LET THE FINGER POINTING BEGIN

I had a deja vu this week. It seems that the press is once again using Mr. Ralph Klein and his Progressive Conservative Party to play a part in the scuttling of the federal Conservative Party. In 2004, much ado was made over the plans of the Alberta Tories to unveil their supplemental health care plan, to assist those who were waiting too long in queue in the national public health system.

The province of Alberta and their politicians have nothing to do with the federal Conservatives, but the media has never had a problem drawing a line from one to the other. While it is deceptive, it is also effective in bolstering the Liberals, and that seems to be the main theme of news stories on not all, but on many networks.

The Liberal Party seized on the opportunity that Mr. Klein did or did not provide deliberately. The press went to town yelling to who ever would listen that the Conservatives had a hidden agenda. Again, what Alberta does has no bearing on the federal party. It was with a great deal of disappointment that I read once again this week that Premier Klein is about to unveil his “Third Way”, a compromise that allows Albertans to purchase health insurance at private clinics among other measures. It was reported that the details would again be kept under wraps until after the federal election. This does more harm than good to his federal counterparts.

I find it very sad that no one calls those in the media to task for the way they twist the news to favour their pet project, the Liberal Party and its social agenda. Take for example that Mr. Klein has a friend who agrees with his plan publicly. That friend would be none other than Jean Charest, Liberal Premier of Quebec. Little is made of this unlikely silent partnership, as it would cast the Liberals in the same light that the media has been shining onto Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

Let’s go further west, to beautiful British Columbia. In British Columbia, a milestone was passed on Monday. The first members-only medical clinic in Canada opened its doors. The cost? $1,200 to join, and $2,300 per year. The Copeman Centre is the first primary care clinic to be built by Mr. Don Copeman, but he plans on building 36 more across the country, in centres that include Victoria, Toronto, and Calgary.

Each of the physicians at the Copeman centre has a limited amount of files, so that each doctor can spend the time needed with each patient, thus increasing the quality of care. They have no waiting room, Mr. Copeland says, “because our doctors see people on time.” Patients are billed for non-insured services, but all procedures that are covered under the Canada Health plan are billed directly to the government, as is done in other doctors’ offices.

I must add that the present government in British Columbia who has allowed this development is a Liberal government. Hey, if I didn’t tell you, who would? Are the federal Liberals now to be accused of having a hidden agenda for our health care system? They would, if we were to apply the same prejudices that the Liberal Party apply to Alberta and the federal Conservatives.