Regular users of the Canadian Healthcare system know that something isn’t right. The system is broken, inefficient and mismanaged. It has become expensive and for the causes that it has received greater funding, it has not improved. Our healthcare system still easily deserves a failing grade for wait times, understaffing and overall performance but while some believe that it is due to a lack of funds, the reality remains that the funds are mismanaged and that regardless how much money you throw in the system, it will be wasted and your healthcare won’t improve.
Canadians pay a lot of money every year. They pay a GST and PST or HST, they pay income taxes, they pay payroll taxes, they pay municipal property taxes and there is a tax for almost everything in Canada. These taxes overlap and soon we all find ourselves struggling to balance our budgets and wondering why money disappears so fast. Meanwhile, government officials tell us that they are doing their best to manage budgets which in most cases are in deep deficits and are leading up to huge debts and budget run offs. The money that we pay is supposed to go toward infrastructure and the services we count on and every time our taxes are raised, there is a promise for better service. Ironically, as taxes increase throughout the country, the quality of our roads and infrastructure, our education and healthcare, and the safety net that we are obliged to fund are all deteriorating. As we speak, public servants with inflated salaries and perks are going on spending sprees and having their unions try to hold taxpayers as hostages. As we speak, government officials are wasting our money and in some cases, even allegedly funding organized crime. Government and bureaucracy in Canada: hand in hand, putting their hands in the public piggy bank, it is time for change.
Peter Mackay came under fire again this week as his hotel spending came to light and it isn’t pretty. Mackay wasn’t alone, information has surfaced that a bureaucrat in charge of managing Aboriginal finances has been taking tax payers for a ride as well.
A lot of speculation has been put into the way that Harper is going to deal with the upcoming healthcare accord. If there is one thing we know, he won’t make a repeat of Paul Martin, he won’t make each province sign a separate deal (which is what most commentators thought he would so) and he won’t make a big summit where everyone must agree to one blueprint (like what Paul Martin did). However, despite, however Harper approaches this, there is one certainty: a new approach to healthcare will be taken – and frankly must be taken.
You can throw efficiency, accountability, prudent management and logic out the window with the current Conservative government. Instead of doing the right thing and cutting down on their fat, they unnecessarily increased it and are continuing to increase it as we speak. But that is not all. Parts of Tony Clements’s ‘accountable’ spending in his riding is being exposed and it most certainly will get ugly.
The Liberal rebuilding process will be an interesting one to watch. While media commentators have written them off, membership has soared. In my riding, which went from Bloc Quebecois to NDP the last time around, the Liberals had the second biggest burst of membership in the country and doubled what they had before – with more people coming in.
With the recent protests against Wall Street and Corporations, the NDP will likely be making political gains – they are after all, the anti- corporation party and most importantly, the “party of change.” However, if you analyze what they represent and what they would do if given a mandate, you can easily see that while they are on the other side of the room, they are more of the same.