Sunday, October 12, 2008

The CMAJ agrees. . .

Even a recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal agrees; Stephen Harper hates Canada.

Listeriosis is the least of it

Stephen Harper's hatred of Canada has, up to now, been manifested in small ways - his appeals to patriotism to fund a war that is against the country's interests, his gutting of arts funding, his studied avoidance of health care issues, his Bush Playbook political strategies, etc, etc. The changes in public health policy are an anomaly, in that they make Canada even less civilized than the United States, even though mostly, he has been going for par.

The listeriosis epidemic is a timely reminder that the Harper government has reversed much of the progress that previous governments made on governing for public health. Following the 2003 SARS epidemic and subsequent recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health,7 the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was created and given its own minister in government — a direct line to the prime minister. But in 2006, among Prime Minister Stephen Harper's first acts was to eliminate the PHAC minister and public health's seat at the Cabinet table. His government also left the chief medical officer of health within the ranks of the civil service, working under the minister of health. In so doing, it left our country without a national independent voice to speak out on public health issues, including providing visible leadership during this crisis.
I don't think that Harper has the power to undo all the virtues of this country. If, however, he gets back into office - even with a minority - he will have an opportunity to do far more damage than he already has.

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