Nipawin - Thursday, August 16, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


It has been my contention all along these pages of Ensign that our health care crisis has been a crisis of leadership. I showed how the root of this crisis was the dismal economic performance of the Canadian economy in the last some thirty years, and especially in the last ten years. Economist Lars Osberg has shown that the increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers are not evidence of an increasing quality of life, and in fact he has found that in the last ten years our quality of life could have decreased by more than 10 per cent.




For the record, Canada was the only country out of thirteen OECD countries to show a negative per cent change of per capita real GDP for the period 1989-96.




I became so incensed when in the fall of last year Saskatchewan union employees rallied around Roy Romanow to save medicare. We have a health care crisis and an economic crisis because our politicians and their corporate friends have been making money at the expense of the public at large. Our politicians and corporate friends have been listening to economic gurus for directing our public policies, and one economic guru is Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute. This economic guru has been saying that we should end poverty by ending welfare and that "the cycle of poverty is perpetuated through voluntary choice." I repeat, McMahon says that poverty is a voluntary choice, and I ask why we should continue to listen to people like McMahon.




Today, 30,000 public servants went on strike to demand a fair pay raise, and union spokesman John Baglow has stated that "over the past ten years we've lost more than eleven per cent of real purchasing power... " In the meantime, Members of Parliament are enjoying a long summer vacation and their twenty per cent raise, senior managers are offered nine per cent, while federal government workers have been offered 2.5% or less. The hypocrisy of our politicians continues as patriot Roy Romanow tells 500 members of the Canadian Medical Association to cooperate to improve health care and "act like Canadians again."


  Related social and economic articles published by Ensign
  Lars Osberg, McCulloch Professor of Economics , Dalhousie University
  Canada's Disappointing Economic Performance, The Centre for the Study of Living Standards
  End poverty by ending welfare, by Fred McMahon, The StarPhoenix, August 14, 2001, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  Federal workers hit picket lines over wage offer, CBC Canada, August 15, 2001
  Stop finger-pointing:Romanow, Canadian Medical Association in Quebec City, The StarPhoenix, August 15, 2001, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan