploughs to clean up and make the city safe after the storm.”

We’re freezing our butts off in Niagara today, Feb.10, 2008. It was 7 F (minus 14 C) today - and that was in the daytime.

Shouldn’t someone be hauling David Suzuki off to jail for his global warming hysteria? Did Nobel Lies Winner Al Gore fly into town to help anyone scrape off and start their frozen cars, or shovel their driveways and sidewalks for the umpteenth time?

The Niagara River has its ice bridge forming below the Falls, and ice floes from the upper Niagara River are tumbling over the edge. Where’s Al Gore to witness this “climate change”? Yeah, the Gorzukion – gang (Gore, Suzuki, Stephane Dion) will pop out around March predictably screaming the ‘ice is melting’ – which, of course, it will be, (as springtime approaches) as it has for thousands of years!

KevinB posted this entry on “Small Dead Animals” (Dec.1, 2008):
“What kills me is the absolute refusal by the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] crowd to do even the most basic research. For example, Honda has ads promoting their fuel cell car, saying that it only emits water vapour. It takes about five minutes on Google to find out that of all the supposed "green house gases", water vapour is by far the biggest culprit. Not only is there more of it in the atmosphere than CO2, it traps radiant energy at more points in the spectrum than CO2 does. Idiots.”

I wonder if the Gorzukion enviro-nutters will therefore dam-up the Niagara River to dry up Niagara Falls, in order to prevent the global-warming mists that the natural wonder of the Falls causes?

Hour after hour - for thousands of years - the mists arising from the river’s plunge over Niagara Falls have caused dangerous global warming, which the Gorzukions will now have to stop. Didn't the Kyoto Protocol clearly specify that the emissions-footprint of Niagara Falls be reduced to pre-10,000 B.C. levels? yes... yes it did...

The above video clips show the utter devastation of global warming in Niagara Falls: the ice floes, the frozen trees, barren, sleet-caked rocks and slippery pavement, the absence of people, the toxic cloud of evil global-warming gasses rushing to the sky from the swirling cauldron of water in the gorge below…this must be stopped immediately!!

For years, the Ontario Liberal government, knowing full well that the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara emit huge amounts water vapour and global-killing catastrophic amounts of Co2, sat by and DID NOTHING! They let it happen!!

St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, whose riding is next door, just several minutes away from Niagara Falls, was even the environment minister in Ontario in the 1980’s – why, when he had the chance, didn’t he DO SOMETHING…ANYTHING… to stop this disastrous environmental horror right in Niagara, under his own nose??

Judge David Suzuki recently prescribed enviro-jails for politicians guilty of such environmental negligence, didn’t he?!

Sheesh. In order to Save The World, Canada and the United States might well have to build a new Hoover-like dam - about a mile or so down river past the Falls, then let the water flood in the gorge until it all becomes just a deep river. The deadly mists of Niagara - along with their evil (yet pretty) rainbows - will be forever eliminated, and the New Niagara Gorzukion Dam will provide plenty of  'green' hydro power. We must Save The Planet here, after all. Hey - stranger things have happened!

In the summer of 1969, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, after building a temporary dam upstream, dried up the American Falls for study and remediation purposes.

The entire Niagara Falls went naturally dry for about a day before April Fool's Day, 1848, when a bizarre combination of up-river winds and Lake Erie ice created such an ice jam at the head of the Niagara River at Buffalo that the river, and then both Falls, temporarily dried up. People even walked out onto the edge!

And, the American Bridal Veil Falls dried up several times during the last hundred years due to winter ice jams in the Niagara River closer to Goat Island.

Next time this happens, the disciples of Goraphobia will certainly blame it all on Bush, Harris and the neocon conspiratorial industrial-military complex - which also, by the way, caused hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, and every volcanic eruption since the dawn of time.

(...and in 2015, we can still witness more global warming / climate change/ GreenFear climatalarmism being perpetrated at the CBC by Bob McDonald.)