Editor’s note: Paul McKeever is the leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario and coincidently was the Freedom Party candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London in the 2011 provincial election.He forwarded this letter to City Scope and it is printed here in its entirety.
December 22, 2011
Sunmedia’s Queen’s Park columnist, Christina Blizzard, today wrote about Ontario’s health care system and the deficit. It concludes:
Liberals have socked us with the two biggest tax hikes in the history of the province — the health care levy and the HST. And now they’re crying poor? They created this mess. We’re just paying their bills.
Given her message, the column’s headline (which Blizzard probably did not write) is a knee-slapper of hypocrisy: “Stop blaming and start restraining“. Read here. I agree with the sentiment of the headline, but it sure as heck is not the case that the PCs are somehow any better than the Liberals with respect to Ontario’s health care system. In fact, pinning the blame on the Liberals smacks of revisionist history. So I got to work writing a comment to the column on the newspaper’s web site. Of course, my comment has to pass Sun “moderation”, so there is a chance it will not get posted. So, for the record, here is the comment I submitted:
In point of fact, the Progressive Conservatives “created this mess” in 1969. They banned private health insurance, instituted a provincial health care monopoly, and imposed a new tax – the provincial income tax – to pay for it. Within the very first year, the system was in crisis, because patients were no longer required to pay their physicians for the services they received. The system made doctors care not about satisfying patients, but about satisfying bureaucrats. Today, as a result, we have a system that is by far the single largest provincial cost…so large that the provincial income tax doesn’t bring in enough to pay for it. So, now, we have health care payroll taxes, a health care “premium” (that one WAS McGuinty’s – a tax founded on a 2003 broken election promise not to raise taxes one penny – yet Hudak’s PCs are unwilling to repeal it). Socialized health care is THE biggest reason why we are $16B in the hole, annually, and that number will continue to skyrocket as the population ages, works/earns less, and consumes more health care. Yet the PCs stand side by side with the Liberals and NDP in defence of keeping the government health care monopoly in place, without any competition from private health insurance or patient-pay alternatives.
It gets worse. In an effort to reduce use of health care resources, PC, then Liberal, then NDP, then PC, then Liberal governments have imposed a growing number of restrictions on anything that increases the likelihood of using the system: crackdowns on riding without a helmet, on fast food in schools, massive intrusion of alleged health inspection armies into farming and health food production (i.e., government agents killing the family farm/business, in the name of health, so as to benefit large agricultural companies and pharmaceutical companies with patents that are worthless so long as one can grow homegrown medicines, almost for free, in ones garden), smoking bans, any number of restrictions on sports…etc.
It gets even worse. By making health care a tax-funded business, it has been made possible to fund political activism through the health care system. Check out the little known “CHCs“: clinics, spread across the province, that exclude all except some key demographic. Don’t speak French: you’re not permitted to use the Cornwall CHC. Not “a black woman from the islands”: you can’t use one of the CHCs in Toronto. Not a “native Canadian”?: your not permitted to use a Natives-only CHC. There are 10s of these units across the province. How do they spend their money? I’ll tell you:
– movie nights for the poor.
– campaigns against violence against women.
– outreach on the basis of sexual orientation.
– campaigns for social justice.
Get the picture? All of this stuff gets called “health care” and is funded, by the taxpayer, as a CHC health clinic that serves people defined exclusively by their race, sex, sexual orientation, etc.
Get this: I investigated a CHC in London a few years back. Unlike some of the other CHCs, it wasn’t clear which “at risk” (or whatever was their Orwellian terminology) group that CHC was exclusive to, but it *was* saying that it was for only that “at risk” group. I called the CHC and asked who the clinic was for. The answer? “Which organization are you with?”. I told her, honestly, that I am the leader of Freedom Party of Ontario. Her answer: click. So I called the Ministry of Health, and ultimately got to the political/policy strategist/rep: someone with direct access to McGuinty. I asked her who that clinic was for. Her frank answer: “illegal aliens”. Shocked, I asked her to clarify, and she repeated that it was for people who are in the country illegally.
The simple fact is that, by socializing health care, the government was able to create a system in chronic fiscal crisis. That crisis – combined with historical revisionism about socialist health care being the major part of the Canadian identity – has made it politically possible to continue pouring billions of additional dollars, and possible to raise existing taxes and impose new ones, without the voter kicking the Liberals, PCs, or NDP out of office.
The saddest part is: relatively few people realize how bad the service is, until it’s too late. But the pro-socialist health care politicians don’t worry about those people: the dead don’t speak, and the dead don’t vote.
In closing: don’t take my word for it. Watch this 4.5 minute video, featuring none other than the socialist health care poster child, Rev. Tommy Douglas…and pay particular attention to the last thing he says, about health care costs soaring unless health care’s mission was switched from making the sick well, to keeping the well well.
To those prepared to read what I’ve written above, and to understand that the government health care monopoly must end, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario