Posted by: Peaceful Social Worker | March 6, 2012

Where’s the Beach?

I’ve been following the latest current events, and now all I can say is “Where’s the beach??”. I want to bury my head in the sand to protect myself from all the insanity, or whatever you want to call it. There are so many things in the news that we are talking about. Locally, people are discussing the decision by our local health authority to not put a helipad at the new hospital, because it is only about a 10 minute drive to the airport. Provincially, the teachers are on job action because they don’t have a contract, and the government doesn’t seem to want to negotiate. Federally, we have unending news about the “Robocalls” and election fraud. Meanwhile, other important issues, such as the Crime Bill are being overlooked. How many people know that the Crime Bill passed this week? All it needs is some minor revisions in the House, and it will be official. I have yet to read it or see anything about it on our mainstream news media.

It seems that the common denominator is some kind of “my way or the highway” thinking. Apparently the economy is the most important concern of our government, at the cost of regular citizens. I am not sure the government is doing so well on the economic front, by all accounts.

Our health authorities, and hospitals seem to be ruled by a corporate mentality where the almighty dollar is the most important measure. It seems to me that there are other, and arguably more important measures of quality health care, like health, recovery rates, infection management, etc. Costs are more than dollar costs. We are talking about real people’s and real communities’ lives and health. Of course, costs in dollars and cents do need to be considered….along with other cost and benefits. Sometimes something that seems expensive up front is more economical in the long run.

And then there is the neoliberal mentality in the government “leadership”. I put leadership in quotes because I am not sure that is really the right word. We call them political leaders, but do they lead, govern, bully, or what? I think the thing that bothers me most about the BC government and the teachers, is the fact that the government unilaterally seems to have used its power to shut down any possibility of fair negotiation. BC has put out the BC Education Plan: which says that education is changing and needs to be tailored for each student. Why not involve the teachers, who are experts, in this process? Are we doing a top down change or what?

The news is full of stories about the “robocall” issue, and there are cries for a public inquiry. I thought that was a good idea. I’m not so sure now. What I really would like to see, is some of the transparency and accountability the Conservative Party of Canada promised when they were in opposition. Is that too much to ask? Saying that they are not going to show their books because they have not done anything wrong is not good enough. If you have nothing to hide, then show us your books. Simple. I think I mentioned my Twitter conversation with my MP, Bob Zimmer already in a previous post. He said that the issue is cleared up. “We didn’t do it…..air cleared”. No it isn’t. Clearly since the issue is the main topic in the news, it is not cleared up. In the meantime, other important, possibly more important issues are sliding under the radar while we are focused on this. Has anyone heard anything about the Crime Bill this week? I would have thought that would have been important. It brings significant changes to our country.

I am really concerned about the direction our government(s) is(are) taking us. I do not want to live in a polarized society like they have in the US. I want to live in a country where our leaders work with each other and their constituents to govern, and do not unilaterally operate based on their ideology. I want a government that considers the economic health of our country, AND the social capital/health.

I think we can find some balance. Can’t we?

I think I need some tea…..

Courage, my friends; ’tis not too late to build a better world ~Tommy Douglas


  1. The only way to achieve this ‘balance’ you speak of is with a minority government..this keeps checks and balances on the insanity of the agenda the Cons now feel empowered to force us to accept..and they will do so until the next election, or until a few Tory backbenchers have the nerve (or ambition) to cross the floor..
    This government by fiat is scaring all of us, and we can’t let up on the pressure..

    • I agree, partly. A minority government generally is the best way to ensure some balance. I’m not sure though, if that is possible with the players that are in Ottawa right now. The neoliberal agenda seems pretty darned strong. I wonder how Jack Layton would have been responding to all this. I suspect at least, that we’d be hearing more about some of the issues that are getting slid through. Or not. I would love to see a few Cons cross the floor, or a few by-elections called. We need a shake-up in Ottawa!

  2. I don’t even want to get started on the issues here in the US…

    • I know. I’m very glad I’m not there. When Romney is the best of the worst and Santorum wins some states? Wow.

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